Mayan Riviera

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Photos courtesy of Martinique Promotion Bureau

The Mayan Riviera lies south of Cancun, beginning just opposite the Cancun airport and extending all the way south to Chetumal, near the border with Belize.

This surprising region is characterized by sensitive treatment of and respect for the environment; admiration for the local Mayan people and their history; and truly amazing topography, dotted with freshwater inlets and “cenotes”, well-like limestone formations found all over the region.

There is so much to see and do, apart from enjoying the magnificent beaches, that return trips over many years are not only a possibility, but a virtual certainty.

As a result of damage from Hurricane Wilma in November of 2005, most resorts in the region have been, or are being, renovated, expanded, and/or upgraded, resulting in beautiful, in some cases spectacular, properties. The range of options is itself incredible – from large, full-size resort complexes, to small towns with both tourist and deluxe boutique hotels, to specialty properties such as an ecotourist lodge or an au-naturel beach hotel.

Sightseeing options include visits to nearby Mayan archeological sites, including Tulum, the only Mayan coastal port, and Coba. Other sights to visit are Xcaret Eco-archeological Park; Xel-Ha Ecological Park; and the Sian Ka’an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a 1.3 million acre ecological park extending 120 kilometers along the coast, north of Chetumal.

Not To Be Missed – The Mayan city of Coba is a major archeological site, with work going on at all three levels (exploration, scholarship, and tourism); don’t miss Playa Del Carmen’s popular Fifth Avenue restaurants and bars.

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