Today we had planned two ventures: on the one hand we wanted to look a little in the morning at the center of Merida and in the afternoon we wanted to go to Celestun on the Gulf of Mexico, because there is a lagoon with thousands of Cuban flamingos here 🙂
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We drove our rental car to Plaza Grande (or “Plaza de la Independencia”) which, as in other South and Central American cities, is the center of the city. Here we were looking for a parking space. On one side of the square is the double-towered 16th-century cathedral, just across the street from the town hall. Then we took a short picture of the Paseo De Montejo. There was not much more to see in the city centre, so we went straight to Celestun.
Our Starbucks Global Icon City Mug of MeridaWe are collecting the Starbucks Mugs from the cities and islands we visit on our travels. Unfortunately, not every city that has a Starbucks store with an own mug. But if the city has an own mug we like to collect them as a souvenir. We only collect city mugs from the "Global Icon Series", which was released in 2008. You can see our complete collection here: Starbucks - Our collection of Mugs from the Global Icon Series
In Merida there is Starbucks and this is the cup of the Global Icon series.
Our trip from Merida to Celestun
Celestun is a fishing village located about 90 km west of Merida on the Gulf of Mexico. Celestun is known for its “Reserva de la biosfera Ria Celestun” biosphere reserve, a species-rich nature reserve of lagoon and mangrove landscapes. After Celestun we continued to Chichen Itza, so that our current route looked like this:
The flamingos in the lagoon of Celestun
When we arrived in Celestun, there was the possibility to do a 1.5 hour tour in the lagoon right at the entrance to the village. The boat rental costs 1,260 pesos, which is about 74 euros. Since this was a bit too expensive for us, we waited until other people came and then shared a boat for six (with four Mexican women). We were lucky and our boatman even spoke English so he could explain a lot to us
The first port of call of the tour were the colonies of the Cuban flamingos. There are up to 30,000 flamingos at weddings here – that’s madness. The animals have gradually settled in Celestun since 1988, after a hurricane raged here.
The mangrove forests in the lagoon
After watching the flamingos for a while, we went back along the mangrove forests. At one point our boat man captain suddenly turned away and we stood in the middle of a huge mangrove tunnel that simply looked spectacular. The last stop was a freshwater spring where you could also swim. The water was crystal clear and just looked great due to the light. Next to the source there was a small path that led to another source. From there we could even see a large crocodile lying quietly in the water – just 10 meters from where people were bathing. Did they know that?
After 1.5 hours the tour was over and we really liked it. We went to the beach of Celestun and then made our way to Chichen Itza.
Our hotel in Chichen Itza
After about 3 hours we arrived at our Hotel Dolores Alba, which is only 3 km from the Mayan site. Perfect to explore Chichen Itza tomorrow morning.
We stayed here one night, because the next day we wanted to go to Chichen Itza early at the park opening. The room was functionally furnished and everything was clean. The entrance to the room was on the ground floor and you had a view of the pool. Breakfast was included in the price. This consisted of bread (with butter and jam), fruit or scrambled eggs. There is a large, free car park at the hotel. We little money a good overnight accommodation.
All travelogues from Yucatan (Mexico)For Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula we put together a nice self-drive route, which we could drive on our own with a rental car. We absolutely wanted to see the many famous Mayan sites like Chichen Itza, Tulum, Uxam, Edzna or Kohunlich, get to know some cities like Merida or Campeche and finally relax a few days on the beach in Cancun. All in all, a beautiful route of over 1,400 kilometres, which can be ideally explored in 10-14 days.
» Day 2: he Mayan ruins Of Kohunlich & the Old Town of Campeche (Mexico)
» Day 3: The Mayan Ruins of Edzna & Uxmal on Yucatan (Mexico)
» Day 4: The city of Merida & the flamingos of Celestun (Mexico)
» Day 5: Chichen Itza – The ruins of the Mayan site on Yucatan (Mexico)
» Day 5: Cenote Samula – The Underwater Cave in Valladolid (Mexico)
» Day 6: The Mayan site Tulum & Snorkeling with turtles (Mexico)
» Day 7: Cancun – Wreck Diving in the Caribbean with Aquaworld (Mexico)
» Day 8: Cancun – Relaxing at the All-Inclusive Resort (Mexico)