A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO CANCUN – EXPLORING THE RIVIERA MAYA

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Having the opportunity to enjoy a resort-style vacation while also exploring some historical architectural features is a rare option, combining the pampering of a resort with hiking through historically significant ruins. If your family is one that has a difficult time agreeing on the type of vacation to take, a destination that combines comfort and exploration should be a fair compromise.

One area you’ll especially want to consider for this type of trip is Xcaret Park in Mexico, which includes Mayan civilization ruins. This nearby Riviera Maya resort provides quite a large number of activities, as well as the ability to take advantage of resort features, such as golf, beaches, great food, and water sports.

Exploring Riviera Maya

Those visiting the Riviera Maya resort will fly into Cancun and then travel a bit south of that popular Mexican resort area to reach Riviera Maya. While Cancun may be a more well-known resort area, Riviera Maya can provide many of the same type of resort options and features.

Additionally, the Riviera Maya area includes many archeological sites from the Mayan civilization, giving your family the ability to see and explore these unique ruins. After a day of hiking throughout the ancient sites, you can then enjoy all of the great food and nightlife that the resort area provides.

One of the most popular areas to explore in the Riviera Maya area is the Tulum ruins, which are more than 700 years old. This is a great area because it features ruins that face the sea, which is not found in other archaeological sites anywhere in the world. The primary structure of the Tulum ruins is the El Castillo, and it’s only 25 feet tall, which will make for easier hiking around the site.

Credit: www.rivieramaya.com

Credit: www.rivieramaya.com

Exploring Xcaret

Another great vacation option in the Riviera Maya area is Xcaret Park. This park opened in 1990 and provides an impressive mix of attractions and historical archaeological sites. Some of the activities Xcaret offers include:

  • Ruins and fossils. In addition to numerous archaeological sites from the Mayan civilization, Xcaret Park is home to quite a few fossil finds. Archaeologists and palaeontologists have discovered the fossilised remains of mammoths, camels, sloths, horses, and giant jaguars.
  • Snorkeling. There are many natural water formations in Xcaret Park, formed by sinkholes. These areas have pristine water and offer a fun area in which to learn how to snorkel and dive. These sinkholes can be a few hundred feet deep, which makes them enjoyable to explore.
  • Swimming. Beyond the ability to swim in the water formations, nature-based attractions are popular in the Xcaret area, including the ability to swim with dolphins.
  • Water caves. Xcaret includes the Dos Ojos Waterway, which is a cave system that stretches at least 51 miles in length. You can swim and snorkel throughout these water filled caves, where the water is always 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Even more opportunities for exploring in Xcaret Park are shown in the accompanying infographic. The Xcaret area is sure to keep a family busy throughout a vacation. And on those days where everyone wants to put the exploration activities aside and just relax, the Riviera Maya resorts, just a short distance away from Cancun, are waiting for you, offering the best of both worlds!

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BOE Magazine

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