Cancun boasts fantastic nightlife, with state-of-the-art lightshows, guest DJ’s, hip sports bars and live entertainment.
The Riviera Maya is the name that's been given to the strip of Caribbean coastline on Mexico's Yucatán peninsula, starting just south of Cancún and stretching for 120km further south to the quiet town of Tulum. The beaches of fine, white sand, a warm sea of contrasting blues, and the world's second-largest coral reef provide the perfect ingredients for a holiday paradise. The most famous of the resorts along the Riviera Maya is Playa del Carmen, once a small fishing town but now a trendy and lively holiday hotspot, with a reputation for being one of the top diving destinations in the world. The gateway to Riviera Maya is Cancun, possibly the best known of all the resorts in Mexico. There are two distinct areas; downtown, with its markets and local cantinas, and ‘Hotel Zone’, where large resort hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and nightclubs line the long strip of beach. As well as a host of daytime activities, Cancun boasts fantastic nightlife, with state-of-the-art lightshows, guest DJ’s, hip sports bars and live entertainment.
Of all the Mayan wonders hidden within Mexico's jungles, none is more well-known than Chichen Itza. Easily the best-restored Yucatan archeological site, the ruins span 2½ square miles and date back to the 7th century. Visitors should head to the temples, the ball court and El Castillo, an 80-foot stone pyramid depicting the Mayan calendar.
At Akumal Beach, 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen, the shallow blue-green water is home to three different species of sea turtle, where organised tours allow you to snorkel up close to these intriguing creatures. For the more adventurous, dive one of the 2,000 cenotes in the Yucatan peninsula, these natural sinkholes having been created when the bedrock caved in to reveal underground rivers below.
This traditional ritualistic Mayan treatment is considered a source of spiritual and physical healing. Conducted at dusk in an enclosed pyramid structure, it combines ancient traditions with chants to purify the body and soul. Herb-infused water is poured over heated volcano rocks to extract toxins, and the treatment ends with a refreshing plunge into the sea.