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Sign up for the Third Royal Resorts Foundation Race, Feb 18

There’s still time to sign up for the Third Royal Resorts Foundation Race on Sunday, February 18 (week 7) in Cancun. Join us for a morning of exercise and fun in support of a worthy cause. All race proceeds will go to building and equipping a kitchen at the Don Bosco Community Project, a center that helps give disadvantaged and vulnerable young people a better future.

REGISTER FOR THE RACE ONLINE

Race details
• The Third Royal Resorts Foundation race takes place on February 18 at 7 a.m. Starting point: Captain’s Cove Restaurant to Westin Regina and back again.
• 3, 5 or 10 kilometers
• Age categories for men and women
Free (15-39 years) Master (40-49 years) Veteran (50 and over)
• Race Fee is $280 pesos per adult and $230 pesos per child and includes a souvenir t-shirt and finalist’s medal, race number, chip, water and an isotonic drink at the finish line
Prizes will be given to the first three places in each category in the 5 and 10 km races for men and women. The first three Royal Resorts employees to cross the finish in the 5 and 10 km races for men and women will also receive prizes.

Children’s Fun Run
Bring the kids! There is a race for them too!
• Children aged 4 to 7 years
500 meters
• Children aged 8 to 12 years
1 kilometer

Transport will be available for Royal Resorts members and guests staying at The Royal Haciendas in Playa del Carmen who would like to compete in the Third Royal Resorts Foundation Race.

If you are not going to be in Cancun in February you can still support the cause by making a donation to the Royal Resorts Foundation online at www.royalresortsfoundation.org or during your stay at Royal Resorts.

Our Race Cause
With the proceeds and donations from the 2018 race, the Royal Resorts Foundation will help build and equip a kitchen at the Don Bosco Youth Center. This Ciudad de la Alegria community center gives vulnerable teenagers in marginalized neighborhoods on the outskirts of Cancun hope for the future.

The Don Bosco Center lends a helping hand to young people who have dropped out of school due to poverty, gang membership, domestic violence and other factors. They continue their studies and learn English and computer skills. Seminars and workshops on health and nutrition, values and self-esteem also give them a boost of confidence and there are sporting and cultural activities too.

A study by the TecMilenio University in Cancun showed that many of the teenagers attending the Don Bosco Center are malnourished and that this is causing low concentration levels and poor academic performance. Building a kitchen will give them access to nutritious meals and better health.

WATCH THE VIDEO

Register for the Third Royal Resorts Foundation Race today
You can register online at www.royalresorts.com/foundation
Email: contact@royalresortsfoundation.org
Bring your friends and family!

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Royal Resorts App now available for Android

Great news, the Royal Resorts App is now available for Android and iOS users will soon be able to download an updated version from the App store. The App has lots of useful features to save you time and help you make the most of your vacation.

No more check-in and check-out lines!

Use it before your trip to
• Make special requests, ask for cribs, high chairs or mobility aids
• Check past, current and future reservations
• Preregister guests and save time at check-in

During your vacation
• Book tables at your favorite Royal restaurants using the restaurant reservations tool NEW FEATURE
• Check the daily Activity Center and Kids Club programs to plan your vacation time NEW FEATURE
• Keep tabs on orders and vacation purchases
• Make payments to your account
• Check out from your resort
• Report incidents and send suggestions to Guest Services
• Retrieve your Member PIN if you have forgotten it

The free Royal Resorts App is available from the App Store and Google Play

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Grand Residences & Royal Resorts Best in Mexico TripAdvisor Travelers Choice 2018

Members of the TripAdvisor travel community have given a thumbs-up to Grand Residences and Royal Resorts by including them in the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice 2018 listings of the Top Hotels in Mexico.

Grand Residences has picked up four different Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 accolades given to the best of the best in Mexico. This is the fourth year running that it has been included in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico category.

• TripAdvisor Travelers Choice 2018 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico
Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is No. 4
• TripAdvisor Travelers Choice 2018 Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Mexico
Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is No. 2
• TripAdvisor Travelers Choice 2018 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Best Service
Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is No. 14
• TripAdvisor Travelers Choice 2018 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Families
Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is No. 18

Grand Residences in Top 25 Luxury Hotels in the World
There’s more exciting news, Grand Residences also appears in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 World’s Top 25 Luxury Hotels listing at position No. 25.

