Caribbean · Continents · Latin America

Making plans along the Riviera Maya

Although lounging on the beautiful white beaches and paddling in the Caribbean sea could easily fill your time along the east coast of Mexico, the world-renowned Riviera Maya has such a variety of activities to offer, it would be a shame to spend the whole time hugging the coastline.  Why not take a break from sunbathing and explore more of what the Quintana Roo region has to offer?

Chichén Itzá, Yucatán Peninsular1119898_10153107792820582_2086680604_oAn unmissable opportunity to see one of the New7Wonders of the World, the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá are only a 2 hour drive from the coast and tour company bookings are guaranteed to be available from most hotels.  On a trip to the ancient city, history really does come back to life and you will feel as though you have teleported back 1,400 years to the time of Mayan civilisation.  Although nightly light shows are performed at the ruins, I recommend for you to visit the site as early as possible to avoid huge crowds and sunstroke. It’s tragic to think that some people will travel half way across the world to visit Mexico, but will never tick this wonder off their list.

Swimming in cenotescenotes-mexico-36
Scattered throughout the region of Quintana Roo, cenotes are another important aspect of Mexican history.  Once used as a sacred place for performing sacrifices, these subterranean sink-holes that have formed through the erosion of limestone have filled with rainwater over hundreds of years and are now popular swimming attractions for tourists.  Often inhabited with blind catfish and who knows what else, tourists are invited to jump, dive, and swim in the natural water pools that can penetrate up to 100m below the water table.

N.B. The bottom of some cenotes haven’t yet been reached by deep-sea divers (yes, they’re that deep), so attach a hand strap or flotation device to any expensive cameras, otherwise they will be gone for good if you let go!

Captain Hook Dinner Cruise, Cancún7215506c16209bab
Fun for all the family, I will try not to say too much about this experience as the element of surprise is what makes it such an exciting evening. Tickets can be bought online or at various locations along the Riviera Maya including Cancún International Airport.  Grasp the opportunity to live like a true pirate of the Caribbean for the evening on Captain Hook’s ship off the coast of Cancún, with a banquet dinner of lobster and steak and quality entertainment to suit all ages. 10/10, I’ll say no more…

Snorkelling in Tulumtulum
Having previously been snorkeling in the Galapágos Islands and off the east coast of Borneo, I feel that I am in a comfortable position to say that this is the best spot worldwide for turtle snorkeling.  I have never seen so many turtles when swimming completely unsupervised anywhere else in the world.  Only a short taxi ride from any of the Riviera Maya hotels, Tulum is an irresistible daytime activity that only needs to take a couple of hours out of your day, althought I’m sure you’ll decide to stay longer.  It’s as simple as renting a snorkel from a stand on the beach, and swimming no further than 30m out from the shore where you are guaranteed to be surrounded by families Sea turtles.  Cheap in price, but such a rich experience!

Other recommendations:
Hotel: Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
Eco-parks: Xplor, Xcaret, Xel-Há

 

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