Mexico’s Ik Kil Cenote – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , September 15th, 2017

Ik Kil Cenote - Keep Calm and Wander

The wonderful cenote Ik Kil in Mexico will never fail to stun you. We arrived around 10:30 in the morning and the parking lot was still almost empty. Yes, we were one of the few who arrived before tour buses came in droves. No, we didn’t join one of those tours because we’re too fabulous to be in crowded buses. 😀 😀 😀 (Scroll down below if you wanna know how we got there.)

What is a cenote?

Cenotes are unique to Mexico, especially in the Yucatan State. They are natural wells surrounded by rocks. Most often they serve as the mouth of an underground river or a cave. They’re also good for snorkeling and diving.

Travel Tips:

Most bus tours to Chichen Itza do not include this in their itinerary. Only few do this. Even the tour agents in our hotel don’t combine this with Chichen Itza Pyramid Tour. However, most Cenote Ik Kil Tour is combined with some other unknown Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula.

If you’re renting a car or on your own, be sure to get here between 9:00 to 10:00 in the morning. This should be your first itinerary of the day if you want to avoid the crowd. The famed Chichen Itza Pyramid is just 5 minutes drive from here.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Yucatan Gay Travel Resources

Izamal, Mexico – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , April 19th, 2017

Izamal - Dani

I still can’t believe I’m in Mexico! This sudden change of travel plans has made me very happy though – I just love this country. This is the third time in the span of a year that I find myself in Mexico – and none of the three trips had been on my agenda originally. However, all three of them turned out to be amazing, including this one, which happens to be another road trip around the Yucatán.

While last year’s road trip was a bit rushed, at only eight days, this time around my friend and I have two entire weeks, which is enough time for a circle around the entire Yucatán peninsula, including some spots I’ve never made it to.

One of those places is Izamal, which is, along with my beloved Valladolid, one of two ‘Pueblos Magicos’, or magic villages on the Yucatán. It’s easy to see why Izamal was declared a ‘magical village’ – a place declared by the Mexican Secretariat of Tourism to be a village that offers visitors a “magical” experience – by reason of their natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance.

And it is easily one of the most beautiful Mexican villages I’ve ever seen. All the buildings are yellow! I could have spent days wandering the streets photographing the beautiful yellow buildings, the only thing that made it hard to stay outside for long periods of time were the defeatingly hot temperatures of 100°F (38°C).

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girl

Yucatan Gay Travel Resources

Other Gay Travel Events

Lesbian Yucatan – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , November 30th, 2016

Lesbian Yucatan - Globetrotter Girls

Not long after our two weeks in Colombia together, I was reunited with my favorite travel buddy, Miss G, in Mexico. It was her first time in the country, and it was my job to give her the best introduction to Mexico possible – a mix of culture, food, and scenery.

I didn’t have to think long about where I’d take her: the Yucatan Peninsula/the state of Quintana Roo. This part of Mexico, a peninsula in the southeast that stretches along the Caribbean coastline all the way down to Belize, is my favorite part of the country, a region that I could return to over and over again.

I knew I could give her a great taste of Mexico here, with abundant Mayan culture at historic sites like Chichen Itza, Tulum and Uxmal; beautiful Spanish-colonial towns like Valladolid, Campeche and Izamal; dreamy beaches in Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Mahahual; dozens of cenotes – natural freshwater sinkholes – for something completely unique; swimming with turtles and flamingo watching for wildlife, and plenty of taco stops along the way.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Yucatan Gay Travel Resources

Isla Mujeres – Globtrotter Girls

Author: , November 4th, 2016

Isla Mujeres

The first mistake I made when I visited Isla Mujeres? I only stayed for a day. That was in 2010, during my first trip to the Yucatan peninsula, when I lived in Playa del Carmen for a month. I fell in love with the little island off the coast of Cancun immediately.

The second mistake I made? I waited nearly six years to return to Isla Mujeres, even though I was raving about it to everyone who was planning a trip to the Yucatan and asked me for advice on where to go, and despite the fact that I returned to the Yucatan in 2012. It is still beyond me why I didn’t plan in time for a little island getaway back then, but I guess after two months of living on a remote Caribbean beach I wasn’t craving more beach time.

When I planned my Yucatan road trip this year, I made sure that we would spend some time on Isla Mujeres.

