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Cancun


lesley
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I am going to Cancun and am looking for both authentic street food and authentic local dining. Any suggestions?

lesley  simpson

Will you be in Cancun proper? Or down on the Tulum Corridor? How long will you be staying?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Leslie - have you traveled much in Mexico? Are you familiar with their foods? Need to know so I'll have some idea how much depth to go into.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Lesley, I have been in that area many times. Cancun is, frankly, not interesting. If you're willing to go even 1/2 hour further down the peninsula, I have some great suggestions for you for places to stay.

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Lesley, I have been in that area many times.  Cancun is, frankly, not interesting.  If you're willing to go even 1/2 hour further down the peninsula, I have some great suggestions for you for places to stay.

And Nina, even if she isn't, I always am.

I'd love to hear your recommendations. The Yucatán is one of my very favorite spots on the earth.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Well then. First you gotta check out: http://www.mexicoholiday.com/

I have stayed at Capitan Lafitte, but mostly, I stay at KaiLuum II. I go there to dive, and do nothing. And eat home cooked Mayan style food. And there's no electricity there but you don't even miss it for a second.

You'll see there also about KaiLuumcito, where I'm dying to go.

Lafitte has electricity. And a pool and a nice bar outside, and the food is good, but not served in a candle lit palapa family style.

These two places are 10 minutes by car/cab to Playa del Carmen. Easy ferry to Cozumel.

I could go on and on. I go to Kai Luum every chance I get. I've never had such a restorative experience, over and over again. You want more detai? I could write a ton.

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yes I am flexible and not familiar with authentic mexican cuisine. the more detail the better, and yes i would be very willing to travel. plans are not yet finalized. thanks

lesley

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I have been to Mexico more times than I can count.... literally.... it's got to be in the hundreds.

I have never gotten a hepatitis shot and do not belive that they are recommended for travel to Mexico. I am no doctor and suggest that if anyone is worried they contact one of the medical clinics that specialize in "travel medicine," but it is my understanding that there are several varieties of hepatitis, the most serious of which is transferred by blood, like through sharing needles or unprotected sex which, if one is planning on sampling that sort of "culture," one probably should protect oneself.

Not only have I never gotten hepatitis in Mexico, I've never gotten an illness of any kind. And I am a very adventuresome eater, but do not consider myself to be a stupid eater. The simple fact of the matter is that Mexican standards of sanitation are not up to ours, so I suggest, Leslie, that you just use good sense.

But of course, "good sense" to one person is picky paranoia to another. My "good sense" in Mexico is to never eat "street food"; never eat anything made from ground meat (not even hamburgers at the pool snack bar at the "Gran Turismo Class" hotel); stick with restaurants where other travelers and foreigners eat; avoid drinking anything that has floating in it irregularly-shaped ice cubes (that look as though they've been chipped from a block of ice covered with flies out back in the alleyway).

(Actually, I expounded a great deal on my "sanitation" methods in another of the Mexican threads and don't want to repeat it all here. I'm sure it's still there if you'd care to read it.)

But I really love Mexican food, and enjoy it immensely when I am there. I eat lots of fish (including ceviche) and especially love Mexican shrimp cocktails (more like a Mexican gazpacho with shrimp and avocado chunks), lots of fruit that one peels before eating (like mangos, bananas, etc.), and all of the local specialities. Everywhere I eagerly gobble up tortillas, beans, arroz con pollo, egg dishes and for breakfast, the wonderful chilaquiles.

In the Yucatán, things I particularly enjoy are the Sopa de Lima (lime soup), Mechado (fish soup) and, in fact, any of the Mexican soups, for which they are deservedly famous. Also, Pollo Rojo (or "red chicken") made with "achiote" a favorite spice of the Maya, Pibil (also made with achiote, but wrapped in banana leaves and buried in a pit with hot coals).

