Riviera Maya - Mexico

World Map and Riviera Maya

"Mexico and clouds" says an old Italian song and really some clouds are always present in the sky.
However they run quickly, carried by the wind and if, for a moment, they cover the sun, they are welcome.
It rains seldom and only for a few minutes; a fine but intense drizzle.
In any case it is enough to search for a shelter and some minutes after the sun will shine again.
This in winter and spring only, that are the best periods to visit this region, when the temperature is about 30 degrees by day and 22 degrees by night.
The situation is much different in the rest of the year: stifling heat and possibility to be struck by a dangerous typhoon.

The Riviera Maya occupies the Caribbean side of the Yucatan peninsula.
The coast is covered with white and thin sand beautiful beaches that are the major attraction for the tourists; whereas the inland part is covered by an impenetrable jungle with closely-planted trees.
It is an entirely flat country; there are neither hills nor rivers running on the surface. All the rivers flow under the ground. Sometimes they rise to the surface forming a "cenote" that is a pool or a little lake with cool and clear water.
A plunge into a cenote, surrounded by the vegetation, listening the song of a bird, or watching a lazy basking in the sun iguana, is a thing absolutely to try.
Having at your disposal an underwater equipment, sometimes it is possible to dive and cover the subterranean river from a cenote to another.

The main town, the only one having an international airport, is Cancun.
Cancun, in the past 20 years, changed from a little village to a built for tourists town with 450000 inhabitants. Some km towards South there are another well known little city: Playa del Carmen.
They are towns mainly enjoyable for those who love to stay in a place full of persons, as bars, restaurants, discotheques, night clubs or to go along streets having a lot of shops full of tourists.
If you like this kind of holiday, you must absolutely walk along the 5th Avenida at Playa del Carmen.

On the contrary, for those who wish a more peaceful zone, it is better to go to the South.
At Akumal there are wonderful beaches everywhere and the reef is close to the coast. So it is possible to sunbathe, to snorkel or to relax totally in peace.

More to the South, near Tulun, there are beaches that are wide and long as far as the eye can see.
Here it is really possible to isolate yourself from the rest of the world, to swim, to go for a long walk or lie in the sun in absolute relax.

Going on to South again you will arrive to the Sian Ka'an biosphere; a wide uncontaminated and protected lagoon area where it is possible to admire different kinds of flowers and animals.

The highway 307, the most important communicating route of the Riviera, runs some hundreds meters far from the coast and parallel to the same.
The "colectivos" (taxi vans) are the principal means of transport for tourists. A lot of vans, carrying about fifteen persons, drive along the highway continuously, from Playa del Carmen to Tulun. They stop on demand and the carriage is always 20 pesos (= 2 dollars), regardless of the distance you have to cover.

Of course it is not possible to come here without spending some time to rediscover the ancient Maya civilization, at least visiting some of the renowned and important archaeological sites, such as Chichen Itzá (with the steep Kukulcan's pyramid), or Coba and Tulum. The latter is situated on a promontory in front of the sea.
Starting from January 2006, by an order of the local authorities, it is forbidden to climb on the pyramids, either to prevent an accidental fall, or to give the due respect to these sites.
Furthermore, to take a photo of a pyramid without a huge crowd climbing on, it is definitely better.

The colonial towns too, are worth of a visit. As the time runs out, and it is never enough, I suggest you to visit Valladolid.
This town, in fact, is situated along the road that joins the main archaeological sites.

Finally, I'd like to destroy the image, well known all over the world, of the Mexican, sitting in a cactus shade and keeping a large sombrero on the head, that is taking a never-ending siesta.
This icon is not true and the Mexicans that I have seen working, proved it to me.

Sea Wallpapers: Riviera Maya

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