There isn’t much to do on this tiny island, which is only 1.3 miles (7 kilometers) long and 2,130 feet (650 meters) wide. As I recall, there weren’t even cars on the island then, only golf carts, but this time around there were a few cars as well. However, golf carts are still definitely outnumbering cars on Isla Mujeres, and most tourists rent those for the day instead of scooters.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Yucatan Lesbian Travel Resources

Mysterious and Beautiful – The Cenotes of the Yucatan

Author: , April 13th, 2016

Cenote - Dani

What a week it’s been – my whirlwind road trip through the Yucatan is coming to an end – how can this even be?! It seems like it was just yesterday that I boarded my plane to Cancun in Mexico City, but looking back at all the places I’ve visited since then, it almost seems too much to fit in one short week!

After so many adventures, which I’ll be sharing in detail with you soon, I am having the hardest time deciding which picture to share with you today! The magnificent pyramid of Chichen Itza? The stunning Mayan temples of Tulum, with the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea as a backdrop? Or the jungle ruins of Coba? One of the many beaches I’ve visited in the past seven days?

But since I just posted a picture of an ancient pyramid in Mexico and will be posting a picture of one of my favorite beaches in the world next week (so excited about returning to this place – you can get a sneak peek of it in my journey through Mexico picture post from 2010, it’s the second to last place we visited in Mexico back then), I narrowed it down to a cenote – but even that wasn’t easy, considering we visited five different amazing cenotes last week!

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Yucatan Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Ochenta y Dos, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Author: , August 29th, 2015

Ochenta y Dos

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Ochenta y Dos is an urban B&B in the heart of the beautiful historic colonial city of Merida. Our Merida Bed and Breakfast is gay owned and operated, and the owners live on the premises. Our brand-new building has been built with close attention to historic design and preservation, along with smart home technology which makes it a truly unique boutique property in historic Merida.

See the Ochenta y Dos Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Merida

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Genesis Eco-Oasis Retreat, Temozon, Yucatan, Mexico

Author: , February 13th, 2015

Genesis Eco-Oasis

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay Friendly Retreat in Temozon, Yucatan, Mexico – Lush gardens, numerous ponds and a cenote-fed swimming pool for those who would like authentic cultural experience.

See the Genesis Eco-Oasis Retreat Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Yucatan

Gay Merida, Mexico

Author: , December 4th, 2014

MeridaCome evenings, restaurant and bar La Fundacion Mezcaleria (465 Calle 56. www.facebook.com/iafundacion), in Merida’s historic centro, is a hive of social activity, especially on weekends. It’s Friday night, just past midnight, and a line of mostly 20-30-somethings, quite a few of them queer, eagerly waits to pay the admission fee and gain entry. Having arrived a half-hour ago, I’m already inside, sucking down a fruity and chilled mezcal cocktail from a mason jar.

A cram-packed, mini-labyrinth of indoor spaces with a narrow outdoor courtyard, La Fundacion isn’t a gay club per se, but the crowd is mixed. In fact, Ricardo Gongora, half of the first same-sex couple to be married in Merida, mingles among the throng tonight. He’s pointed out by a local gay friend of a friend, Irak, who’s serving as my blind bar-crawling date for the night in this charming LGBT-friendly mecca. How friendly? Well, June sees a gay pride march and November a White Party (hosted by a US expat couple). Many foreign LGBT people have chosen to settle down or start businesses here, and, despite all the churches and Catholicism, transgender individuals are met with c’est la vie acceptance among neighbors and the community.

After finishing our drinks, and ogling/critiquing the crowd, we walk a block or so over to Casa Pompidou (Calle 58, between 53 & 55. www.facebook.com/casa.pompidou.9). Another mixed venue, which also serves as an art gallery and a live performance space, Pompidou boasts a sizeable dance floor. The all-ages crowd, making merry to a DJ’s techno set, is primarily young hipsters (there are about a dozen universities in the area), young artists, and queer professionals. Irak introduces me to a sassy friend who works on cruise lines, while my attempts to snap photos are met with enthusiastic, grinning photo bombers.

By Lawrence Ferber – Full Story at passport Magazine | Yucatan Gay Travel Resources

Swimming in Mexico’s Cenotes

Author: , September 30th, 2013

Carlos MeliaCenotes are a natural pit, or sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes ground water underneath.