As to where to stay: Cancun (and the entire Caribbean coast of Mexico) is a world-class destination. There are non-stop flights from many European capitals and, if you start chatting with folks, you will find a great many Europeans. The last time I was there, I was with my very comely daughter who spent a lot of time with a soccer team from Ireland (boy did they have trouble with sunburns :wacko: ). She also struck up a big friendship with a large group from Argentina who were there for a family reunion (we were amused to discover that they thought my daughter was Mexican because she "speaks with a Mexican accent," although I guess that makes perfect sense if you think about it).

Cancun is overbuilt with big, boxy-type resorts, side-by-side, most of them high-rise, some among the most fabulous in the world. Le Meridien, for example, is as classy a place as you could ever want...with French decor and European-style spa and fabulous food in the dining room. The Caribbean Sea at Cancun is even more beautiful than you have imagined in your wildest dreams; the beach is gorgeous as well, with sand that does not absorb much heat and so is not blisteringly hot to walk on. The atmosphere in Cancun is "festive" :biggrin: with a lot of action of all kinds, and as to whether or not you would prefer Cancun over another Yucatecan destination, that depends entirely on what sort of activities you enjoy. For example, if you are fairly young and single and look great in your bikini and are hoping for a lively and fun place in which to par-tay, Cancun would suit you just fine.

But if, on the other hand, you are primarily interested in sightseeing the ruins of Chichen Itza or Uxmal or Coba, or "getting away from it all," or undisturbed relaxing on the beach, or finding the "real" Mexico, Cancun is not it.

The area further south on the peninsula, toward Belize, is called the "Tulum Corridor" or the "Mayan Riviera." It is much more laid back... and there are several wonderful small towns, including some of the proverbial "Mexican fishing villages."

Playa del Carmen can no longer be called an undiscovered fishing village because it has most definitely been discovered (and can be dangerous if you are a woman traveling alone because of all of the new construction there and corresponding workers who live in a shanty town nearby), but it certainly retains its considerable charm, and I adore it, but do not suggest that anyone go walking alone on the beach at night. One added bonus to staying in the "Playa" area is that the ferry to Cozumel departs from the center of town, affording easy daytrips to the island.

Nina's suggestions are wonderful, and her link to Mexico Holiday provides good information on beautiful places to stay. I am sure you'd be well-advised to check into any of them.

I would also suggest that you read Miss J's terrific posts on her trip to the Yucatán further down on this thread and, by the way, see if you can talk her into adding more to them (like, did you ever get to a "tamalada," Miss J?).

If I were going to the Yucatán for a week, I'd stay down in "the Corridor" (probably at Playa) for four or five nights, then rent a "yeep" and drive to Mérida for two or three nights. It's an easy drive from the Cancun or Playa area and the roads are good and well-marked. (I not only would, as a single woman traveling alone, but have.) Mérida has a fabulous, world-class hotel (with a wonderful dining room), the Fiesta Americana, for about $130US a night, and several small ones that are delightful... old convents, that kind of thing, for about $35-40US.

From Mérida (truly one of my favorite cities on the planet), you can head to the Gulf Coast at Celestún to see the flamingos, or visit the ruins at both Chichen Itza (between Cancun and Mérida) and Uxmal. But, before you take my advice regarding Mérida, you should know my partying days are behind me (in more ways than one) and I now much prefer seeing the sights and immersing myself in the local culture. Mérida is inland, so no beach-lying-about is available there and if you're looking for that, or for a party atmosphere, you'd be VERY disappointed... although, each of Mérida's lovely squares do take turns offering open-air (and free) concerts each evening. Mérida is a city of music. I heard a world-class tenor there one night and the sound of it still sings in my memory.

After you decide exactly which parts of the Yucatán you will be visiting, I'd be happy to make some more specific restaurant recommendations.

But, whatever you do and wherever you stay, I am sure you will love it. The Mexican people are among the warmest and most gracious on Earth. They are surely their country's greatest asset. Whatever you do and wherever you go, make every effort to get to know them. They will make your trip memorable.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Merida....Tulum.....Xcaret....Sopa de Lima.....ahhhhh....

