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Mexico Trip 2012 - Casa del Corazon

Casa del Corazon

For our Yucatan Mexico trip in November 2012, we stayed on Soliman Bay, along what is known as the "Riviera Maya", at Casa del Corazon ("house of heart") in their large, cosy, and fully equipped "bungalow 1".

Casa del Corazon Casa del Corazon

The jaguar eating a heart is depicted in a stone carving at Chichén Itzá, and reproduced in art throughout the area. It is thought to be a Maya symbol of re-birth and power.

Casa del Corazon Casa del Corazon Casa del Corazon Casa del Corazon

The cloth in the right corner hides a television and dvd player which can be used to be entertained from a library of dvds.

Casa del Corazon

The main downstairs bedroom has a kingsize bed, desk, closet and dresser area, and a pass-code safe for keeping valuables.

Casa del Corazon Casa del Corazon Casa del Corazon Casa del Corazon Casa del Corazon

The curved wall within the bathroom is the shower: a step in from either side, tile, open shower that was really nice to use. It's a spacious and light full bathroom.

Casa del Corazon Casa del Corazon

Up the interior stairs is a loft with two twin beds.

Casa del Corazon Casa del Corazon

The kitchen had everything we could have needed for any length of stay.

Casa del Corazon

A tile patio behind the bungalow had chairs for lounging and outside dining. It was the perfect place for breakfast each morning.

Casa del Corazon

Up the outside spiral stairs is a second bedroom with a queen-size bed and beautiful domed brick ceiling, as well as a second bathroom.

Casa del Corazon Casa del Corazon

For more photos of the beach and bay behind our casita, check out my Bay Life post.

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Mexico Trip 2012 - Lake Macanxoc

Lake Macanxoc

A lake across the street from the the Coba ruins entrance.

Lake Macanxoc Ari and Rick at Lake Macanxoc Ari at Lake Macanxoc Sunset at Lake Macanxoc

Phoenix rising! Sunset over the Yucatan from Lake Macanxoc. Our last evening in Mexico.

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Mexico Trip 2012 - Bay Life


So peaceful.

Beach chairs

Our casita was right on the beach and so we took advantage of that every moment we could (while not away sightseeing or cooking in the fully equipped bungalow kitchen), and snorkeled, swam, played with fish, read in hammocks, walked on the beach, and watched the pelicans fishing.

Kayaks on beach

Kayaks and snorkels for our use.

Snorkeling Rick Snorkeling Rick

About as graceful as a pelican's dive.

Rick and pelican

The pelicans liked to hang out with Rick while he swam.

Beach chairs

Our slice of beautiful bay. That's Rick and a pelican out there. That green stuff under the water, sea grass, was full of fish and other bay life.

Pelican Pelican Pelican Pelican Pelican Pelicans Pelican

A male and female pair seemed to share the beach and fish with us.

Pelican Pelican Pelican Pelican Pelican Pelican

They made a funny splash diving for fish.

Pelican Rick and Ari Ari in hammock

Reading a good book. Kicking back in hammocks under our beach palapa.

Rick in hammock Bungalow from hammock

Nuestra casita. Being on our own private beach was so incredible.

Hermit crab

Giant hermit crab lived in a hole by the back door.

Hermit crab Gecko

There were cute geckos inside the bungalow and out. I chased this one around the trunk of one of the many coconut trees around the patio.

Gecko Osprey

I think this was an osprey flying over our beach.

Osprey Flock of egrets

Flock of egrets....

...and a flock of little sand piper birds.

Sand birds Sand birds Sand birds Sand shells

The white sand was made of tiny shell and coral particles.

Beach chairs Beach cat Beach dog

Chile, one of the two resident dotsons.

Caribbean sunrise

Sunrise on our last morning.

Caribbean sunrise Caribbean sunrise Caribbean sunrise

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Mexico Trip 2012 - Chichen Itza Ruins

Chichen Itza Ruins

The pyramid of Kulkulkan/Quetzalcoatl. A temple that has become very iconic this year!

Our birthday trip to Chichen Itza! While it has some of the most spectacular and well maintained structures, thousands of ghostly columns, and carvings everywhere... the site was busy with tourists and obnoxious peddlers of souvenirs making jaguar screams.

Chichen Itza Ruins

The serpent's tongue.

Chichen Itza Ruins

Columnata Oesta.

Chichen Itza Ruins

Templo de los Guerreros.

Chichen Itza Ruins Chichen Itza Ruins

Columnata Norte.

Chichen Itza Ruins

There are so many carved stones just laying around this site.

Chichen Itza Ruins

Jaguar, eagle, and snake.

Chichen Itza Ruins Chichen Itza Ruins Chichen Itza Ruins Chichen Itza Ruins Chichen Itza Ruins

This building overlooks the ballcourt (which we didn't get to see since we were made to leave for closing).

Chichen Itza Ruins

The top of the tower overlooking the ballcourt.

Chichen Itza Ruins

El Castillo, as the sun sets.

Chichen Itza Ruins

Guillo el Gigante y su Castillo. (Rick the Giant and his castle.)

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Mexico Trip 2012 - Temozon y Valladolid


On our birthday we passed through Temozon on the way to Ek' Balam and I took some "drive by" photos from the car. We stopped in Valladolid for lunch before checking out the ruins at Chichen Itza, and then headed back to Valladolid for our birthday dinner and tres leches cake.

Temozon Temozon Temozon Temozon Temozon Temozon Valladolid Valladolid Valladolid Valladolid Valladolid

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Mexico Trip 2012 - Ek' Balam Ruins

Iguana Iguana

Our birthday was spent traveling deep into the Yucatan to visit some of the more distant ruins sites, starting with this one.

