Attractions of Quintana Roo

CANCUN

In essence a tourist destination, Cancun was developed thirty years ago by the state government as an exclusive leisure epicenter. Unfortunately, it was devastated in October 2005 by hurricane Wilma, and had to be practically re-built in its entirety.

In this respect, as well as for the amazing record of welcoming more than three million visitors a year, Cancun has exceeded all expectations, and is to this day home to many
world class hotel chains, as well as offering a high quality of services infrastructure, always with the tourist in mind.

As such, it displays countless options for entertainment and pleasure, such as diving through the colorful coral reef that form the Maya Reef, the second largest in the world; practice aquatic sports including windsurfing, jet-skiing or sport fishing; or
choose in-land activities like golf, mountain-bike and rappel, among many other options.

ISLA MUJERES

Located right in front of the beaches of Cancun, Isla Mujeres meaning "Women Island", despite being small, this fisherman's island contains all the Mayan Riviera has to offer : beautiful white sand beaches, Mayan archeological sites and of course an infrastructure conceived and designed for first-class tourism.

Only seven kilometers long and less than 1,000 meters wide, it was initially a sanctuary for goddess Ixchel, nowadays one of the musts for those visiting the countless archeological sites in the region of Quintana Roo.

PLAYA DEL CARMEN and other Beaches

Beaches along the Mexican Caribbean are famous around the world for their unrivaled beauty; white and smooth sands washed by crystalline waters displaying unbelievable blue and turquoise hues.

Playa del Carmen, an ancient fisherman's town originally called Xaman H'a in Mayan times, represents to this day one of the major tourist destinations in all of Mexico and includes luxury hotels, international gourmet cuisine as well as bars, lounges and recreational centers.

Other lovely shores in the area include Playa del Secreto, Siam Kaan, Punta Maroma, Paamul, Puerto Morelos and Chemuyil.


TULUM

Also known for its white sand beaches, this archeological compound is highly regarded by Mexicans as a cultural heritage of the first order, among other reasons for being one of the major walled Maya cities of the Post-Classical period, and for the pictorial murals found within some of the buildings part of the compound.

This city played a major role for the Mayan civilization due to its strategic location as it stands in the highest point anywhere along the eastern coast, and also for its privileged situation for trading purposes. The highest "tower", known as El Castillo or the castle, was in fact inhabited upon the arrival of the Spanish expeditions on the XVI century.

There is evidence which indicates that Tolum was a juristiction independent of other Mayan provinces around the area. Fortunately, a part of the legacy left behind by those who once inhabited the area can still be admired, such as residentialarchitecture and artistic murals, as well as various traces and remains of temples, sacred wells and artifacts that were all part of the worshiping and spiritual life of the Mayan civilization across the Yucatan peninsula.

XCARET

The current Xcaret Park represents nothing short of a paradise, as it features pre-Hispanic archeological sites, beaches, bird and butterfly watching, as well as dolphins and diving into a subterranean river, all within a natural and quite unique environment. The archeological traces found in Xcaret indicate this location had an importance for the Mayan trading activities, and in fact it was still inhabited and running when the Spanish arrived at the peninsula, which explains the existence of a catholic church among its buildings.

The defensive wall that runs along the cove served to separate dry land from the swamp areas as well as to protect the settlement from both the sea's fury and possible invaders.

Visitors, who pay a symbolic fare to enter the Park, can enjoy certain conveniences such as restaurants, shops, parking and rest-rooms.

Other sites available in the area of archeological value and interest and silent witnesses of the splendor of a great pre-Columbian culture, include those of Playacar, Xel-Ha, Coba and Muyil.

SIAN KAAN Biosphere
Sian Kaan, or the "place where the sky is born", was listed by the UNESCO as natural world patrimony in the year 1987. Its relevance lies in the stunning biological diversity it hosts, as it reports no less than 1,048 vegetation species native of the Gulf of Mexico and the Antilles; 103 mammal species, 339 bird types, 90 kinds of native bees, 318 species of diurnal butterfly and 86 types of coral reef. It also contains some endangered species such as the ocelot, puma, jaguar and a local type of pheasant. Also, within the ecological reserve, visitors may get involved in more active practices such as kayaking in Punta Allen or sport fishing in Boca Paila.

COZUMEL

Proclaimed as the best place for diving by famous oceanographer Jaques Cousteau, Cozumel is an island that roughly covers 48 kilometers from north to south and 16 kilometers from east to west. It is home to the second largest coral reef in the world, for which it offers 30 diving spots along its eastern shore.

Other major features include Chankanaab park, also for diving and snorkeling; the Cozumel Country Club with a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus; and the Punta Sur park which hosts an exotic animal life.
 

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