There are some great ceviche places in Playa. And an excellent cigar store.

I don't like to stay in Playa itself, that's why I stay in those places next to Playa.

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I'm gonna jump on this thread, although i'm a little off topic (for now, as it's not YET food related).

I'm planning my honeymoon and many of you here seem to have good Mexico info.

Our plans (to be booked in the next few days, nothing paid for yet, so don't be afraid to tell me if i'm making a big mistake or if there is something much better that i'm not aware of).

We are flying from NYC to MIA and taking a 4 nite cruise around the Bahamas and Florida.

Flying MIA to CUN and staying 4 nites at a new resort called Ceiba del Mar (south of Cancun, in Pueblo Morelos).

Then a little north for 4 nites at the Moon Palace (all inclusive, part of the Palace chain of resorts)

Fly back to MIA and then back to NYC (possibly stay 1 nite in Miami depending on flight availability/schedule).

I'm open to hearing the good, bad, and the ugly regarding my above plans. Once it's all confirmed, i'll start the food questions, although most of our trip is going to include meals at the various resorts.

Thanks for any input.

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Hi. Thanks for the detail of your replies. What I want to do is learn how to snorkel, walk through the waves, read a book, work on some writing , see the ruins and explore the culture. I am not a bikini-wearing party girl looking for the bar scene, I am looking to play in the waves, go for long safe walks along the beach, see some fish in the water and eat awesome food. Am definitely open to suggestions for location and itinerary.

thanks.

lesley simpson

i will go check out the meixcan holiday web site when i am finished work. this note has turned into my coffee break as this site is addictively good! :laugh:

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Then a little north for 4 nites at the Moon Palace (all inclusive, part of the Palace chain of resorts)

This is just one person's opinion, but I absolutely hate the Moon Palace. In fact, I really dislike all of the "Palace" chain.

The Moon Palace is huge, for starters...the largest hotel in Cancun, I believe. Plus, all of the Palace Hotels also have timeshares right there on their property. And I'll give you one hint if you do stay there. When the bouncy little employees tell you it's "Orientation Night" or "Game Night" or "Special Tour Night" or "Fiesta Show and Party Night" what it really is is "HARD SELL TIME SHARE NIGHT."

As a travel agency owner, I sent a honeymoon couple there about two years ago, and things may have changed, but they got roped into the time share hard-sell lecture the first three nights until they finally caught on whereupon they were merely accosted everytime they walked across the lobby.

On top of that, they got sick eating the food and were on antibiotics for a month after their return. And, the couple across the hall had their room safe broken into and all of their cash and jewelry stolen, including her diamond ring. My clients also had stuff stolen. My little newlywed wife had gone to Victoria's Secret and bought all this brand new underwear for her honeymoon. It was all stolen. At first the hotel was going to do nothing about it saying, "We are not responsible for things that were stolen from your clients that were not in the safe."

Well, who locks their underwear in the safe?

Finally we got their money back, but every single time someone insisted on going there (after seeing the ritzy brochures), we had a problem.

I just absolutely hate that damn place.

So, to sum up, I guess I'd say I don't recommend it.

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

And Leslie.... you won't like Cancun at all. Sounds like Nina has some good suggestions down on the Corridor... I'd suggest looking into those more closely.

or maybe Isla Mujeres or Cozumel. Very low crime rate. I've gone there by myself several times. Restful, wonderful water sports, great restaurants. Very laid-back. Not easily accessible to the ruins however, but you can certainly schedule daytours over there... Tulum or Coba, or rent a jeep and drive to Mérida for a couple nights, then back to Cancun to catch your plane home.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Jaymes,

Thanks for typing all of that out... i got a GOOD laugh out of it (not that it was funny for the you or your clients).

