The Yucatan Peninsula, which comprises the three states of Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo, brought us back to the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Coast and the Caribbean Sea. We visited the pretty town of Campeche, before heading north to Sisal, a remote village with a great kiting beach, where the flamingos flew overhead every evening. We camped on the beach for a couple of days before heading further along the coast via Merida and then along the coast from Progresso to Dzilam de Bravo, before dropping south to Piste and Chichen Izta.
Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. El Castillo dominates the site but my favourite building was the round tower of what is thought to be an observatory.
The peninsula is predominantly limestone and renowned for its sink holes (cenotes), with quite a number having been transformed into swimming holes and dive spots. They are deep and cool and wonderful to dive into if you can get over the weirdness of having to descend several stories below ground level to access the water. Some are open to the sky, others are really just waterlogged caves, but all cool and refreshing.
From Valladolid we headed to Cancun, predominantly to get the front brakes replaced at the VW dealer. Once the work was done, we headed quickly north to Isla Blanca, where we had our second encounter with Mexican police asking for a tip. The language skills learnt in Guanajuato came in handy and after a lengthy debate our papers were returned without any payment at all. At Isla Blanca a shallow lagoon formed behind the dunes which was great for kiting but far too warm for swimming. After a few days here we then ventured to Isla Mujeres, leaving the van on the mainland and renting a speedy golf cart to tour the island. Our final journey, before returning to Cancun for a flight home took us into the jungle, where an amazing lightening storm lit up the night sky, another cenote and then down to Punta Allen. A great place off the beaten track, where we took a few days out to relax and fix our mosquito netting.