Maya Palms Resort
After diving the second-largest barrier reef in the world, step off the dive boat, take a steam and breathe in the invigorating scent of eucalyptus within a traditional Mayan sweat lodge. Then go for a pool or ocean swim and, before sitting down to an evening meal, climb to the top of the four-story Mayan pyramid restaurant--emulates a temple and overlooks the "temple of columns"--and watch the sun set over the Yucatan landscape. Then relax on the "stargazing loungers" next to the sea. And that's just the end of a day at Maya Palms Resort, "where the jungle kisses the sea."
With perfect access to the Meso-American Barrier Reef, this beautiful, away-from-it-all resort sets your soul on "recharge." The reefs' scope and majesty gets better the closer you look, with rare sea life, such as clown crabs and inch-long seahorses. Porpoise and spotted eagle rays are common and, in addition to the reef, dive the 300-foot-deep mystery of Cenote Azul.
Topside, explore the ruins of Kohunlich and Chacchoben--like Chichen-Itza, but without the crowds--kayak, or savor a traditional Mayan barbecue. This is a Caribbean destination yet to make most dive travelers' radar screens--an undiscovered adventure waiting to be explored from a modern luxury resort that caters to discriminating divers.