chiapas photo tour

San Cristóbal de las Casas

We just returned from one of our favorite places in Mexico, San Cristóbal de las Casas in the beautiful mountains of Chiapas. This will be More »

riviera maya wedding photographer

Best Wedding Photographers Riviera Maya

  Here is the thousand(s) dollar question that brides who demand quality are asking: “Who is the best wedding photographer in the Riviera Maya?” The More »

Fes, Morocco

We wanted to go to Morocco for three reasons: architecture, art and food. We didn’t expect more and we weren’t disappointed. But, first, you gotta More »

Beautiful and Edible Spain

We were looking forward to our time in Spain for two reasons: the food and the architecture. Let’s face it, those two things are the More »

Italy in the Summer

All of my previous trips to Italy have been in the off-season, usually April or October. I love that time of year since there are More »

Category Archives: Yucatan

Amazing Church in Uayma

There are countless undiscovered hidden gems in the Yucatan. Thanks to our friend, Eliane, from Tamarindo B&B, we visited one of those gems last week.

Built by the Franciscan order in 1642, the Santo Domingo Church in Uayma (pronounced Why-ma) was a convent at one point in its history and was nearly destroyed by the Mayans during the caste wars (1847-1901). It remained a roofless ruin until restoration began in 2003.

According to a  Yucatan Today story published in 2010: “The predominant red color of the buildings represents the martyrdom and sacrifice of Christ, while the green represents hope. The white stars and the roses are a reference to the worship of the Virgin Mary. There is also a headless (sic: it is a double-headed) eagle on the façade, which was a Franciscan symbol adopted during the construction, representing the Catholic union between the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal.”


As you can see from the photos, this is worth the small detour when you are near Valladolid. Take the highway NW toward Izamal about 12 km from Valladolid.

The Cruise Ships and Cozumel

By Christine Preble

Editors NoteThis story was originally written for Anthropology News. I think our readers will find it interesting. I would love to see comments and discussion.

The cruise ship industry, specifically Carnival Cruise Lines, has been a magnet for recent media attention.  An onboard fire led to the Carnival Triumph’s loss of power, leaving over 3,143 passengers and a crew of 1,086 afloat for three days in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico (Otis 2013).  What was meant to be a four-day cruise, leaving Galveston, Texas on February 7, 2013 to Cozumel, Mexico, ended up an ordeal of logistics, safety, and sanitation for the ship, which did not dock until the late evening of Valentine’s Day in Mobile, Alabama.

Eating and Drinking in Holbox

Considering that Isla Holbox is on the small side, there is an impressive variety of places to eat and drink. Luckily, we were staying at Hotel La Palapa, with their terrific Italian restaurant, Costa Nostra. We had several fine meals there, which you can read about in the last blog post. As much as we liked Cosa Nostra, we wanted to sample some of the other spots.

In the mood for seafood, we found Zarabanda, lovingly run by Chef Leo and his family. We had read about the seafood soup and we weren’t disappointed. The tomato-based seafood broth was loaded with chunks of fish, octopus, crab, small shrimp and half of a small lobster tail. The grouper filet was good, but the seafood soup took the prize. The owner’s boys worked the tables and his wife made sure everything ran smoothly. After we paid our bill she gave us a hand-woven palm frond hummingbird as a small parting gift. Style. Charm. Fresh seafood.

La Palapa – Isla Holbox

There is a variety of Holbox hotels with budgets for every taste, but Hotel La Palapa by Xperience Hotels is one of the best. Only two short blocks to the plaza, right on the beach with plenty of palms to shade visitors from the heat of the day and a killer Italian restaurant open from early morning through dinner.

The welcome at all Xperience Hotels begins the moment you walk in the door and Hotel La Palapa is no exception. You are offered a nice, cold towel and a cold beverage to refresh after your journey. They both come with a smile.

The rooms are comfortable, the balconies have great chairs and a hammock, and the bathrooms feature local toiletries. Most of the company’s hotels in Playa have huge overhead rainshower shower heads, but La Palapa takes advantage of the wealth of shells on Holbox and uses a large conch-like shell for the shower head. There are no televisions or telephones, but there is free wifi in  the rooms, on the beach and in the restaurant.

Isla Holbox Relaxation

One of the best spots in the Yucatan is Isla Holbox, a small island off of the northeastern edge of the peninsula. The island came to my attention at least ten years ago when the owners of the former Caribe Blu hotel and dive shop starting taking guests there to snorkel with whale sharks during the summer. It has always been on our list of places to visit and we finally did so last week.

The island is what most people dream about when they hear the word “tropical island”: white sand, swaying palm trees, fresh seafood, cool bars on the water, and a slow pace of life. The slow pace of life is headlined by the lack of cars and paved roads (virtually none and none). You could spend a week here without wearing shoes and most people do. A few years ago the whale shark tours attracted a young mix of Mexican, Italian, Spanish and American entrepreneurs who have set up shop on the island and the island is better for it. You want anitpasto, lobster ravioli, spanish tortas or french pastry? You’ll find it here.

Best Restaurant on Isla Mujeres?

The argument can be made that Lolo Lorena is one of the best restaurants on Isla Mujeres. It is certainly the most interesting. Serving a limited number of people (maximum of sixteen) with a set menu that changes nightly is nothing new, but when you add the eclectic setting, the ability to bring your own wine without a corkage fee, and the high quality of the food, this is the place for serious eaters.