A week at an all-inclusive resort isn’t my first choice of holiday destinations (I prefer backpacking and being more adventurous), but when my father asked me to join him on a free trip to Mexico, I had a hard time turning him down. I don’t visit my parents in Winnipeg often enough, so I figured it would be good bonding time. Besides, 1 week of perfect weather, Mexican food, and bottom-less piña coladas is a great way to relax.
We spent 1 week at the Barcello Karmina Palace, an amazing resort along the Pacific Ocean in Manzanillo, Mexico. There was plenty to do on and off the resort, although the majority of the time was spent lying in the sun and eating way too much food. The snorkeling at the resort was excellent – I had some surreal experiences where schools of silver fish and blue angel fish were circling all around me. Next time I go somewhere tropical, I’m going to have to bring an underwater case for my camera.
There was no reason to ever leave the resort, but we ventured off a few times to explore the city around and do a few excursions. The public transit in Manzanillo is amazing. We never had to wait more then 2 minutes for a bus, and the fare is only 60 cents. We spent a lot of time exploring, walking down streets, and shopping in stores and markets. Anything made in Mexico was ridiculously cheap. Anything imported (like electronics) was often more expensive then it would be in Canada. I found Kinects for 3000 pesos (about 75% more then they cost in Canada).
The highlight of our city exploring adventures was eating tacos off the back of a truck. My father was a bit apprehensive about eating street food, but we didn’t have any problems. I was able to order 3 tacos and a huge glass of horchata for $2. It tasted awesome and I didn’t get sick.
We also went on two organized excursions: zip-lining and ATV touring.
I really enjoyed the zip-lining. Even though we had 5 different sections (the longest lasting over 30 seconds), it still seemed like it was over too fast. When we were done, I was ready to hike back up the mountain for a second run.
I was worried the ATV ride was going to turn into a bunch of annoying tourists terrorizing the locals on really loud machines, but it was actually a tour through plantations and up a mountain where we had a good view of the region. Riding the ATV up the mountain, avoiding rocks, and crossing streams was challenging and fun. Along the route, our guide would stop and point out different plants and animals. We found a wall with spiders nests, which looked like big hairy clumps. When you disturbed them, thousands of daddy-long-leg spiders ran in every direction. I tried to take a video:
Mexican food is the only food I could eat every day without tiring of the taste. I could eat refried beans, salsa, and guacamole for every meal of every day, and while I was in Mexico I did. I avoided the tourist food – pasta and french fries, and ate Mexican food for every meal. I loved eating fresh pineapple, squeezing limes on everything, and even eating the stinky papaya. The only souvenirs I brought home were dried chili peppers, cinnamon, and vanilla.
In the end, it was a good trip and a good chance to spend more time with my father.