This is the blog page for Detroit photographer Juan N. Only. Click the link at the top of the page to go to the home page.

Birthday Trip to Mexico

March 25-28, 2011:
Scarlet Macaw Parrot [50D-4458]
My sweetheart gave me a surprise birthday present of a trip to Mexico. I found out on the evening of Thursday, March 24th. The next morning, we were on a direct flight to Cancun, Mexico. We stayed at a resort just North of Playa Del Carmen, about 70km/43 miles South of Cancun on the Caribbean Sea.

Saturday morning, we went into the town of Playa Del Carmen and wandered around the shopping district. We found this nice little shop that sells locally-made clothing, mostly cotton, linen, etc. I bought a cool shirt and my honey bought a nice summer dress.

We knew we wanted to visit some Mayan ruins, however, if we were to go to Chichen Itza (which is one of the most popular sites for Mayan ruins and which my partner kept referring to as "It's a Chicken"), it would have taken a whole day. We only had three days there, so on Saturday afternoon, we went to the ruins at Tulum, which is about 60km South of Playa Del Carmen. It was very interesting and provided great photo ops.
Mayan Ruins at Tulum

On Sunday afternoon, we were sitting on the balcony of our hotel room, when we heard a rustling in the trees. We then saw a monkey climbing and swinging amongst the branches. He grabbed some fruit from the tree and had himself a little meal. I grabbed my camera and began snapping shots. He disappeared into the branches and then another, larger monkey appeared and he also ate some fruit from the trees. The little one came back before they both swung away and left us delighted to have seen them.
Spider Monkey

Photographic lesson learned from this experience: Don't rely on auto-focus. The auto-focus usually focused on the branches and leaves that were closer to us rather than on the monkeys.

We got up very early Monday morning--before having to get ready to leave Mexico for home--in order to go down to the beach to catch the sunrise over the Caribbean Sea. Cloud cover on the horizon, however, made it rather disappointing. I tried to make the photographic most of what I had with which to work.
Sunrise Over the Caribbean

Sunrise Over the Caribbean

That afternoon/evening, we returned home to Michigan and 30-some degree temperatures--a rather unpleasant reality check after having days in the 80s and nights in the 70s.

Click here to view my set of photos from our trip at
Or click here to browse the set of photos on a black background here at


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