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Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins Mexico

Cancun Mexico Mayan Ruins

Mayan Ruins in the Yucatan

Documented by Timothy Draper

Categories & Site Details: Ancient History, Field Research, Lost Forgotten History, Maya History, Mysteries, Press Release

Cancun Mexico Chichen Itza

I’m not gonna lie, this was probably the best trip I have ever been on in my life. I was surrounded by family, friends, and lots of history from the Maya culture. Cancun Mexico was beautiful! It was not hard to recognize the cultural differences between North America and Central America; from the taco stands to the language barrier; the different types of home structures, to the landscape. Cancun has its own feng shui for sure and I enjoyed every minute of it.



From the time I was about 12 years old, I have been extremely interested and fascinated with the Maya people. The history that I was taught in school always intrigued me and I wanted to see the pyramids and structures that were built thousands of years of go. I studied the Maya culture in college and the more I learned, the more I wanted to go out on a great adventure. When we planned this trip, I was excited, to say the least.


Airport Mexico Cancun Travel

AT THE BEGINNING OF OUR TRIP | Canun Mexico & Mayan Ruins

I could barely sleep the night before leaving our home for Cancun. My thoughts were imagining vast ancient structures to the unknown world that I have never experienced before. We had to travel from St. George Utah to Las Vegas Nevada which is only a 2-hour drive. Our plane was departing at 9:00 PM and we left plenty early to ensure that we didn’t have any complications with traffic and airport security. During the 2-hour drive, the group was in high spirits. I could tell that we were all excited about the 7-day trip.

Our group consists of 12 people and I am glad that we had a large group because it made the next 7 days remarkably interesting. We traveled in 3 different vehicles and before we knew it, we arrived in Las Vegas. We were all hungry and decided to get a bite to eat before our flight. Once we were in the air, I tried to focus my thoughts. I was far too hyped-up for having to fly the rest of the night. I tried watching a couple of movies but that proved to be pointless. Most of the time, I couldn’t focus on what I was watching. All I could think of was the days that lay in front of us.

We arrived in Mexico City late that night. Going through customs and trying to catch our next flight was something new to me. Customs took longer than I thought it would. Trying to stay alert late at night was interesting. After all, was said and done, we raced to the other side of the airport and barely caught our next flight to Cancun Mexico. I think I slept a total of 2 hours that night, but finally, we landed at our destination.


THE FIRST DAY IN CANCUN MEXICO | Cancun Mexico Mayan Ruins

We landed in Cancun early morning; I believe it was around 7:30 AM. We grabbed our luggage and waited patiently for our shuttle to arrive. Luckily, we had Antonio with us on this trip. He is a partner with Treasures in America and a great friend of mine that grew up in Mexico until he was 18 years old. He also had traveled to Cancun many times before this trip, so we had our own Spanish tour guide. As soon as we were outside of the airport, I saw something that I have not seen since I was in Tijuana Mexico, people trying to sell you everything you can think of… We could barely walk a hundred feet without someone trying to sell us something. 

We took the advice that we were given and politely nodded our heads and said, “no thank you.” The shuttle took us a few miles away and when we arrived at the car rental building, Antonio took care of us and translated Spanish to English which could have been a longer process without him. There’re a few things to know if you are planning to travel to Cancun and rent a car.

First thing is, you will pay more than you were told when you booked your car rental. I was quoted $165.00 per car and a couple of hundred dollars for a deposit. We needed 3 vehicles for our group and ended paying around $360.00 per car with a credit card deposit of around $1000.00 per car. I think the rental employees mentioned that many Americans don’t have a good track record driving in Cancun. That was easily forgiven as soon as we hit the road to our resort. The Drive was beautiful and remarkably interesting. I learned very quickly to drive cautiously and aggressively to blend in with the traffic flow of other drivers.


Villa del Palmar Resort Cancun Mexico


We followed the beach for a few miles once we were out of the city and I have to say I was excited to see our home for the next 7 days. Roy, another partner of Treasures in America, owns a timeshare at the Villa del Palmar Resort, and we were in for a treat of elegance and luxury. This was an All-Exclusive 5-Star resort built along the beach in Cancun’s finest area. Once we arrived, we were greeted by the resort staff with a slight bow as they say “hola” with their hand on their heart. It was a dreamy resort with everything we could ever think of.

