CULTURE & BEACHES OF MEXICO
Imagine a place where you can discover ancient civilisations hidden in tropical forests, where old traditions are celebrated with vibrant street parties, enchanting colonial architecture adorns verdant landscapes and rich culture oozes from colourful cities. Mexico is an entire world of its own, with character that couldn’t be imitated; unspoilt paradise beaches sweep up to wild jungles, hardly explored, and a day can be filled with hiking astonishing Mayan archaeological sites, spotting monkeys swooping through thick forests, lounging on icing sugar sands sampling local tequilas, or sighting whale sharks off the Caribbean or Pacific coasts. With a colonial history that will enthral, an art scene that stuns, and such mouth-watering cuisine to sample straight from local food markets (more diverse, colourful and flavourful than perhaps anywhere else on earth), Mexico has so much more to offer than the beaches that it is most famous for, however blissful and breathtaking they may be.
DISCOVER THE WONDERS OF MEXICO:
· Taking part in fiestas and festivals is an amazing way to get a feel for local life and Mexican culture. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is one of the most colourful and fun festivals of the year and the costumes will blow you away.
· Swim with dolphins near Cozumel, a gorgeous island off the Caribbean coast, for an experience of a lifetime, also home to the best dive site in Mexico.
· Go whale shark watching off the coast of Cancun from May to September
· Swim in hidden cenotes (natural, fresh water pools) in the middle of the lush forests of the Yucatan Peninsula.
· Experience turtle nesting season, and the great conservation projects happening at many of the hotels.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN MAYAN CULTURE
Many of the most astounding ancient Mayan ruins are hidden away in the jungle in the Yucatan Peninsula, serving as excellent day trips from the fabulous luxury beach hotels on the Riviera Maya. The archaeology and culture of this ancient civilisation are fascinating to discover first hand and you’ll be in awe at the size and majesty of these extraordinary sites, as each is entirely unique:
Chichen Itza is dominated by an enormous pyramid known as El Castillo, spectacular to behold.
- Uxmal is known for its ornate carved facades and is great for those who are happy to spend a whole day or a night away from the beach.
- Tulum’s location (a fortress right on the edge of a cliff) is simply stunning.
- Coba, which is still being excavated, is impressively large; it was one of the most important cities in the Mayan civilisation.
Viceroy, Riviera Maya, Mexico
One of the most romantic spots on the Riviera Maya, Viceroy is an adult-only retreat on the edge of lush rainforest, which meets the ocean on the most wonderful stretch of beach in the area. An intimate luxury resort with a stunning spa, the Viceroy’s serene features complement its tropical surroundings. Make the most of the excellent yoga classes available here overlooking stunning coastal views.
Paradisus Playa del Carmen - La Perla, Mexico
A sleek and sophisticated hotel exclusively for adults, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla is both contemporary and stylish, enticing the most discerning of travellers and opening them up to a world of luxury on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. For the highest level of service and attention to detail, the Royal Service Suites are just the place to splash out – not only do you gain exclusive access to a special restaurant and swimming pool, but you’ll have your very own butler. The blissful white sand beach here is naturally the main attraction, but there’s so much more to do here. For those wanting to sample local Mexican culture, the hotel arranges everything from tequila tastings, to tango dancing and eco-classes where guests can learn all about the resort’s beach conservation projects. La Perla really has something for everyone; foodies have 6 superb restaurants to try out, plus 8 more at sister hotel La Esmeralda right next door, if you love indulging in spa treatments, the YHI Spa is fantastic, and golf lovers can enjoy complimentary green fees at the Grand Coral Riviera Maya 18- hole golf course nearby. One of the great things about this destination is that you’re close to the extraordinary Mayan ruins of Tulum, so a beach holiday can be filled with cultural discoveries; there is little more spectacular than this ancient site, set on a cliff top with views of the surrounding jungle.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico
Grand Velas is the ultimate beach destination set on the stunning Riviera Maya, and perfect for couples and families looking for a beautiful setting and luxury service. The hotel really goes above and beyond and as it’s all-inclusive, you can be as indulgent as you please. The Ambassador section is particularly great for families, with over-sized suites that surround the main infinity pool, and it’s well located very close to both the Kid's Club and Teen's Club. For one of our team members, Dannii Blagoeva, it’s her favourite hotel on the planet, and she’s explaining why, giving her top recommendations for making the most out of your stay:
Dine – Grand Velas is all about the food, specialising in using Mexican flavours to create the finest cuisine. For a really sumptuous luxury dining experience, go to their Michelin Star restaurant, Cocina de Autor, where the 12-course tasting menu is to die for. After your final course, they even offer you your favourite dish again, how can you say no? If you’re feeling like something extra spoiling, their sommelier will arrange wine pairing for each delicious course.
Indulge – When you’re staying at a hotel that boasts the biggest spa in Latin America, you simply have to go and see what all the fuss is about; it would be madness not to! I highly recommend indulging in their fabulous Ayurvedic Hot Stone Massage, promising just the sort of deep relaxation that you’ve been dreaming of.
Relax – Grand Velas understand very well that for couples getting away, both tranquillity and seclusion are high on the list of priorities. The ‘adults only’ area, Grand Class, is perfect for this; there’s a private pool area away from any noise, and you can stroll right onto the beach from here.
Play – The Grand Velas Kids Club gets children all together to play fun games, watch movies, make kites and piñatas and generally have a brilliant time. They ensure that a holiday at Grand Velas is as enjoyable for kids as it is for adults.
Experience – Grand Velas can arrange wonderful family activities nearby, such as swimming with dolphins, which is unforgettable. You spend the whole day learning about these fascinating sea creatures from fantastic dolphin trainers.
Explore – Going swimming in secluded cenotes (fresh water pools) in the middle of the jungle is a must whilst exploring the Yucatan Peninsula. These are incredibly refreshing and my favourite one is Cristalino, a stunning oasis hidden in the verdant forest.
Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Mexico
Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is an exquisite boutique hotel in a peaceful setting, surrounded by towering coconut palms on the glorious Riviera Maya. An experience here is guaranteed to be sublimely luxurious; you can indulge in astounding health & wellness treatments at their world-class Spa which has been voted Best Spa in Mexico and Latin America by Condé Nast Traveller, enjoy pristine white sandy beaches and discover the rich ancient culture of the Mayans by visiting mesmerising ruins very close by.
Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa ensures guests feel lost in paradise from the moment they arrive, with little touches making your stay extra special. As the sun sets every evening, 1,000 candles are lit in the gardens, illuminating the pathways and creating a very special, romantic ambience and a sight that will take your breath away.
The rooms here are stunning, with original artwork and hand-painted tiles, combining chic style with Mexican colour. Belmond Maroma’s famous beachfront tequila and ceviche bar is fantastic, with the largest selection of tequila on the Riviera Maya. Tasting these is an absolute must to get involved in Mexican culture! The Noches de Cantina here also give guests a taste of Mexico, with a feast of traditional home-style local cuisine, paired with craft beers, tequila and mezcal, and accompanied by traditional Mexican music.