Where and when is it being held?
Freedom Fruit Fiesta is happening very soon! It is being held in the beach town of Playa del Carmen in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico over 10 days from Friday May 20th (arrival day) until Sunday May 29th, 2022!
Playa del Carmen is the perfect destination given the potential travel/living restrictions elsewhere, with beautiful long stretches of sandy beaches, stunning nature and tourist attractions, the abundance of tropical fruits and vegetables, as well as cheap fresh 100% coconut water, orange juice and many other fresh juices.
You should plan to arrive on or before the morning of Friday May 20th for our first gathering in the afternoon. Plan to depart in the evening of Sunday May 29th or later. Mexico gives tourists a maximum of 6 month stay on arrival, but this year immigration often seems to grant little more than the minimum stay you require for your trip.
How do I find out more?
Email me if you plan to come to Freedom Fruit Fiesta and I will add you to the email list of people who want more information closer to the event. Let me know if you have any questions that aren’t covered in this webpage.
Why am I coordinating this?
Having delayed my 2020, 2021 and 2022 Fruitarian Adventure Retreats in Thailand until 2023 due to continuing covid craziness, I wanted to give people an alternative way to connect with the fruit-based raw vegan community in a supportive environment.
How will it work?
- I am coordinating it for free.
- While everyone is welcome, we all need to respect that this is a fruit-based raw vegan gathering with the purpose of providing a supportive environment for people who want to pursue the fruit-based raw vegan lifestyle. Consequently, cooked food, alcohol, smoking, or any form of drugs or abusive/aggressive behavior is not permitted and will not be tolerated at our gatherings. If you can’t live without cooked food for the duration of the fruit fest, we understand, but in that case, this event won’t work for you.
- I will organize daily outings which will ideally align with the group’s preferences and while primarily focused around visiting different cenotes, will likely include many of the following:
- swimming at many beautiful local cenotes
- fruitlucks on a grassy area by ancient Mayan ruins
- visit a local bird sanctuary
- swim at nice local beaches
- visit a mountain bike park with challenging trails through the jungle by a nice beach
- group street/beach running
- group beach swimming/walking
- focused group discussions and Q&A sessions (on lifestyle choices, health and happiness)
- You book and pay for your own expenses. This includes:
- Flights (I recommend SkyScanner for the cheapest flights)
- Fruit, vegetables and fresh juice
Coconut water is $2 USD per liter. Fresh hand squeezed OJ is $2 USD per liter.
Fresh, ripe, raw fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds are easy to find and relatively inexpensive.
- Local transport
- Accommodation (try agoda.com, booking.com or airbnb)
There are plenty of hostels for the cheapest options, and lots of nice quite affordable hotels. Plaza Playa Hotel for example is next door to an excellent produce store and has 2 big beds in each room for around $45 USD or less per night for the room. Our daily meeting point will be the fruit shop on Calle 2 and Avenida 25, so securing accommodation close to their would be ideal.
- Cost of daily scheduled outings
As a rough guide, each daily outing will likely cost from as little as 200 Mexican pesos ($10 USD) and be up to a maximum of around 2000 pesos ($100 USD).
Outings are optional, so if you prefer, you can just join us for specific days/activities.
Some outing costs must be paid in cash to Grant in advance (at least several days prior to the activity) to facilitate ease of organizing the activities such as paying group entry at cenotes rather than as individuals.
What to Bring?
- Diving Mask: Be sure to bring (or buy on arrival) a tempered glass diving (or snorkeling) mask. Without a dive mask you won’t be able to see clearly underwater while swimming in the cenotes. A dive mask is required to free dive through the underwater tunnels, or to follow the fish underwater.
Note: Regular swimming goggles won’t handle the pressure of diving more than 1 to 2 meters down. In fact they can break under the pressure. A dive mask is less than $20 USD here and are easy to purchase if you don’t bring your own.
- Clothing: The weather here is typically warm and humid. The only time you will be cold is after swimming in a cenote for an hour or more. There are laundromats everywhere and they are very cheap, offering a 10 to 24 hour service.
