Each of Mexico’s 31 states is unique. Laws, customs, nature, and society differ. We have seen stereotypes about gangsters and crime in this country in many films. That’s why sometimes people think it’s dangerous here. And, indeed, it is better not to visit some territories for tourist purposes. However, there are many quiet regions in Mexico that help to get to know this country from its best side.
The resorts of the Yucatan Peninsula are popular among Russians: Cancun and Riviera Maya. In addition to wonderful hotels and white beaches with turquoise water, there are cultural monuments and entertainment facilities that introduce legends and immerse you in the magical atmosphere of Mexico.
How to get
The cost of flights from Moscow to Cancun and back on OneTwoTrip starts from 60,000 rubles*. There are both direct flights and options with one or two transfers. To enter, you do not need to be tested for COVID-19, you will only need to fill out a special application form. From the airport to the beaches of Riviera Maya can be reached by bus, taxi or rent a car (from 6800 rubles * per day). There are regular and tourist taxis in Mexico. The latter are marked with green numbers and are much more expensive, but are considered safer.
Where to stay
Cancun is suitable for those who like to move in the rhythm of the city. Housing in the category of “three stars” and below is much more here than on the Riviera Maya. Therefore, in general, this vacation in Cancun will be more budget-friendly. For example, a night in Suites Cancun Center it will cost from 2,700 rubles * for two.
Riviera Maya will appeal more to those who want to retire in nature. Bungalows and villas of local hotels are drowning in the greenery of the jungle, where raccoons and noses run, and pelicans fly to the beaches. It is not easy to get to civilization from this oasis, and tourist life is concentrated on huge hotel territories. The cost of a room in a five-star Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa starts from 23,000 rubles*. There are also discounts, such as, for example, in Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort & Spa, where you can now book a room for 12,400 rubles*.
What to do
This political and cultural center of the Maya civilization is located far from the coast. On the roads of Yucatan, there is often a speed limit of up to 40-50 km / h, which is important to take into account when planning a route. It is important to arrive in the ancient Indian capital before the opening in order to have time to buy tickets, enter the territory first and take a walk before the crowds of tourists rush in. There is a lot to see on the large territory of the ruined temple complex. The partially restored pyramid of Kukulkan with snake ladders — one of the symbols of the Maya culture – served as a place of sacrifice. For the same ritual, teams met in a deadly battle on the ball field. Astronomers watched the celestial bodies from a huge snail observatory. And many cenote wells were considered portals between worlds.
The reservoir is located next to the pyramids. The porous earth of Yucatan is dotted with underground caves. Their vaults often collapse, forming holes that are filled with groundwater and precipitation. A unique natural phenomenon is called “cenote”. Today, you can swim in this clear water under the vines hanging from the ground. Take your bathing accessories with you and try to get here early to be alone. Due to its high popularity, within an hour after the start of work, the cenote becomes like a swimming pool.
A place where agave is grown and tequila is produced in a traditional natural way. Against the background of bright yellow buildings and huge cacti, the most “Mexican” photos are obtained.
When all the tourists arrive in Chichen Itza, we return to the coast and on the way we stop at a medieval picturesque town. Founded by the Spaniards in the era of the conquest, it has preserved the colonial architecture.
Akumal Beach with big turtles
It is easily accessible via the coastal highway. The main local entertainment is watching giant waterfowl turtles. They graze like cows, collecting algae from the seabed.
You will need fins and a mask with a tube. And the beach itself with snow-white sand and palm trees leaning over the water looks like a dream from the Bounty advertisement.
The ancient Mayan port city of the pre-Columbian era on the Caribbean coast of Yucatan is located next to Akumal Beach, so you can spend the middle of the day here. The visiting card of the archaeological zone is the castle of El Castillo on the very edge of a high cliff, through the openings of the windows of which you can see how the sun rises.
There are other ruins in the historical complex, as well as a beautiful garden with fancy plants, where you can meet iguanas. And from the observation decks on the steep cliffs, dizzying views of the turquoise sea open up. By the way, there is also a hotel here Ahau Tulum, which is very common in social networks, thanks to an unusual anthropomorphic “living” sculpture. Tree trunks and planks are woven into the torso of a man who grows out of the sand and forms an arch-entrance.
Life hack: it’s worth coming here closer to closing, because organized excursions happen here in the morning. In the evening there is a chance to climb the pyramid alone. Yes, you can climb the ruins of the oldest city of the Mayan civilization, although you need good physical training for this, the steps of the second-highest pyramid of Yucatan are very steep! But from a height you can see the endless sea of jungle. Several other objects have been preserved on the territory of the park. You can move between them on foot, but much faster and more fun on rented bicycles.
If in your imagination Mexico is associated with sultry beauties in lush dresses with lace in resinous hair and voluminous fans, then you will definitely like this city of colored houses and stone arched galleries.
A large business center and a vivid illustration of the era of the conquest is located quite far from the coastal resorts, so lay on a trip for the whole day.
After you have seen all the sights of the peninsula— it’s time to get acquainted in detail with the culture and history of Mexico in a grandiose eco-archaeological park among the jungles. You can get to it from Playa del Carmen by city bus, special shuttle or taxi. On a huge territory, you can taste national cuisine and take part in folk games.
Visit the island of jaguars, swim with dolphins, see zebas, crocodiles, noses, cougars, agoutis and other animals without cages, play with big parrots. To see the models of traditional churches, residential and outbuildings and even visit a specific stylized cemetery, where copies of the most intricate graves are collected. The Mexican “cheerful” attitude to death is a very curious experience. Actors work on the territory of the park and there are several theatrical venues where bright performances about the life of the Maya Indians are shown. And in the evening, a show with special effects, large-scale battle scenes and stuntmen begins at the stadium. The performance closes with a concert of popular mariachi. And since the park is visited by local tourists, you can hear the stands singing along to their favorite performers.
Our project “Where to go” will help you with ideas for the upcoming vacation. You choose the month and the city of departure, and we offer the most interesting and affordable options – with ticket prices and information about restrictions for tourists.
*Prices are valid at the time of publication