I have traveled to the area several times in the last 25 years and this is my opinion. Chichen Itza is a one day trip, with perhaps a cenote on the way. There is a large one somewhere between the ruins and Valladolid which is surrounded by a park and concession stand. These ruins are magnificent and one should not rush through them. Tulum is not far away from Cancun and can be done in a morning or afternoon. It is also a magical place, because of the location, overlooking the coast, views of the turquoise Carribean are spectacular. There is a very tiny private beach there one can swim in the ocean at the ruins. There are also a couple of nice beaches in the same area to hang out, that have food and drinks, but not located at the ruins. Coba is OK for 1/2 day but not as spectacular as the other 2 mentioned above. There are several cenotes in the area between Cancun and Tulum one can visit also, they are refreshing, cool, and generally the water is crystal clear, which can provide a nice break from the heat.
The hotel zone of Cancun is the long, thin stretch of land between Nichupte Lagoon and the Gulf of Mexico. It is connected to mainland Cancun through bridges at the southern and northern end. As given by the name, the hotel zone is dominated by many luxury hotels. Shopping centers and restaurants are next in line, because it's rather inconvenient to drive all the way to mainland Cancun for shopping and dining, especially if you are in the middle of the hotel zone. Facing the Lagoon side are numerous marinas, plazas, and open-air restaurants, so there is always something to do. The main shopping centers are Plaza Caracol, Plaza Flamingo, Plaza Kukulcán, and La Isla Mall. Each features boutiques, souvenirs, chains, markets, and restaurants.
My sister who was with us decided to swim in the "cenote" pictured here which is a natural sink hole that could have provided plentiful water year round at Chichen. But, I decided not to swim since it looked deep and scary. And my instinct proved me right when I later found out about the human sacrifices performed there!
Of the two cenotes, the "Cenote Sagrado" or Sacred Cenote (also variously known as the Sacred Well or Well or Sacrifice), is the more famous. According to post-Conquest sources (Maya and Spanish), pre-Columbian Maya sacrificed objects and human beings into the cenote as a form of worship to the Maya rain god Chaac.
American Consul Edward Herbert Thompson dredged the Cenote Sagrado from 1904 to 1910, and recovered artifacts of gold, jade, pottery, and incense, as well as human remains. A recent study of human remains taken from the Cenote Sagrado found that they had wounds consistent with human sacrifice!!!
I lived and worked in Cancun for over a year many years ago, so pretty much did all the touristy stuff for free as I worked in tourism.
There are many things to do in the resort and trips you can take further afield. Here are some photos of some of the things I did whilst there.
There's a lot to do in Cancun. There are the water sports- from scuba to snorkeling, to fishing, waterskiing, swimming, boogie boarding, jetskiing, parasailing, etc. There are the Mayan ruins, the water park, Xcaret, swimming with dolphins, shopping, dining, and a lot more. There are many nightclubs like Cocobongos, Sr. Frogs, Carlos and Charlies, etc. You won't have a lack of things to do there, especially if you're outgoing! Lots of people to party with in your age group, don't worry! Water is warm, blue, really clear & pretty. You can swim & snorkel & boogie board off the beaches there, & in Cozumel & Isla Mujeres. Many ruins around to visit, in different areas. Shopping is along main street in Cancun, & dining.There is a good write up of activities at www.stayincancun.com/thingstodo.asp
This place is a must visit, you'll find people from different ages, well from 18 yrs and up. there's no dress code so can wear anything you like jeans or dressit doesn't matter. This night club has great entertainment andgood music, there's jugling acts, many impersonators of michael jackson, masonna, etc. My favorite part is an incredible show that involves spiderman it's so cool! they make all kind of acrobatt movements while hanging from a cable, it's reallt good, also the recreation of the mouling rouge video. But don't expect to be seated, there's almost no tables with chairs available, you will be mostly standing there dancing and drinking alcohol while watching shows came every 10 min. or less, so wear comfortable shoes, no killing high heels!
Notice that entrance fee here is expensive but is worth it, is a place you have to visit at least once.
There is an NGO who takes you to an ecotouristic route in mayan villages. Discover amazing natural spots and get to know the people and their culture.
-Kayak in lagoon -Canopy -Cave exploring - Rural Cabins -Orchid Graden -Butterfly House -Insects' House -Spyder Monkey Sanctuary -Mayan music -Swim with whale shark -Birdwatching -Crocodile Watching -Mangroves -Mountain Bike -Camping in the jungle... and many more activities.
A real experience and a bit of help for local economies.
After you arrive at the docks on Isla Mujeres, turn left and walk down the street until you see a beach ahead of you. this is Playa Norte, one of the best beaches on Isla Mujeres for sunbathing and relaxing.
Because the beach faces northwest, this is also an excellent location to catch the sunset.
changing rooms are behind the beach.
