Playa del Carmen beach huts back in 2002
Some of the first tourist accomodations in the nowadays busy city of Playa del Carmen were this kind of beach huts. Made from local natural resources, they blended nicely into the landscape with white sand and palmtrees. Some of them still exist today, alongside a lot of modern hotels and tourist resorts.
(Riviera Maya, Mexico, November 2002 - Image ID 200211-MX-14)
Yellow brain coral on the Riviera Maya
Anybody else who still remembers taking your SLR underwater back in the 90s or early 2000s? Wrapped in a special solid plastic bag was the most affordable way to do it. Whilst not as professional, and hard to operate, I still think it was worth the effort to capture some of the amazing scenery below the waterline.
(Riviera Maya, Mexico, November 2002 - Image ID 200211-MX-15)
Riviera Maya - 20 years ago
20 years ago, it was still relatively easy to find empty and natural dream spots on the Riviera Maya. Few visitors, endless sandy beaches, warm crystal clear water full of sealife, and lots of sunshine. With the continued "touristic development", nowadays many of these secret escapes are now part of hotel resorts.
(Riviera Maya, Mexico, November 2002 - Image ID 200211-MX-13)
Cenote jungle exit
Located within lush and dense tropical forest, this is how an entry or exit into a cenote may look like. Most of them though need to be accessed via stairs, going down from the collapsed roof of a cave. Feels a bit like "Indiana Jones"...
(Riviera Maya, Mexico, November 2002 - Image ID 200211-MX-12)
A quiet place
Despite of the excellent location, this inviting place with shade and lounge chairs was completely empty. Located in an amazing tropical bay with warm water with lots of fish, I assume it didn't take long for someone to occupy this spot.
(Riviera Maya, Mexico, November 2002 - Image ID 200211-MX-07)
Tulum Mayan ruins and tropical Caribbean beach
This image shows the spectacular location of the archeological site of Tulum. From my perspective, it is one of the most beautiful spots on Mexico's Riviera Maya! As the name already says: you get a combination of breathtaking tropical seaside, combined with pre-hispanic Mayan heritage. When I took this photo back in 2002, one could still climb up the pyramids for an even more panoramic view. Nowadays, to preserve this historic site, this is no longer allowed. But the white sandy beaches and the warm waters of the Caribbean still invite for a swim after taking history lessons while exploring the ruins.
(Tulum, Mexico, November 2002 - Image ID 200211-MX-10)
Not much to say about this view...
(Riviera Maya, Mexico, November 2002 - Image ID 200211-MX-08)
Hacienda Yaxcopoil beauty
With the henequen boom in the late 1800s/early 1900s, large Haciendas emerged in the area of Merida, Yucatan. Business collapsed during the economic crisis in the 1920s, and even more with the invention of synthetic fibers. Some Haciendas have been renovated and turned into luxury hotels. Others are open for day visitors, definitely worth a trip.
(Merida, Mexico, November 2002 - Image ID 200211-MX-01)
Ravages of time
Maintaining the ancient Haciendas iin the tropical climate is a never-ending battle against time, humidity and vegetation. This combination creates interesting photo opportunities.
(Merida, Mexico, November 2002 - Image ID 200211-MX-05)
Have a break
Cleaning and cutting plants belongs to the ongoing tasks in any of the renovated Haciendas. Seems like whoever is in charge of this just took a break (or "siesta")
(Merida, Mexico, November 2002 - Image ID 200211-MX-03)
Aged wooden lounge chair overlooking a Caribbean lagoon
Whilst maybe not the most comfortable of its kind, this lounge chair definitely enjoys a prime location. Being just 1m away from the warm and crystal clear waters of the Mexican Riviera Maya, its age really doesn't matter. I found this vintage edition during a vacation trip back in November 2002. Being low season, there were only few tourists around. Otherwise, I assume all of the seats overlooking this beautiful tropical bay would already have been taken.
(Riviera Maya, Mexico, November 2002 - Image ID 200211-MX-06)
Wooden deck with weathered lounge chair at a tropical lagoon