If you’re reading this post, it may be because you either aren’t the standard run-of-the-mill tourist or you’re a veteran of Cancun and Riviera Maya vacations. Either way, you want something different, right?
We’re going to share news about a set of thrills, deep in the Mayan jungles of the Riviera, that will give you something to remember forever, as you’ll have a full day of excitement and adrenalin, surrounded by the natural wonders of our area.
Get Ready for Snorkel Xtreme!
The First and Ultimate Thrill! Snorkeling and Swimming with Turtles
Start the day off at Turtle Bay, where you will enjoy the best ocean snorkeling while surrounded by amazing marine turtles.
Thrill #2: Rappelling
We will then gear you up to rappel into the depths of the Mayan jungle. It’s totally safe and super fun!
Thrill #3: Zip Lines!
Experience the thrill of flying over the jungle canopy in the fastest zip-line circuit in the region!
Thrill #4: Cenote Swim and Snorkel
Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of a mystical Mayan Cenote with underground river while exploring astounding rock formations.
Your experience is capped off with a fantastic Mexican meal, as you and your friends and loved ones recall what an amazing time you had, and plan your return next time!
My daughter was invited to go out on the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship…
The invitation was for two , and she asked if I’d like to be her plus-one. She didn’t have to ask her old man twice.
I love any time out on the water, but the idea of being on a pirate cruise at first wasn’t the most attractive, as I imagined it would be a corny, watered-down version of Pirates of the Caribbean.
I could not have been more wrong.
What is the Jolly Roger?
The Jolly Roger is a pirate galleon modeled on Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria. A crew of talented pirates provides an ambiance of entertainment and fun for people of all ages.
A very talented and coordinated DJ provided music, which set the stage for dancing and games for kids and adults, as pirates swung from ropes and acted out their stories and mutiny. Our ticket included a full meal, three and a half hours open bar, and a party atmosphere and entertainment.
And a Bottle of Rum…the Drinks
So we set off from the pier at Playa Linda. My daughter and I decided that as honorary pirates, rum would be our poison. I decided to go straight Cuba Libres all night, and my little girl (who is not so little anymore) went with Piña Coladas (which I think are gateway drugs, but that’s another post for another day in another blog).
Our personal pirate Marisa must somehow have some sort of pirate ninja training…it seems I was just setting down my empty cup when it was replaced by another. The same went for Alex’s coladas. And they were good—not watered down, but not quite undrinkable jet fuel either. They were Goldilocks Just Right.
For dining we could choose between a steak or fish option. We each chose a different one, and we were not disappointed.
Buffets can let you down sometimes, but we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, generous portions, and service from the kitchen staff and our server Marisa.
It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Has to Walk the Plank
Along with singing and dancing from the pirates and all of us guests (get ready, you WILL dance), there were games…games for men, games for women and games for couples.
Yours truly was pulled out of the audience to participate in a highly embarrassing one where I had to sing La Cuacaracha while gargling a mouthful of rum. And I won! College did pay off after all.
At one point or another on the trip, everyone was almost falling off his or her seat from laughter. The talented crew REALLY knows their comedy!
And then things got dark.
Grouch and a band of rogues held a mutiny, and a fierce battle ensued between both sides. It wasn’t a cheap fake sword fight with wood or platinum swords. This was a battle with very real looking swords and sparks definitely flew when they connected. Yikes.
At one point someone yelled Man Overboard! as Rasta took the plunge into the deep blue of the night. The guy really jumped into the waters of the bay from a pretty high perch on the ship. These guys and girls ain’t kiddin’.
Fun for the Little Pirates in the Family, too!
Who didn’t have a fantasy to be a pirate when they were kid? Heck, I do that now. The kids on were well-engaged by all the staff and in particular by Captain Morgan. They ran all over the ship looking for gold coins on a treasure hunt, played games up on stage and had meals fit for little pirate palates.
And the singing and dancing at the end of the voyage was a blast for anyone no mater what age. Well played, Jolly Rogers…you had something for the whole family.
The Staff…the Difference
Each couple or group had a lady or gentleman pirate to serve them all night. Besides serving drinks and food, they were also part of the show up on stage and all over the ship. So let me get this right—they dance, sing, act, serve, and take care of their guests…in both English and Spanish (some even in Portuguese).