Three Royal Resorts in the Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Families
Three Royal Resorts also feature in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Families list. The Royal Haciendas is rated No. 13, The Royal Sands No. 19 and The Royal Cancun No. 25.

Royal Resorts and Grand Residences are proud to be included in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 listings showcasing Mexico’s Top Hotels. We strive for excellence in everything that we do and will continue to work to raise the bar on service and look for more ways to offer an exceptional vacation experience for our members and guests.

You can help your resort reach the top spot by posting a review of your Royal Resorts vacation experience on TripAdvisor. Visit www.tripadvisor.com or use the link in the online guest satisfaction survey you receive after your stay. Your feedback is very important to us.

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Spreading Happiness, Royal Resorts Foundation Kings Day Children’s Party

A big thank you to all our members, guests and staff that supported the Royal Resorts Foundation 2017 Toy Drive for needy children and donated gifts over the Christmas holidays. You helped spread some happiness. With your generosity we were able to host a surprise Dia de Reyes or Kings Day party for children attending the Huellas de Pan community kitchen and from the Region 96 district in Cancun on January 8.

Due to the numbers of children attending the event, the party took place in the local park near the Huellas de Pan community kitchen. Some 278 children from the center and the surrounding neighborhood enjoyed a morning of games, dancing and face painting. They munched on the traditional rosca de reyes cake, drank juice and took turns to hit the piñata.

In Mexico you cannot have a party without a piñata and even the smallest children at the Huellas de Pan event proved to be experts at hitting the papier mâché figures and racing to collect the cascade of candies.

As the party drew to a close, the children lined up to receive their gifts from Royal Resorts volunteers and for one last group photo with a big smile and a gracias to all.

SEE THE GALLERY

WATCH THE VIDEO

Huellas de Pan A.C. community kitchen is working to eradicate malnutrition in one of the poorest districts of Cancun. It provides children with the well-balanced meals they need for healthy growth and learning skills.

Missed this event? You can donate toys during your Royal Resorts vacation any time of the year
The Royal Resorts Foundation collects toys year round if you would like to support this Spreading Happiness cause and bring a smile to a child’s face at Christmas or on Children’s Day at the end of April. Donations of educational materials, art supplies, children’s books in Spanish and clothing for children and adults are also gratefully received.

Visit www.royalresorts.com/foundation for more information about the Royal Resorts Foundation, the causes we support and ways in which you can help.

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Royal Resorts Foundation sponsoring physiotherapy for children

A heartfelt Happy New Year and gracias from the children receiving physiotherapy at the Cancun CRIT Rehabilitation Center thanks to the generous donations of members, guests and staff at Royal Resorts. The Royal Resorts Foundation is sponsoring Dionicio, Jacob, Jessica, Jesus and Ricardo so that they can attend the center and receive the treatment that they need to develop their motor and communication skills, improve their quality of life and give them a better future.

Diagnosed with conditions ranging from spina bifida and cerebral palsy to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (a genetic connective tissue disorder affecting the skin, muscles, bones and blood vessels) and slow psycho-motor development, these brave children are attending physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, speech therapy sessions and arts and crafts workshops. They also have regular appointments with the team of pulmonary specialists, orthopedists and psychologists at the center, depending on their particular needs.

One of the children, Jessica, is the daughter of a member of staff at The Royal Sands.

Great News
The Royal Resorts Foundation donated $217,620 pesos to the Cancun CRIT Rehabilitation Center this month and has increased the number of children it is sponsoring to six. The son of one of the electricians in the Corporate Maintenance department, Juan Eduardo has a cerebral development disability and therapy will help improve his coordination.

About the CRIT
The CRIT Center (Centro de Rehabilitacion e Inclusion Infantil Teleton) is part of a network of 23 centers all over Mexico managed by a charity called Fundacion Teleton. CRIT helps children with physical and neurological illnesses, speech impediments and other conditions requiring physio and specialized therapy get the treatment their families so often cannot afford. Fundacion Teleton also has a Children’s Cancer Hospital, and helps 294,172 children nationwide.

Visit www.royalresorts.com/foundation for more information on the Royal Resorts Foundation and its community and conservation causes.