- Cash: You can exchange USD for Mexican pesos here pretty easily at a reasonable exchange rate. ATMs at banks tend to charge very high fees per transaction, so it is best to either bring cash or minimize the number of times you use an ATM. Paying for your accommodation with a credit or debit card would also save on ATM fees.
- Face masks are required as public vans still require you to wear them because of covid misinformation and bad science. These vans will be our method of transport to the cenotes so we have to comply. T-shirts are also required on the public vans.
Free Diving Tips
- If you have a chance before coming to the cenotes, practice diving in deep water with a mask:
- when you dive down you need to completely invert your body, bending your legs at the knees and hips. With the weight of your hips and legs completely above you, your head will easily sink into the water and you can use your arms to swim down, remembering to clear the pressure in your ears approximately every 1 meter of depth.
- clear the depth pressure in your ears by holding your nose and blowing until it feels like air is trying to come out of your ears. If you clear the pressure in your ears frequently (and effectively) as you dive down, you should never feel pain clearing your ears, nor from the water pressure while diving.
- Always hold your air inside your lungs while free diving. If you let your air out you sink and it is difficult to swim back to the surface from deep water. If you keep your breath inside, then to return to the surface, all you need to do is simply stop swimming down and you will float up, without having to kick or use your arms.Your breath should also last longer when you hold your air in, and breathing in through your nose also typically means your breath will last longer underwater.
- When swimming underneath rocks or through underwater tunnels, you need to swimming on a slightly downwards angle. If you stop swimming, you will start floating up (because of the air in your lungs), and you may hit your head on the rocks, which is highly undesirable while inside a tunnel.
- When returning to the surface after diving through tunnels or under rocks, be sure to always have one arm above your head, so you don’t hit your head on a rock near or slightly above the water surface. Trust me that it is an easy mistake, especially for beginners, to not realize they are still under a rock when returning from the depths. It takes a lot of spacial awareness which generally takes some experience to develop.
- If you have a head cold or sinus infection, you shouldn’t dive until it clears up as you may damage your ears through being unable to clear the pressure from the water depth.
- There is currently little to no signs of a pandemic here in Playa del Carmen. I have been in Playa del Carmen since mid-December 2020 and the number of covid cases and hospitalizations have dropped dramatically in that time.
- Covid restrictions are enforced by each state of Mexico based on a 4 color traffic light system. Green is lowest risk. Yellow is low/moderate risk. Orange is higher risk. Red is the highest risk. We will be in the state of Quintana Roo which was green the last time I checked.
- On arrival into Mexico there is currently no requirement for negative covid tests or quarantine.
- Masks are no longer mandatory but are still optionally enforced by some businesses, to supposedly protect their employees. Very few people wear them while walking around the streets. However, masks are still currently required for flights, public transport and for entering many large stores. Large stores may also require taking your wrist temperature on entry as well as squirting sanitizer into your hand.
- To get to Playa del Carmen, you fly into Cancun airport. On the way out of the airport you buy a bus ticket from the ADO bus company for a one-way ticket to Playa del Carmen. There is only one stop made in Playa del Carmen and the bus terminates there, so you don’t need to worry about when to get off the bus. The bus trip takes about 45 minutes.
- People speak Spanish here. English is commonly spoken, but many people here do not speak any English.
- The weather is comfortably warm, so there is no need to bring cold weather clothing. The sea isn’t cold to swim in either. However, the water at cenotes is refreshing and after an hour or more in the water you will get cold, so consider a swimming cap, short wetsuit, gloves, beanie, jacket, etc to help you to stay warmer in the water or to warm up faster when you get out…because you’ll want to spent as much time in the water as possible at these beautiful locations!
- On returning to Cancun to fly home, you need to make sure you get off the ADO bus at the correct airport terminal (number 1, 2, 3 or 4).
- Buses run very regularly all day in both direction between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, even into the night. Timetables have been known to have been altered due to the pandemic silliness.