April 4, 2010
CANCUN, MX, Apr. 4, 2010/ Bon Voyage / — Combine glitzy Vegas-style resorts, turquoise waters, spectacular marine life and ancient Mayan ruins and you have a Cancun vacation.
Visitors to Cancun are bound to find something of interest in this tropical paradise. The vibrant excitement that pulsates all throughout Cancun makes it difficult to imagine miles of dunes, mangroves and jungles that Cancun was only four decades ago.
Intentionally built to become a tourist hub, Cancun was transformed from an uninhabitable wasteland to a world-class holiday destination. Dunes and marshes are now replaced by miles of golf courses, theme parks and luxury hotels.
What was it like 40 years ago?
Before heading off to the nearest Cancun attraction, pass by the mangrove jungles of Cancun first to imagine how the island was like forty years ago. You can take a boat tour, ride a canoe or horseback your way through the mangrove jungles.
Explore the fantastic array of corals and tropical fish while you’re at it. After you have freshened up, proceed to La Torre for a bird’s eye view of the island. La Torre is a rotating tower located at the entertainment complex of El Embarcadero at Paseo Kukulkan to see the dramatic progress of the island in less than half a century.
Beachcombing and sunbathing is ideal in beautiful Isla Mujeres, where its turquoise blue waters are also warm and inviting. Although literally translated as Island of Women, it is open to all to enjoy. Located a short 11 km off the shores of Cancun, you can just lay back on the pristine white sand and enjoy a good book while you soak in the sun and work on your tan.
For an exciting water adventure, visit Parque Nizuc, a marine theme park with pools upon pools of wild water slides and rides. Tired of the modern amenities of the Cancun strip? Take an hour drive to southern Cancun and explore the ruins of the ancient Mayan civilization in Tulum. Nearby is a secluded beach where you can take a breather after an exhausting stroll around the ruins.
Feed the sharks
For nature lovers, a visit to the ecological parks of Xcaret and Xel-ha is highly recommended. Keep yourself cool under the shades of its verdant flora while you watch butterflies and birds frolic around its impressive aviary. If you feel a little more daring, you can explore the underground rivers or you can feed the sharks housed in gigantic tanks with their favorite snacks.
Take a short ferry ride from Cancun to the busy town of Playa del Carmen and test your haggling skills in its many market stalls. Nearby is Cozumel, where the amazing splendid coral formations and countless schools of colorful fishes abound.
This just goes to show that a trip to Cancun can be a laidback sunbathing experience on the shore, a luxurious pampering in a hotel, an awe-inspiring visit to ancient ruins or an adrenalin pumping exploration of the wilds. It all depends on how you like it to experience your Cancun vacation.
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Channels: The Calgary Beacon, April 6, 2010