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Members 30 Year Cocktail at The Royal Caribbean

Are you a Member at The Royal Caribbean? Don’t miss the 30 Year Farewell Cocktail held every Thursday afternoon during the year from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Exclusively for The Royal Caribbean members, it is an opportunity to meet up with longtime poolside pals and staff, take a trip down memory lane and swap vacation stories.

The cocktail is held at La Cabaña Bar and domestic drinks and canapés are served. We hope to see you there.

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Royal Resorts protecting the environment

In 2017, Royal Resorts continued its work to protect the environment. Here is the latest news about some of the projects that form part of the going green campaign at our Cancun and Riviera Maya resorts.

Bumper year for Turtles in 2017
The summer of 2017 was a record-breaking sea turtle season at Royal Resorts and throughout the Mexican Caribbean, 1,063 nests were protected in the turtle nurseries at The Royal Sands, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander. By the end of November the security guards had released 111,226 baby turtles.

A further 20,000 baby turtles from 228 nests were released at Grand Residences by Royal Resorts to the south of Puerto Morelos and there were five nests at The Royal Haciendas too where turtles rarely come ashore.

Since 1998, Royal Resorts has protected 7,995 turtle nests and released 741,042 hatchlings. We look forward to watching over many thousands more turtles this year too.

Saying no to straws
Royal Resorts has joined the global no straws campaign to protect our beaches and oceans. Straws are a major component in the plastic waste being dumped in our oceans and are harmful to marine life. We are no longer serving drinks in our restaurants and bars with plastic drinking straws and we ask all our members and guests to support this initiative. Join us and go even further, ask for your drinks without straws wherever you may be in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, and back home.

In more restaurant news, the resort pool and beach bars have switched from polystyrene glasses and take-out containers to reusable melamine plates and biodegradable glasses and bags. The next stage is to eliminate all plastic cutlery. Cloth napkins have replaced paper napkins in all the restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, thus saving paper and reducing the amount of trash generated.

At the resort stores all shoppers are asked if they need a plastic bag for their purchases and cloth bags are on sale as an environmentally friendly alternative.

Recycling
Trash is separated at Royal Resorts and all plastic, aluminum and paper waste suitable for recycling is sold, with the proceeds going to the Royal Resorts Foundation’s charitable causes. In 2017, an estimated 311 tons of waste were recycled representing US$13,600.

Used cooking oil from the restaurants is also recycled and sold to a company that uses it to generate biofuel.

Solar panels at The Royal Sands
The solar panels on the roof at The Royal Sands in Cancun heat 50 percent of the water used in the villas. Savings after the project investment now stand at US$71,474.00.

From high efficiency boilers and air-conditioning centrifuges that are heat exchangers used to preheat water in the machine house to LCD flat screen TVs in the rooms and energy saving light bulbs, energy-efficient technology is used at the resorts to reduce electricity consumption.

Water saving measures include installing efficiency devices in bathrooms and campaigns with guests to reuse towels and bed linens instead of requesting a daily change.

Using eco-friendly products
The resort housekeeping and maintenance departments use eco friendly cleaning products, soaps, polishes and varnishes wherever possible. Ozone technology keeps the water clean in the swimming pools and the use of chlorine has been cut by 40 percent.

Beach cleaning and reforestation
In other green news, Royal Resorts employees took part in beach cleaning campaigns during the year in Cancun, Puerto Morelos and the Riviera Maya; a clean up of the shores of the Nichupte Lagoon in Cancun and a City Hall initiative to eradicate casuarina pines in the Hotel Zone and plant mangrove seedlings in their place.

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Are you Earning Royal Resorts Rewards during your Stay?

Royal Resorts members, don’t forget that you earn Royal Resorts Rewards every time you dine at a Royal Resorts restaurant or shop at the Royal Market. That’s right, for all the meals and drinks you order and the purchases you make at participating Royal Resorts establishments you earn Royal Resorts Rewards. You can use Rewards to pay your annual Club Service Fee, the Club bill on your next stay or to make a donation to the Royal Resorts Foundation. So, if you haven’t done so already, sign up today and watch your account grow.

Earn Rewards every time you or the guests staying in your villa dine at Royal Resorts restaurants, use the spa and gym, book Thomas More Travel tours and for the purchases you make at the resort stores during your vacation. If you book the REFINE All-Inclusive as an add-on during your stay you’ll also collect Rewards.

