Exploring the Mexican Caribbean & the Yucatán
With its endless beaches of soft white sand that’s always cool to the touch, crystal-clear turquoise waters and the world’s second longest reef on the doorstep, the Mexican Caribbean captivates visitors from all over the planet who flock here in search of warm sunshine and relaxation. Yet, this area offers so much more than beach fun. It is the gateway to the Yucatán Peninsula and a world of natural and historical attractions just waiting to be discovered.
Start your Cancún or Riviera Maya vacation with some latitude adjustment on the beach and after a couple of days of sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling you’ll be ready to go exploring.
Venture inland and explore the archaeological sites that pepper the flat landscape, they are testimony to the splendor of the ancient Mayan civilization. Spend time in the area’s colonial towns and cities and visit a hacienda to learn about henequen, a native plant that fueled an extraordinary economic boom at the end of the 19th century.
Mexico is the fourth most important country in the world in terms of biodiversity and the unique and fragile jungle and wetland ecosystems of the Yucatán Peninsula are a haven for a host of tropical birds and animals, and a refuge for millions of migratory birds that fly south to escape the winter cold of northern climes. A variety of wildlife watching trips to the area’s biosphere reserves and national parks is available for nature lovers and you are bound to see something incredible whatever the season.
Yet the forests of the Riviera Maya offer more thrills than that of seeing a spider monkey or toucan in its natural habitat. Ever wanted to leap off a cliff into a still, clear jungle pool or cenote, glide through the trees on a zip line or explore a cave? There are jungle activity tours and cenote parks to bring out the adventurer in all of us.
Naturally, you’ll also want to discover the underwater world of the Mexican Caribbean on snorkeling and scuba diving trips to reefs in the Cancun-Isla Mujeres area, the Riviera Maya, Cozumel and even further afield. Over 400 species of fish and 70 varieties of coral inhabit area waters, not to mention sea turtles, octopus and conch, and visibility can reach 200 feet.
Diving and snorkeling are just the beginning – the Mexican Caribbean is one vast water playground! Start planning your aquatic fun today, go sailing on a luxury yacht or catamaran and visit the islands, charter a sport or fly fishing trip or try your hand at windsurfing or kayaking.
Looking for the perfect spot for a fun day with the family? The Mexican Caribbean offers a variety of parks and activities that can be enjoyed by the young and not so young alike. Beach and snorkeling adventures are universally popular and older children may enjoy swimming with the dolphins, horse riding, kayak trips and zip lining.
Wherever you go, you’ll experience Mexican hospitality and get a taste of the country’s rich and colorful culture.
Using our Travel Guide
We hope that you find it useful and enjoy putting together trip ideas for your next vacation. Stay posted as we will be adding more information on a regular basis.
–Archaeological sites: Chichén Itzá, Tulum, Cobá, Ek Balam, Uxmal & Puuc Route and Mayapán.
–Colonial cities: Mérida, Valladolid and Izamal.
–Biosphere Reserves & Parks: Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Contoy and Rio Lagartos.
–Caves & Cenotes: Aktun Chen Caves, Dzitnup, Ik-kil, Rio Secreto and Hidden Worlds
–Adventure Parks: Xplor and Selvática
–A guide to snorkeling sites
–Top dive sites
–Marine Reserves: Cancun-Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos, Cozumel, Riviera Maya Reefs, Sian Ka’an Reefs and Chinchorro Reserve
–Water parks: Xel-Há, Parque Nizuc and Garrafón
–Whale shark experience
–Help us save the reefs
-Parks: Xcaret and Xel-Há