Many people think more about beaches than bird-watching when it comes to Mexico but many of the birds that spend the summer in the northern United States spend winters in Mexico, so a winter trip to Mexico can provide a great opportunity to see (and photograph) birds. This pelican was one of dozens hanging out near the port of Chiquilá, from which one can catch the ferry to the beautiful island of Holbox. When not flying around, the pelicans liked to gather in large groups, so trying to get a photo of just a single bird was a bit of a challenge, especially when the time to take photos of these beautiful birds was limited by when our ferry was departing.
The Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza are the second most popular ruins in Mexico, second only behind Teotihuacan. Chichen Itza is located in the Yucatán peninsula, meaning it can be easily visited as a day trip from Cancun. The Temple of Kukulcan, commonly referred to as El Castillo (the castle), stands out as the most impressive of the many structures located at Chichen Itza. The step pyramid is nearly 100 feet tall and at the spring and autumn equinoxes, if the sun is shining, its light hits the pyramid so that the shadows result in the appearance of a serpent wriggling down the staircase of the pyramid. How cool is that? Chichen Itza is a very impressive site and a great way to add a little culture to a vacation to the Yucatán peninsula. Compared to other ruins in the region, a lot of the jungle around the ruins has been cleared, which can be a positive in that it gives you a better view of the ruins but is also a negative in that it takes away from the feel of the ruins a little. Regardless, Chichen Itza is a great place to visit and a trip to the ruins can easily be combined with a visit to a nearby cenote, like Cenote Ik Kil.
This photo was taken at Cenote Ik Kil in the
Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, near the Mayan ruins Chichen Itza. A cenote is a sinkhole, but instead of worrying people about their houses collapsing into the earth, like has become a concern in areas of the United States in the past few years, the cenotes in the Yucatán Peninsula are tourist attractions. Cenote Ik Kil is popular because of its location near Chichen Itza and for its natural beauty, with the large opening and vines growing down from above. This photo is, no doubt, not one of the greatest photos taken of Ik Kil. As we were planning to swim in the cenote, I only brought my waterproof point and shoot camera down into the cenote with me, not my DSLR. While swimming in the cenote was great, I wish I had better photos from that day.