You need to use your key card to sign meals and purchases to your room for Rewards to apply. When you are ready to pay your room bill and check out, you need to let Front Desk staff know whose account you would like them to credit your Rewards to. They will be credited two days after you have left the resort.

More ways to earn Royal Resorts Rewards
And there are more ways in which you can earn Royal Resorts Rewards. Participate in the Friends and Family Referral Program and collect Rewards every time your referrals book the Friends and Family vacation package and even more if they decide to become Royal Resorts members. You can also collect Royal Resorts Rewards when you purchase Life Extension health and nutritional supplements and SkyMed medical air evacuation membership programs.

Get started if you haven’t already done so. Activate your free account by visiting www.royalresortsrewards.com, logging in with your member credentials and accepting the Terms and Conditions of the program.

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Go somewhere new in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan

Looking forward to your next visit to Cancun, this year why not plan to go somewhere new in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan? From beautiful beaches and coral reefs to jungle sinkholes and nature reserves, ancient Mayan temples to gracious old colonial cities, the area is full of incredible travel spots awaiting discovery. Here are some Riviera Maya and Yucatan trip ideas to get you started.

Akumal, place of the turtles
Ask longtime residents of the Mexican Caribbean to name their favorite beach and the odds are that many of them will say Akumal. This sheltered palm-lined bay in the Riviera Maya is a family favorite. Protected by a coral reef, the shallow waters are calm and crystal-clear, making it ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

Don your snorkeling mask and flippers in Akumal Bay and swim a few strokes away from the shoreline. You’ll soon start to see colorful reef fish and you may spot green turtles grazing on the beds of sea grass. Stay still and watch these beauties from a distance as they placidly glide by. In the Maya language Akumal means “place of the turtles” and they are everywhere you look here, in the water, on carved signs, as sweet wooden and pottery figurines and occupying pride of place in t-shirts and paintings by local artists. There’s even news that Akumal may soon have its own Sea Turtle Museum.

Head north along the coast road from Akumal Bay to Half Moon Bay, a rocky cove where the reef comes even closer to the shore. The snorkeling is good here too and the views are just as incredible. In fact, the water is so clear that you can sometimes see turtles coming up for air, rays breaching the surface and green and blue parrotfish swimming in the shallows.

Continue along the coast road to Caleta Yalku, a turquoise-colored inlet of crystal-clear waters constantly replenished by cenotes and underground rivers, hence the refreshingly cool temperature.The lagoon is a feeding and breeding ground for reef fish and one of the best snorkeling spots in the Riviera Maya. As soon as you climb down the wooden ladders into the water you’ll be surrounded by inquisitive sergeant majors, butterfly fish and blue tangs.

A local cooperative manages Yalku and charges a fee for admission. Life jackets are available and there are restrooms and a little open-air cafe. Try to get to Yalku early as it does tend to get quite crowded at midday.

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
Whether you drift along a channel in the mangroves where the only sound is the sigh of the breeze or follow a trail through the jungle in search of Mayan temples and rare wildlife, visiting Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is an unforgettable adventure and one you shouldn’t miss if you are a nature lover.

Straddling northern and central Quintana Roo, Sian Ka’an is a huge reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site protecting 1.3 million acres of tropical forest, mangroves, Caribbean beaches and a stretch of the Mesoamerican Reef.

Created by government decree in 1986, Sian Ka’an is home to 103 different mammals including the jaguar, peccary, tapir, howler and spider monkeys, and the West Indian manatee. It has one of Mexico’s largest crocodile populations and is an important nesting area for sea turtles. And yet its most visible treasures are birds, over 330 resident and migratory species have been registered here in the jungle and wetlands.

When you explore the wetlands you’ll spot up to 16 varieties of heron, roseate spoonbills, flocks of wood storks and ibis. Flamingos are occasional winter visitors and pelicans, frigate birds, cormorants and kingfishers nest in the mangroves. The jungle is home to species ranging from hummingbirds to parrots, keel-billed toucans and collared aracaris, trogons, turquoise-browed motmots and chachalacas.

