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Swim With Turtles in their Natural Habitat

If you ask local people about the Mayan Riviera, they will say that it is full of special places, beautiful places, where free spirited people stay in tune with nature and discover their inner selves. And they are right! If you ask then for a recommendation for an amazing day trip, they will tell you to go to Akumal aka the place of the turtles. I can only say: follow their advice!

The beaches in the Riviera Maya have so many things to offer. All of them are different, and all of them are worth a visit, if only you had more time… So, what about Akumal? Well, it is a small fishing village perfect to enjoy a beautiful day on the beach. But wait, what was it about the turtles? Here you go.

Where is Akumal?

You won’t get lost looking for Akumal. Although it is much smaller in size than the rest of the popular destinations in the Riviera Maya, it’s shown right there on the map, close to the same main highway. In between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Going with a tour is the most convenient option and the only way you can really y appreciate the turtles swimming right next to you.

What to expect?

As a local, I have visited Akumal many many times and every time I go back, I fall in love with the place over and over again. First, there is this gorgeous beach, and it is never too crowded. Its restaurants are delicious and several of them are located right on the beach. On the other side of town there’s a magical jungle. If you are an animal lover or you are traveling with kids, I also recommend paying a visit to the Akumal Monkey Sanctuary nestled in the middle of the jungle. You will see snakes, parrots, all kinds of monkeys, rabbits, and many other species that were rescued and now they are cared and loved in this new home.

Swimming with the turtles in Akumal

So what about the turtles? As you can imagine, swimming with wild turtles in their natural habitat is a wonderful thing to do. However, the impact that mass tourism brought to the bay caused a lot of damage. Thus, now the access is restricted and you need to pay to enter the area. If you go on your own, there is no guarantee that you will be able to see the turtles. So my advice is to book a guided tour. They’ll give you a snorkeling equipment and will take you to the secret paths where you will be able to swim around the protected turtle area and explore it on your own. You will get to see different kinds of turtles, colorful fish, coral and even sting rays.

It is important to read the information about the area and the marine life to respect their environment correctly.

Are you ready to swim with the turtles in their natural habitat in Akumal with us? Book your tour today!

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Ek Balam: A Visit to an Impressive Archeological Site

From the spectacular beaches, the imposing Mayan jungle, the archaeological sites, and a great variety of restaurants, hotels, and places to enjoy, there is always something exciting and fun to do in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Also, its privileged location allows visitors to go far from this touristic corridor to explore other wonders along the Yucatan Peninsula.

If you’re looking to have an adventure exploring beyond the Riviera Maya, keep reading as we’ll talk about one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the Yucatan Peninsula. No, we’re not talking about Chichen Itza. This time we’ll leave that remarkable vestige aside to learn about Ek Balam.

About Ek Balam

Ek Balam means “Black Jaguar” in Mayan. Historians say that this impressive site lived its splendor even before Chichen Itzá. Despite the deep-rooted beliefs and faith of the Mayan culture, they were also a civilization of science that sought to explain natural phenomena. Ek Balam functioned as a school for scribes (wise men entitled to interpret texts, natural phenomena, messages from the gods, etc.). In addition, the site was a celestial observatory. It is believed that the buildings, temples, and even gardens were built under solid mathematical planning in sync with phenoms such as sunset and the four seasons. So, you can already imagine the unique vibe felt when visiting a place like that.

What to do in Ek Balam?

The site is still not as popular as Chichén Itzá, so chances are that you may find the place for yourself, allowing you to explore freely and taking photos without many tourists in the back. You can even climb the huge central pyramid to admire the imposing view of the entire citadel and the jungle.

Explore its surroundings

After the cultural experience, there is nothing better to cool off than swimming in a cenote. Close to Ek Balam, in the nearby town of Chemax, you can visit the Cenote Maya, the largest cenote in the peninsula since it has a diameter of 65 meters. You could say that swimming in the crystal clear waters of this cenote is an experience that transports you to another time, another dimension. The Cenote Maya is an excellent activity to do after the archaeological adventure. You can enjoy the zip lines and some platforms for diving or snorkeling in fresh, calmed waters, and even visit the famous Nohoch Mul Temple of Coba, located 48 kilometers away. 

How to get there?

Ek Balam is located north of the colonial city of Valladolid, halfway between Merida and Cancun. To get there, it is best to take a tour to Ek Balam and the Cenote Maya. While it may take time to get there from Cancun or the Riviera Maya, it is an experience that we definitely recommend living in the Yucatan peninsula.

Book your tour today to experience the best vacations of your life!

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3 archaeological wonders in the Riviera Maya

The Riviera Maya offers world travelers all kinds of activities to spend an unforgettable vacation. The beauty of its soft white sand beaches of turquoise waters, the impressive cenotes, the perfect Caribbean weather, and the variety of places to see make this region of the Mexican Caribbean a world-class destination and one of the favorites to visit with the family. In addition to the natural wonders and the various entertainment options such as restaurants, bars, and stores, you can also carry out cultural activities.

Here’s a guide to 3 archaeological wonders in the Riviera Maya, so you don’t miss any of them next time you visit this piece of paradise. 

