Beach Day With Some Amigos

I haven’t been posting as much lately because I’ve been ridiculously busy (a very very good kind of busy, even if it drives me crazy sometimes), but I did get some free time this weekend to go to the beach with some friends. We went to Forum Beach in the Cancun Hotel Zone on a whim, and it was such a cool day.

Here come the pics…

My amigo Miguel

Missey and Miguel

Me and Missey

Missey and me

Who do you like to go to the beach with?

De-Stressing on the Beaches of Cancun

The month of January was pretty rough on me. Life was great, but I had tons of extra work at my office job, plus my usual freelance blogging work. I was working a lot at home after office hours, and I was tired.

Just last week, Jorge started teaching high school math for the first time. (YAY!) He loves giving classes, but writing up his lesson plans took up many, many hours of his time.

To escape the stress of Monday through Friday, we decided to spend Saturday goofing around. One of my favorite things about living in Cancun is that on any given weekend, I can just let loose, escape and pretend like I’m a tourist. We spent most of the afternoon at Delfines Beach (where I took my pelican photos), which has the brightest blue water in all of Cancun, even if the waves are a little rough. There were parasailers on the ocean, kids flying kites on the beach… it’s as if the beach knew I wanted to take pictures of it!

*Note: I didn’t edit the colors of the ocean. That’s God’s artwork, not mine!*

The best photo of the day goes to this one of Jorge.

Hottest math teacher ever.

Pelicans on Vacation

Little known fact about me: I am obsessed with pelicans.

I’m not exactly sure why… I think it’s because they love the beach as much as I do, they have a huge wingspan and they do some pretty cool dives.

Imagine my joy this past weekend when Jorge and I came across some pelicans on the beach in Cancun. They even stopped to pose for me! Check out our photo shoot:

More beach pics to come later this week!

The First Cancun Beach Day of 2013

I was lucky enough to have January 1 off from work, so I begged Jorge to go to the Hotel Zone with me. After our trip to Virginia for Christmas, warm weather was sounding pretty good!

I brought along my brand new camera (a Nikon 1 J1, Christmas present from Jorge) to experiment. It’s been difficult getting used to the angles because of the wider frame, but by the end of the afternoon the photos were improving.

Forum Beach: I guess everyone else in the city had the day off because this beach was packed!

Chac Mool Beach: This lesser-known beach was a lot quieter. The photos were taken around sunset, so they’re not as bright but still beautiful. I didn’t even stage the footprint photos… everything was already there. 🙂 Perfect.

I’m loving the lighting and colors on this new camera. Everything I see with my eye is exactly what shows up on the camera without needing to do any manual adjustments. (My previous camera had a hard time with bright sunlight and evening light, so this was a welcome change.)

I’d been wanting a more professional camera for awhile and was lusting after some of the larger cameras with the changeable lenses. However, I went on a tour with other bloggers recently and saw everyone else carrying around a big camera bag, which made me realize I DIDN’T want that. I looked around online for more portable options and found the Nikon 1, which has the lenses I want but it’s still about the same size as my point-and-shoot. Perfect for taking more “fancy” pictures while still being small enough to just throw it in my purse!

I got the sexy red one.

I feel like a real blogger now.

Cancun’s Forum Beach

Just a few pics from our afternoon at Forum Beach last Sunday, located behind Coco Bongo in the Cancun Hotel Zone. We come here a lot, but the colors still blow me away every. single. time.

Everyone in Cancun is hoping this week’s stormy weather will clear up by Saturday! Have a great weekend, everybody.

 

Sunday at Isla Blanca Beach

Let’s go to the beach -each,

Let’s go get away.

Those are the lyrics I listened to while I packed our backpack for our beach trip yesterday. Nothing works like Nicki Minaj to get me pumped for a day out!

I’ve always heard great things about Isla Blanca, a beautiful spot just up the coast from Cancun. It’s a mostly virgin area, with just a few mansions set along the beach along with 1 or 2 restaurants. The drive from downtown Cancun took about an hour, first passing through Puerto Juarez then heading north along a jungle-lined highway filled with pink flowers. Eventually, the highway turns into a rough, winding path through the jungle that takes you to an almost untouched beach and lagoon.

We parked the car on the side of the road and were immediately greeted by the loud chirping of bugs all around us. I’d never heard bugs that noisy, and it was so cool being in the middle of nowhere.

Spotting the bright turquoise water on the horizon, I knew the trek north would be worth it.

We had arrived before most of the crowds and had our choice of spots on the sand. To lay out our pareos, we had to clear some of the seaweed out of the way. Then, Jorge turned on our iPod speakers and we took in the scenery while listening to some Sugar Ray and reggae.

