Things to Do in Riviera Maya & the Yucatan - page 5
Located on the Yucatan peninsula where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea, the Mexican port of Progreso is a jumping-off point for tours to the Mayan archaeological sites of Chichen Itza (100 miles/160 km away), Uxmal (70 miles/115 km) and Dzibilchaltun (18 miles/30 km). Book a shore excursion or make your own way to the site of your choice by taxi or rental car (both found at the port). If you’re looking for a more cosmopolitan day in port, head to the city of Mérida, the capital of Yucatan both politically and culturally, where you can soak up the colonial atmosphere by walking along the square, admiring the European-style architecture or stumbling upon a free concert.
Garrafon Natural Reef Park is a nature amusement park near Cancun, Mexico, that offers a variety of activities which take full advantage of the gorgeous landscape it’s on. Located on the island of Isla Mujeres, Garrafon Natural Reef Park is surrounded by tropical hills and rugged cliffs on land and colorful reefs in the sea. Visitors can partake in over twenty activities both in and out of the water.
On land, strap yourself into a harness and glide through the air via Garrafon Natural Reef Park’s exhilarating zipline, explore the island on a fun bike ride or hike through an ancient Mayan temple. You can also simply relax while at Garrafon Natural Reef Park on one of its beachside chairs or hammocks.
While relaxing, you can also go for a swim in the clear water off the coast of Isla Mujeres, although Garrafon Natural Reef Park offers many other ways to experience the sea, including kayaking, snorkeling and even swimming with dolphins.
Sayil is a distinguished Mayan ruins site in the Puuc Hills of the Yucatan, located a short drive from the larger ruins of Uxmal. Sayil is a part of the same UNESCO World Heritage site as Uxmal and is a prominent Mayan ruin due to its royal origins. It is believed that Sayil was once ruled by a royal dynasty, and the palace ruins on its grounds are still impressive to behold today. Visitors can wander through the ruins and also make a stop at the observatory, another of Sayil's top sites.
It is estimated that Sayil was settled around 800 AD and at one point had a population that reached upwards of 10,000. Visitors to Sayil can soak up this ancient history and get a feel for what life was like during the time of the Mayans while steering clear of the larger crowds at some of the other more popular Mayan sites. The site's jungle location also adds to the exotic, off-the-beaten-path allure.
Cozumel welcomes you to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula for peerless scuba diving and snorkeling, and Caribbean beach resorts. The idyllic island drifts 20km (12 miles) from the Mexican mainland, just south of Cancun off the peninsula’s east coast. Cruise liners tie up at several piers on the island’s western side, near the main town of San Miguel for Mexican feasting and Cozumel’s best beaches.
Depending on the liner, you might dock right downtown in San Miguel at Punta Langosta (Norwegian, Disney, Seven Seas). San Miguel is a quick taxi ride or 35-minute walk from the International Pier (Royal Caribbean and Celebrity). From Puerta Maya dock (Carnival), just south of the International Pier, it’s a 10-minute taxi ride to San Miguel. Always agree on a price before setting off when you hire a taxi; it should cost around US$6 to reach downtown.
More Things to Do in Riviera Maya & the Yucatan
The newest Eco-park in Cancun, Xpu-Ha is all-inclusive with snorkel gear, catamaran rides, and kayaking near some of the best beaches and lagoons for snorkeling.
The park's 10 acres (4 hectares) of tropical forest and wetlands also features over 20 ruins and an exceptional collection of rare bird species. Spot monkeys, coatimundis, flamingos, and turtles as the layout of the park allows visitors to see the array of wildlife up close.
The Cancun International Airport is the second-largest in the country and handles a majority of international flights coming in and out of Mexico. The VIP Lounges — located in both terminals 2 and 3 — give travelers a quiet, comfortable place to relax away from the bustle of the main terminal while waiting for a flight.
Admission to the lounge includes an open bar, snacks, coffee, tea, soft drinks and juices. Lounge guests enjoy free WiFi, TVs showing news and sports channels, a variety of newspapers and magazines and a kids area.
Things to do near Riviera Maya & the Yucatan
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- Things to do in Cozumel
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- Things to do in Progreso
- Things to do in Costa Maya
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- Things to do in Chichen Itza
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