Take a tour through The Tulum Ruins

Have you ever seen an ancient vestige with a landscape in the background? Well, here’s your chance. The Tulum ruins are the only archaeological site built on a cliff next to the Caribbean sea. The place makes a unique portrait sought by Instagrammers, selfie lovers, professional photographers, and anyone looking for the best vacation photo. The Tulum ruins are 20 minutes away from the hotel zone or 10 minutes away from Tulum downtown, and it’s worth visiting. You can see the whole site and all of its impressive buildings in about 90 minutes and then take a swim on the site’s beach. Since the site is very popular, we recommend visiting early in the morning, but be sure to add them to your things to do in Tulum  list.

Visit the Muyil Archaeological site

Just 20 minutes from Tulum, the exceptional archaeological site of Muyil persists wonderfully through time. This site is not as popular as the Tulum Ruins, so chances are you’ll have the site for yourself. This site is one of the few found in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. The highlight of this site is undoubtedly The Castle, a 17 meters pyramid built at the entrance. Don’t forget your camera to shoot some cool pics posing in front of this majestic pyramid! After the archaeological adventure, for a complete experience, take the path that leads you to the boats to take a boat ride through the mangroves of the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve.

Explore the Coba Archaeological site 

Coba was a significant city for the Maya civilization back in the day. Many tall monuments and buildings can still be found through its streets and roads (called sac-be). Since it remains a bit unaltered by the hand of modernity, a visit to this site gives the sensation of genuinely exploring an undiscovered place. You can enjoy plenty of time admiring the carved stone, the impressive buildings, and of course, the Temple of Nohoc Mul, a remarkable pyramid 138 feet in height with 120 stone steps. Before the pandemic, it was possible to climb to the top and contemplate the lush jungle landscape extending in all directions. We’re not sure when this will be possible again, but be sure to pay a visit; you might get lucky! 

Coba is a fun tour to enjoy with family and friends for its versatility. You can explore it hiking through the jungle paths, or you can also rent a bike at the entrance for a complete eco-adventure. 

As you can see, you don’t need to go too far from your resort to visit an archaeological wonder in the Riviera Maya. Next time you visit, be sure to add them to your bucket list! 

We offer an unparalleled 4×1 deluxe tour where you can experience the archeological sites of Tulum and Coba, walk and shop around Playa del Carmen, visit a Mayan Village and have a refreshing swim in the Zazil-Ha Cenote. It includes transfers, a box lunch for breakfast and a buffet restaurant for lunch. Contact us for more info.

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What to do in Tulum

Tulum, one of the most gorgeous destinations of the Mexican Caribbean, is world-famous for its beauty, stunning beaches, and relaxed vibe. Once known as a “destination for hippies,” Tulum nowadays is a trendy spot packed with an array of boho-chic boutique hotels, beach clubs, fancy restaurants, and nightclubs. Hence, it has become more expensive and crowded. Thousands of travelers arrive at Tulum attracted by what they see on Social Media. Still, honestly, there are so many things to do in Tulum that sometimes are missed by visitors!

VISIT AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE

You can’t say that you visited Mexico without adding some culture to the experience. Lucky for you, some of the most important archeological sites of the Mayan Civilization can be found around Tulum. Don’t miss visiting the Tulum Archaeological site. This is the only Mayan vestige built on a cliff next to the Caribbean Sea. Also, you can see the Muyil archaeological site, located only 20 minutes away from Tulum Downtown. If you want to go a bit far away, visit the impressive site of Coba, where you can contemplate the Nohoc Mul temple, one of the largest ancient buildings in the region. 

SWIM IN A CENOTE

Cenotes are natural sinkholes of crystal clear waters and stunning vegetation formed by the crashing of a meteorite on the Yucatan Peninsula thousands of years ago and other natural events happening since then, including the filtration of rainwater to the limestone. These ecosystems are home to diverse flora and fauna such as fish, frogs, birds, and lots of colorful trees and exotic plants. The best part is that most of them are open to the public, so you can visit them and swim in the freshest water ever!

DIVE IN TULUM

For its location in front of the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest reef barrier in the world, and the many underwater cenotes available, Tulum is known for being a divers’ paradise. Many diving aficionados and professional adventurers visit Tulum each year to immerse themselves in the many underwater ecosystems. 

VISIT DOWNTOWN TULUM

There’s no complete visit to Tulum without visiting Downtown Tulum. Experience the unique vibe of the Tulum community and discover a different yet fabulous side of Tulum. Take an evening stroll along the main road for some shopping, enjoy the local food, or get to know many people from around the world. The Tulum downtown is a chilled, friendly town that offers good restaurants and cool bars. Additionally, you’ll get better prices than at the hotel zone, so it’s worth the visit! To avoid traffic, we recommend renting a bike from the hotel zone to downtown.

Despite the activities you choose, one thing is sure: the beauty of Tulum will leave you speechless. Either you choose to enjoy the beaches, have an eco-adventure, or embark on an archeologic quest, you’re surely in for a great experience! Click here to book one of our amazing tours in Tulum and Coba.