Blue ocean waves. Soft sandy beaches. Sunny skies. Mango Mojitos and Pina Coladas. Gourmet meals and superb service. Hot men with sexy “Os” at the end of their names (i.e., Julio, Eduardo, Alejandro, Francisco, Ricardo). A beautiful resort with colorful manicured gardens, state-of-the art amenities and live entertainment. Ancient ruins. These were the ingredients that gave us the ultimate pleasure on the 2nd Sister-Girlfriend MeetUp in Playa del Carmen on the Mexican Riviera.
We were a small group but that did not diminish the rejuvenation, bonding, and laughter that we shared. There was more interest in the event but there were some ladies that were concerned about traveling to Mexico due to the news media reports that we receive frequently here in the U.S. However, I can tell you there was not one moment that I ever felt unsafe. From the moment we arrived in the Cancun airport the service was superb, the service people were attentive, courteous, and helpful. It remained the same until we departed the Cancun airport after the trip was over to return home.
Our resort was FABULOUS! I give high kudos to my travel agent (Brenda Johnson of Explosive Travels – http://www.explosivetravels.com) for her recommendation. This resort far exceeded our expectations. I was expecting the traditional Mexican hacienda styled resort that I had experienced in Acapulco (Fairmont Acapulco Princess) and Puerto Vallarta (Barcelo La Jolla de Mismaloya) but I was pleasantly surprised by the modern-style and clean lines of the Karisma Azul Fives Resort. The décor of the common areas and villas were beautiful which really enhanced the comfy feeling of the resort. We fell in love with the décor of the restroom in the lobby and I took a picture of one decorative item that I plan to have my handyman create for me. Even though the resort was full to capacity I did not ever feel any common amenity was over-crowded.
The information we gathered about the resort indicated that the food was gourmet class and we were not disappointed. Every morsel I put in my mouth was scrumptious and the presentations on my plate were a work of art.
We had 24 hour room service, a fully-stocked FREE mini-bar in our room, 7 restaurants onsite, and 2 cantinas to grab something quick. There was also a wonderful coffee house where we could relax on comfy chairs and sofas to read/chat while we sipped coffee or tea. All of the food venues were included in the vacation package so there was no extra cost. During my everyday life, I seldom drink alcoholic beverages but when I am on vacation it is a different matter. On this trip, I discovered Mango Mojitos and the rum in it was smooth yet potent. My companions reported the same thing about their drinks.
The beach was all that I expected in the Caribbean. It was a spectacular place for reading and relaxing. The pool butlers brought us towels, drinks, and snacks as we reclined on our canopied lounger right on the beach. We met some wonderful people on the beach and they were mostly from Europe and South America.
There was also a great gym with state of the art equipment and exercise classes near the beach. A couple of us enjoyed an early morning stretching class with an ocean view. There were also wonderful paths between all of the villas and surrounding the resort which was great for walking and jogging. One of the sister-girlfriends made a new friend walking on those paths. Check him out!
In addition to enjoying the resort, we felt safe enough to take a 6-hour roundtrip tour to the 7th wonder of the Modern world – Chichen Itza (http://www.chichenitza.com). We all felt since we were so close it was worth it to experience the tour. Along the route, we stopped and had lunch at an authentic Mayan village and visited a 200 feet deep Cenote. For those who have never heard of a cenote (like me) it is an underground water source in the Mayan jungle. If you saw the 2006 movie Apocalypto (directed by Mel Gibson), you will remember it. There are thousands of them in the Mayan jungle. None of us were daring enough to swim in the one we visited but some of the others on the tour did. Click the following link to see the video of it.
Here are more pictures of the underground cenote.
Touring Chichen Itza was amazing. We could not climb up the steps because it is no longer allowed. It seemed some spring breakers spray painted it once with graffiti. Also, some intoxicated persons fell to their deaths from the top. So, it is now closed for climbing and exploring. We had an excellent tour guide who was a wealth of information about the history of the Mayan people and human sacrifices at Chichen Itza. Even though I am not good on long bus rides, it was worth a little discomfort to experience this historical tour as the ancient Mayans were a brillant people
Overall, everything about this trip exceeded my expectations. My companions expressed the same thoughts. It was a wonderful setting to catch up and rejuvenate with your best friend. We all agreed that we could easily return to Playa del Carmen and the Mexican Riviera at some point in the future.
Special Thanks to my sister-girlfriend, Laura Garza, for sharing some of her wonderful photos of our trip.