The moment guests enter the Maya Palms Beach Resort, they know they’ve arrived somewhere special. As they walk through the grand Mayan Warrior gates, they feel as if they left their lives behind. This tropical hideaway is located on the Mexican Caribbean known as the Costa Maya Riviera. In addition to the virgin exploratory diving on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, guests can enjoy other activities such as shopping, horseback riding and Maya ruins tours. Divers and nondivers alike will love this beautiful eco resort, featuring boutique accommodations. After diving the second-largest barrier reef in the world, step off the dive boat to your own private tropical getaway. Then go for a swim in the freshwater pool or ocean, and relax on the custom bling-bling loungers next to the sea. After the evening meal, stroll through the gardens and ascend the four-story Maya-pyramid restaurant to see the panoramic view of the ocean, watch the sun set over the vast jungle and observe as an ocean of stars materialize — and that’s just the end of a day at Maya Palms, “where the jungle kisses the sea.” This away-from-it-all resort recharges your soul.
Divers will find that the scope and majesty of the reefs get better the closer they look, with rare sea life such as clown crabs and seahorses. Porpoises, spotted eagle rays, sea turtles and dolphin encounters are common. Access to more than 100 dive sites is only a five to 15 minute boat ride away from the resort’s beach. Topside, explore the ruins of Kohunlich and Chacchoben, kayak or savor a traditional Mayan cuisine. This is the last of the “rustic Caribbean,” a place that is just beginning to capture the imagination of dive travelers. It’s a mostly undiscovered adventure waiting to be explored from a modern eco beach resort that caters to discriminating divers and travelers.
Accommodations: Oceanside, air-conditioned villas with a garden or beach view, fan and private porch
Amenities: Indoor restaurant, covered outdoor palapa bar, freshwater pool, rooftop lounges, daily maid service, orchid gardens, Internet service and gourmet meals with a Yucatán flair