WHAT TO DO
The Mexican Caribbean stretches down the coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula from Cancun south to Tulum. The variety of activities boggles the mind from snorkeling in cenotes to long hikes through the jungle, to journeys back in time to visit Mayan ruins .. the activities are endless. For more on activities in the Riviera Maya area, contact the Riviera Maya Tourism Promotion Board at rivieramaya.com.
Here are a few activities to pique your interest:
Xel-Ha Ecological Park
This is one of the few places you can go diving and explore ancient Maya ruins in the same day .and still have time to check out the local shopping scene and have a dinner piled high with local seafood. The ruins sit right on the coastline and served as an ancient coastal port.
Another ruin within easy driving distance of Tulum is Coba. About 26 miles to the west, Coba consists of several pyramids and other Mayan building, many of which are still yet to be uncovered. There are lakes and beautiful views from the top of Nohoch Mul, the tallest pyramid on the Yucatan.
If you imagine serene white-sand beaches that stretch for miles, with aquamarine waters, and palm-tree lined shorelines - the Mexican Caribbean is a perfect match. Here you'll find some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Some to check out include:
Xpu-Ha Considered one of the best beaches in the Mexican Caribbean, this beach has no reef break, a wide powder sand beach and offers beachside restaurants and a dive shop.
Xcacel This beach is wide and secluded and offers no facilities. But, it's a popular place to see nesting sea turtles and enjoy relative solitude. Playa del Carmen One of the most popular beach areas with a wide expanse of white-sand and nearby resorts, restaurants and activities.
Pronounced "say-no-tays" these fresh-water filled sinkholes are actually caves that once were covered, but are now open due to the ceiling caving in and leaving behind an exposed fresh-water area. Cenotes are found throughout the Mexican Caribbean, and many are also attached to other cenotes under water. These offer fun snorkeling adventures and for the more adventurous in your group, guided diving tours can be taken.
Many tour companies have sprung up in recent times, and new ones are being added all the time, but there are a few you might want to try.
Zip Line Adventures
Visit a Mayan ruin and then trek through the jungle to experience the newest craze ziplining. It's sure to get your heart rate up as you fly through the canopy at dizzying speed. Not for those who are afraid of heights!
Take an adventurous 4 X 4 ride through a rainforest environment and end up at one of several different destinations: a cenote, a Mayan ruin or a secluded stretch of beach. Guides will offer information and historical notes about each destination.
Take an amazing Kayak expedition out to the coral reefs where you'll be given the opportunity to snorkel and explore the incredible reefs to your heart's content.