Sian Ka’an means “where the sky is born in Maya” and the ancient Maya hunted, fished and traveled the wetlands. Muyil is the largest of the 23 archaeological sites found to date in the reserve and many boat trips through the wetlands depart from the neighboring lagoon of the same name. Boats make their way along a canal through the mangroves that was dredged by the ancient Maya so that their trading canoes could sail from the Caribbean coast inland to Muyil.

Other Muyil trips include a look at the production of chicle, the original natural ingredient for chewing gum, which has been harvested by the Maya in the forests of southeast Mexico for thousands of years. Chicleros or harvesters cut the bark of the chicozapote tree with machetes and collect the white sap as it trickles down the trunk from the v-shaped gashes. The sap is then boiled and shaped into balls or blocks and processed for use in natural chewing gum.

Another option is to make your way to Punta Allen, a fishing village on the shores of Bahia de la Asuncion for fishing, diving, birding, bike trips and nature walks offered by Maya Ka’an community tour operators.

Valladolid
An easy one-and-a-half hour drive from Cancun, the colonial town of Valladolid is the perfect spot to spend the day learning about the history and traditions of the Yucatan and sampling local cuisine.

Stroll through the tree-lined main square, which is dominated by the 17th-century San Servacio Church and the Town Hall. Located behind the Town Hall, the San Roque Museum has exhibits on the history of Valladolid from the days of the ancient Maya to the Spanish Conquest, Colonial period, 19th-century Caste War and the Mexican Revolution.

Just a half block from the main square is Casa de Los Venados, a restored colonial mansion that is a private home and museum with an incredible collection of more than 3,000 pieces of Mexican folk art. The collection includes handwoven textiles from Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla and Hidalgo, huge ceramic trees of life, saints and jaguars, Day of the Dead art, Talavera pottery, sculptures, wood carvings, prize winning masks and piñatas and much more. There are guided tours at 10 a.m. (Valladolid time) and visitors are asked to make a donation in support of local charitable causes.

Next stop is Calzada de Los Frailes, a street lined with restored colonial houses that takes you as far as the sprawling San Bernardino Church and Sisal Convent. En route be sure to call in at La Casona to see the shrine honoring the Virgen de la Candelaria, the patron saint of Valladolid; the statue with its fountains is a mosaic made from fragments of Talavera pottery by craftsmen working at Xcaret Park.

Having already seen impressive Mexican textiles, ceramics, alebrije figurines and more in Casa de Los Venados you’ll be ready to start shopping for your own Mexican collection. There are several craft stores in the main square (one with its own chocolate workshop where you can watch cacao being ground) and a community craft center where you can pick up embroidered cotton dresses, blouses and shirts, leather and more. More stores await you on Calzada de Los Frailes, including the Coqui Coqui perfumery.

There are more colonial churches in the town’s barrios or neighborhoods and you should also visit the Zaci Cenote, a huge sinkhole with cliffs covered with ferns, vines and tree roots. Bats, swifts and motmots make their nests in the limestone and the clear turquoise water is a magnet for local children. There are many more of these mysterious natural wells to visit in the Valladolid area, the most famous of which are Dzitnup and Samula.

Before you leave Valladolid, call in at the Mayapan Distillery where the blue agave plant is harvested, cooked, crushed and the sugary sap distilled using traditional artisanal techniques to make a tequila-like spirit.

Valladolid is one of the Yucatan’s Pueblos Magicos (Izamal is the other), part of a Mexico Tourism Board program to promote smaller and lesser known villages and towns throughout the country that owe their magic to traditions, pre-Hispanic or colonial architecture or outstanding natural beauty.

Uxmal, a Mayan masterpiece
You may have been to Chichen Itza, the Yucatan’s famous World Heritage Site, but have you visited Uxmal, its rival in majesty? An hour’s drive south of Merida, Uxmal is one of the loveliest ancient cities in the Maya World and is a masterpiece of art and architecture. During the Late Classic period of Mayan history (A.D. 600-900), it was a regional capital, controlling southwest Yucatán and a chain of smaller cities known as the Puuc Route: Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak and Labná.

Apart from location, these sites share a unique architectural and artistic style called Puuc. In recognition of their outstanding cultural worth, UNESCO declared them a World Heritage area in 1996.