Singers, dancers, stuntmen (and women), servers, bartenders…what didn’t they do? It can’t be easy to find performers like these.
If you’re looking for something REALLY fun to do for the whole family on your vacation to Cancun and the Riviera Maya, put the Jolly Roger on your vacation bucket list.
To find out more about the Jolly Roger, the primo Cancun Pirate Ship, check out this link here. To see a whole site full of amazing vacation options, check out ecotourism cancun.com. You’ll save time, money and effort and make these the vacation you’ll remember forever.
So you’ve booked your vacation to the Mexican Caribbean. You’ve scoured the Internet for information on the places you might be visiting while here, and that’s a great start. Here are a few tips to help make your holiday even better by saving you time, money and effort.
1. Bring biodegradable sunscreen to protect your skin and to protect the water.
Fish, plants, people and other living creatures DEPEND on clean water. Using Biodegradable sunblock helps protect those water supplies.
Note: in some ares, like cenotes, sunblock is not permitted at all, as that water is a direct supply of drinking water for local Mayan communities.
2. Bring a hat, swimsuit, comfortable walking shoes, and extra water for trips to Mayan archaeological sites.
Most archaeological sites are pretty far inland, very far from the sea breezes that keep us cool in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. The humidity can get pretty high in some places, so dress accordingly.
You’ll be doing a good amount of walking at many sites, so bring sneakers or hiking shoes if you have them. Bring a swimsuit and maybe even a change of light clothing in case you can take a dip in a pool, cenote or stream to relieve yourself of the heat.
An extra bottle of water in a backpack can help protect against dehydration if you don’t have an adequate supply nearby. And remember, we can get sudden downpours, so one of those plastic rain ponchos in your backpack could be a lifesaver.
3. Bring a camera, or charge your phone to 100%, or bring an extra charger, as you’ll want to record this place forever!
A little preparation can go a long way on the day of your tour. You’ll be seeing and doing things you may never see or do again, so record them for posterity!
Some tours sell photos of your experience, but they can get pricey, so snap away. Cameras, especially flash, are not admitted in some areas and in some places, taking photos is prohibited altogether. Always ask permission first.
Buying a waterproof camera or buying one of those plastic containers for your camera or phone might be a great idea to get stunning underwater shots and to protect your equipment!
4. Bring mosquito repellant in case the bugs are biting.
If you’re visiting an archaeological site or cenote or anywhere near the jungle or even the lagoon, a little container of insect repellant (biodegradable if you can find it) could save you some heartache.
The local brand to look for is called Autan, in case you can’t find Off! Also, don’t wear colognes or perfumes or heavily-scented lotions or creams so as to not attract unwanted critters.
5. Bring CASH for tips, photos and shopping.
A lot of the places you’ll be visiting on your vacation are set up to receive credit and debit cards. That being said, there are remote places on your tours where cash is the only acceptable currency. Bring pesos (like 100 U.S. worth or more if you need it) just in case.
Also, make sure to let your issuing banks back home know you’ll be on vacation in Mexico to avoid credit/debit card authorization issues.
As for shopping, if you’re out in a remote community, buy your travel souvenirs from local vendors. You’ll get good prices, and it provides a sustainable income for outlying communities that would otherwise affect local environments negatively.
6. Check with your tour provider or rep to be clear on ALL costs and services included and not included in your trip.
Again, a little preparation goes a long way on vacation in a foreign country. Don’t assume things will be just like back home. You aren’t back home.
As about optional or extra costs, services or charges. For example, on boat trips, sometimes you may need to pay a dock or pier charge or tax, or a fee to local environmental authorities when visiting natural protected areas.
These travel tips are brought to you by ecotourism-cancun.comyour online home for tours, excursions and the best and most affordable vacation experiences during your holiday in the Mexican Caribbean. Contact ecotourism-cancun.com directly with any question or doubts, and see how you can save time, money and effort and ENJOY!
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At 25 miles (40 km) away from the busy vacation capital of Cancun, Isla Contoy is a pristine and protected island, where you can observe and enjoy thousands of birds, fish, and other wildlife in a virgin island setting.
Established as a protected natural reserve by the Mexican government, access is restricted to a maximum of 200 visitors per day so as to minimize the impact of tourism on the island’s natural resources.
