Feeling the excitement as we left Villa del Palmar Cancun in our shiny new Jeep hired at the resort, we left fully packed with coffee-to-go and treats for the road. With our GPS set and our instructions noted, we took to the road on our adventure to Sian Ka’an biosphere to stay at the luxury Sian Ka’an Village property.
Most of the highway journey was uneventful, stopping at Mexico’s version of a 7/11 called OXXO for refills and a pit stop, making good time until we arrived at the real adventure, turning off the highway just before we hit Mahahual. Here was were the true majesty of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere washed over us.
Like an Indiana Jones safari trek racing through the mangroves, our 4 x 4 allowed us to bump and grind through watery potholes and sandy puddles that splashed and glistening in the sunshine. From our windows we could see an endless cerulean Quintana Roo skyline, contrasted by emerald pockets of vegetation and mangroves until canopies of palms began to close in on us forming fronded arches. We felt like we were on an adventurous assault course for Jeeps and ATVs, comforted by air-conditioning and a cool soundtrack.
Our off-road safari adventure continued through winding roads like the jungles depicted in children’s stories and we saw all kinds of birds and herons, chased by local dogs and hoping to catch sight of a lonely pantha. The sandy trail that flowed like a golden ribbon amidst a plethora of green hues, suddenly opened up to the sight of the Caribbean as we drove with the mangrove on one side and the sea on the other. It was at that point that we just knew this was a vacation to remember.
Within minutes of catching sight of the ocean, we were entering the grounds of Sian Ka’an Village, no neighbors within ear shot. I think we only saw one other truck while driving within the biosphere. Our jeeps covered in sandy silt, we received a warm welcome from Margarito, who greeted us with an ice cold welcome cocktail and a cold face cloth.
And that was just the beginning…