Click to view
What to do in TANKAH
The Hunab Ku, Itzam Ná, Chaac and other Mayan gods were not mistaken when they chose this part of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico to construct their temples and pyramids. It is the nearest thing there is to paradise, a place made for enjoying all kinds of pleasures.
Tankah offers activities such as zip lines, kayaking and bathing in cenotes such as El Naval, Esmeralda and the Blue Cenote, or relaxing far away from daily hustle and bustle, lying in a hammock and enjoying the local seafood which is freshly cooked after being caught nearby by the local fishermen
Traditional recipes are used for cooking local food, it is near the archaeological zone of Tulum and it also has cenotes for scuba diving, a jeep adventure tour.. lots of fun, and there is everything for nature lovers…
What to do in TULUM
In this beautiful corner of the Riviera Maya there are numerous activities that you can practice, depending on your preference and state of mind.
The main attraction in Tulum is the archaeological zone which you can visit in just over two hours. Upon entering it you will notice the wall that surrounds the city. The Castle, or the Lighthouse, is the site’s most important structure, facing the east and looking out over the Caribbean Sea. The Temple of the Descending God is also very interesting and some of its walls still conserve remains of mural paintings, as does the temple of the Frescos. Towards the north there are the structures of the Kukulcán group; its most relevant temple is dedicated to the god of wind. From any point you can see that there are three observatories with altars.
A new attraction in Tulum is the night tour, with special lighting and audio guides in several languages. It is not a traditional light and sound show, but rather a walking tour where you can enjoy the main monuments from a different perspective. An additional advantage is that it is not hot during these tours since the sea breeze is cool, and if the night sky is clear you can enjoy unbeatable starry skies or the rising moon.
The Tulum region offers many options for practicing adventure sports, snorkelling and exploring caverns and cenotes with scuba diving equipment. Some of the most interesting points are the Tankah Cove, 5 kilometres to the north; Cristal, 4.5 kilometres to the south and Casa Cenote, 11 kilometres away, where the largest underground cavern in the world, Nohoch Na Chich (great bird house), can be found.
There are many varied options for this type of tourism, such as bird watching and studying the flora of one of the most important biosphere reserves in the world. At certain times of the year the sea turtles arrive to lay their eggs at the edge of the beach which is when groups of biologists and ecologists get together to protect them from predators. You can join the team and see close up the white turtles and the enormous giant turtles, both of which are in danger of extinction. Also, in the vicinity of Punta Allen, inside the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, there is an ecological hotel zone, where you can see crocodiles, manatees, herons and other species in their natural habitats; there you can also kayak through the mangroves and snorkel along the wonderful reefs along the coast.
If you just want to go to the beach after visiting the ruins, you should know that the beaches in Tulum are very accessible, quiet and beautiful. Even in the archaeological zone, just beside the castle, tourists can go down a staircase to enter the ocean; of course in this part of the coast there are no parasols nor services, but you won’t be able to resist the refreshing seduction of the turquoise Caribbean, so go prepared with your bathing suit!
On the other hand, in the town of Tulum, there are craftwork shops, restaurants with traditional food and almost all the kinds of services you might need.
There are many opportunities for exploring around Tulum; places like Xcacel, which is the most important nesting area for the loggerhead and white sea turtles, as well as snorkelling, since the coral reef is only approximately 50m from the beach (some 5 minutes swimming) or in its little cenote which is only 30 metres from the beach.
If you like to participate in ancient traditions, during the month of July the Cruz Parlante festival takes place, a tradition that combines pagan and Christian elements which are believed to have appeared in the middle of the XIX Century and are still practiced in many villages in Quintana Roo. The date changes from year to year, so you have check in advance.
What to do in COBA
Few experiences are as recreational as a trip through the heart of the jungle between immense wooded areas which open up to give way to marvellous scenery beyond your imagination. You can find this in the Riviera Maya, on the beautiful coastline of Quintana Roo, a place chosen by the ancient Mayan culture for setting down their roots and building impressive cities which today are proof of the grandeur of their existence.
After walking along narrow trails between the lush vegetation, following the same paths as our ancestors, the visitor can climb to the top of the Nohoch Temple (one of the highest in the state), from which you can appreciate the immeasurable beauty and vastness of the sub-tropical jungle which surrounds the pyramid.
After this you can penetrate the jungle even more to visit an authentic Mayan village called Pac Chén, where a community of about 100 indigenous people live beside the lagoon, and there you can visit a typical house in which you can learn about their culture.
You can join the local people for a walk through the jungle while they talk to you about the local flora and fauna.
Extreme sports are integrated into the tour by crossing a cenote on a zip line, and then rappelling 20 metres down into a sacred cenote known in the community as the “Jaguar Cenote”. The tourists can row canoes and also have the chance to swim in the lagoon, and finally they can enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by the women of the village.
Lunch consists of chicken in achiote sauce with potatoes, rice, beans and handmade tortillas. This feast shouldn’t be missed; however, there is also the option of asking for a vegetarian meal.
What to do in PUNTA ALLEN
Nature lovers will enjoy its tropical vegetation and animal life; bird watchers will be pleasantly surprised by some exotic specimen, since the area is populated by about 339 species.
If you like fishing you will be in paradise, both in the Caribbean Sea and in the vast protected lagoon. With the creation of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve the restrictions and rules that protect it have maintained the ecosystem in optimum conditions. By prohibiting commercial fishing, the area became 5,000 Km.2 of pure pleasure for those who enjoy sport fishing. The area has gained a reputation for excellent fishing for palometa, and the chance to catch bonefish, sea bass, barracuda, yellow jack and shad is noteworthy.
