MTV was in down in force in Cancun Mexico in March of 2005, but I was not there for them (MTV was still 4 years from existence when I was in college) and we were there to relax over a few days. Now the hotel we were in had lots of college people having fun (and I could sleep through them, I learned how to do that in the Army) but, alas, my wife had a harder time.
They did not all party all night long, some then went to the beach and then had fun there in the sand, surf, or pool. The hotel we stayed at had organized sporting events. Kept to the real rules, but with not the seriousness of professional sports so all were having fun when playing. This image of beach volleyball was one typical example that occurred throughout the day at the hotel.
Course not everyone spent all day playing, lots of time people, like myself, were relaxing just by laying around on the beach chairs soaking up the sand.
This group of college guys down from Minnesota were relaxing soaking up the sun on March 16 as I was walking along the beach taking pictures. T
They were in the resort next to the Aquamarina Hotel in the Tourist Zone of Cancun, Mexico. The hotels are all built on a barrier island (technically not, since it is connected to the mainland) that creates a lagoon off the Mayan coast. One end to the other is nothing but hotels, golf courses, eateries, and shops.
Aquamarina Hotel in Cancun Mexico Here is a view from our hotel room toward the beach during Spring Break 2005. The island (really more like an L shaped spit since it does connect on both ends to the Yucatan) runs east-west along this portion before it turns north to connect back to the mainland 4 miles down the road. The hotel also has a miniature golf course, a poolside swim-up bar, beach bar, two pools, and a few peacocks running around - and we are not talking about the college guys but real peacocks (sometimes referred to as turkeys by the locals for some unknown reason).
Course there were lots of people who come down together, and there are others who come down and then meet up with others and hang out together.
This group of college students who were staying in the Aquamarina Hotel were one such group who were from different colleges.
There were, as mentioned, other activities that people could do at the beach.
Jet Skis off the coast of Cancun, Mexico during spring break 2005. Rates to rent them were really low and the water is calm here since another island is directly south of this portion of Cancun and so no direct waves come to this portion of the beach from the Caribbean.
Floating on an Obi Now you could rent an Obi and float on the water while getting your tan. These have a glass bottom under your face so you can see the coral, fish and other aquatic life as you float around in the ocean. These two women (about 300 yard away when I took the picture) were getting a tan while looking at the fish.
Like in photography, there is work that goes on behind the scenes before the customers arrive to go fishing. In the afternoon after the morning charter, the two crewmembers were cleaning the boat as well as resetting the lures for the next day's fishing charter. They were going after marlin, tuna, swordfish, pretty much any big game fish.
Here you can see the lures and the bait prepared for deep sea fishing.
If you wanted to take a more active vacation and not just soak up the sun on the beaches, you could go fishing , para-sailing, plus other water sports by purchasing those activities at the beach hut.
There were lots of pelicans around waiting for the odd fish to fall into the water as well as getting their own meals in the shallows where minnows swam. Other sea birds were around in the air also. There were even some peacocks walking around the hotel but the locals called them turkeys.
Every Wednesday at the El Toro bull ring, starting at 3 PM till around 5:30, presented both a cultural display, as well as two bull fights.
The last bull fight is the main event. This is a traditional style fight between the two combatants. The bull, bred for hundreds of years for just this purpose, seemed a little tame for the ring. My guess is that it has been around people too much and is no longer afraid of people which makes for a less interesting contest. They need to keep the bull in remote fields without people around so that it does not become so "tame".
Victory for the Matador from Spain in Cancun The Matador acknowledges the crowd, who are mostly tourists down there for vacation, on his victory over the bull. The whole fight takes around 30 minutes. He had a few assistants to help with the fight. Not sure if they are matadors in training, or are there to distract the bull if he gets in trouble. Their role was not explained to the crowd. I did not remember this matadors name. He was, however, born in Spain. Most likely like any sport, he was out in the "minor leagues" to gain experience before going back to Spain where it all started and where the big money is at.
I took a few QuickTime® movies with my Nikon of the Cancun bull fight as well as a few seconds of the dancers. This 1 1/2 meg MOV clip gives a good idea of what and how a matador works at the weekly bull fight.
Mayan dance demonstration in Cancun, Mexico Before the main bull fighting events there are traditional Mayan dances and a few other interesting cultural events demonstrated in the ring.
There were around 16 people, 8 women and 8 men, who performed this long dance routine. The Mayan civilization collapsed quickly in 1512 after the arrival of the Spanish. The quick demise of the Mayan culture was partly due to the conquest goal of the Spanish who came there looking for gold, but mostly due to the diseases that came with the Spanish that the people of the Americas (all of them) had no resistance to which wiped out the social network needed to sustain the civilization.
Line for immigration and customs in Cancun Upon arrival at Cancun, like at any international port, you have to go through immigration and customs. Unlike many places though, people seem to arrive all at the same time here - in the afternoon. Thus it takes around an hour to get through this normal routine.
Like what they do in entertainment parks, the part of the line that you can see is not the whole line. The crowd overflowed the waiting area and extended back a few hundred feet into the terminal. Forward of this the line went down the stairs, through another set of holding lines, before you go the actual immigration area. I took this picture as we were leaving so it was empty - no planes could land since a thunderstorm rolled in so there were no arrivals for three hours. This, in turn, meant that we could not leave since the plane we were to use to fly out on had to divert to another airport during the storm.
Tropical Birds that you can have your picture taken with Like in many tropical locations, you can get a picture taken of you with local birds. This was only $5.00 to have done if you used your own camera like I did. They are very tame and lay down in your arms or are on your shoulder for the picture. This shopping center was past the midpoint of the hotel zone going toward the airport and is very new shopping center complex on the lagoon side of the spit.
Cancun Spring Break Box AD for MTV Spring break in Cancun is very commercial. MTV was there on the beach, of course, but this large box ad is where their HQ zone was located on the main tourist road in the shopping area.
To get to where they have the TV crews for broadcasting crowd scenes, the men, the women, contests, music, interviews, and the songs to the world you have to walk 1/4 mile south to the beach. I never got a chance to go there.