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The Riviera Maya is a magical destination that combines the mysteries of its ancient inhabitants with a spectacular modern-day landscape and biodiversity. There seems to be an almost spiritual sense of timelessness and a bonding with the past that motivates many to want to go to Riviera Maya again and again. A small, pristine beach in Tulum is the perfect example of a Mayan culture that refuses to surrender its dominance to modern man. An ancient temple beside this beach still adds its contribution to the pervasive tranquility found here, while swimmers seem to be watched over from the cliffs by the ancient dwellers of the more than sixty magnificent Mayan structures that have defied time.
Many of those who have a natural affinity with water and enjoy aquatic sports and snorkeling go to Riviera Maya to savor the splendor of Xel-Ha Xel-Ha, which means ‘the place where water is born’. Here the Caribbean colludes with underground rivers and freshwater currents to create a unique and kaleidoscopic ecosystem with its own natural aquarium. Colors that almost defy description will hold snorkelers spellbound as they survey an enviable and extremely diverse array of teeming marine life. Various caves and archaeological sites are hidden in dense jungle that is also home to an impressive diversity of flora and fauna that would have kept the Mayan forefathers well nourished.
The Mayan presence is keenly felt in Cobá, which houses the highest pyramid in the Yucatan. For lovers of historical sites it is incentive enough to go to Riviera Maya. Nohoch-Muul stands as a proud symbol of the architectural wizardry of the Mayan people. Temples that have been cleared of the jungle bear testament to a culture that set no boundaries on magnificence. Walking along thousand-year-old causeways again brings a strong sense of a landscape shared rather than bequeathed. A number of cenotes, or underground reservoirs of water reminds of the ancient methods of agriculture once practiced here.
The Riviera Maya is not a place lost in the past. It is, in fact, proudly part of the 21st century when it comes to tourist accommodations. Hotels and restaurants offer excellent service and a unique cuisine that gets the gastronomic juices flowing. Charming eco-hotels do the environment proud and stunning stretches of warm, white beaches are the perfect place to relax and simply enjoy what nature has bestowed on a remarkable part of the world.