Anybody searching for the perfect place to relax wouldn’t go far wrong considering the famous Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya, Mexico. I challenge anybody not to forget all problems when their toes touch the warm sand and the waves of the Mexican Caribbean lap against their ankles. In this part of the world, they have relaxation down to an art form.
As this image demonstrates though there is more to the region than endless unspoiled beaches, clear skies and luxury hotels. There are numerous options available for those that wish to mix a little adventure and culture with their chill time.
Along with Belize it lays claim to being the original home of the Mayan civilisation and there are numerous examples of Mesoamerican architecture still available to explore. The most famous maybe Chichen-Itza which is located near Cancun but the lesser known site of Cobá at Quintana Roo is still a relatively large site with a several impressive pyramids. Those feeling particularly energetic to climb the 120 steps of the main pyramid Nohoch Mul will be rewarded with a panoramic view over the site.
This is the “God of Winds Temple at the ruins at Tulum, another well known site and possibly the original Mayan coastal resort. Set high above the ocean it commands outstanding views and it is easy to imagine the wealthy of Mayan society vacationing in Tulum enjoying cocktails and beachtime. Flip-flops, hammocks, and shades with rituals were probably the order of the day though hopefully Hawaiian shirts weren’t.
That much at least hasn’t changed, the cocktails and shades I mean not the Hawaiian shirts which unfortunately are an outlandish sign of our progress. Possibly the Mayans had more diligent fashion police than we do.
The region is a divers paradise, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the largest in the northern hemisphere and second largest in the world. There are also numerous cenotes scattered throughout the rainforest, freshwater filled sinkholes which offer adventurous divers the chance to experience some limited cave diving.
The image seems to portray the area pretty well, with a few of the main attractions on display. There is culture, sun, sea and sand, everything to keep a traveller smiling for several weeks.
These activities are too tiring to even write about, it must be time to return to the luxury villa and enjoy a tequila or three or maybe take a mixology class, learning how to mix the perfect margarita or mojito. It’s taken half a lifetime but at last here in the Riviera Maya I’ve finally learned how to relax.