Cenotes are natural sinkholes that occur when limestone bedrock collapses and reveals natural pools of water. There are nearly 7,000 cenotes in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. For this reason, cenotes are one of the large tourist attractions in this destination. Visitors can swim, snorkel and even scuba dive in these natural pools. Check out the Ponderosa, Dos Ojos or Azul cenotes for a truly magical experience.
The Yucatan Peninsula is home to a large part of the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest coral reef in the Atlantic Ocean. Snorkelers and divers can find more than 500 species of fish and 65 types of coral along this 700-mile-long reef system. Due to the warm waters, snorkeling can be done year-round. Divers and snorkelers can also explore cenotes found inland.
Xcaret Park is a theme park of sorts, focusing on the culture and natural beauty that Mexico has to offer. The eco-archaeological site has plenty to do for the entire family, from a wine cellar tour to swimming with dolphins. The park also features wildlife like jaguars, butterflies, marine turtles and parrots.
Playa Del Carmen has a colorful nightlife scene featuring everything from casual beach side bars to swanky nightclubs. There’s truly a place for everyone no matter what you’re looking for. Sip on a drink that features Mezcal, a liquor made from the local agave plant.
Visit Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of The World. Chichen Itza was political and economic hub for the Mayan people. Tour this Mayan complex and see multiple temples on the grounds. The focal point is El Castillo, a step pyramid, featuring 91 steps on each side. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water as the Mexican sun burns hot year-round.
Look out for a tiny sign on the east side of the highway that marks the short dirt road to two bays, Xcacel and Xcacelito. Here you’ll find a great spot for snorkeling, Cenote Xcacelito, and the nesting grounds of the loggerhead turtles that are native to Mexico.