Many restaurants to choose from and all we could eat and drink for the whole trip. It had beautiful pools and plenty of staff to accommodate our large group with anything we needed. Once we were escorted to our rooms, I saw our home for the first time. This was a 2-bedroom suite with 3 bathrooms, a kitchen, jetted tub, and a balcony. I would strongly recommend this resort to anyone who wants to travel to Cancun. We spent the rest of the day at the resort and our dinner was planned next to the pool. During our dinner, we were given Turn-Down Service in our room (which I will explain later) which LeeAnn and I have never had before. When it came to nighttime, we all turned in for the night due to being exhausted from our lack of sleep on the plane. It turned out to be the perfect day.


Cancun Mexico Fun in the Sun
LeeAnn, Jada, Tyson, Brody, Roy, Heather

FAMILY & FUN IN THE SUN ON DAY TWO | Cancun Mexico Mayan Ruins

We were laughed at by the rest of our group when we explained the next morning during breakfast that someone strangely came into our room during last night’s dinner and turned down our lights, closed the blinds, turned on soothing music. They left chocolates on our end tables too. LeeAnn and I thought it was strange, the throw pillows were moved, the blinds were closed, the AC was set to 72 degrees, the room was cleaned up, and more. When Roy and Heather explained what turn-down service was, we all laughed at our expense. The group moved fairly well on this day and we took advantage of the pool food service and drinks. We must have spent about 4 hours total swimming, drinking, eating, and enjoying the sun.

LeeAnn experienced her first bidet toilet and taking dancing lessons next to the pool. The group played volleyball in the pool as many of the hotel guests joined in. It was relaxing and fun!

Cancun Mexico Wedding Engagement
Jada (Draper) Johnson – Tyson Johnson


I am also proud to say that our family grew in numbers to this day. Tyson, my new son in law asked my oldest daughter Jada to marry him. It was a touching and beautiful thing. Tyson, Jada, Roy, Heather, LeeAnn, and I walked down to the resort’s pier and boardwalk at the beach. Of course, Jada didn’t know what was about to happen but the rest of us did. Tyson came to us parents a couple of months prior to our vacation and asked for Jada’s hand in marriage. Both sides of the family were happy and excited for Jada and Tyson and we were ready for our families to combine and grow. 


Family Travel Cancun Mexico
LeeAnn Draper, Timothy Draper, Tyson Johnson, Jada (Draper) Johnson, Heather Johnson, Roy Johnson

Tyson got down on one knee and asked Jada to marry him and she happily said yes. For the next 30 minutes, the family hugged and took pics of the occasion, and congratulated everyone. Roy, Heather, LeeAnn, and I were already great friends and now we are one big happy family. Heather’s family is a great group of people that we were glad to call family. LeeAnn and I are blessed that we were able to mix two families into one. We love the Johnsons and the Williams. This marriage was a match made in heaven.


El Meco Maya Ruins Site


As the day went on, I was determined to leave the resort because I found Maya ruins just a few miles from the resort. It didn’t take long to convince the rest of the group that we should go do some exploring. We hopped in the cars and headed South 10 miles away. We arrived at the El Meco Archaeological site and to our surprise, the ruins were surrounded by beachfront properties like a city park. The cost was around $10 per person to enter and I am awfully glad we did. This was the first Maya Ruins that I’ve ever seen. The ruins were very intriguing and well preserved considering they were 1500-2000 years old.

Maya Ruins Cancun Mexico
Cancun Mexico Mayan Ruins



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After we were done with our exploration of the ruins we got in the cars and went for a drive through parts of Cancun and explored the city and then made our way back to our resort. It was a perfect day as we finished it off with a great dinner & drinks with some awesome family and friends. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen the next day. 



On this day, we started off with room service with coffee, eggs, bacon, and all the breakfast goods while others from our group went to one of the resort’s restaurants for breakfast. Roy stopped by our room for a quick visit to say good morning and to plan our day out. Roy is an early riser, so he was quick to make his rounds to the 4 resort rooms to check on everyone. LeeAnn and I stayed in our robes for a while that morning, but we soon came to the realization that we were in Cancun and that we should be out having fun. We got dressed and met up with the rest of the group.


We decided to go swimming for a while and played pool volleyball once again. The losing team had to do belly flops in the pool and that’s when we saw Duckie, Heather’s brother, give that best performance for the losing team. He egged on the viewers which consisted of around 60 people in and around the pool to cheer him on as he was about to do the best self-inflicted belly-flop in history… Duckie is a funny guy and we love him. I’m sure his wife Allison was shaking her head but laughing at the same time.

