Winter blues got you down? Need a strong dose of Vitamin D? Dreaming of being on the beach, soaking up the sun with a cold one in your hand? This time of year it seems everyone is itching to get away from the dreary, cold weather. Think this sounds perfect but it doesn’t fit into your budget to travel somewhere tropical? You would be surprised just how affordable it is!
Feeling frazzled from work and with a severe case of itchy feet, Mr. Bug and I recently took a long weekend getaway to sunny Cancun, Mexico. This was a short 2.5 hour flight from our home in Atlanta, GA. Perfect distance for a long weekend getaway. If you are like us, vacation days are precious and cannot be wasted on long travel time. We left on a Thursday and returned home Monday night. This allowed us to maximize the weekend and only use three vacation days.
We stayed at GR Solaris Cancun, a small boutique resort located in the Hotel Zone of Cancun. The resort was beautiful and we loved staying at a smaller resort than typical.We were able to meet a lot of people from all over the US and other countries.
Whether you are a history buff or a novice, you MUST visit Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the world. This is an amazing site to be enjoyed by all people of all ages. Construction took place between 750 and 900 AD. Walking the grounds it is baffling to think of how they created such a huge structure so long ago without the help of any machinery.
Be prepared, the ride from Cancun to Chichen Itza is over three hours long. I recommend booking a private tour, which we unfortunately did not do. It is worth the extra money to save some time not being herded like cattle. Also, look out for the vendors in and out of the grounds. They are very pushy but simply say “no, gracias” three times and keep walking and they will get the hint. However, if you are looking for some souvenirs from Chichen Itza, make sure you haggle with the vendors. They will typically take 50-75% less than original price.
While you are in Mexico, you simply must visit a cenote (underground sinkhole). We visited Ik Kil, the most well-known cenote in Mexico, which is located just 10 minutes from Chichen Itza. We have been to several cenotes in the past and Ik Kil is by far the best. The cenote opens to the sky and the water is very clear with a blue/green tint which makes it very beautiful. If you are looking for an adrenalin boost, jump 27 meters off the platform into the cold water; talk about exhilarating!
The trip to Chichen Itza and Ik Kil was a full day, 12 hours long, 6 of which were spent traveling to and from Chichen Itza. Make sure to pack snacks and bottled water. The day was long but it was certainly worth it!
After our adventure, we took the remainder of our trip to rest up and decompress from work. We purposely chose a resort that had no internet. That’s right, we were completely unplugged for five days (which is a huge feat for us). The weather was a perfect 80 degrees and the wind off of the Gulf of Mexico was magnification. We worked on our tans and spent time with family and friends all while enjoying some adult beverages.
How much did this long weekend trip cost? Not nearly as much as people think! For 5 days, 4 nights at an all-inclusive resorts which includes all meals and snacks, drinks (non-alcoholic and alcoholic), entertainment, airport transfer, etc we spent $1,400 total for both of us. The visit to Chichen Itza and Ik Kil cenote was an additional $140 (total for both).
It was so nice to get away for 5 days and disconnect from work while reconnecting with each other, family, and friends. We had an amazing time and so glad we went. Where is your favorite, budget-friendly winter getaway? Let us know!