Yucatan Travel
Cancun to Chichen Itza
A SunTopaz production
narrated by Miriam Balsley

Cover of Yucatan Travel: Cancun to Chichen Itza

Yucatan Travel: Cancun to Chichen Itza
is a travel documentary that takes the viewer on a tour of the Yucatan Peninsula from Cancun to Chichen Itza.
Join this Hampton Roads, Virginia family and get a taste of what it's really like visiting Mayan ruins and other gems this area of Yucatan  has to offer.

If you’re wondering what to expect if you venture out of Cancun on an excursion, and feel afraid to take the risk in a foreign country that speaks mainly Spanish, this DVD will calm your fears as it follows typical tourists—a husband, wife, and their grown daughter—as they enjoy the genuine Mayan food, relax in a hammock beside the pool of their hotel, explore archeological wonders, swim in the warm aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea, and talk with Mayan people in the wonderful, beautiful land of Yucatan.

Watch the preview.

In Yucatan Travel they visit:
  • the beach, nightlife, and shopping hot spots of Cancun
  • the World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza
  • the yellow-painted convent town of Izamal, home of the Black Jesus and the patroness of the Yucatan, the Virgin of Izamal
  • the seldom-frequented-by-tourists yet delightful colonial town of Valladolid and its cenote
  • the recently excavated tomb sculptures at the ruins in Ek Balam
  • the bird-watching and pyramid-climbing ruin at Coba
  • the fastest growing town on the Riviera Maya of Playa del Carmen
  • the worldwide water-sports, snorkeling and diving destination of Cozumel Island
  • the gorgeous Riviera Maya beaches at the Tulum ruins
  • and the upscale condo community of Akumal
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Yucatan Travel: Cancun to Chichen Itza features Miriam Balsley as the narrator of the travelogue. The film is directed by Carol Chapman and produced by Carol Chapman and John Chapman.

Yucatan Travel Tips

1. If You Want to Attend the Chichen Itza Equinox Ceremony

It is a good idea to stay for a few days around the equinox. The serpent event occurs on more than one day (I've read for five days) and the weather doesn't always cooperate. Some years, in fact, there is rain and cloud and no sunlight to make its pattern on the serpent's body any of the five days. When we were there, we chose to stay three days around the actual date of the equinox (one on either side of the equinox).  We attended the day before the event, on March 20th, which turned out to be good since on the actual equinox, March 21st, it rained and drizzled most of the day.

Also, make a reservation in advance near the
Chichen Itza ruins. It would also be a good idea to get to the Chichen Itza archaeological site early. On our visit, there were thousands and thousands of people. In fact, there were so many people that supplemental parking lots were opened up with shuttle buses taking hordes of people to the ruins. In addition, streams of people walked along the side of the road leading into the site.

2. If you Visit  Bustling, Busy Merida, the Capital of the State of Yucatan

You can get tasty, genuine steam-heated Mexican and Mayan food inexpensively from the deli at the local Wal-Mart. This food is made and priced for the locals.  We enjoy picking some up and bring it back to our hotel to eat.

It is also important to know that driving in Merida can be confusing. Because the city has many one way streets and there are two highways that travel in concentric circles, whereas the city is arranged on a rectangular or square grid, it is easy to get lost.
It feels like a moving walkway that you have to be careful that you get on and off at the right place or it will take you to an entirely different part of the city. I'm pretty sure we have gotten lost at least once on each of our visits to Merida. One trick that we have found useful when getting lost on your way out of the city is that if you come across train tracks, follow the tracks. They will eventually go out of the city.

Also, the uneven sidewalks are adjacent to the street so if you make a mistake and step off the sidewalk, you might get hit by a car or even sit on one as it goes by, that is how close the cars are to the sidewalks. Fortunately, the cars, in town, can only move very slowly because there are so many people walking in the streets. Many shops line the sidewalks downtown. You can buy clothes, fresh fruit, sandals, crafts, and many other items. There are also many restaurants.

3. How to Avoid Getting “Montezuma’s Revenge” When You're in Mexico

Montezuma's Revenge, that pesky intestinal upset caused by certain microbes in the water (also know as traveler's diarrhea), is a real issue for visitors to Mexico. However, it is completely avoidable.
  • Make sure, when you are in Yucatan that you drink only bottled water, “Agua purificado,” and make sure the bottle is sealed when it's given to you—that it wasn't refilled with tap water.
  • Keep your mouth closed when showering, even spit to keep the water from going into your mouth.
  • Use bottled water to brush your teeth.
  • Avoid eating salad, since the water clinging to the lettuce leaves may not be purified. I once had some stomach upset from eating salad. I can eat the fresh salsa, which is made out of fresh tomatoes, chopped onions, cilantro leaves, and bits of hot peppers. But I will never again eat lettuce salad in Mexico again. 
  • Also, my advice is that you only eat scrambled or hard boiled eggs. The eggs need to be well-cooked. My husband John contracted a bad case of dysentery, or “Montezuma’s Revenge,” in Merida from some poorly cooked eggs he ate, or anyway, that's what he thinks he got it from.
4. Eat, Drink, Get Enough Sleep and Wear a Sunhat!

Visiting ruins can be a long, hot, and tiresome adventure, especially if you don't prepare properly.  You can find yourself part way, or all the way, up one of the magnificent archeological treasures, out of breath, over heated, thirsty and no where to find relief without first climbing back down.

I (Carol) found myself in this very predicament when visiting Coba. Coba is a huge archaeological site that extends in two main directions around two lakes. In one direction is one of the tallest pyramids on the Yucatan Peninsula, Nohoch Mul. I have climbed it. It is 12 stories high. It was a scary sight when I lifted my eyes from the stones, on which I had concentrated on while climbing, to look around me and saw I was up in the clouds. In the “Behind the Scenes” Bonus Feature of the Yucatan Travel Movie: Cancun to Chichen Itza, I recount my moment of panic on the top of Nohoch Mul when I (somewhat jokingly) told my husband, John, and daughter and the narrator, Miriam, that someone would have to call a helicopter to get me down. Of course I knew there were no helicopters to call in the jungles of Yucatan.

Fortunately, after I sat on one of the top stairs of the structure for a while with John holding my hand, I mustered my courage to slide down on my bottom one step at a time slowly and carefully all the way to the ground.

I suggest that if you're planning to climb Nohoch Mul when you visit Coba that you do so only after you've eaten some breakfast—I hadn’t—and after a full night's sleep—I hadn’t—because one of the members of our team, who shall remain nameless, was snoring so loudly.

Furthermore, as Miriam Balsley our narrator had chastised me, it is important to wear a sunhat—I hadn’t—and to drink plenty of water—I didn’t—in the tropics.

Also check out
the Yucatan Peninsula Travel blog

About Miriam Balsley
Miriam Balsley's heart shines when she is traveling and discovering the world. She loves finding paths less traveled, as well as gems in paths over traveled. Whether in her own backyard or across the globe, the connections made while traveling (from a smile to a tear) are humbling, joyous and endless. Miriam has spent time in Southeast Asia, Central and South America and Western Europe. She spent three months in Guatemala doing Spanish language immersion and has a special place in her heart for Yucatan.

About Carol Chapman
Carol Chapman is an inspirational speaker, a new age metaphysical author, a nature photographer and an independent filmmaker. She specializes in the Yucatan travel, ancient mysteries, lost continent of Atlantis, and past lives. Carol enjoys sharing her information through Carol's web site, talk radio interviews, Facebook, her newsletter, Carol's  blog, and speaking events and other appearances in the United States and Canada.

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