There are no permanent inhabitants living on the island. There is, however, a dedicated team of scientists who make Contoy their temporary home as they study its precious animal and plant wildlife. The visitor’s center and research facilities will make you feel like you are producing your own NatGeo show!
Activities to Enjoy on Isla Contoy:
The Contoy Island Tour from Ecotourism-cancun.com will take you to live an amazing adventure on a virgin island, complete with a visit to the ecological museum…a key feature of this Mexican Caribbean ecotourism tour.
Sail through the wonderful waters of the Caribbean until reaching the carefully protected reef at Isla Contoy.
Marine biologists will teach and delight you with a magnificent explanation about the wildlife that inhabits this place, also known as Bird Island.
As you explore the island and swim in its pristine waters, you’ll feel what it would be like to spend time on a deserted island paradise, far from land and where you are a part of nature.
Manta rays will swim right up to you long the beach.
Enjoy a delicious grilled fish for lunch, part of that morning’s catch freshly brought to you by fishermen from the nearest island.
On the way back we will take you to Isla Mujeres to enjoy a little island shopping in their picturesque “downtown” area.
Isla Contoy is truly one of the jewels of the Mexican Caribbean! If you are coming to Cancun or the Riviera Maya for your next vacation, definitely make sure to spend some time on Isla Contoy! Contact ecotourism-cancun.com today and check out our Facebook pageand if you like our information, give us a like!
As one of the world’s top vacation spots, sometimes visitors do little more than spend their time on the beach, at the malls, at nightclubs or visiting only the most popular archaeological sites like Chichén Itzá.
While Chichén is one of the most important Mayan archaeological sites, there is MUCH more to our area. Here we’ll tell you about an amazing Mayan experience in Cancun and the Riviera Maya that will make your holiday here extra special, with features, tips, and a link to find out how YOU can marvel at its wonders!
Cobá is the Mayan site where you bring out your inner Indiana Jones. With thousands of unrestored structures there slowly being discovered, you can enjoy a more authentic Mayan experience.
At about two and a half hours from Cancun, this massive Mayan city is well worth the travel time. Cobá features:
Nohoch Mul-The largest climbable Mayan pyramid in the entire Yucatan Peninsula. The view from the top is breathtaking.
Stelae –standing stone relief panels full of religious and political meaning. There are dozens well worth seeing, as the detail and workmanship are stunning!
Ballcourts-so far two different sized Mayan ball courts have been unearthed…will there be more found?
The Lake at Cobá-a beautiful area to walk around and enjoy and see brilliantly-colored birds and other native wildlife.
Sacbes (sacred white stone paths) lead you to Nohoch Mul. At about a mile from the entrance, you may want to hire a tricycle pedicab!
The Coba Extreme Tour is your encounter with the Mayan culture and it starts with a 1,500 year-old historical journey to the Ancient Mayan city of Coba.
Your Maya Encounter journey then leads you to an authentic Mayan village, a self-sufficient Mayan community living next to an important part of the region’s lagoon system.
Your unforgettable, off-the-beaten-track adventure tour then begins: exciting zip-line flying over a lagoon, rappelling down into an incredibly beautiful Cenote (sink hole) where you can enjoy a refreshing swim before going up again. Then climb into a canoe and paddle on a lagoon of enormous beauty.
And to end it all, enjoy a delicious traditional lunch prepared by the women of this lovely Mayan community.
A journey into ancient history and nature far from human trace
Begin an adventure to one of the places where nature is everything, where time doesn’t exist, nor the remains of a civilization that has consumed everything that is blue and green, where living beings keep on flying and swimming in harmony while we, humans, stare at them in awe. Discover a magical Caribbean paradise that preserves its natural beauty and resources in which we are only visitors.
Not very far from Cancun (2 hours away) lies the beautiful and picturesque town of Tulum with its cultural, natural and historical soul. Its precious hallmark consists on an archaeological site on a cliff by the sea that used to be an important nautical port for the ancient Mayans.
Another relevant archaeological site stands in the heart of the Mayan jungle in Sian Kaan natural reserveonly 10 miles from Tulum downtown. Muyil will welcome you with its majestic buildings and lush vegetation, home for the ancient Mayan spirits and endemic fauna and flora species.
After hiking among cultural and historical magical remains, Sian Kaan biosphere natural reserve lagoons will refresh your body and mind. Submerge yourself in the beautiful crystal clear channels, take a boat (accessible through locals offering boat rides to visitors) and admire this place of nature, blessed with so much life and colors. Stare at birds and fishes in their natural habitat, feel the oxygen in your lungs, be glad to be alive!
