For those of you that stay in Playa Del Carmen or any of the many resorts between there and Tulum, there a place for you golfers. Not only is this a championship course in the world, but where else can you play golf and loose your ball in the jungles of Mayan ruins. The course and it's clubhouse is in it's own right a beautiful addition to the many charms of the Mayan Rivera. The clubhouse structure was constructed to stay right in theme with things with a palpa roof and houses not only lockers for the golfers but a pro shop and plenty of storage for those who need to store their clubs for the week. For those of you who choose not to bring their clubs and I say why bother, this clubhouse rents top of the line clubs such as Calaway and Taylor Made for 1/2 the normal price you would pay at your hometown course and they have clubs for both right hand and left hand players. The price of a round of golf is also 1/2 the price you would normally pay for in the states and you get the joy of playing in a unique mexican setting. What else could the golfer nut in you ask for?
Equipment: No need to bring a thing, they rent it all. Calaway, TalorMade golf clubs, carts, golves, shoes, etc. Just show up and play the round of your life!
We did three dive excursions on our trip to Playa del Carmen: First a trip to Cozumel, then a cenote dive and finally a day on the barrier reef, near Playa del Carmen.
We dove Santa Rosa wall in Cozumel and it was pleasant enough but saw nothing much remarkable except there was a lot of sand on the reef even down deep. We dove with Studio Blue and had to take the 8:00 ferry over to Cozumel from PDC and haul our stuff along too.
The cenote excursion, on the other hand, was quite remarkable. A cenote is a cavern with an underground river flowing through it. There are cenotes all over the Yucatan peninsula. Cenote diving isn't cave diving. There is always sunlight in view and an exit is always a minute away or closer. You must dive with with a cave-certified guide and groups are limited to 4. The sunlight and the cave formations are so beautiful there are no words to describe. You have to see for yourself! We dove the Dos Ojos cenote with GoCenotes and were very happy with our guide.
Our last excursion was the barrier reef off of PDC. Our dives on the barrier reef were on par with Cozumel. All diving in the area is drift diving because the current is wicked! Our dive master found some tunnels for us to swim through and I had a turtle swim right up to me to check me out! Lots of fish and the coral formations were OK. Our barrier reef dives were with Phantom Divers and though we were happy with our dive master, the boat had not a stitch of shade! Luckily we had SPF50 sunblock so it wasn't a problem.
Equipment: I usually dive in the Caribbean with a 1 mil full suit, mainly to protect against scrapes and jellyfish. You could probably dive with no neoprene at all but I like to have the protection.
In the cenote, I wore a full 3 mil jump suit and was glad I did. The water is much cooler in the caverns - probably high 60's to low 70's.
Playa offers an excellent beach, but not as good snorkeling and diving. This is typically the case elsewhere in the Caribbean. If the beach sucks, then the diving and snorkeling is probably beautiful. Rarely will you find a perfect combination for both. I did snorkel in Playa and had fun watching plenty of fish along the way. For those with more time and money, then take the ferry to Cozumel, one of the best diving destinations in the world.
If you are a diver, the Maya Riviera could be a paradise. Here there is the second largest reef in the world, the Great Reef, home of many species of flora and fauna. If you like to look underwater but aren't a diver you can simply snorkel. In Xel-ha you can do it with or without a lifebelt. Even though you aren't a good swimmer you'll can discover another world under the water.
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