The Mayan Riviera teems with golf, diving, beaches, ruins and more.
Sensational weather in January and February is but one compelling reason to book an extended vacation in Cancún. Celebrated for its tropical jungles and deep-sea diving, the Mexican destination boasts picture-postcard beaches, eco-archeological parks, Mayan ruins, explosive nightlife, luxury hotels, artisan shopping and stay-and-play packages.
Brush up on your español—or not, since English is widely spoken here—and venture south of the border to Mexico’s heavenly Caribbean side. Here are four suggestive samples of what makes Cancún exceptionally worthy:
1. Bring the golf clubs. Cancún hosts the PGA Tour’s only event in Mexico—the OHL Classic at Mayakoba (pictured above) —contested in November at the daily fee, Greg Norman-designed El Camaleón Riviera Maya golf club. Other 18-hole must-plays include Playa Mujeres (Norman), Hard Rock (Robert Von Hagge), Riviera Maya (Robert Trent Jones Jr.), 27-hole Moon Palace (Jack Nicklaus), Grand Coral (Nick Price) and the dynamite Nicklaus-crafted par-3 course, El Manglar.
2. Cancún wrote the book on peso-pinching, all-inclusive vacations. At its core is AMResorts’ (pictured below) expansive collection of lavish resort destinations—including nameplates Secrets, Zoëtry, Breathless, Dreams, Now and Sunscape—each one extraordinarily defined by sun-kissed beaches, elegant accommodations, spa services, gourmet dining and other pampering services and amenities.
3. Valentine’s Day is approaching, and what better way to celebrate than by booking a blissful stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba. Sited among 240 acres of tropical forest 40 miles south of Cancún, the AAA Five Diamond property spoils with a 10,000-square-foot free form pool, tennis and beach recreation, four restaurants orchestrated by celebrity chef Richard Sandoval, 37,000-square-foot Willow Stream Spa, and privileged access to the El Camaleón Golf course and Jim McClean Golf School.
4. Satiate your inner Indiana Jones with a tour of the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulúm and Cobá, located 80 miles and 110 miles, respectively, south of Cancún. Check off another bucket list item by visiting celebrated Xel-Há Park—situated on the same ocean-hugging road to Tulúm—with family oriented activities including snorkeling, ecological attractions, restaurants and all-inclusive packages.
Aerial view Xel-Há Park
Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.