If you are planning to visit your Grand Residences home away from home with the family this summer, you’ll want to combine your resort relaxation with day trips to some of the Riviera Maya and Yucatan’s many natural treasures. Here are some of the options for unforgettable summer adventures.

Plain sailing

When the summer heat sizzles and the sea is mirror calm conditions are perfect for a day of sailing in the Caribbean and if you would like to plan a boat trip with family and friends there are several exciting adventures to choose from.

Go in search of nature and plan a trip to the island of Contoy, the palm-fringed island of Caribbean legend and lore and an important bird sanctuary for over 150 species, including pelicans, frigate birds, cormorants, roseate spoonbills, ibis and herons.

Contoy is a two and a half hour boat trip north of Cancun and the shades of turquoise and blue water that you’ll pass through en route are breathtaking. Spend the day watching the birds, relaxing on the beach or snorkeling and swimming with rays and other fish in the sheltered bay.

Eco cruises are available to Contoy during the week, ask your Concierge for information.

Charter a luxury yacht and set sail from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. You can stop for a spot of snorkeling on the way and after exploring Isla, sit down for a seafood lunch at one of the restaurants along the waterfront.

If you want to extend your voyage, why not sail along the Cancun shoreline and through the Nichupte Lagoon before heading for Isla Mujeres?


Face to face with the Whale sharks

For a once-in-a-lifetime nature experience this summer, board a boat for a trip to see the whale sharks, the world’s largest fish and gentle giants.

From mid-May to mid-September, whale sharks gather in large numbers to feed on plankton in the waters to the east of Contoy and Isla Mujeres and also off Holbox Island and Cabo Catoche. Your eco trip will take you out to the whale shark feeding grounds where you can watch them swim placidly by as they filter feed and even swim with them. You may also be lucky enough to see giant manta rays leaping from the water, sea turtles and pods of dolphins too.


A day at the Riviera Maya’s parks

If you are vacationing with your family, then a day at one of the Riviera Maya’s parks is a must and one that everyone will enjoy.

Heading the list is world-famous Xcaret Park just south of Playa del Carmen. A day here is as much about fun in the water as it is about you and your children discovering the country’s rich traditions and wildlife.

After a day snorkeling, swimming in underground rivers and visiting attractions like the aquarium, aviary, butterfly pavilion and craft museum, among others, you must stay on for the Xcaret evening show. This gala performance takes you on a journey through Mexican history, from the days of the ancient Maya and Aztecs to the arrival of the Spaniards, the 19th century seen through the eyes of a newly independent nation and Mexican Revolution in 1910, to this day. See folk dances from all over the country and all the sights and sounds of a Mexican fiesta, complete with a mariachi band.

If you want to spend the day in the water, then head to Xel-Ha Park. This chain of turquoise inlets, lagoons and cenotes is a snorkeling paradise offering face to face encounters with a variety of colorful reef fish. And although you’ll want to dive into the clear water over and over again in search of new species, there are other fun activities on offer.

Follow the paths through the forest to the park’s cenotes, smaller inlets and caves. Leap off the cliff of courage into the water and then drift across the lagoon on a giant inner tube. You can also try your hand at zip lining, swim in a cenote or swim with dolphins (additional charge) and don’t miss Xel-Ha’s latest attraction, the viewing tower that is actually a giant water slide.

Or how about a day of jungle adventures? Enjoy the thrills of zip lining, snorkeling in cenotes, kayaks, abseiling, nature walks or ATV drives through the forest at the Riviera Maya’s many adventure parks. They include Selvatica, Xplor, Aktun Chen and the Jungla Maya tour.


Splash down in a Cenote

Diving into a jungle-rimmed pool filled with crystal-clear water that is so cool it is quite a shock after the heat is a favorite Riviera Maya activity. There are so many cenotes or sinkholes in the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan and if you ask a local, they all have their favorite cenote parks.

Some of the Riviera Maya’s most beautiful cenotes are actually not far from Puerto Morelos, clustered along the Ruta de los Cenotes. There are more to explore in the Puerto Aventuras area and in Tulum.

Taking the family to Xenotes Oasis Maya gives you the chance to explore the jungle and spend the day at four different cenotes on the Ruta de los Cenotes. Swim, snorkel and rappel down a cliff wall. Go kayaking, float in an inner tube and splashdown in a cenote on a fun zip line. Venture into ancient caves and enjoy a guided walk along nature trails in the jungle.

Ask your Concierge for more summer sightseeing ideas.

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