Last but not least, discover a cenote; the whole area is filled with those gorgeous natural wells of blue and fresh water considered sacred for the Mayan civilization. Kayaking, diving and snorkeling are three of the most important activities to enjoy in the cenotes.
Far from the hustle and bustle, far from your responsibilities and worries, give yourself a sip of fresh air and enjoy a date with Mother Nature in Sian Kaan in the Riviera Maya.
If you are looking for strong emotions and adrenaline in the heights, the Xplor Park tour is just what you need. The park is near Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya and not far from Cancun. It takes about an hour to get there and the adventure begins from the moment one arrives at the entrance of Xplor park, for a cavern that will take you to live an unforgettable adventure full of speed in the heights awaits you.
The van leaves relatively early to Xplor, is a journey on road that passes very quickly because here in the Riviera Maya there is no traffic. Arriving at the Park you will not know where to start but the circuits in raft are an excellent choice, and why not? Take the two of them and row with the special oars attached to your hands. Then you can swim in the incredible underground river full of stalactites and other rock formations that simply beautify the scenery along the route.
After admiring that much underground beauty, go for a refreshing shake at “El Oasis” – where other energizing drinks are also served – and then rush into the impressive 2 zip line circuits with 14 zip lines with extremely fun landings on water. In the “Deer” circuit you will feel the excitement at full speed; and the second circuit, “Jaguar”, is not far behind, for the mixture between height and speed is just the perfect combination!
And to take full advantage of this incredible Xplor tour, directly continue to the amphibious vehicles – amazing vehicles that look like small jeeps – and give a dizzying ride through the jungle on winding roads filled with vegetation, hanging bridges and dark underground caves that will give one touch of adrenaline to your Xplor tour in the Riviera Maya.
Last but not least, the lunch hour, mmm… eat deliciously with the buffet of salads, pastas, meats, desserts and many other culinary delights that will make you regain strength. You will spend an amazing day from the beginning to the end in the Xplor Park Cancun tour, that’s for sure!
At Xel-Ha big kids can do absolutely anything: learn to snorkel, get on the Trepachanga, jump out of the stone o courage, zip lines, do the sea trek it, swim with dolphins and much more, they can enjoy all of the activities of Xel- ha if they are between 9 to 60 years.
Also if you book theTour Xel Ha All Inclusive, your children can eat whatever they please without paying more!
I go every year to Xel-ha with my kids and I learn something new of nature and how wonderful is our planet on each visit, if you have kids bring them to Xel-Ha is a relaxed and cultural visit, and wonderfully fun!
Xel-Ha is a family eco park where all the family has guaranteed fun for little ones on your next vacation to Mexico.
At Xel-ha there is a special area for small children next to the cove that has a small pool and games made of logs where children can spend the whole day enternein, there is a maze, a suspension bridge were they can climb and climb the ropes, while mom and dad rest or snorkel, in turn, since there is a very close access to the cove, they have a slide that ends at the water and a circuit for the little ones to explore!
Also yoy can go sailing with your children on the wheels throughout the wonderful river and mangrove. They can feed the fish with special food, see the manatees, swim with dolphins or just watch them swim. So do not hesitate onvisit Xelha if you have a little ones on your family, we will love it!
The Riviera Maya covers the southern coast of Quintana Roo, from Puerto Morelos to Tulum. All along the Riviera Maya there are plenty of hotels and resorts that offer wonderful amenities and impressive infrastructure.
Because of Its location sometimes is not easy to leave these complexes, but swimming with dolphins in the Riviera Maya is one of the most accessible since the dolphinarium in Puerto Aventuras offers free transportation from any hotel from Puerto Morelos to Tulum. No matter which of the three different dolphin interaction programs you choose, your not going to have to pay extra to get to the dolphinarium in Puerto Aventuras to do your activity.
But Puerto Aventuras is not the only option to realize your dream of swimming with dolphins. if you’re in the Riviera Maya, Xcaret and Xel-Ha have excellent swim with dolphins programs that you can take during your visit to these parks. You just have to consider that in any of these alternatives is very important to book with time, because swimming with dolphins is an activity that is done in small groups so space is limited and you do not want to stay out.