One of the most popular Mexican destinations is, in fact, the region of Yucatan Peninsula and Quintana Roo. (Click here to watch a travel video that will show it to you.) Together, these two sections of the Eastern side of Mexico include Chichen Itza (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), Playa Del Carmen and Cancun (both are major clubbing destinations famous worldwide), Tulum (well known for beaches with indie vibes), Cozumel (popular location for snorkeling in the coral reef), Akumal (the place to go to swim naturally with marine turtles and catfish), Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy (included in tours for snorkeling), adventure water parks like Xel-Ha (where you also have the opportunity to swim with dolphins), Coba (the only Mayan ruin in Mexico which tourists are still allowed to climb, cenotes like Ik Kil (very popular in Mexico and are in abundant numbers), and so many more! The list could go on forever, braiding in with other stunning adventures such as swimming naturally with whale sharks (which, by the way, are completely harmless). Also, let’s not forget the natural parks where you can walk side by side with flamingos, falcons, common agouti, and parrots.
As you may very well already know (you are expected to know this—this is general knowledge), Mexico has a lot of wildlife. The best part is that this wildlife is not entirely exclusive! In fact, you have so many chances to get so close to it you could even touch it. It is just important to keep in mind that seasons of the year will very much affect your opportunity to see and “socialise” with these species.
The fact that the name of these animals includes the term shark makes you instantly want to ignore the availability of this opportunity. Yet, let me just tell you the truth: whale sharks are completely harmless! Isn’t that just spectacular? And to think that you can actually just swim alongside them! Click here to see a video GoPro made with whale sharks so you can understand what these beautiful water creatures are and how they act around people: peacefully! They are outstanding.
NOTE: Their season is May to September and particularly mid-summer.
This is perhaps an activity that may arouse controversy as you cannot actually swim with them in their natural habitat. You can, however, “socialise” with them at adventure water parks such as Xel-Ha. It is up to you. Nevertheless, a more friendly action would be to go on a boat tour and visualise them in their natural habitat.
Coral Reef (Snorkeling/Scuba Diving)
You cannot go to Mexico and not snorkel! There are several absolutely stunning locations that should be at the top of your list for this: Cozumel (best location for snorkeling in the coral reef), Isla Contoy, and Isla Mujeres. Of course, you can see the coral reef in several locations, but the islands on the Eastern side of Mexico are particularly emphasised for their abundance in coral. Also, the water is quite often crystalline and of such a beautiful blue colour that snorkeling is enough to allow you to see under the water (hence, scuba diving may not always make a difference).
Marine Turtles and Catfish
Without any exaggeration, this was perhaps the most beautiful part of my experience in Mexico. If you are staying on the Eastern coast of Mexico, then do all you can to go to Akumal. There is a beach there which can get quite crowded, yet it is totally worth it! Marine turtles and catfish surround it. If you are really lucky, you can actually see them by yourself. However, most marine turtles won’t come that close to humans as there is too much noise and not enough “food” for them by the shore. Hence, they stay a bit further away, where humans are not allowed to trespass unless with a guide. Also, let me mention that tours are always flexible to negotiations of finance and so getting a guide will never be expensive. Click here to see them!
To swim alongside marine turtles was absolutely stunning. They can get as big as half an adult’s body! It is an unbeatable adventure.
Mexico is so tropical that you will always be surrounded by wildlife (agouti, for instance, plus pelicans). You can, however, go to natural reserves and see flamingos, for example. In Playa Del Carmen there is a bird sanctuary called Xaman-Ha where you can walk alongside tropical birds such as flamingos, parrots, macaws, ducks, and many more!
NOTE: It would be a smart decision to have mosquito spray with you.
There are so many things to do in such a vastly tropical country like Mexico, yet just make sure you do make the most of the wildlife there!