Yucatan – Explore a Different Mexico


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The Yucatan is one of those very rare places. Still pristine and true to an ancient culture. Yet fully developed for sustainable five-star tourism.

Mayan culture lives on. Rainforests meet with Caribbean beaches. Leading hotels are completely hidden away. Experiences range from pool and spa to snorkelling reefs and cooking with Mexican grandmothers.

Don’t confuse the Yucatan experience with Yucatan’s most famous place. Cancun is an entirely different world and we’d recommend avoiding it completely. And don’t confuse Yucatan with stereotypes about Mexico. This is a safe and exciting holiday destination for couples and families with older children.

Chablé Maroma

It’s easy to fall in the trap of thinking Mexico is just like Narcos. It’s easy to think Mexico is dangerous. Mexico is half the size of Europe and the regions are very different. Can you imagine not visiting Greece because it’s dangerous in Syria? Certainly not. But that’s what people do with Mexico, avoiding Yucatan because of cartel wars in Sinaloa, 3000 kilometres away.

If you’re prepared to explore, the Yucatan is a wonderful balance of beach spa relaxation with local culture. Here’s a summer 2022 itinerary we just designed for our clients.

Day 1 – Beach Time at Chable Maroma

The only good thing about Cancun is the international airport. From Prague, the best one-stop flights are via Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Paris Charles de Gaulle. Touch down and it’s only 40 minutes by road to Chable Maroma, where all the villas have private pools.

Chable Maroma is very different from Yucatan’s well-known Mayakoba complex. It’s serene and calm, with no golf course, no choice of pools or dozens of restaurants. It’s very private with the feeling of being undiscovered. The video will give you a better understanding:

Day 2 – Beach & Spa Time

Start your day with some beach time. Enjoy a traditional Mayan ritual in the spa, then dip into the sauna and jacuzzi. Relax. Relax some more. Surrounded by jungle and sea, Chable Maroma feels like a private island escape. So take your time and embrace solitude in the Caribbean.

Days 3 & 4 – Snorkelling & Cenotes

Cenotes are natural sinkholes connected by underground rivers. They provide freshwater to the entire Yucatan region, helping the Mayas to thrive here, over 1000 years ago. Visit at least one of these sacred places and swim in its cooling water, deep in the jungle.

Sambula cenote

Everybody knows that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest in the world. The second largest runs along the entire Yucatan coastline. So allow yourself some snorkelling time – the warm, shallow waters are great for inexperienced snorkelers and older children.

Mayan Riviera Reef

Day 5 – Chichen Itza to Chable Yucatan

It’s a four-hour drive from Chable Maroma to Chable Yucatan. Chichen Itza, the World Seven Wonder is exactly halfway in between. Chichen Itza is overrun with tour bus crowds from 11am to 3pm. So either make a very early start and explore the old Mayan capital in the morning. Or have a lazy morning and discover the magnificent temples during late afternoon.

Chichen Itza, Mexico.

Day 6 – A Mayan Jungle Experience

The Mayan capital is a good introduction to Chable Yucatan, a restored 19th-century hacienda with its own Mayan history. This hotel is not on the beach, it’s in the jungle, surrounded by cenotes and wildlife. Each of the hotel’s 40 stand-alone casitas has a private pool; Watch the video for the best idea of the vibe:

Day 7 – A Mayan Spa & Renewal Ceremony

Chable Yucatan’s spa has regularly been awarded as among the top five in the world. It’s located in a natural cenote and has excellent hydrotherapy treatments. The highlight is a Mayan renewal ceremony, a sacred rite based on Mayan medicinal philosophy. Another option is a traditional temazcal “steam house” purification ritual.

Chablé Yucatán

Day 8 – More Mayan Connections

There’s a lot to try at this spa hotel in the jungle. Learn to cook Mayan cuisine with a local grandmother. Or do an contemporary cooking class with the property’s highly regarded chef. Create your own chocolate bar by starting with cacao beans. Spend an afternoon tasting tequilas on your terrace. Visit other Mayan ruins and cenotes. Or explore Celestun Reserve, a coastal wetland dominated by flamingos.

Chablé Yucatán

Day 9 – Returning Home

Cancun International Airport is a four-hour drive, which is a disadvantage of this itinerary. However, you can opt to fly out of Merida, only 30 minutes away. Merida to Prague is typically a three-leg flight via Mexico City and a major European hub. Another option can be returning to Chable Maroma for the night, where you’re only 40 minutes from the airport.

Your Mexico Holiday

We think it’s time to think of Mexico by its past. Not the media scare stories about a troubled recent past. But the time of the Mayans and a land of rich natural beauty. You will be surprised at how you can combine beach leisure with a wide variety of cultural and natural experiences. It means Mexico can feel like two holidays in one.

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