The plan started to be executed during the administration of president Luis Echeverria (1970-1976), then, what once was a modest village inhabited by less than 100 people, would turn - little by little - into the largest tourist centre in the world, with an influx of over a million visitors a year.
is now synonymous of sea. Of bodies burnished
by the sun, of bikinis and thongs, of cold beverages on the warm
sand, of days spent swimming with the dolphins, of excursions to
the depths of the Caribbean, of constant challenges to the waves
on surfboards, of alliances with the wind to move forward on a sailboard,
and of maximum adrenaline on a jet-ski.
Beaches and more beaches. Some of calm waters, such as Linda, Langosta and Tortugas, which are protected by the bay of Mujeres (Women) Island; others show energetic and impulsive currents, such as Las Ballenas, Delfines and San Miguelito; all facing the Caribbean, all beautiful, all inviting us to rest on their fine sands or to refresh on their pristine waters.
The fun stage changes during the night. It is no more the immensity of the sea or the cheering sand. In the dark, the blinking of the neon lights guide travellers into the bars and discotheques of autochthonous or cosmopolitan ambience, with speakers blasting with the sound of a ranchera or apparently dancing with the catching melodies of the Caribbean music.
The adventure is not over after enjoying the sea and the nightly
is also history and wild nature,
specially at the so called Mayan Riviera; a coastal fringe 160 kilometres
long which extends down to the border with Belize, offering an interesting
variety of archaeological and eco-tourist itineraries.
Tracks from the past at Coba, a city in the middle of various lagoons that was the starting point of the longest sacbeob (road) built by the Mayans; and at Tulum, a city glued to the top of a cliff and protected by extensive walls, are clear evidence of the greatness of the pre-Hispanic civilizations.
Spots with overflowing wildlife such as the Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka'an, which reveals itself as a "gift from heaven" due to its generous geography and its great variety of flora and fauna; and Xel-Ha and Xcaret as well, charming Mayan coves turned nowadays into a national park and a tourist park respectively.
And at the coastal snake of the Mayan Riviera, there are excellent resorts in Playa del Carmen - one of the most sophisticated spots - and in Cozumel, the largest inhabited island in Mexico whose waters are the most transparent in the world, wherein scuba diving and snorkelling are practiced with assiduity.
Back to the restless city with its ostentatious Hotel Zone, its
private beaches, its gigantic shopping malls, and the Kukulcan Boulevard
that links the tourist centre with the calm streets of the town
, a more discreet place with less expensive
gives fun no truce. Its hotels and restaurants
thought for demanding travellers and globetrotters, its superb Mayan
compounds, its ecological strongholds and… beaches, lots of beaches.
In here, there is time to enjoy what nature and man - each at its
shift - have created only.