In its short life as a vacation destination, Cancun has been acclaimed
for its beautiful beaches, energetic nightlife and nearby Mayan ruins.
Uxmal, Tuloum and Chichen Itza are among the most visited, but you
might enjoy a visit to the newly discovered Ek’Balam. Typical
photos of Mayan ruins show exposed block. When occupied, these structures
had a smooth plaster finish painted with elaborate murals. Ek’Balam
is noteworthy as some of the paintings have survived--fortunately
preserved beneath a collapsed overhanging structure.
To fully appreciate the Yucatan Peninsula book a lunch or dinner
at one of the restored Haciendas now serving discriminating travelers.
These fabulous estates were once the dominate feature of the area’s
social and commercial life. Dine on a veranda while admiring the
richly colored buildings, lush landscapes and magical setting reminiscent
of an era long ago. At nighttime as these properties are dramatically
lit and your imagination dances with the past. Two outstanding examples
are the Haciendas Santa Rosa and Temozon.
The capital city of Merida is known for its colonial architecture
and the cultural vibe of her Plaza Grande. The centrally located
Governor’s House is now home to a fascinating museum tracing
the region’s history through artifacts and stories.
To observe the region’s wetlands visit the Celestun Ecological
Reserve along Yucatan’s eastern shore. Explore this national
preserve by boat to view hundreds of flamingos and study the Mangrove
forests so important to the coastline’s ecosystem.
South of Cancun is Xcaret, a nature and Mexican culture theme park.
This ambitious attraction features an extensive network of underground
waterways, beaches, artisans village, fantastical cemetery (Dia de
Muerto) and, in the evening, the very popular and professionally
presented “Xcaret de Noche.” Most every Mayan archeological
site you visit will have a ball court, but here you will finally
be able to see a game. The history, culture and traditions of the
Yucatan Peninsula are brought to life through song, dance, and pageantry.
Many visitors don’t get beyond the resort strip and touring
a Mayan archeological site, but the area has much more to offer visitors.
Good starting points for your research are www.mayayucatan.com and
We booked a recent Cancun visit through American Express Vacations.
Our family’s hectic schedule made their unique Travel Protection
Plan compelling. That plan reimburses any cancellation penalties
if you must cancel your trip for any reason prior to flight departure.
Knowledge agents, flexible packages and ongoing support made it a
pleasure working with them. Call (800) 941-2639 or visit www.americanexpress.com.