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Cancun? Can Do!

Cancun, Mexico

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 Caribbean.

Mexican Beach 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 education.

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.

Tulum City 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.

Tulum Beach
Beach near Tulum 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.

Cancun Beach 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!

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