Cancun is surrounded by great places, islands and cities to visit and is very easy, fast and cheap to get there. Here are some ideas to expand your Cancun Vacations!
THE UNDERGROUND “CENOTES”
When traveling through the Yucatan Peninsula in Cancun or Riviera Maya something you will find very often are the beautiful “Cenotes”, most of them underground.
“Cenotes” is the spanish word for “Dzonot”, underground rivers, caverns or sinkholes of the Yucatan Peninsula that the Mayans believed were the entrance to the underworld.
Apparently, the Yucatan Peninsula has not rivers at all, but there is a huge underground fresh water system that forms thousands of “cenotes” for all over Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo states.
The Mayans established their towns near these fresh water resources and even now you can find more than one “cenote” in each town.
Swiming in a “cenote” is a magical experience and is something unique in the world.
The water is absolutely transparent with a beautiful blue tone and are completely safe to swim. In hot days, there is nothing better than swiming in a “cenote”.
Best way to find them is asking local people if there is any “cenote” near arround to swim.
“SIAN KAAN” BIO-RESERVE
One of the largest bio reserves in Mexico, Sian Kaan is seen like “Cancun when it was virgin”.
The beauty of its beaches is unique and there is a large lagoon with tens of small islands, perfect for exploring by boat.
This reserve is also well known as the best place in Mexico for fly fishing, introduced by Antonio Gonzalez Fernandez, whose family still live ther, in “Boca Paila Fishing Lodge”.
Located at the end of the Riviera Maya, only few lodges are allowed in Sian Kaan, but you can visit it by car in a one-day excursion… until you will badly want to stay at least for a week!
Accomodations are rustic but very cozy and you will feel like you are in a real far paradise at the end of the world.
Best way to get to Sian Kaan Reserve is by car. Take federal road to the South. It is 130 mi away (84 km). Once there, the road will be rustic.
The very best kept secret of the Mexican Caribbean.
A still rustic island, with sand streets only, friendly people (fishermen most of them), and amazing opportunities to taste delights from the sea (lobster pizza, lobster empanadas, fresh fish, etc.).
This magical village will give you sunny days, pristine waters, virgin beaches, excellent fishing, great tours and adventures, and warm and silent nights.
You will notice that there are not cars in Holbox, but golf vehicles only.
From June to August you can swim with the legendary and friendly whale shark (the biggest shark in the world) and you can see dolphins too, turtles and the famous giant manta rays, all of them completely inoffensive.
MERIDA, “THE WHITE CITY”
Known as “The beautiful white city” for its white colonial houses and the cleanliness of its streets and parks, Merida offers you an unforgettable experience.
Walk through the “Paseo de Montejo” avenue, enjoy the main square park and find all kind of regional things at the city market (“Mercado grande”).
Saturdays night are just magic: from the main square to the Santa Lucia park they close the street to cars transit and set up typical dances and cultural performances for local people and visitors.
You will find a very romantic atmosphere with outdoors coffee shops and restaurants, and a spectacular lighting for historical buildings, ancient trees and colonial monuments.
THE RIVIERA MAYA
Riviera Maya is the name of the most beautiful portion of the Mexican Caribbean Coast, from Playa del Carmen to Sian Kaan bio reserve (about 75 mi / 120 km).
Along this way you can find luxury hotels (all inclusive most of them) as well as theme parks, such as “Xel-Ha” and “Xcaret”.
This is a place to enjoy the beach and your hotel services, and take some tours for fun.
The hotels in this area have developed a unique concept based on great service, luxury rooms, nice gardens and excellent food and beverages in front of beautiful beaches.
“HACIENDAS” OF YUCATAN
The “Haciendas” of Yucatan are old farms built on XVII, XVIII and XIX centuries for agriculture and livestock purposes.
The attraction of this places consists in their magnificent colonial buildings, green areas and history.
About 400 “Haciendas” were built in Yucatan and then abandoned on XX century, when the major economic activity, the “Henequen” plant, was replaced by nylon and other fibers.
Now many of these “Haciendas” have been restored and are open to visit them for free or just a symbolic price.
Some other “Haciendas” have become into exclusive and expensive theme hotels.
Best way to visit th “Haciendas” is by car.
MAYAN INHABITED TOWNS
When you travel by car through the Yucatan Peninsula, you find many small towns, with very typical houses and inhabited by mayan people.
All of these towns have a warm and friendly atmosphere and allow you to appreciate their culture on live.
Feel free to stop by to buy a fruit or whatever they sale, walk around to rest your legs, or simply admire the town.