180213-Near Miss

We left the hostel early (for us) for the ferry back to Cancún. We dropped off our gear at Mayan Monkey Hostel, and headed out to visit the ruins at Coba.

When planning the trip, I’d missed Coba as a possibility. While you can no longer climb the ruins as of January, I hoped to at least catch it as a day trip out of Cancun. Coba rests almost directly between Vallodolid and Tulum. If I’d realized that at the time it would have been an easy adjustment. Today however, not so much. Coba itself is two hours from Cancún by bus. All of the organized tours were full day tours starting even earlier in the morning. All of the tours also included the surrounding area, such as Grand Cenote (swum there), Tulum (done that), and Chichén Itzá (got the t-shirt). The final death knell of my intent? No bus until 4:30 pm.

What to do? Lists of “The Top 10 Things to Do in Cancún” include the things to do in the surrounding area, not Cancún itself. Already at the bus station, I saw signs for a CitiTour bus. My experience with city tour buses is hit-or-miss. However, the ruins at El Ray and the tourist area at Kukulcan were both located on the CitiTour bus route, so we could easily hop on and off as we moved about without needed to wait on local buses. The package included a two-hour tour, and a free “entertainment” at a Aqua Park along the way,

All great in theory. In practice, the bus ran the circuit only every 70 minutes or so. It didn’t actually have a stop at El Rey. It didn’t include anything tour-like, like a running narrative. The local buses are cheap (12 pesos), and run all the time. All the time – as we waited for the CitiTour bus the local buses passed by at least every minute.

At the AquaPark we had selected the SubSee tour, a 30-minute ride on a semi-submersible (like a glass-bottom boat, but deeper). I initially wasn’t that excited by it, but it gave Marnie something similar to snorkeling while staying out of the sun. All said and done the tour was a lot more fun than I expected. We had a half-hour powerboat ride out to the SubSee boat before the 30-minute tour, and then another half-hour back. The shuttle boat included free mixed tequila drinks, and I had a few of them (I think it was five, but Marnie says six, and I’ll admit I kinda lost track!). We saw a number of turtles, colorful reef fish, and a mermaid or two.

From there we caught a CitiTour bus to El Rey, the small local Mayan ruins known better for the iguanas than the ruins. There are a lot of iguanas, and with their natural camouflage they blend right in.

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By the end of the day we abandoned using the CitiTour bus. It took a minute for me to puzzle out how to take the local bus, but then a short ride back to the hostel. As we staggered in, we discovered this hostel also serves dinner, making the remainder of the evening a simple choice.

We have a mid-afternoon flight out of Cancún, so getting to the airport tomorrow should be no problem, right? Back to an exuberant poodle and winter weather.

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