We decided to leave the pool and take the ferry to a nearby island. This alone was a great experience to drive our cars onto the ferry and enjoy the ocean view for a short time. Once the ferry landed at the pier, we hopped into our cars, and once again we were off exploring. The Isla Mujeres Island was interesting and the city spread for most of the island. We saw the downtown area where most of the businesses were and then went to the South Side of the island where most of the homes were built.

Big ferry boat deck with passengers and cars

It was a great place to visit and I found it quite different from other islands that I’ve visited because it is a large island but very narrow. I think if you drove from one end to the other, it would take you about 20 minutes. We ended up at the end of the island, which happens to be the furthest East you can stand in Mexico, they have a plaque to explain that once you get there.

When we arrived at our destination, we got out of the car and admired the beautiful blue color ocean around us, but this view wasn’t over yet. We had a noticeably short walk to the entrance of Templo de la Diosa Ixchel Ruins, and I couldn’t wait to see what lay ahead. Once again, I was not going to explore Maya ruins without documenting our journey, so I got my phone out and started filming. To see more on these ruins, click on the link below.

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Catamaran Boat Snorkeling Tour Cancun Mexico


On the fourth day, we woke up and had room service deliver us coffee and breakfast again so we can eat outside on our balcony and enjoy the resort and ocean view. The room service personnel were so professional, they came into your room and set the table where we chose to eat. We told them that we would like to eat at the table on the balcony and within a few minutes, room service told us that breakfast was ready and made their small bow with their hand on their heart and told us to enjoy it. We had plenty of great food like eggs, bacon, toast, omelets, coffee, and drinks. I order the same three drinks as I did every morning, milk, orange juice, and coffee.

The meal was set up so nice on silver platers. It was a beautiful morning. Shortly after eating, Roy came over to check on us, say good morning, and to ask us if we wanted to go on a sail boating and scuba tour. We said yes because, well why not. It sounded fun to us. We had 2 hours before the tour began so we finished breakfast and made our way down to where the rest of the group was, never too far from the bar…

Snorkeling Boat Guide in Cancun Mexico

The Tour guides picked us up from the resort and took us North about 15 miles where we boarded the catamaran boat and began to sail out into the Gulf of Mexico. After about 45 minutes of sailing, we came to the area where we were going to scuba dive and again, was excited about the next adventure. I geared up and before I knew it, I jumped off the boat into the water and it felt good. Perfect water temperature and the water was clear. Clear enough to see the bottom of the ocean during the whole scuba exploration. 

The scuba experience was great, and we saw some beautiful fish, underwater statues, and the ocean in its habitable environment. We scuba dived for about 45 minutes and by then most of us were ready to be done. We climbed aboard and the guides went around taking drink orders. This sailing and scuba boat had a full bar and provided us with snacks and a meal. Not bad, right?

Snorkeling Tour

We then sailed on to a nearby island and we went ashore for another hour. We sat down and had lunch and a few more drinks at the beach. After that, we explored the shopping center for a bit. When we returned to the boat, they informed us that we were sailing back to where we started but we were going to do it in style. The boat had an incredibly good sound system and they set the sails as we coursed back to shore. Passing many other tour boats along the way but ours was cooler! Because of the people that were on our boat and most likely the drinks had to do a little with it too.

That night we finished it with a jetted tub bath and LeeAnn and I were feeling like we were in heaven. We stopped by Roy’s and Heather’s room to hang out for a bit and then went back to our room to get some sleep. We had a big day ahead of us in the morning.


Chichen Itza Mexico Maya Ruin

We woke up at 6:00 AM on this day and we didn’t have a big breakfast planned, just coffee and heading to the cars. We had a long drive ahead of us into the Maya jungle that is known as the Yucatan. It took us a bit to get out of town, Cancun is much larger than it appears if you travel from the East to the West of town. After about an hour, we found ourselves traveling on the highway alongside tree lines and a very thick jungle. I’ve never seen anything like this before. Most people pay to get on crowded tour guide buses, but we rented cars for a reason, so we had the freedom to do what we wanted.

We stopped at a toll/check station as we needed to pay to travel through and most of us needed a bathroom break. We ended up paying for a tour guide to take us on four-wheelers to cenotes, through a Maya village, and through the thick jungle. Sounded like fun but first, we needed to get to Chichen Itza. Once we arrived at our destination, I was amazed. Chichen Itza was like Disneyland. There were many tour buses and many cars in the parking lot. Hundreds if not thousands of people were there to see one of the 7 wonders of the world.

