Robb & Dana's Adventure
in the Mayan Riviera



Background For Christmas, 2001, Robb and I decided to go to Mexico for a MUCH needed vacation.  We chose a resort in the Mayan Riviera called Xpu-Ha Palace.  Xpu-Ha means the meeting of fresh water and sea water.  The name is very appropriate, as there are underground rivers, sinkholes called "cenotes" and estuaries on the property.  The resort is set on a former ecological reserve, and all accomodations/restaurants and buildings are set in a very lush, mangrove jungle environment.  There are wildlife exhibits all over the property, including an Aviary, Serpentarium, Crocodile/Turtle exhibit and more!  We kayaked in the cenote and the ocean, we snorkeled, sat on the beach and took some excursions away from the resort.  Please view our pictures below taken on our new digital camera.  

Note:  We tended to take many shots of each other, which doesn't make for many exciting pics, sorry.  Please give us your feedback anyway by clicking here.


The music you may be hearing (if you are using IE) was played while we viewed and recorded some Mayans at the Tulum Ruins performing a traditional ceremony hanging from a large pole.  This is usually done at the winter and summer solstice, but now it is more of a tourist attraction, (as is much of the Mayan Riviera), but fascinating none-the-less.  The musician that played the drum and flute-like instrument is the guy that stays at the top.

Click the thumbnail to view a larger image.

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At the airport, waiting, which was probably foreshadowing a lot of the waiting we were about to experience in Mexico.
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Here is Robb on our first day there, right before we began waiting to meet with our hotel representatives.
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Some of the cool plant-life found at the resort.
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The sign leading to the serpent....arium. 
(South Park fans will get that)
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This is a shot of our balcony from inside the room.  We even had breakfast delivered one morning!

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Another shot from the balcony.

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A shot of the ocean from the left side of our balcony.

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Robb taking it easy on the balcony hammock.

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Robb taking it easy on our loungy thing.

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Robb trying to catch me on film.

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The beautiful lobby bar chandelier at night.

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The walkway underneath the large serpent roof from the lobby to the lobby bar.

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Another shot of the lobby bar.
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A shot from inside the Oriental/Italian/Mexican restaurant.  Depended on the day.  20 min. wait every day and they wouldn't take reservations. Didn't enjoy the food.

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2 of the crocodiles in the croc exhibit.  Robb thought that they were animatronic as they didn't move much, but they were real...

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...very real.

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Robb waiting for the tour bus to arrive to take us to Tulum.  Yep it's 7:30 am, can you tell?

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This is "El Castillo" at the ruins of Tulum.  One of the only sites on the edge of the ocean.  Quite beautiful, but we couldn't go inside anything.

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This is a grave site at Tulum.

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This is a detail on one of the ruins.

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Another shot of El Castillo.

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More at Tulum.

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This is me paying close attention to "Raymon" our tour guide at Tulum.

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Each building has a small hole to allow the winter/summer solstice light to line up perfectly at sunrise/sunset.  Pretty cool.

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One of the buildings that they believe illustrates the demise of the Mayan civic areas.  Very unusual to have a building lopsided.  They feel this was built shortly before Tulum was abandoned.

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More Tulum.

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Another detail.

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Side of El Castillo which perches on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

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To give you an idea of the # of tourists and crowds we experienced on Christmas Day.

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The steps leading up the front of El Castillo.  Due to # of tourists and damage to the ruins, no-one can climb up them anymore.

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Me at Tulum desperately trying to find shade,  it was really hot!

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Another shot from the cliff.

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A shot from the cliff looking down at the ocean.  Beautiful color!

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More ocean view.

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Beautiful.  I should have climbed down and gone for a swim...

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...but it looked pretty steep.

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More shade-seeking.  This didn't turn out but I like it for some reason.

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Robb taking a turn in front of the camera.

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Another hole.

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The Mayan Pole Guys at Tulum.

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I captured them spinning on video, but you can see how high they are.

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This is me walking along the trail at Xel-Ha, a snorkeling/lagoon waterpark "extraordinaire".  Too crowded for me. These are our snokels that they provided. 

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A shot of the lagoon at Xel-Ha.  Some say "Blue Lagoon: was filmed here.

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Robb taking a break at Xel-Ha.

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Some fishies in the water.

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Robb walking along one of the trails.

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The trails at Xel-Ha have a bunch little written pieces about the preservation of the environment.

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Isn't he cute?

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More at Xel-Ha.

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This is me getting a henna tattoo at the beach of our resort.

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Pizza delivery in Mexico.

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Robb getting ready for our ATV jungle tour.

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Robb and I on our ATV.  Much fun!

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REALLY big grasshopper!

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Part of the ATV tour included us getting our own boat and zooming around.  What a blast.  One of our favorite days.

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It was hard to hold!  Very prickly.  No worries, I put him back.

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A super zoom from the lagoon-side restaurant at our restaurant.

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Zoomed-out.  Great snorkeling right here.  Water gets cloudy where the fresh water from the cenote meets the ocean.

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Robb's favorite T from our honeymoon in St. Lucia.

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On our way to "Isla de Mujeres" - The island of Women.  Party boat with lots of dancing.  Yes, I think my eyes may be closed.

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This is called a "Coati".  He was at our resort.

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This is me kayaking on the ocean the day we left.

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From under our grass umbrella on the beach.

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Enjoying our drinks on the beach.

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Give us a smile, luv.

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Sandy toes.

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Beach bum.

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Another beach shot.

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Robb trying to catch me while traveling around the resort on a golf cart.  

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A shot from the golf cart heading back to our room.

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This is what the rooms looked like.  We had a top level with jacuzzi tub.  It was great but our fuse blew a times: "El Fusibol Rotto!"

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A shot of one of the pools.  So nice and not crowded.  Spent a day here, reading and swimming.

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Another shot of the rooms.

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One of the walkways at the resort.  All the walkways were interesting and beautifully lit at night.

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A neat bench.

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A neat Mayan Statue/fountain at the resort.

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Where our room was located on the resort. We had to change it the first night.  Only problem was the new room was RIGHT beside the outdoor theatre where they did the nightly shows.

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Our favorite exhibit at the resort was of the Tiger Cat or "Tigrillo" as we called him.  Reminded us of our boys.

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And here he is!

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A neat little statue of a Mexican deer.


Thanks for Visiting!

~Robb & Dana~