Ek Balam Ruins

The entrance arch that leads to the city.

Ek Balam Ruins

Side view of the entrance arch.

Ek Balam Ruins

The ballcourt, completed in 841 CE.

Ek Balam Ruins

The Oval Palace, ceremonial structure.

Ek Balam Ruins

A northward view of the the El Trono temple and other structures from atop the Oval Palace.

Ek Balam Ruins Ek Balam Ruins

These walls can't keep me out.

Ek Balam Ruins

Winged warriors.

Ek Balam Ruins

A view of the other structures from atop the temple El Trono ("The Throne"). It's thought that Ukit Kan Le'k Tok' (who ruled during the height of the city, from 770 to 797 or 802 CE) is buried inside.

Ek Balam Ruins

Southern view from atop the temple. It's sweaty work climbing all these stairs.

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Mexico Trip 2012 - Coba Ruins

Coba Ruins Coba Ruins Coba Ruins

The light at the end of the tunnel...

Coba Ruins

Coba is a large site, with five different groupings of structures, with some distance between. Much to explore.

Coba Ruins

Hoop at the ballcourt. Some ritual games ended in sacrifice, or by decapitating the losers.

Coba Ruins

Templo de la Iglesia, "Temple of the Church", is second in height at Cobá but roped off from climbing. There was at least a dozen vultures at the top.

Coba Ruins Coba Ruins Coba Ruins Coba Ruins

Nohoch Mul ("large hill") pyramid, 138 feet high, the highest in the Yucatan peninsula.

Coba Ruins

Since they were trying to close the site for the evening, we literally ran most of the distance from the "Coba group" of structures near the lake to this pyramid. After the jog, it was especially hard work climbing to the top in the hot sun! But rumors are, after this year, they will be closing this off from climbing.

Coba Ruins

Altar room at the top of the Nohoch Mul pyramid.

Coba Ruins

The Yucatan and lake Macanxoc behind me. Security are below yelling to us to come down.

Security made us leave. We were the last to head out, but had our pick of bicycle cabs to get back. We got a kid who was as fast as the wind, and how nice that felt on my sweaty skin!

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Mexico Trip 2012 - The Road to Soliman Bay

Laguna Birds

Wildlife along the rough dirt road out to our bungalow on Soliman Bay.

Laguna Birds Laguna Birds Laguna Birds Laguna Birds Laguna Birds Laguna Birds Iguana crossing the road

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Mexico Trip 2012 - Tulúm Ruins


Temple of the Frescos

Tulum wall

The pre-Columbian city of Tulúm was built on a bluff, surrounded by walls on three sides and protected by coastal cliffs on the east. It was a port city, where land and water routes met for trading, and it was an important site for the worship of the Diving or Descending god.

During our visit, iguanas populated the ruins. One kept watch perched over the entrance in the wall:

Tulum Tulum

This was the second site we visited on our trip and found it much more crowded than Muyil with tourists from all over the world. The structures were off limits to visitors.
Except iguanas...


So many iguanas sunbathing on the ruins!

Tulum Tulum Tulum Tulum

The whole area of the walled city had expansive manicured lawns, with modern Maya weed-whacking and mowing as we strolled around on the designated paths.


Templo del Dios Descendente (Temple of the Descending God) and Pyramid El Castillo (The Castle)


A dark little cenote under the structure above, the fresh water source for the ancient Maya of this village.


Templo Dios del Viento (God of Winds Temple) to the north.

Tulum Tulum

The huge iguanas lounging everywhere seemed to have no fear.

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Mexico Trip 2012 - Anna y Jose

Anne y Jose Beach Club

After our morning trip south to Muyil, we headed back to Tulum and got lunch at Anna y Jose Beach Club, a restaurant and bar located on a quintessential Caribbean beach. As we dinned and sipped a margarita, the place began to fill up with afternoon diners and sunbathers there for the lounge chairs, cushy covered wooden platform beach beds, and warm ocean.

Anne y Jose Beach Club

The restaurant "inside" and out had sand floors, except for the deck area closest to the ocean where we dinned. As we entered the place we were greeted by an adorable yellow crab scurrying along.

Yellow Crab Yellow Crab

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Mexico Trip 2012 - Muyil/Chunyaxché Ruins


The first Maya ruins site we visited was one off the beaten path about 30 minutes south of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico, located within the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. We had the place to ourselves as we strolled along the sacbe to the castillo y templo.


The steps of the castle were roped off from people climbing them, but we could otherwise get up close to the structures. This ended up being one of my favorite ruins sites to visit because of the quiet peacefulness, just us and the forest around us. Other than the park employee at the entrance taking the state fee (about $3.25 per person), there were no venders selling trinkets.

Muyil Muyil Muyil Muyil termite tree

Everywhere we went around many of the ruins sites, we came across termite nests on the ground or in trees with tubes running along the branches. Other than our hike along the designated paths, we did not hike into the jungle much but I did spot one fungi growing on a stump.

yucatan mushroom Muyil

It's thought the Maya began building the site around 300 BC and populated it until the early 1500s, around the time of the Spanish conquest of the Yucatan. The ancient Maya had dredged a narrow canal system from the surrounding lagoons for about 12 kilometers to gain access to the Caribbean.

A couple of the structures, such as the temple, were unprotected and open to climb on and explore.

Muyil hibiscus

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Creative Commons License Arianna Helen | | designed by ulaluma | hosted green green leaf