Quintana Roo, officially known as the Free and Sovereign State of Quintana Roo, is one of the 31 states in Mexico. More popularly known to local and foreign tourists as the Mexican Caribbean, it is part of the Yucatan Peninsula and includes a part of the Caribbean shoreline. This area has played a major role in the state’s tourism industry, drawing in both local and foreign guests. The Mexican Caribbean is further subdivided into 4 tourist destinations: Cancun, the Maya Zone, the Riviera Maya and Great Costa Maya.
Accessible through one of Mexico’s busiest international airports in Cancun, travelers planning to visit this paradise can also opt to fly in through the international airport found in Cozumel. Once in Quintana Roo, guests and tourists can easily navigate among the many different destinations by relying on its very organized bus system including Groupo ADO (Autobuses de Oriente), which operates a number of luxury bus companies in Mexico, and AutoCentro, with has routes covering areas from Cancun to Merida. Hiring a rental car at the airport is also another convenient way to navigate through most of Quintana Roo’s travel gems, while those traveling within a budget can always choose to ride collective vans that run along the major cities of Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen.
The tropical climate throughout the year is what makes Cancun one of the most popular coastal city destinations in Quintana Roo, and no visit to this paradise in Mexico is ever complete without visiting this beautiful place. With its name originating from the Mayan language to mean “nest of snakes or pot,” Cancun sits on the northeast corner of the Mexican Caribbean and caters to a variety of visitors, especially during the peak season between December and April. For tourists who look forward to spending fun time under the sun, there is no better place to be in Cancun than the beaches, enjoying a walk in the sun and taking a dip in the beautiful blue ocean.
There are numerous exciting water activities people can try while enjoying their tropical vacation, beginning with water tours accompanied by snorkeling adventures. Vacationers can either opt to go scuba diving, snorkeling or renting a yacht to explore the island further. The more adventurous can try swimming with sharks and dolphins, or exploring the rest of the island by taking a jeep safari tour. Those who enjoy sports, on the other hand, can always play a round of golf or two on some of the famous golf courses in the area, starting with The Moon Spa and Golf Club or the Riviera Cancun Golf and Spa, or they can opt to see the Iron Colts of Cancun play at the stadium downtown.
The Mayan Riviera, on the other hand, is comprised of the areas found at the southern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula including Akumal, Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Puerto Aventuras. Located to the south of Cancun near the enchanting seaside village of Puerto Morelos, the Mayan Riviera prides itself of its beautiful eco theme parks, starting with the bayside park of Xcaret, which focuses on Mayan culture. Some of its must see attractions include a coral aquarium, a jaguar exhibit, a marine turtle conservation program, as well as limited opportunities for snorkeling and swimming. For kayaking and diving activities, one must opt for the Tres Rios Nature Park found inside the Hacienda Tres Rios Resort, while those who love to see and observe different animal species will always find a visit to Aviario Xaman-Ha and Xel-Ha a delight. Those aiming for more adventure can pay a visit to Xplor and marvel at their majestic grottos and limestone caves, as well as explore their underground river with rafts or on foot.
While in Quintana Roo, you should try the Lobster Dinner Cruise, where you can sample tasty lobsters and steak as well as other famous Mexican dishes while aboard the cruise ship. Also remember to shop at Market 28 and other malls and markets downtown for cheap finds. Or if you are good at haggling, you can always try your luck finding reasonably prized sarongs or jewelry from one of the many vendors that roam around the beaches.