Other attractions offered by the area include an authentic adventure through the jungle on board small boats or kayaks, cruising through channels used by the Maya in times gone by. These excursions offer the experience of being able to observe crocodiles, birds and other animal species in their natural habitat and you can also find a small Mayan temple.
Punta Allen is a small fisherman’s village that offers rustic lodging options and the chance to enjoy magnificent cuisine which includes fresh fish and delicious home cooked lobster, which make up the most important part of the local economy.
What to do in SIAN KA 'AN
You can enjoy the lush vegetation of this reserve by travelling along its coast of 47 kilometres of virgin, unspoilt beaches and turquoise water and visiting the Kaapechen lagoon with its emerald green colour that constantly changes tone and its centre where it is fed by a large fresh water cenote. The lagoon extends to the horizon and you can travel along it by boat or kayak to get to know the Mayan commercial routes, passing through its intricate mangrove canals or enjoying the peacefulness of taking a bird watching tour in the region.
The beaches of the reserve offer the opportunity to experience a sensation of freedom by walking for miles and miles and being surrounded only by jungle, sun and very fine white sand; the beaches are safe and ideal for camping.
The reserve’s cenotes also offer a unique experience since they are still in their beautiful, natural state, as is the case of the Beh-ha “path to the water” cenote which can be found at the entrance to the reserve beside the Mayan arch, which is the reception office of the reserve.
In the surrounding area there are other equally beautiful cenotes which offer a unique experience when you explore their interior, such as the Cristal cenote and the Escondido cenote which are 5.Kms away, to the south of Tulum, towards Chetumal. The Great Cenote or Skeleton Cenote, are some 3.5 Km away from the village’s main street, towards Cobá.
In the village and the hotels bicycles can be rented by the hour or for the whole day and riding them is the best way to explore the surrounding area, as well as for going to the beaches.
You can ride all along coastline from the hotel zone to Punta Allen, a small fisherman’s village. On the way you pass through the Sian Ka’an reserve, so you can enjoy the incredible scenery, as well as being able to make a stop at some of the reserve’s beaches to take a refreshing dip; or if you go at night time you can camp and enjoy an incredible experience on a secluded beach under the stars.
What to do in AKUMAL
Akumal is a relaxing paradise in the Caribbean. Formed by a secluded and protected bay, with a quiet beach and nearby reef where snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing are some of the activities you can practice here. Or if you prefer you can just sit and rest at ease under the shade of its inclined palm trees. You can have a magnificent day trip in Akumal or stay for longer. There are comfortable lodging options in the area, with views of the Caribbean, restaurants and a small supermarket. The towns nearest Akumal are Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
This paradise is undoubtedly one of the most peaceful in the Riviera Maya. Located only 37 kilometres from Playa del Carmen, this small village is the place of choice for lovers of peace and calm in secluded settings. In the Mayan language Akumal means “Land of Turtles” and is still one of the preferred sites of these animals for laying eggs and during the egg laying season at night you can find numerous members of the turtle family by the sea shore looking for a place to make their nests. However, what makes Akumal a charming and fascinating place for tourists from all over the world is its spectacular bay with its transparent water and fresh water from the caves and underground rivers.
In Akumal there are about 200 entrances to underground caves, with depths of up to 150 metres, which make it a Mecca for scuba divers from all over the world. It is also a unique destination for water sports such as snorkelling and kayaking. As for its location, Akumal is located in the municipality of Tulum, recently created to organize the local area’s political boundaries, to the south of Xcaret and to the north of Xel-ha park, two other impressive attractions in the Riviera Maya. When travelling from Cancun, Akumal is located 105 kilometres to the south, towards Tulum and is 36 kilometres from Playa del Carmen.
Located to the west of highway 307, scuba diving is also one of the ideal activities here, , and cave diving is a very exciting and wonderful activity. Another more relaxing, but just as spectacular, activity is scuba diving at the coral barrier near the bay. While you are in Akumal you can also take an excursion to the Xaac cove where the nearby island has archaeological remains of a Mayan sanctuary, and you can contemplate the respect that the inhabitants had for those places. Different tours are offered in Akumal and one of the most popular excursions is the trip to the Xaac cove, lasting five hours, where you can snorkel and fish on the way to the deserted Xaac beach. Once on the beach, you can enjoy a picnic of ceviche, grilled fish, guacamole and other delicacies. The Xaac cove has its own Mayan ruin surrounded by a beautiful reef for snorkelling. There is also a snorkelling tour lasting two hours to other nearby lagoons.
In the centre of the village there is also a small museum called the CEDAL, or Akumal Ecological Centre, with free entry. On exhibit are the remains of the shipwrecked “Nuestra Señora de los Milagros”, a 270 ton ship built in Matanzas, Cuba. The tragedy occurred on the 22nd of February, 1741, when it broke up into pieces in less than 15 minutes upon hitting a nearby rock. Canons and others armaments have been found in the Xax-Cobá cenote along with stelae from the Chinkultik archaeological zone in Chiapas. If you decide to visit Akumal you will find that it has hotels, private houses and condominiums for rent offering visitors all the comforts they need, including restaurants offering international cuisine. It also has an ecological centre, called Ukana-I which has contributed to the strengthening of the village’s ecological consciousness. This centre is as much a research institute as a community centre and offers diverse workshops, such as African dance, painting, yoga and Mayan embroidery.