Things to do in Mexico
More about Mexico
If you visit Mexico during June or July, you can enjoy a properly supersized experience: the chance to swim with migrating whale sharks off the Yucatan Peninsula. At an average of 40 feet long and 15 tonnes a piece, these gentle giants are the largest fish in the world.
The beachside city of Playa (as it’s known locally) is home to Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue), a pedestrian thoroughfare that positively jumps with the combined energy of restaurants, interesting boutiques, big-name stores and bars. Walking its length is energising and almost carnival like, as mariachi music floats between facades.
Understandably, the Yucatan Peninsula’s resorts are most popular in the scorching summer months, but plan a winter trip in November and you’ll feel like you won the lottery. The resorts are quieter, your money will go further, and the climate is perfect. It’s a win-win-win.
Escorted tours are a great way to sample life outside of your all-inclusive sanctuary. The region’s cultural capital, Merida, deserves a place on your itinerary, along with the quiet bayside town of Chetumal and the staggeringly well preserved Mayan town of Uxmal.
Geology buffs will know that the Yucatan Peninisula is basically a giant lump of limestone but even rock novices will appreciate that this means rivers tend to run underground, creating sink holes called cenotes that offer clear and colling swimming spots to those who discover them. Some are famous, but many are blissfuly deserted. All are worth dipping into.
A pleasant ferry ride away from Playa Del Carmen, Isla Cozumel is an oasis of authentic Mexican life within easy reach of the big, beautiful resorts. Wander Mayan ruins at your leisure, people-watch in the town square or spend an unforgettable day snorkelling or diving at Cozumel Reef's National Marine Park
Whilst we Brits were making buildings out of bent twigs and mud, the mighty Mayan civilisation was creating formidable stone cities, that even today, will take your breath away. The Yucatan Peninisula is dotted with evidence of their culture, but Chichen Itza, with it's giant pyramid El Castillo, and Tulum - a coastal town featuring dramatic Mayan ruins that look out to sea - are definite highlights.