Cancun? Can Do!
Cancun, part of the Riviera Maya area of Mexico’s Yucatan
Peninsula, is a playground in paradise. It’s a place entirely dedicated to
enjoyment, aimed at all kinds of people and families from a range of
backgrounds. The city is packed with hotels, resorts, nightclubs and
restaurants – none of which are very far from the crystal, warm azure of the
But there’s much more to Cancun than lounging on the beach and dancing the
nights away. It’s also one of the world’s premier locations for learning how to
dive. If you’re considering booking an all-inclusive vacation to this part of
Mexico, and you’re of an adventurous turn of mind, you could do worse than to
book a week or so that combines relaxation and fun with some serious scuba
There are several resorts in Cancun that offer diving courses.
One of the best is Pro Dive Mexico. It’s one of a number of resorts in the
Riviera Maya region run by PADI, the international dive training company. The
PADI instructors at Pro Dive Mexico will teach you everything from the basics
of snorkeling, through beginners’ scuba to advanced diving skills for those who
have a little more experience. There are four dive excursions every day, so the
resort combines flexibility for those wishing to dive into the deep blue with
the sort of luxury you would expect from a high-end vacation destination.
If you want to combine adventure with education, you should consider making the
sixty-mile journey south from Cancun to Tulum and Xel Ha. Tulum is an ancient
city of the Maya, the indigenous people of this part of central America.
Looking around the ruins is a great experience for adults and kids alike.
Guided tours and other useful information are available to help you get the
most out of your visit.
If a couple of hours of touring the ancient monuments of Tulum leaves you a
little sweaty and worn out, you need a spell at Xel Ha. Once an ancient Mayan
port, these days it’s a delightful park. Streams and rivers flow through
mangrove forests, linking pools and lagoons in which you can bathe. Or you can
simply wander the rough tracks through the forest to find a quiet spot in the
shade. The main attractions of Xel Ha, though, are the watersports on offer.
The main lagoon has been called ‘snorkel heaven’. If you’re an experienced
snorkeler or a novice, Xel Ha has something to offer you. The still, calm
waters of the lagoon are a haven for all kinds of colorful tropical fish and
other marine life. If getting your head wet isn’t your thing, why not hire a
giant inner tube in which to float gently down the river? Or book yourself on
one of the regular swimming with dolphins trips that take place in the sea
offshore of the park? The great thing about Xel Ha is that you can have almost
any combination of relaxation and excitement.
Another great trip out from Cancun is to Isla Mujeres. Getting there takes
about 45 minutes by boat from the main resort. The journey itself is fun, but
getting there is even better. The atmosphere on the island – which is only half
a mile wide by five miles long - is rather more relaxed than that of Cancun,
and Isla Mujeres retains many of the characteristics of a tranquil Mexican
fishing village while at the same time providing for the needs of visiting
tourists. It’s great fun to lounge in the main square, or explore than many
small shops and cafés. But this is no remote outpost of civilization: there are
plenty of internet cafés to help you keep in touch with what’s going on back
home, and even the opportunity to take some Spanish classes. If you’re
traveling with small children and you want some ‘alone time’ you can deposit
them with Zarina Zina an American-run babysitting service that caters for the
island’s residents and guests. Eating opportunities on Islas Mujeres are
excellent, too. You might like to sample the fare in the Villa Rolandi Gourmet
and Beach Club, which, as the name suggests, is so much more than a mere
restaurant! This mini-resort specializes in Swiss and northern Italian cuisine
cooked in traditional wood stoves.
On your return to Cancun proper you’ll find yet another
opportunity to eat chez Rolandi at the Casa Rolandi in the city. As far as
dining in Cancun in concerned, you are spoiled for choice: all of the world’s
cuisine is there, as, it seems, is all the world’s variety and fun!