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Given the unquestionable beauty of Mexico, especially that of the Riviera Maya, we actually believe there are so many more than 12 reasons to visit Mexico… With that in mind, here goes our attempt to summarise what we consider to be the highlights of this fascinating and divergent tropical region:
1) PEOPLE - Mexicans are the friendliest, warmest people in the Caribbean, a fact which shines through the service provided during your stay. Amazing hosts, outgoing and cheerful, they are always happy, and any personal struggle they may have is replaced by a huge smile on their face and a focus on being grateful for what they have; you are bound to hear ‘’gracias’’ (thank you), thousands of times.
2) SAFETY - The Riviera Maya and Yucatan Peninsula, similar to the majority of Mexican Territory, are very safe places. Whether renting a car and driving on your own, taking a guided tour, going out at night or simply walking on the street, you can do so with the very least of worries. Like many other places, unless you are looking for trouble, it will not be looking for you. (Needless to say, basic precautions you would take anywhere else in the world should be heeded).
3) SANDY-WHITE BEACHES - Along many parts of the coast, you can walk for miles on never-ending soft and heavenly beaches. Choose from party-friendly areas to tranquil, secluded spots where you can enjoy the relaxing view of the stunning blue water, from the comfy beach lounge of your resort.
4) VARIETY - The Riviera Maya encompasses the region which stretches from Puerto Morelos, 30 km south of Cancun, all the way to Tulum, a whole 135 km in total. Throughout this area, as in nearby Cancun, you can find the widest variety of activities in the whole Caribbean, fulfilling any need or desire. There are all kinds of water sports, boat or inland tours, professional spa centres, natural parks and the list goes on.
5) RELAXATION - For those who don’t necessarily feel the need to engage in such diverse activities, simply chill out in that gorgeous hotel and get pampered. Lay back in your sun lounger, sip that mojito (or fresh fruit juice) and relish that turquoise sea view…relax and let go! (A high-protection sunscreen is very much recommended for the safety of your skin and to ensure a harmonious vacation!).
6) PARTYING HARD - Playa del Carmen offers full-time entertainment, all the way through those long-lasting Caribbean nights. Experience a huge variety of local and ethnic restaurants, take a stroll along the quinta avenida, chill out in roof-top bar lounges, or dance all night long in chic, populated nightclubs. Playa del Carmen is always up-to-date with the trendiest music and fancy decor and….it never sleeps.
7) HISTORY - Take a step back into the past. Visit ancient Mayan cities which are now fascinating archaeological sites, scattered throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, Chiapas and neighbouring countries, and hidden deep in the mystic jungle. You don’t need to be an expert historian to appreciate the beauty and the profound meaning of such magnificent constructions, some of which still remain a mystery to all. Such history is undoubtedly a large part of the allure which brings millions of tourists to the ‘’Egypt of Latin America,’’ every year. Be mesmerised by the stories told by expert guides but most of all by the magnificence of the immense pyramids which tower above thick vegetation. If you dare to climb to the top (if the site permits) you can take in a breath-taking view of the surrounding jungle, which seems to go on and on. It’s magical… Coba, Chichen Itza and Tulum are the most commonly visited, and albeit beautiful. However, you can explore many others, less visited though just as wonderful, within a reasonable distance. I would go as far as to say that if you are in Mexico, visiting the Mayan ruins is a must, bringing you closer to Mexican culture and society.
8) SUNRISES & SUNSETS - At dawn, the sun rises from the ocean and seeps into the jungle. It doesn’t matter if you are on your way back from an all-nighter or merely an early bird, such spectacular hues of orange, yellow, and pink emerging from the water will remain in your heart and mind as some of your most vivid memories of your Mexican trip. That being said, Caribbean sunsets are just as hard to beat, and later on we’ll let you in on our tips for the best rooftops from which to marvel at these natural paintings in the sky.
9) EPICUREAN FOOD - As mentioned previously, you can find a huge variety of top-notch restaurants: Italian, Indian, Japanese, Brazilian and so on… Not to forget vegans and vegetarians who are also widely catered for. However, when in Mexico, why not savour the local specialities? Be seduced by local flavours and spicy seasoning. Food is part of a culture, and you can devour exquisite dishes from every region of Mexico, right here. One cannot leave without tasting real tacos al pastor or guacamole and totopos (corn chips), the famous ceviche and much, much more.
10) CENOTES - An aspect which makes the Yucatan Peninsula so unique. As a result of the limestone geology, there are underground rivers criss-crossing all over the region. Due to erosion, there are points where the surface becomes thinner and collapses, forming natural sinkholes which expose the water underneath - cenotes. Hundreds of cenotes are dotted about the Yucatan Peninsula, many yet to be explored. Besides their evident natural beauty, you can delight in their soothing, refreshingly cool water. If you decide to take the plunge, we assure you it will be unforgettable. Furthermore, on a historical note, cenotes were considered a sacred place for the ancient Maya and thus used for religious rituals and sacrificial offerings. They are indeed another must see.
11) SWIMMING WITH WHALESHARKS - An activity which requires an entire section dedicated to it, as there is just so much to say! However, as one of the most emotional and unique experiences you can ever take part in, we just had to highlight it here as a reason to visit. Being able to swim right up beside these docile giants of the sea makes this choice truly unforgettable.
12) ARTS AND CRAFTS - From hand-painted, decorative objects and accessories, to hand-made hammocks, dream-catchers, precious stones, locally-made chocolate, and of course, tequila, you can find the most fascinating of artefacts. Discover local markets where you can shop around, hassle-free – not only that, enjoy chatting with locals who will be delighted to show you their products and culture.
So, do you really need any more reasons to come to the Riviera Maya? Can you think of more? Write in, we would love to read your thoughts!