Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Travel With a Purpose Series - Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist
Since 2020 every aspect of life as we know it has changed. We've had to learn how to adapt and find ways to try to live life as normal as possible considering the challenges we face. For others that live in the middle of the Mayan jungle, life continues as if nothing has changed. For so many people traveling is their passion, it's a way to escape the mundane day-to-day and recharge their batteries. Regardless of the reason for wanting to travel and the current risks involved, people still have the desire, and they are finding new ways to spend their vacation time while still being safe. We recognize this and that is why Pure Paradise Travel has adapted to those new ways. We've put together the Paradise Hotel Collection which is a collection of villas, condos, cabanas, and small hotels that are more fitting to the type of stay that our clients have been asking for. Not only have we updated our collection of properties, but we have made it our mission to bring you a whole new collection of activities and experiences to do while on vacation in the south of the Riviera Maya.
I've (Missey) been working in the tourist industry here in Mexico since 2009, Patty even longer, and up until the last few years most people were only interested in staying at large, all-inclusive hotels, drinking the pool's amount in alcohol, eating at the buffet every night, and being entertained within the confines of their resort. So, in recent years, and even more in the last year +, we've begun to see a very different trend in the way that people are traveling. Since the rise of Airbnb and other similar sites, more and more people are getting away from the large resorts and staying in more of the "home away from home" type of accommodations, which right now during pandemia, makes more sense.
We recently had a client reach out to us for help organizing a getaway for himself and his 12-year-old son. He was concerned about finding somewhere to stay that was in a good location, private, kid friendly, and COVID-19 conscious. He also wanted some activities to do with his son with all of those same requirements. After providing a few options, they decided to stay in a gorgeous villa right on the beach in Akumal. We love Akumal for a few reasons. It's a small beach town, very laid back, great for families and located between the larger towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It seemed a great fit for these guys!
Now for the activities...
We spent a good amount of time getting to know them and finding out what their interests were so that we could offer them the perfect experiences to complete their ideal vacation and father / son bonding time. For the pair we created a custom day experience just for them. Here's how the day went:
Since they had rented a car I met them in Akumal, and we drove south to Tulum, then into the Mayan jungle to the little pueblo of Nuevo Durango. This little pueblo is very special to us as we have been involved with the community for many years. (Be sure to check out our non-profit organization - Dreams for Mayan Children if you are interested in supporting the community or becoming a volunteer!)
Once there we got right to work preparing the food that we would later have for lunch. The guys cut up onions and tomatoes for the dish that the Mayans call "pollo pibil" (a type of chicken dish). Once all the ingredients were in the pot, we took it out to the pit to cook underground covered in a bit of earth and banana tree leaves.
While our lunch was cooking Enrique, our local guide, took us on a tour of his farm and showed us all the fruits and vegetables that they grow for the community. We still had a bit more time to pass before lunch, so we went over to the local animal sanctuary. At the sanctuary, Don Manuel has taken in various types of animals such as deer, wild turkeys, pigs, as well as taking care of several species of bees.
The guys really enjoyed the sanctuary and once we finished there we went to Enrique's house to teach the guys how to make some tortillas by hand to compliment our lunch! There is a local saying/tradition that you can't marry until you learn how to make tortillas by hand.
We had a delicious lunch and with our bellies full we headed over to Punta Laguna for the rest of the day's adventurous activities. Punta Laguna is a spider monkey sanctuary and nature reserve that features a breathtaking lagoon where you can canoe across to hike up to the zip line.
Before we could enter the jungle and where we could encounter the monkeys, a local shaman gave us a cleansing and blessing ritual.
I have to say it was such a treat for me to guide these guys into the heart of Maya land and show them how modern day Mayan people live as well as the natural beauty of Mexico.
We understand the need to explore our world in a different way, allowing us a deep connection to our planet, others, and ourselves. We do this by cultural immersions, spiritual life-changing experiences, connecting with nature, farm to table meals as well as unique, fun, adventurous activities.
We partner with the very BEST local tour operators to customize private, small groups. Each trip offers a journey off the beaten path supporting the local people and the people of the indigenous communities who practice sustainable living and provide our travelers with real, hands-on experiences in an intimate setting.
Check out the experiences that we offer and if you would like us to customize a day trip for you as well please don't hesitate to contact us!
We partner with only the best local operators which means you get Authentic Experiences while supporting & preserving the local communities and their projects. We call this "Responsible Tourism". Come be part of our Paradise Family and discover a new way to travel.