A Scary Moment at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun

I wrote my review of the Hyatt Zilara Cancun and how I’m an honorary Roman for how much I feasted there.

But there was a moment that was terrifying.

The beaches have markers every 100 feet or so, color-coded green, yellow, or red. They swap them out throughout the day and are intended to let you know how dangerous it is to swim in the water.

Jay and I got into the Gulf of Mexico in a yellow zone, next to a red zone. We were laughing and talking and suddenly heard a whistle that we’d gone too far. Jay swam away. But I had trouble moving – every time I made progress, I was pulled deeper into the water. And it was over my head before I knew it.

There was another guy next to me (and lots of peeps a few feet away) so I didn’t think any of us were in any real danger. I asked him if he was having trouble, too. He nodded. “We need help.”

“Yeah. We need help.” So we both started waving to the lifeguards on the shore.

Hyatt Zilara Cancun Index

Travel safety above all

I’m a pretty cautious person. But it’s mind-boggling how you can be fine one moment. And totally not the next. It happens fast.

Seeing the water after the trip gave me chills - the Zilara is out on a narrow strip of land

Seeing the water after the trip gave me chills – the Zilara is out on a narrow strip of land

The lifeguard swam out and reached us within seconds. That’s the thing – we weren’t that far out.

He tossed a floatation device, we grabbed it, and he pulled us back. It was over as quickly as it began – just like that.

I wasn’t in panic mode. I had already begun swimming back and was making progress. But being in over my head was the scariest part. And I thought, I’d rather have help than not. Even though I resolved to stay calm and make it back.

Afterward, the lifeguards asked us tons of questions – our names, where we were from, room number, and lots of other things. I thanked them all for the help, but they said they do this all the time and they’ve seen much worse. Which is truly scary.

I was all beached out after that experience. As we walked back to the room, I noticed them speaking with police – I guess they’re required to put it on file every time they jump in and help.


These guys and other safety professionals really do risk it all to help you

The experience was over within a few moments. But it made me think for days afterward what might’ve happened if I couldn’t have made it back to shore on my own. Or if I’d been swimming at night and couldn’t see. Or…

What I took away from it is to know and observe your limits, even if you think you’ll be OK. To stay close to help. And to really be grateful for the professionals who do this every day.

Bottom line

I had a wonderful time at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun. Except for this brief moment.

When it got scary and too close to danger. It’s incredible how you can get so far out so fast.

I’m grateful I walked away from the experience with nothing more than a racing heart. I don’t want to think about what might’ve happened. It made me consider my limits and safety.

I felt especially vulnerable because I was in unfamiliar surroundings. As we always are when we travel.

If anything, take this as a reminder to remain very careful, keep near help, and observe all the signs.

Stay scrappy. And stay safe, too – especially when you travel!

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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    • Agreed, they did their jobs well and were vigilant throughout.

      Definitely was reminded of some important safety lessons – and quick!

      Thank you so much for reading – I loved your Cuba series. You are an inspiration! I clipped your post to refer to for my own Cuba visit – hopefully this year! 🙂

  1. … – Glad you did it well enough to come out and tell us … Yes, there are some treacherous currents over that side of the beaches … Anyway you did Not get ‘into the Gulf of Mexico’ to feel the experience … But into the Caribbean Sea, where Cancun is located … Look it up in a map … ºvº

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