Wooosh. Sleeeewwww. The serenade of the ocean water is a soothing sound.
A crest of a wave takes a breath at the peak of the moment before rolling into the shoreline. An intimate exchange of energy as the water kisses the sand and slowly drifts alway. It says hello and goodbye in seconds, and then rinses and repeats eternally.
The magic, is it in the wave or the stillness of the ocean waters? Is it the patient turquoise waters that beckon quiet, or the crashing waves asking for change?
The ocean’s ability to mesmerize, a game. The energy of the water whooshing and slewing is different on the five beaches I visited in the Yucatan. My journey to each included an ocean view palapa, cerveza, ceviche, and of course la playa (the beach).
Distinct character in the sights and sounds distinguishes each beach and its connection to its visitors. Here’s to five nights of ocean serenades on five different beaches.
First Night: Playa Del Carmen — It all started with 5th Avenue shopping and a visit to the Cigar Factory, followed by a walk on the beach. The limited beachfront brings a crowd to the streets, yet the energy of not wanting to miss out on something. If you are looking for cold cervezas, tequila, nightlife, and a side of shopping, this may be your beach.
Second Night: Tulum — Appealing to “its just like a movie” palm tree lined beach, it captivates and allures. There are a lot of people, however it is spread out, and with many yoga retreats and juice bars, there seems to be more vacancy on the sand. The fresh grouper ceviche was exceptional at Piedra Escondido.
Third Night: Cancun — This beach is a toes in the sand, sipping a Corona kind of beach. Lined with hotels, it reflects a Miami style. There is a good vibe, and plenty of options for families, couples, and friends. It is a tourist destination, and if you like the idea of having a hotel on the beach and 24/7 access to anything, this is your beach.
Fourth Night: Sisal — Compared to the other beaches, Sisal feels as if it is a world away. Pleasantly surprised at a new sports bar/restaurant that overlooks the water, it appears this beach town is sprouting new life. It’s quaint, peaceful, and a place where time seems to stand still. It’s perfect for renewing your spirit or disappearing for a while, and you must try the fried octopus ceviche at Muelle if you visit.
Fifth Night: Progresso — This cruise ship port is home to my all-time favorite coconut shrimp that I have tasted in Mexico (and can be eaten under a palapa hut). The beach walk is hopping with restaurants, people strolling or biking, and cars. It has the feeling of a beach you may find in L.A., and is great if you like beach night life close to Merida.
Each of these Yucatan beaches were beautiful in their own way. Finding the right beach is about balance. The waves reflect the ebb and flow of life. There are storms, there is stillness, and there are days where moments come and go in a blink of an eye, and of course those sparkly, magical days that make all of the rushed, worried, and imperfect days, all worth it.
The oceans song is calling, will you pick up your cell phone or shell phone?
By Miranda Allfrey for The Yucatán Times