The water itself was ideal: crystal clear! There were no plants underfoot and the temperature was cool but not too cold. It’s no secret that Jorge and I hate waves, but the waves here were soft enough not to be a problem. We also had some pretty good views of Isla Mujeres and Cancun’s Hotel Zone off in the distance.

After a swim or 2, the blogger in me had the urge to explore. I walked to the nearby lagoon and a bit up the beach, and found tons of beautiful sights!

Taken from the beach, with the lagoon on the horizon

The lagoon

The only negatives of this beach were the large amounts of seaweed on the beach and the lack of shade. Other than that, it was amazing. No beach is perfect, right?

Our little group of friends filled the afternoon with napping, exploring, swimming and snacks before trekking back to Cancun. I loved the untouched feel of Isla Blanca, and I hope to make it back someday.

 

Gringation’s Isla Blanca Tips:

  • Sunscreen. Always.
  • Umbrella. A secluded, untouched beach also means no beach club, so loungers and umbrellas are in short supply. There was lots of jungle, but alas no palm trees for shade. Bringing along your own umbrella is a great idea if you’re not used to a lot of sun.
  • Snacks and several large bottles of water. Again, a secluded beach means hardly any restaurants.
  • Got a well-behaved dog? Bring him along! We saw tons of people with their dogs on this beach, and it looked like so much fun. Just make sure to be near some shade and to supply plenty of fresh water for your pet.
  • Pocket change. There was a bathroom area on our stretch of beach. Cost: $5 pesos
  • Go on a weekday. We went on a Sunday, and tons of locals showed up by early afternoon. Luckily there was still plenty of room right by where we were, but certain areas got quite crowded.

 

Sunday at Cancun’s Playa Delfines

Jorge and I spent Sunday at Playa Delfines (Dolphin Beach) in Cancun. It has been years since we hung out at the beach in the Hotel Zone! Usually we prefer Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen or Puerto Morelos, but I’m glad we finally came around and decided to enjoy our city for once.

Baby Sea Turtle Release at the Ritz Carlton Cancun

Step out onto a quiet beach in Cancun and the Riviera Maya on a summer night, and you just might spot a female see turtle laying her eggs in the sand. This summer alone, I’ve had several friends mention that they’ve seen sea turtles laying eggs at night on several beaches in Cancun’s Hotel Zone.

Lots of development and activity, however, has made local beaches unsafe for the turtle eggs, and many resorts are now looking for a way to restore balance by finding the turtle eggs and giving them a safe home until they hatch. The hatchlings are then released into the Caribbean to try their luck on their own.

I was recently invited to the very first Baby Turtle Release of the 2011 season at the Ritz Carlton Cancun. Even though I’ve been living here 6 years, it was the first time I’d witnessed one! PR Director Paulina Feltrin gave me a tour of the beautiful hotel and explained about their Turtle Camp, run by Juan de Dios.

The Ritz Carlton has been helping the baby turtles for more than 13 years! They patrol the beaches at night searching for nesting turtles, then recover the eggs and bring them to safety at their Turtle Camp, where they can rest safely for 45 to 60 days until they hatch.

Each mound of sand is a nest of turtle eggs, labeled with info like the type of turtle and predicted hatch date.

The baby sea turtles are always released in the evenings to increase their chance of survival from predators, although it’s estimated that only 1 in every 1,000 sea turtles will survive to adulthood.

After a glance at the Turtle Camp, Paulina led me down to the beach area, where a large crowd of Ritz Carlton guests had gathered to share the experience.

It was a beautiful and peaceful evening, perfect for a turtle release.

I could feel the air abuzz with excitement and curiosity. The adults were snapping photos (note: no flash allowed!) while the kids were peering into the basket of sea turtles as Paulina explained the process. Sea turtles were then passed around to guests, who were careful to hold the baby turtles by the sides of their shell.

And then… they were off!

Some of the baby turtles were super-speedy, swept away by the gentle waves within seconds. Others took a bit longer, but eventually made it to their destination… the Caribbean Sea.

I couldn’t help but notice how tiny and fragile they looked compared to the waves, and I wondered what adventures they’d have on their first night in the sea.

Fun Fact: Many locals rely on sea turtle nesting habits to determine how strong hurricane season is going to be. This forecast is generally more accurate than human weather forecasts! Rumor has it that according to nesting sea turtles, 2011 is not going to be a strong hurricane season in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

Disclosure:  I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the Mexico Today Program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared here are completely my own.