Once we paid our entrance fee, I didn’t even comprehend what I was about to walk through, the most known Maya ruins in the world. The first half of the tour is getting past all the sales booths and guided tour sales but once I finally walked out of the tall thick trees into an opening of the field, there it was. A magnificent pyramid built by the Maya people so many years ago.

Maya Ruins Temple

Chichen Itza Mexico Yucatan

We spent a lot of time walking around the pyramid but there was much more to see so we pressed on. I am going to leave the video for you to see what it is like to visit Chichen Itza. I could go on and on about it but to see it is a different thing.

Watch Video (Chichen Itza)



After we left Chichen Itza, we headed to our next destination, the Mi Lindo Yucatan Tour, from true Maya people. I would like to start off by saying this was one of the most humbling things I have ever witnessed in my life. The Maya people are few and far between since the Spanish explorations after Christopher Columbus and now we were spending the next 4 hours with Maya people on their land, village, and cenotes.

Cenote Yucatan

It was very cool to learn about the Maya culture and history of the land firsthand from the original people. I would highly recommend this tour to everyone who visits Chichen Itza and the Yucatan area. We saw and swam in two cenotes and drove through their village. All the village children came out of their homes to wave at us as we passed them. It was something else and I’m glad I saw it. I will be back, and I would like to get involved with support to this part of the world. Most of them had houses worse than an old rock shed in the backyard of North America.

There is an old Catholic Church in the middle of their town that was built by the Spanish hundreds of years ago. The Maya people keep it in good condition and still use it today. We were sorry to have to leave but after several hours of having fun, it was time to get back to Cancun and the resort. We still had a 3-hour drive to get back. When we got back, it was around 9:00 PM and a few drinks and late-night snacks are what we wanted. Without too much hesitation, we ate, said good night, and we all went to our rooms to sleep.


RESORT, FOOD, FAMILY & RELAXATION ON DAY 6 | Cancun Mexico Mayan Ruins

This was our last full day in Cancun and after several days of exploring, we couldn’t think of anything better than enjoying our resort and the extra amenities that were available with our all-inclusive package. Roy, Duckie, Brody, and some of the others wanted to go golfing. While they did that, I stayed with the rest of them and hung out by the beach for a while.

We were in and out of the pool and we ordered enough drinks that it was a good idea that we didn’t leave the resort. It was a lot of fun to be with the group and all-day relaxing. Once Roy and the guys got back from golfing, the party was on! Everyone at the resort loved our group. We all are outgoing and friendly, and we know how to have fun. I swear we ate and tried just about everything on the menu. It was fun to tell the server, “Hey, get this guy a drink” or “we need 10 chicken quesadillas, 10 tacos, 10 long island ice teas, 8 beers, and 12 shots of Tequila.”

Gourmet Dinner Zama Restaurant

Yep, it was a great day. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this trip and that night as I laid down to sleep, I felt like I didn’t want the day to end because I knew that our trip would be over soon. At the same time, I missed home and our other kids that were waiting for us to come home. The one thing that I was disappointed with that I didn’t do as much metal detecting and treasure hunting as I wanted to. A couple of room service staff saw my Minelab CTX 3030 in my room and told me that if we returned to Cancun, they would take me to some secret places where we can scuba dive for sunken Spanish ships and buried treasures in the area.

As you can suspect, I will be returning for that. Treasure hunting and Cancun Mexico, count me in.


THE RETURN HOME ON DAY 7 | Cancun Mexico Mayan Ruins

The next morning, we packed up our suitcases and headed out to the cars. It was sad to leave this beautiful place, but all things come to an end. We still had a long flight home and another 2 ½ hours’ drive from Las Vegas Nevada to St. George Utah. It was nice to see our kids once we returned and we excitedly explained our trip details to them until it was time to go to bed.


SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING | Roy & Heather Johnson – Cancun Mexico Mayan Ruins

I would like to say thanks to Roy & Heather for inviting us along on this trip. Without you guys, this trip would have been impossible for us. Your timeshare was beautiful and amazing. I would also like to say thanks to our group for agreeing to go with me to these historical sites, it would’ve not been as much fun without you guys. I would also like to say thanks to Antonio for helping us out with interpreting Spanish to English and being our Mexico tour guide. Cancun Mexico Maya Ruins.


Cancun Mexico Mayan Ruins – Written By Timothy C Draper 2021

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