Winding paths lined with exotic plants, endangered species, crystalline pools, and ancient ruins are open for your persual. Nearby is a Mayan city model museum, as well as a botanical garden, orchid nursery, mushroom farm, and a spectacular aquarium showcasing exotic fish and coral.
In your self-guided adventure, you come along deers, macaws, turtles, and toucans but the most entrancing creature is the green-eyed jaguar who struts and hisses on his private island surrounded by waterfalls. As he prances about his dark black fur glistens in the sun, and he stops to stare you in the eye. You hold your husbands hand tightly and at once sense the animals ferocious yet regal nature.
Later, while lunching underneath an open air hut, you hear your breath against the soft pitter-patter of a light spring rain. A bird sings in the distance, nearby horses neigh, and slowly you begin to feel the natural rhythm of the forest. Soon colorfully-clad mariachis join in with guitars and serenade you with Mexican love songs. As the music of the forest and of man become one, you feast on a refreshing cactus and tomato salad, followed by enchiladas. The fresh salsa is as hot as the fiery reds, pinks, and oranges of the serapes, tiles, and brilliant Mexican paper ornaments that decorate the restaurant.
Just as you cool down with a pitcher of chaya, a refreshing local water drink lightly flavored with lemon and herbs, the sky opens and the hot sun returns. Inspired by the bougainvillaea-lined path, the two of you decide to walk up the hill to the open-air chapel where there are fantastic views of the jungle top and ocean beyond. Its the perfect spot to recall your vows, or even get married. Built around an old tree shaped and carved into the body of Christ, the thatched-roof construction is an inversion highlighting nature as its sacred interior. In place of pews are carved logs, in place of windows are breathtaking views, and in place of man-made features are natures formations, like the beautiful shell which serves as a baptismal basin.
... History & Culture by Night
At twilight, follow the sound of the mariachis and make your way to the horse pen where sombreroed caballeros swing their lassos to the cheers of a jubilant crowd. As you walk through jungle paths and caves lit by luminarios and scented with incense, the night show begins with mystical Mayan rituals performed live by elaborately costumed dancers .
Next is a re-enactment of the famous Mayan ball game where you feel the timelessness of rivalry, competition, and veneration for physical skill. To the beat of methodic drums, the muscular participants try to hit a heavy rubber ball into a ring with their hip. Overseen by a shaman, the game is played authentically, with the exception of the final moment in ancient times the winner was sacrificed for his victorious performance.
Topping off the day, traditional folkloric dances are performed beneath a celestial canopy. You leave X-caret underneath the stars with a new understanding of the areas mystical and cultural past. From ancient Mayans, to Spanish colonization, to modern Mexican states, you sense the warmth of a culture as diverse and as beautiful as the plants and animals of its jungles and seas.
While swaying to the rhythm of the ocean breeze in a beachfront hammock underneath a coconut tree, you enjoy a cold beverage as the sun sets on your private thatched-roof hut.
Your day trip to Isla Mujeres, a charming island just a short ferry ride from Cancún, has proved to be most peaceful.
Hundreds of years ago, the island was named by the Mayans for the sacred fertility goddess Ixchel, which is why its dotted with female statues placed for ancient worship.
At the most famous beach, Playa Norte, the ocean is as clear as glass, tranquil, and extremely shallow. As the current gently sways, walk arm-in-arm down the long stretch of aqua blue.
Later on, take a leisurely bike ride to the other side of the island to Punta Sur where steep cliffs overlook the vibrant sea, offering dramatic views of Cancún and the Caribbean. Here you can explore the remains of a Mayan Temple or swim with dolphins at Garrafon, the famous marine park.
Complete the day with a romantic, candlelit dinner at a quaint seafood restaurant. To the sound of gentle waves, feast on a unique regional delicacy ceviche de caracol, a refreshing dish of conch marinated in lime juice.
Shopping, Sea Life, & Spectacular Views
On the way back from Isla Mujueres is the Mexican Handicraft Museum near the ferry port. Here you find brightly painted figurines, instruments, clay pottery, intricately woven baskets, and beautiful candlelit altars. Your husband selects an exquisite candelabra depicting the tree of life, its vivid colors capturing the warmth and energy of the Mexican people.
For more shopping, theres La Isla mall, an open-air complex with delightful walkways, fountains, and friendly merchants with carts offering unique crafts and souvenirs. At the aquarium you can admire the local sea life and touch anemone, starfish, and sting rays, or if youre brave enough swim with live sharks.
After cocktails above the dolphin pool, take a romantic gondola ride on the canal which winds throughout the mall and out into the star-lit lagoon.
On the last day of your incredible honeymoon, head to the scenic Cancún tower just a few minutes from the resort. Rotating into the sky, the tower offers panoramic views of this truly beautiful place where for thousands of years the perfection of the sky, the sea, and the land have sparked the human imagination, mind, and soul; a place where natures flawless precision and raw beauty have inspired not only the creation of magnificent constructions, but also the creation of culture, myth, and religion.
As you reflect back on your joyous days spent together in this island paradise, you too feel your creativity stimulated, your soul refreshed. Venturing home you bring with you a new feeling of excitement as you look forward to building a life together, a world all your own.