Along the lagoon there is a very modern centre from which you can do a whole myrid of water activities including banana boat rides, jet ski safaris etc... You cannot do these activities if you are pregnant but you can (and we did) go on the submarine trip to Scorpion Reef where you will see lots of pretty fish. Inside the submarine there are fish cards which tell you the names of all the fish you will see. Small children will love this.
For me it was a lovely walk through forest, following a vague(ish) sort of path. For my husband - he thought it was mosquito-city and was not happy as he stumbled behind me stamping his feet, slapping the mozzies off of him and spraying repellent... we were never really likely to see anything other the least shy of animals with all the noise he was creating!!! We could hear the monkeys in the tree above our heads, shadowing us where we walked... but we couldn't quite see them! There were some odd insects and spiders though.
A ladder lead up a tree and through the canopy; the view was quite stunning.
Other than a HUGE and very grumpy iguana we were all alone!
We were told to go to Crococun and, dutifully, we did! Crococun has animals that are indigenous to the Yucatan Peninsula, including Mayan dogs which are totally bald, eat bananas and are apparently quite rare in the wild due to the fact that they used to be eaten.
I don't think I can comment on how the animals are looked after - certainly they all seemed to be happy - or as happy as any animal in captiviy can be.
You can walk through the crocdiles pen. It's a large pen and there is nothing to stop you from being eaten as crocodile tea and the baby crocodiles that you can hold do not have their mouths bound shut!!!
In our hotel is a beautiful spa called "SpAzul" or Spa Blue. Situated oceanfront, you can sit in the outdoor jacuzzi, experience an outdoor waterfall or have an oceanfront massage in one of the massage cabanas.
The spa offers a different perspective with Mayan-influenced Sáas Philosophy program. In the Mayan language Sáas is translated as "clarity and light". The SpAzul dedicated to reviving and recreating ancient Mayan healing treatments as an added benefit for spa guests. Using the proven power of the four basic "earthly" elements: Tierra or Earth, Viento or Wind, Agua or Water and Fuego or Fire. The Spa will calculate the element that best represents you and design a treatment program custom made for you.
The young man at the reception desk did not speak English at all, nor did he really want to do so. In a five star resort this should NOT happen. It proves to be a bit difficult in scheduling your appointments. He kept saying everything I wanted to book was not available all the Mayan treatments which, according to him, they have not begun yet. The treatment rooms are spacious allowing the guest to have all the massage and facial services done in one room. The rooms can be a cool from the air conditioning so just ask for another blanket. I had a $100 resort credit which I applied to the massage and facial. I spent about $80.00 for a massage, facial and nail polish change and it covered all the tips. I was disappointed that the Mayan based treatments were not available and for the services I did have they were what I call a "resort facial and a resort massage" perfunctory, at best. Had I paid full price for the treatments, I would not have been very happy. Despite all of this I did enjoy the treatments and I really enjoyed the Spa's facilities. Lockers and showers were provided as well as bathrobes and slippers.
In Mexico, there's an argument about whether the world's second largest coral reef is at Cozumel or off of Playa Moreles. Some argue that Cozumel had the edge before the hurricane two years ago.
Here's what I know: The snorkeling trip I took off of a small boat from Playa Moreles far exceeded my expectations. I recommend exploring this area. Here's why:
1. Lots of coral formations, which means lots of fish.
2. Fairly shallow waters so you can see everything.
3. I have been a volunteer at an aquarium, so I'm difficult to impress, but the diversity of fish and sea critters was amazing.
4. I got to chase a small sea turtle.
5. The water was temperate and lovely.
Warnings: If you go with the group I did (and I don't think it even has a formal name, but they have the boat "Paulina"), they'll encourage you to stay with the group. The lead swimmer, any one of their employees, is inevitably a strong swimmer. He is a stronger swimmer than you. And the current is strong. I had a great time and was able to keep up with just a little more effort than I was planning on, but other snorkelers were worn out after our first 45-minute exploration and stayed on the boat at the second spot.
Expect to be forced to wear a life vest. They say it's the law in the reef's national park. Although I resisted the idea at first, it ended up being nice because it made it easy to rest in between fighting the current.
Mexico is a shopping haven if you're in the market for jewellery and Cancun is a good place to start. We went with a couple of friends and we both did very well buying diamonds .Its best to buy from a reputable jeweller however and make sure you get a certificate . We felt comfortable at Diamonds International, they are all over the world.
We Loved this place! They have contest going on all night long. Join in! There is a congo line every so often where you were given tequila shots. Just a lively, fun place. We did take our older kids there earlier in the night for the dancing. They loved it...but you should probably make sure they are no where around after 11:00 pm as things start to heat up. There is a time of 12am when no one under 18 is allowed.
Our travel agent told described the accomdations here as luxury but they were a bit less impressive...more
I believe that most everyone that posted positivie comments either on this site or Trip Advisor had...more
Service: The best service I have ever experienced. For example, we got in the room and I opened 2 of...more