I've heard both good and bad about the place, but this is the one part of the trip that the wife-to-be selected, so i think i may be stuck with it. Her friend goes there often and loves it, so i think she's pretty set on it. There is a small chance we may just end up going to Hawaii now, but i think the original plan will come to fruition.

Thanks again for your story.

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I hate Mexico.

The Mexicans stole our house.

The government is corrupt.

Mexico City is hell on earth and it smells bad.

The roads are death traps.

The Mexicans stole our house.

:angry:

I wouldn't go back there for all the coke in Columbia.

Whew, thanks.

I feel better now.

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Jaymes,

Thanks for typing all of that out... i got a GOOD laugh out of it (not that it was funny for the you or your clients).

I've heard both good and bad about the place, but this is the one part of the trip that the wife-to-be selected, so i think i may be stuck with it.  Her friend goes there often and loves it, so i think she's pretty set on it.  There is a small chance we may just end up going to Hawaii now, but i think the original plan will come to fruition.

Thanks again for your story.

Well -- I'll admit I did get a laugh myself imagining the maid's husband that night, when she came home with a couple-hundred bucks worth of fancy little fripperies, the likes of which I'm sure he'd never before seen.

So if you just take ratty old underwear, I'm sure you'll be fine.

And who knows, maybe you NEED a new timeshare. :biggrin:

But I actually love Mexico, and spend a lot of time there, and plan to buy a second home there, maybe sometime next Spring.

There are really just a few hotels down there that I dislike. Okay, one. Okay, the Moon Palace.

When you return, you'll have to let me know how it works out. One thing I do know is that everyone's experiences differ. We put up quite a stink with FunJet, whom we had booked the trip through. They said they had gotten a lot of complaints and had sent a team down there to work with the Palace folks to try to improve things, so maybe they have.

Buena suerte!

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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But I actually love Mexico, and spend a lot of time there, and plan to buy a second home there, maybe sometime next Spring.

Jaymes, I wasn't kidding about having our house stolen. Armed people took it over and forced out the people we had watching it, forged papers to show they had purchased the lease on the land, and bribed local judges to support their case. After spending $10,000 in "legal fees" we gave up.

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But I actually love Mexico, and spend a lot of time there, and plan to buy a second home there, maybe sometime next Spring.

Jaymes, I wasn't kidding about having our house stolen. Armed people took it over and forced out the people we had watching it, forged papers to show they had purchased the lease on the land, and bribed local judges to support their case. After spending $10,000 in "legal fees" we gave up.

Well, I've heard of that happening... Mexico recognizes squatter's rights. Particularly along the Pacific Coast.

It's pretty tricky, I know, and that is one reason I haven't done anything about buying a place until I am ready to spend at least half my time there.

Again, to second Nina's question... where was it?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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This is not a case of squatters rights. This was a legally occupied house. Gunman stole it. It was in a village called La Peñita de Jaltimba, just north of Puerto Vallarta. The home/villa was lived in for over twenty-five years by my in-laws 6 months of every year, and they were well know citizens of the town. The villa would be worth nearly $1 million on the market.

I add that it was occupied at the time.

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Such events are more common that people know, since the Mexican government, which thrives on tourism and the revenues of snowbirds doesn't encourage publicity.

Just some other events to flavor the place: The "sheriff" of this quaint fishing village had, during our tenure, shot an offensive drunk to death in the town square. The nearby bank, in a scene reminiscent of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, was held up at gunpoint in broad daylight by three banditos who seemed to know that the local workers were bringing their cash pay in for deposit. An "entrepreneur" built a toll booth acriss the highway leading oout of Puerto Vallarta to the mountains, and prospered on its take for ten years before the Mexican president on a visit inquired as to whose toll booth it was. Seeing he was not getting his cut, he ordered it torn down.

We were encouraged to come down with piles of money for counter-bribing, and/or our own, better-armed, gunmen. Ah, sunny Mejico. Pass the margarita please.

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