Symphony World Travel - Fetcham
Mexico – Mayan Ruins, Margaritas and Mariachi!
I have been lucky enough to visit the Riviera Maya twice, and would definitely return again. Situated on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, it really does have something for everyone.
If you are a fan of the beach you are totally spoilt with the powder white sand and the brilliant turquoise blue of the Caribbean seas, which is like getting in a very warm bath! Some of the best beaches in the world can be found here.
A coral reef stretching down the coastline is second only in size to the Great Barrier Reef, and marine life is plentiful – whale sharks, dolphins and turtles call this home. If you are after something quite different there is an underwater sculpture museum between the coast of Cancun and Isla Mujeres. Getting wet is not optional!
Staying with the water theme, you can also swim in many of the Cenotes in the area. These are collapsed sinkholes in limestone rock, exposing fresh, cool underground water and are very refreshing after a day in the sun!
The standard of hotels in this area is very high, with some world class restaurants and excellent service. We stayed at the Dreams Tulum resort in the south which was fantastic. There are 9 restaurants, a café (I loved their cortados) 2 swimming pools, water sports and other activities if you want them – it is also fine to do absolutely nothing should you so wish!
The ‘all inclusive’ package is very extensive, you really can have pretty much anything you could wish for. The grounds of the hotel are beautiful and very lush.
Dreams Tulum resort is near to Xel Ha ecological park (a large natural aquarium) and to the Mayan ruins at Tulum – my favourite. The setting, on a clifftop overlooking a beautiful beach is truly stunning. Tip – take your swimming costume when you visit as you can go in the sea to cool off.
Tulum is a sleepy town with a hippy vibe, on yet another fabulous beach. It is very different to Cancun in the north, which is very lively. The resort of Playa del Carmen, which is about half way down the coast, is also very popular, with Fifth Avenue having lots of shops and restaurants. It is also the place to catch a boat to Cozumel, which is renowned for some great snorkelling and diving.
No trip to the Mayan Riviera is complete without a trip to Chichen Itza, one of the wonders of the modern world. You can either book a day trip from the coast resorts or hire a car and drive yourself there, as we did.
It is a fascinating place, although some of the history is a little gory!
Tip – go early in the day, before the sun gets too high. It is the only place we have walked round with a large umbrella to keep the sun off!
We also managed a trip to the legendary Coco Bongo, the nightclub made famous from the film ‘The Mask’ – that certainly was an experience not to be forgotten and we are never going to be short of a dinner party story!