Cancun has long been adored as a popular holiday destination thanks to its happening night life and pristine beaches. With a wide range of accommodation options, world-class restaurants, affordable shopping and one of the most agreeable climates for sun-worshipers, a holiday to Cancun is top of the list for lovers of fun, sun, sand and sea.
For those looking for even more adventure, look no further than Mexico’s Caribbean coast south of Cancun- a stretch of white sand beaches flanked by jungle and dotted with cute towns delivering fantastic tourist amenities including water-sports, diving, snorkeling, fishing and boating.
Also known as the Riviera Maya, named after the indigenous people who inhabited the land before Spanish colonization, this piece of paradise on the Caribbean Sea is fast becoming one of the most sort after vacation destinations in the world, with towns like Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos and Akumal leading the charge as the most popular spots.
Only 30 mins south of Cancun airport, is the sleepy fishing village of Puerto Morelos, which is growing rapidly to cater to visitors who are looking for a laid back, Caribbean experience. Just off shore, an excellent (and secret!) snorkeling spot awaits in the form of a coral reef and natural fresh water sinkhole in the sea floor. Best of all, it’s completely free, simply don your snorkel and swim straight off the beach to find yourself in a veritable aquarium of sea life which includes a few resident barracuda!
Another 30 minutes south and you will find yourself in the colorful town of Playa del Carmen. Considered by some to be Cancun’s younger cousin, Playa del Carmen provides an excellent balance of fantastic amenities and the laid back lifestyle of Mexico visitors love so much. Home to the Riviera Maya Jazz festival, the Taste of Playa Food Festival and a number of other music festivals, Playa del Carmen is a favorite spot for many, with a large international ex-patriate community.
Twenty minutes south of Playa del Carmen is the ecological zone of Akumal, home to a protected coral reef and a large population of sea turtles who come to feed on grasses in the pristine bay. It is a must-visit of the Caribbean coast, due to the once-in-a-lifetime experience of being up close and personal with these majestic creatures.
Akumal boasts many dive centers, tour agencies and some fantastic restaurants including ‘La Buena Vida’ on half-moon bay, which simply has to be seen to be believed. Dine on fresh ceviche, margaritas and other local Mexican delights with your feet firmly planed in the sand and the sound of waves crashing upon the shore.
Offshore provides even more magical experiences in the form of Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, Mexico’s premier Caribbean islands.
A short ferry ride from Puerto Juarez in Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a tropical paradise of pristine white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters. A well kept secret, considering it’s proximity to the mainland, Isla Mujeres provides a glimpse into Caribbean life while still providing excellent accommodation options and amenities for the most discerning traveler.
Cozumel, a 40 minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen is a divers paradise, and is home to some of the most spectacular sea life in the world. A thriving town catering to cruise ship tourism, Cozumel also has excellent dining and accommodation options.
So there is more to Cancun than just the town itself! Cancun is the gateway to countless holiday experiences, all within an hours’ drive or short ferry ride away. So what are you waiting for? Book a flight to Cancun and experience Mexico’s spectacular Caribbean coast for yourself.