Monday, March 23, 2015

Hipmunk City Love: A Guide to Cancun’s Natural Beauty

Cancun’s climate, landscape, and underwater seascape make it an outstanding destination for a nature lover’s vacation, and there are several hotels in Cancun that place you directly on the intoxicating white sand beaches with the clear blue water at your feet. To fully appreciate the extent of the beauty of the city, make sure to visit the coral reef, cenotes, jungles, and islands.

Photo by Jen Formella via trover.com

Coral Reefs

The Great Mesoamerican Reef off the coast of Cancun is the second-largest coral reef in the world. With warm, clear, shallow waters surrounding the reef, it's an ideal place to snorkel so you can get an up-close look at the stunning and colorful natural formations. The tropical fish and other marine life that live on and near the reef are truly a sight to be seen. Just remember not to touch the reef.

Cenotes

Another underwater wonder in Cancun is its system of cenotes (underwater caverns and hidden rivers). There are several amazing Secret River tours available that allow you to swim, hike, and snorkel through super-clear waters while viewing the astounding formations of stalagmites and stalactites in the caverns. There's also a unique Secret River tour that includes a buffet lunch in the natural environment.  

Photo by Erica Campbell via trover.com

Jungles

The flora and fauna in Cancun’s preserved jungle areas and sanctuaries are incredibly diverse and vastly different from what you may have experienced before, and touring a jungle is an experience you won't soon forget. You'll be awed by sights of leopards, jaguars, and monkeys; waterfowl, reptiles, and mangrove vegetation; and breathtakingly gorgeous birds and flowers of many colors. You can tour these jungles in Jeeps, boats, and even via zip line.

Photo by We Travel Together via trover.com

Islands

Holbox Island

Holbox Island is another area with spectacular marine life and birds. It's separated from the mainland by Yalahau Lagoon and is situated where the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico join (which is why the marine life in the waters is so divergent). The marine life includes dolphins, whale sharks, sea turtles, lobsters, octopus, and manta rays. If you visit in June or September during the large congregations of whale sharks, it's easy to swim right next to one. And you'll love the island’s birds: flamingos, scarlet ibis, pelicans, great white egrets, and more.

Isla Mujeres

The natural beauty of Mayan ruins and ancient statues of women are prevalent on this “Island of Women,” which was so named because it was sacred to the Mayan goddess of childbirth. Isla Mujeres is also home to tropical jungles, white sand beaches, and brilliant blue water. While on the island, you can swim with dolphins, visit a sea turtle protection center, snorkel or dive in a sleeping shark cave, and tour a unique and magnificent underwater sculpture museum.  

Photo by freetobe_mel via trover.com

You can take in all of the extraordinary scenery, and marine and animal life, when you stay at one of many reasonably priced Cancun hotels. This is a city that you'll fall in love with and want to visit more than just once.

This post was written as part of the #HipmunkCityLove project.

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