Planning the perfect getaway
7 must-dos in your Cancun and Riviera Maya visit
Traveling is one of life’s simple pleasures and an item that must be on your bucket list, but to that already filled up agenda, we must add just a couple of sub-menus for that trip to the Riviera Maya you’ve been dreaming about. So get your pen and paper, post it, pin board and add these seven items to your Riviera Maya bucket list.
You’ve been dreaming about it for quite some time now; that powdery white-sand beach accompanied by a turquoise blue as far as the eye can see. The Riviera Maya and Cancun’s beaches are the jewels of the crown of these must-see destinations so take a day to sit back and enjoy the view, get that “envy-me I was in Cancun” tan and upload those no-filter-needed Instagram photos—you’re in Cancun.
Yucatan Peninsula Cenotes
Pronounced “se’noutei”, these bodies of water are geological formations that resulted from collapses of limestone bedrock revealing underground rivers. Because they are unique to this region of the world, they are natural treasures in Cancun and Riviera Maya. The Maya believed that cenotes were the entrance to Xibalbá, the Mayan underworld, and that the rain gods lived in the depths, which is why they were considered sacred and various rituals of worship were carried out; exploration of these sacred placed have uncovered precious stones, artifacts and bones. There are about 7,000 cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula and only a couple of 100 can be explored by humans; of these, only a few scuba diver experts have been lucky enough to dive in. Others, however, are natural underground pools that are a delight to behold and swim in. Its cooling, transparent waters are an invitation to connect with nature and the magic they hold.
Part of the wonderful gifts of traveling is tasting the delicacies of your destination and that especially true when traveling to Mexico. Mexican cuisine is as diverse as the country itself and having just a taste of what we have to offer will just keep you coming back for more. If you’re in the Yucatan Peninsula, you must try the traditional “cochinita pibil”, a slow-roasted pork dish marinated in citrus juice and annatto seed while it’s wrapped in banana leaf. This delicious and traditional dish is best served with corn tortillas, purple onion on vinegar and hot, habanero sauce. If you’re in Xel-Há, you can find cochinita in the restaurant “La Cocina del Pueblo”. If you’re in Xcaret, stop by “La Cocina” for this and more than 100 other Mexican dishes. If you’re in Valladolid, stop by La Casona.
In a place surrounded by the mysticism of an ancient culture, a stop at any archaeological site is a must during your visit to Cancun, Riviera Maya or Yucatan. Among the most prominent sites are Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Tulum, the only Mayan city built by the sea; Coba, with the tallest pyramid of the Yucatan Peninsula; and Uxmal, for its stunning architecture detailing the Puuc style. You can venture into these magical sites on your own or travel in the comfort of a tour which usually includes your transportation, meal and certified tour.
In order to live the place you are visiting, you must venture out one night and discover their night life. While Cancun nightlife is quiet varied and offers anything from traditional bars and clubs to several options that are quiet unique and will offer you a little taste of Mexico. The newest Xoximilco Cancun brings the joy and fiesta scene of the traditional Xochimilco in Mexico City to the canals in Cancun for a night of tequila, delicious food, beer, friends and live music. The night will light up in traditional trajineras, live Mariachi music and the best service. When in Mexico, party like a Mexican.
Your unforgettable vacation will be even more memorable after venturing into an activity you would only experience while traveling. It could be anything from scuba diving, sky diving, swimming with sharks, trying some habanero sauce, walking undersea or zip lining across the jungle at night—the adrenaline rush of experiencing something completely new will add the cherry to an already amazing vacation in Cancun. What will your extraordinary experience be?
Mexico is so rich in culture and traditions that your travels to our colorful country will not be complete without seeing some of what it all has to offer. With great pride we share the diversity of Mexico and realize it would be quiet difficult to experience it all in such a short time but you can get a taste of it while you are in the Riviera Maya. If you visit Xcaret, you will be able to witness several ritual and dances that are considered Intangible Cultural Heritage, elements of the Mexican culture recognized by UNESCO including Mexican food, Mariachi and the Papantla Flying Man.