Towering above the forest, the Magician’s Pyramid dominates the skyline at Uxmal. A maze of small temples behinds it leads you to the Nuns’ Quadrangle, a gracious courtyard surrounded by four palaces with magnificent friezes featuring masks of the rain god Chaac, snakes, birds and warriors.

Equally impressive is the Palace of the Governor crowning a temple mound with a panoramic view of the site. The House of the Turtles, the Great Pyramid, and El Palomar lie nearby.

You can combine a visit to Uxmal with a trip to the Yucatan capital Merida or head south from Uxmal to visit the other archaeological sites on the Puuc Route, the Loltun Caves and colonial towns such as Ticul and Mani and Oxkutzcab on the Convent Route.

Go off the beaten track with a private tour
Book your own driver and guide for the day and let Thomas More Travel take care of everything. Private tours are a great way to go off the beaten track in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan and visit archaeological sites, colonial towns and rural communities or your own beach hopping getaway. If you already know where you want to go you’ll be able to drive straight there, if not, travel desk staff will be happy to help you create an unforgettable sightseeing itinerary.

Thomas More Travel, your vacation guide
Visit www.thomasmoretravel.com to book tours in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan for this year’s Cancun vacation and be sure to visit the travel desks during your stay at Royal Resorts for more ideas.

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Ocean adventures, snorkeling with sailfish

Come face to face with the fastest fish in the sea this season. If you love the sea, a once-in-a lifetime ocean adventure awaits you in January and February, the chance to go snorkeling with sailfish as they move through the Mexican Caribbean.

Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) migrate through area waters in large numbers from January to June tracking schools of sardines, anchovies, mackerel and jacks. Their pursuit of prey is incredible to watch and they can reach speeds of over 68 miles an hour (110 kilometers per hour) when hunting.

When sailfish detect a school of smaller fish, they circle and gradually close in, unfurling their impressive dorsal fins or sails and using them to trap their prey. The frightened fish stay together forming a swirling silvery bait ball designed to confuse enemies. Undeterred, the sailfish dart in from every side, tearing the bait ball apart and picking the fish off one by one using their rapier-like bill to spear and slash in a graceful underwater “ballet.”

Sailfish change color when they are hunting; their gray or blue skin pulses with iridescent stripes as they move through the water, Scientists believe that the color change is designed to disorientate their prey and warn other sailfish to keep their distance, thus avoiding collisions.

Set sail with Thomas More Travel for a voyage to the east of Contoy and Isla Mujeres to go snorkeling with sailfish. Be on the look out for the flocks of frigate birds that follow the migrating fish, a sign that the sailfish are near. You will be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide and will watch from a safe distance as the sailfish hunt their prey. During the boat ride, you may also spot sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins, schools of bonitos and wahoos. There has even been the occasional sighting of false killer whales.

The snorkeling with sailfish trip is only available in January, February and early March, before the start of the fishing season. You must be fit and a good swimmer to take the tour. Pregnant women, minors under the age of 15 and non-swimmers are not permitted. Contact tourdesk@royalresorts.com to book this tour or ask at the Thomas More Travel desk in your resort for more details.

A Year of Unforgettable Oceanic Encounters
The Mexican Caribbean offers underwater wonders year-round and incredible dive sites along the second longest reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Reef.

Schools of spotted eagle rays migrate to the reefs of Cozumel between December and February. Marlin and sailfish hunt in area waters from December in the spring and early summer.

From mid-May to mid-September, it is whale shark season and time for a memorable encounter with the world’s largest fish. Whale sharks gather during the summer to feast on plankton blooms and the eggs of spawning little tunny fish. During a boat trip out to the whale shark feeding grounds off Holbox and to the east of Contoy and Isla Mujeres you can also catch a glimpse of the graceful manta rays that are also partial to plankton. And while you can spot sea turtles swimming near area reefs year-round, the females come ashore at night to lay their eggs from May to September. In the late summer and fall, you may be lucky enough to spot the tiny turtle hatchlings on their madcap dash into the waves to begin life at sea.

In late fall, schools of golden or cownose rays, sometimes in their thousands, migrate south from Florida across the Gulf of Mexico to the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and are often seen near the island of Holbox.

For information on eco trips to see these natural wonders, other marine creatures, scuba and snorkeling tours and more, contact Thomas More Travel, email: tourdesk@royalresorts.com

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