Along Mexico’s Caribbean coastline, venues from nightclubs to eco-parks attract travelers seeking a taste of the exotic with an American twist.
The Mexican Caribbean’s vibrancy could not be dimmed for long after the 2005 hurricane season. Construction crews began rebuilding and renovating tourism attractions and lodging facilities immediately. Today Cancún and its environs have emerged stronger and more appealing than ever, with upgraded hotels and extra amenities. Visitors are enjoying the beaches, underwater reefs, cuisine, nightlife, cultural shows, Maya ruins and shopping with renewed enthusiasm.
Cancún, The Mayan Goldcoast, is renowned for fully modern high-rise luxury hotels, white-sand beaches, a host of water sports and an array of restaurants along the 14-mile-long barrier island known as the Hotel Zone, which was originally developed in the 1970s. This popular destination tastefully commingles Mexican flair with American-style hospitality. The Cancún area also encompasses the city of Cancún, with 500,000 residents, and an ecological reserve with mangroves and lagoons.
During the day, Cancún guests often spend their hours jet skiing, parasailing and taking speedboat tours. Hotels deliver beverages poolside and offer spa services for those seeking pampering. Parc Nizuc offers water rides, while the Interactive Aquarium specializes in dolphin swims. In April 2007, Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa opened Delphinus Dreams Cancun, an interactive dolphin aquarium. After an introduction, guests can swim with the dolphins for an hour.
Extreme sports are all the rage in Cancún. Visitors can even try the Regio bungee – one of the highest in Mexico at 65 yards.
More of an indoors type? Head to the Museo Arqueológico de Cancún for archaeological artifacts; the Museo de Arte Popular for folk art; the Museo de Antropologia e Historia for masks and jewelry from days gone by; and La Destileria, a tequila museum with a restaurant on the premises that stocks more than 150 varieties of the south-of-the-border spirit.
If you’ve never experienced a live bullfight, be sure to head to the Plaza de Toros in Cancún. The afternoon adventure features six bullfights plus lots of pomp and circumstance – and glittering costumes. A folkloric show rounds out the performance.
At night, guests can opt for a dinner cruise or take in a cultural show at the Ballet Folklórico de Cancún or the Teatro de Cancún.
Sophisticated clubs offer round-the-clock excitement. Those who like to party will find plenty of venues in Cancún. Jazz, rock, electronic music, salsa and Caribbean styles can be found in more than a dozen tropical bars, cantinas, lounges and discos.
Isla Mujeres, five miles offshore, is a popular day trip by ferry. At its Garrafon Natural Reef Park, visitors can peak under the sea via snorkeling, Sea Trekkin’ or Snuba, all easy-to-learn diving alternatives. Zip lines offer above-ground thrills.
Cozumel, an island south of Cancún, is a prime scuba-diving destination, offering drift dives, deep wall dives, shipwrecks and the Palancar Reef caves. Nondivers can explore the underwater world aboard the Atlantis submarine, or snorkel at Parque Chankanaab. Many like to explore the Maya ruins of San Gervasio, take horseback rides through the jungle and hike in Parque Punta Sur nature reserve.
Entertainment available includes: Discos. Dinner/dances. Nightclubs. Cinemas. Live Music. Salsa & Merengue Clubs. Folkloric Ballet performances and much more.
Aeromexico. Aerocaribe. American Airlines. Aviacsa. Continental. Spirit Airlines. Mexicana. Delta. US Airways. United Airlines. North West. Allegro. Amerijet. Aviateca. Azteca. Copa. Airlines. Cubana de Aviacion. Grupe Taca. Iberia. Varig. Martin Air Holland. Lan Chile. Iberia.
Effective January 23, 2007, all US citizens traveling by air to and from Bermuda and the Caribbean are required to have a valid passport to enter the United States. Canadian citizens require proof of citizenship & tourist card. Others require passports, visa & return ticket.
Near the world famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Tulum and Coba. “Caribbean Night” cultural program. Folkloric Ballet. Pirate Night show on a boat from Cancún to Isla de Mujeres & return. Bullfights. Beaches. Archaeological areas El Rey & San Miguelito. Ecoparks: Xcaret, Xel-ha, Garrafon and Tres Rios.
Birth certificate, tourism card or passport & a health certificate.