Isla Mujeres, a picturesque island only 7 km (4.5 miles)
long by 650 m (.4 miles) wide, is the perfect place for those who
like to snorkel, eat fresh seafood or shop for quality jewelry at
great prices. The island can be reached by ferry, small
boats and even by sailboat.
The beaches: the west coast
is renowned for its beauty, while the large extensions of
powdery white sand characterize the northern beach, Playa
Norte. The Garrafon National Park (south) is perfect for snorkeling.
Shopping: the stores in Isla Mujeres
offer a large variety of arts and crafts: Yucatecan hammocks, reproductions
of Maya art, beachwear and jewelry.
Restaurants: if seafood is
your thing, Isla Mujeres is the ideal place for you to enjoy
it. Fresh fish, shrimp, conch and lobster are daily
caught. You can also find an array of Italian, Mexican,
French and international specialty restaurants throughout the
Getting There: There are
plenty of options to choose from. Many boats make the trip
to the island from the Hotel Zone docks. Ferries also
leave from Puerto Juarez, (every 30 minutes) and Punta Sam (cars
Isla Discovery: Enjoy a
fun-filled day in Isla Mujeres. The tour includes
transportation to the island, a visit to a beautiful white sand
beach, a shopping tour at the island's charming downtown and a
lunch buffet with open bar. A variety of unique activities
offered at different times so you can plan your perfect day.
Dolphin Discovery: Swim with
the dolphins at Dolphin Discovery is Isla Mujeres, the Riviera
Maya at Puerto Aventuras, and in Cozumel at Chankanaab National
Park. Swim and interact with dolphins in the ocean.
In the Swim, Encounter, Snorkel and Dive with Dolphins programs,
you will enjoy learning about the intelligent creatures.
T-Shirts and other souvenirs for sale.
Cozumel is the largest island
(53km/32mi long) in Mexico. It is surrounded by some of the
most beautiful reefs on the planet, which have cliffs of
magnificent coral and some of the world's most challenging wall
Snorkeling: the waters of Cozumel
are ideal for beginners, where they can snorkel in the shallow
reef near the coast or at Chankanaab National Park.
Diving: experienced divers have the
opportunity to explore the impressive walls of coral, like those
in Palancar, standing up to 30-meters (100 ft) tall.
Archaeological Sites: Cozumel was a
Maya ceremonial center to worship Ixchel, goddess of
fertility. San Gervasio is the most popular site, located
on the main east/west road.
Restaurants: Cozumel is a treat for
the palate, especially when one thinks about fish and fresh
seafood. Many world-class international specialty
restaurants can also be found here.
Shopping: Cozumel's fame for
its numerous jewelry shops is rightfully earned. Here you
can find everything from exotic gems to the finest diamonds.
Getting there: From Cancún,
small airlines have frequent service to the island (it's a 15
minute flight). A car ferry departs daily from Puerto
Morelos. Passenger ferries leave Playa del Carmen hourly.
Puerto Morelos -
About 36 kilometers (22 mi) south of
Cancún is Puerto Morelos, with its beautiful beaches, an offshore
reef that is great for diving and snorkeling, restaurants and
small, inexpensive hotels.
Playa del Carmen
- Located just 68 kilometers (41 mi) from Cancún, Playa del
Carmen (or Playa) has some of the finest beaches and coral reefs
on the coast, with accommodations the range from five-star quality
to rustic. Playa's pedestrian walkway is lined with shops,
boutiques and a wide variety of restaurants.
Situated 72 kilometers (45 mi) south of Cancún is the entrance to
the privately owned eco-archaeological park of Xcaret. It
features an archaeological site thought to be the vestiges of the
Maya port of Pole. Other attractions include a number of cenotes
(natural sinkholes), a beautiful natural inlet--which is perfect
for swimming and snorkeling--, dolphins, an aviary, a tropical
aquarium, a butterfly pavilion and a museum. Stay for the Xcaret
at Night show.
- Nestled beside a lovely stretch of dazzlingly white beach is
Puerto Aventuras, 98 kilometers (60 mi) south of Cancún.
This 900-acre development features hotels, condominiums,
restaurants, shops, marina, dive center, nautical museum and an
18-hole golf course.
Akumal - Akumal,
located 102 kilometers (64 mi) south of Cancún, is right on the
shores of a tranquil bay with clear, shallow water that is perfect
for snorkeling. There are several hotels, restaurants and
shops. Snorkeling and diving trips to the off-shore reefs
(considered some of the finest in the area) are offered by many
waterfront dive operations. Fishing trips are also
Aktun Chen -
Come see the five-million-year-old cave system of Aktun-Chen.
Located a 107 kilometers (64 mi) drive south of Cancún, this
grotto is the only known extensive, above-water-level cave system
in the eastern part of the Yucatan peninsula. Visitors can
se its ancient stalagmites and stalactites with the aid of a
bilingual, informed guide, who explains the process through which
the caves were formed. Located 2 kilometers west of the Cancún-Tulum
Highway, at 107 km.
Chemuyil - The
beach at Chemuyil, located 109 kilometers (68 mi) south of Cancún,
is not a built-up as other areas. Occasional wild pigs,
monkeys and deer wander out of the emerald-green jungle and onto
the beach. Although accommodations aren't fancy, many back-packers
trek in for the pristine beaches and amazing snorkeling.
There is a quaint camping site in the middle of a clearing just a
short way into the jungle.
- In Xel-Há National Park, located 122 kilometers (73 mi) south
of Cancún, nature ahs created incredible caves, inlets and
lagoons. Fish from the Caribbean take refuge in the placid
waters of Xel-Há, where freshwater from nearby streams mixes with
the ocean. Snorkelers can mingle with the multi-colored,
brilliant fish. The park also offers all modern amenities
Tulum - The
impressive cliff-top archaeological site of Tulum (136 km/86 mi
south of Cancún), dating from the Maya Post-classic period (A.D.
900-1512), is one of the most famous landmarks in the Maya
World. It commands spectacular views of the Quintana Roo
coast. Bring your bathing suit for a swim after visiting the archaeological
Sian Ka'an Reserve
- Covering 1.3 million acres, lies one of Mexico's largest parks;
the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, which covers about 20 percent of
Quintana Roo's territory, this reserve is home to countless
species of birds and other animals.