Used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings. There are many of them all over Riviera Maya, but we visited one of the three located in the area of COBA only minutes away from the archeological site. There you can swim, enjoy the lovely caves and if you dear, try some jumps.

Cenote water is often very clear, as the water comes from rain water filtering slowly through the ground, and therefore contains very little suspended particulate matter.

The term derives from a word used by the low-land Yucatec Maya, “Ts’onot” to refer to any location with accessible groundwater. This could very easily become a new sport for me, Cenoting!

Authored By Carlos Melia – See the Full Story at The Carlos Melia Blog

Click here for gay travel resources in Mexico.

Hacienda Yaxcopoil

Author: , August 4th, 2013

Yucatan Haciendas

When you visit the Yucatan, there are three things you must see: at least one Mayan site (and I highly recommend several), at least one cenote (and I highly recommend as many as you can fit in), and at least one Hacienda. One hacienda that is now more of a museum than a working hacienda is Yaxcopoil, just an hour outside Mérida.

Hacienda Yaxcopoil entrance gate from rear

Hacienda Yaxcopoil (yaks-ko-PEL) is located on Highway 261, on the road to Uxmal. You enter through a driveway to the left of the large entrance arch, which is closed, probably to save it from accidental destruction by vehicles hitting it as they pass through. It is a stunning piece, and suggests to me architectural design borrowed from the Middle East. Its curved arches contain lights, making it look like a giant candelabra.

The walkway up the middle of the front yard is still mostly intact, as are the steps leading to the wide front porch stretching the entire width of the main building. Inside the main hallway we paid our entrance fee, and then continued on. I expected this building to be pretty much the entire hacienda, but I was in for a bit of a surprise as we discovered room after room, structure after structure, and fields that stretched on for, seemingly, miles and miles.

Hacienda Yaxcopoil pool and bathhouse

The main building contained much of the owners’ family’s living quarters. There were bedrooms with much of their original furniture, and a salon, all with their original pasta tile floors still intact and gorgeous. I am constantly amazed at how well these old pasta tiles hold up in construction, design and color retention.

The next building contained a library, dining room, and at least one kitchen. Behind that was a pool and bathhouse for those hot Yucatan summers. As we continued beyond the bathhouse we came across the property’s well house, with a huge, old water pump reaching deep down the well to suck up the water running in the underground rivers below to disperse throughout the house and gardens. A huge concrete reservoir (I thought it was another swimming pool), sat next to the well.

The grounds are beautiful, if not 100% maintained. But it is easy to imagine the huge cost of running a hacienda, with all it encompasses. There were trees to be used for lumber, all kinds of floral offerings, areas for vegetable gardening, and some agave plantings.

Hacienda Yaxcopoil maintenance building

As we strolled the gardens an employee of the hacienda stopped and asked if we wanted to see the maintenance building. Of course we did. So he unlocked a gate and guided us through a field (where locals happened to be playing softball) to another huge structure. This was the building where all the heavy machinery was located.There were old saws, lathes, smelting equipment, welding equipment, and a huge smokestack just behind the building. Hacienda Yaxcopoil machinery 2Just beyond, stunningly, were two more huge, ornate buildings with statues and many carvings. These, we learned, were for storage. Then, beyond these buildings, were acres upon acres of the hacienda’s land, some still owned by the hacienda, some having been given to locals to farm many years ago. Hacienda Yoxcopoil storage building

I had no idea these haciendas were so large and so self-sufficient. Next to the main house were several other buildings. One was a small hospital, one was for feeding the hacienda’s employees, and one was a school for the children of the hacienda’s workers. It was a small town contained on one family’s property. I suppose you could see it as the Yucatan’s Downton Abbey.

There are several haciendas in the Yucatan, and some are still working haciendas, where you can see workers cultivating and processing henequen into rope, baskets, purses, rugs, and many other products. A trip to the Yucatan should definitely include a trip to at least one hacienda.

Jordy and his partner, Steve, welcome guests to Casa Del Maya Bed & Breakfast in Merida, Mexico. Their six rooms offer hand-crafted Mayan furniture, pasta tile floors, talavera sinks, air conditioning, pool, full breakfast, and much more, all centrally located for easy access to Merida attractions and the Mayan ruin sites of Chichen Itza, Mayapan, Uxmal, Ek Balam, area cenotes, Celestun, Progreso, and many others. For information and reservations, visit www.CasaDelMaya.com.