Thursday, January 7, 2010

Was in Mayakoba!

Day One - Arriving in Mexico

After a long, arduous swim through natural canals and lagoons, connected underground to the sea, I’m finally in America!

Met in the lobby by the Banyan Tree Mayakoba team of associates, I was told that situated in the eco-haven of Mayakoba, Banyan Tree is a harmonious blend of nature and luxury, and the first all-pool villa resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Our Mexican associates escorted me past the splendid banyan tree looming over the two-storey water courtyard to my lavish Garden Pool Villa. As I relaxed in the privacy of my own villa facing eco-landscape and enjoying the natural surroundings of lush nature, I could certainly see why Banyan Tree Mayakoba lives up to its promise as the most eagerly anticipated brand in the Americas!

A myriad of dining options are available in Banyan Tree Mayakoba, from the Mediterranean-inspired Tamarind, signature Thai cuisine of Saffron, modern Mexican cuisine from Oriente and in-villa dining. Being in Mexico for the first time, I headed to Oriente for a truly gastronomical experience.

Tired after the long swim and happy with a full stomach, I went to sleep almost as soon as I returned to my Garden Pool Villa.

Day 2 - Exploring Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Waking up to a beautiful day, I was eagerly anticipating the boat tour through the enchanting canals and lagoons. Bird-watching is one of the most popular activities in Mayakoba, with over 250 different vertebrate species coexisting in Mayakoba.

Hopping into the boat, which is electric-powered to avoid noise pollution, I observed many species of herons, a few neotropic cormorants, and midway into the tour, was even lucky enough to spot an iguana who obligingly posed for a photo!

After the peaceful, magical boat tour, the biologist brought me to visit the protected nests of baby turtles!

Banyan Tree guests are invited to help the little turtles out as they are hatched, and all of us protectively watch over them as they make their first steps towards the oceans.

Truly a magical experience, I hope to see many of these turtles return to Mayakoba when they are older to lay their own eggs!

Day 3 - Visiting a School
Waking up after a deep, restful slumber filled with dreams of birds and baby turtles, I had a huge breakfast at the Oriente, their buffet breakfasts are legendary.

After breakfast, the CSR team picked me up, taking me to “Vida y Esperanza” community, where we will be teaching the children art and ecology. I was told that this is would be the first class given to the 15 students from this community, by a Banyan Tree Mayakoba associate, so everyone is very excited.

There were smiles all around as the children drew native animals, trees, and learned more about the environment they are in. In addition, we also taught the basics of waste management, and why it is important to reuse and recycle instead of burning and disposing of waste.

Before leaving we visited a very special place in the community: an apiary that is going to be protected by the members of the community. The Mayan bees will live in this apiary; these amazing bees don’t have a sting so there’s no danger of being harmed.

These incredible, hardworking insects are endangered, and fortunately, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is working hard to prevent its extinction.

After my enriching day, I retired into my villa with a sense of peace and tranquility, inspired by the activities and efforts of the team in Banyan Tree Mayakoba, and hoping to visit again another day. Until then, I will continue to cherish the many fond memories, the new friends I’ve made and experiences I’ve gained.

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