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Coming soon, Flor de Canela, your new Mexican restaurant

We have some exciting news to share with you about gourmet dining in your home away from home, something to tempt your taste buds and make you look forward to your next vacation in paradise. Flor de Canela, the second restaurant at Grand Residences, is set to open before the end of the year. Serving the finest traditional recipes in a magnificent Mexican setting it will be a celebration of this country and its rich cuisine, which was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 2010.

Sample a selection of authentic dishes from all over the country, from tasty tacos, panuchos and fresh seafood to grilled skirt steak with traditional salsa, pork pibil and duck in manchamanteles, a variety of spicy mole sauce. For the perfect finale to an unforgettable meal indulge with a heavenly dessert, the choices will include buñuelos or sweet fritters, chocolate delight and helado or ice cream made with seasonal fresh fruit.

Flor de Canela will open three days a week for dinner. Dine in the air-conditioned restaurant or on the open-air terrace.

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Spread the Word about Grand Residences

If you enjoy telling your friends, relatives and associates about Grand Residences and showing them photos of your home in paradise, why not help spread the word by participating in the Grand Residences Referral Program?

We want your referrals to discover the Grand Residences luxury vacation experience for themselves and we are willing to offer them, on your behalf, a special 3 night/4 day stay in a luxurious Junior Suite at Grand Residences at a greatly discounted rate, so that they can do just that.

To take advantage of this special offer the only requirement is that during their stay, your referred guests must attend a personalized resort preview of our Private Residence Club. We will show them our new vision of luxury living and what it would be like to have a beautiful home in paradise. If your referrals choose to become owners, you will receive 2% of the net purchase price of their Fraction in Royal Resorts Rewards that you can apply towards your annual Club Service fees, use to pay your club bill on your next vacation or make a donation to Royal Resorts Foundation charitable causes.

Start thinking about the people you know and that you think would be interested in the Grand Residences lifestyle. We would love to hear from you and look forward to showing your friends your beautiful resort home.

If you would like to make a referral, click here or call +52(998) 881-0100 ext. 65846.

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SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT GRAND RESIDENCES

If you would like to make a referral

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Turtle News

The Grand Residences turtle guardians have been very busy in the last few weeks watching over the female turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand. As of August 31, there were 69 nests in the corral and more are expected as the nesting season draws to a close this month.

All eyes are now fixed on the eggs that remain to hatch, watching for the slightest crack or movement, a sign that the baby turtles are springing to life and chipping away at the eggshell. When they emerge security staff and guests will watch them make their way across the sand to a new life at sea.

To date, 3,162 baby turtles have been released at Grand Residences this season, many more than last year. If you are due to visit us this month or later in the fall, you may be lucky enough to witness a turtle release on the beach when darkness falls.

The latest turtle news from the Royal Resorts in Cancun is that there are 279 nests with 32,803 eggs in the corral at The Royal Caribbean and 204 nests with 23,744 eggs at The Royal Sands. More than 23,240 baby turtles have already been released.

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Kids Club

What’s in store for your little ones during your Grand Residences stay? At the supervised Kids Club, children from four to 12 years can give rein to their creative side with painting, piñata mask and bracelet making and other art sessions. There are pool and beach games, nature walks and a real favorite iguana spotting! When they are ready for some quiet time, there are movies and Xbox games to keep them entertained.

Your children will soon make friends with the dedicated staff and other children and don’t be surprised if they want to spend all their time in the Kids Club.

Older children will enjoy the sports, games and activities lined up for them in the Teens Club.

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Gone fishin’, set sail from Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos is renowned in the Mexican Caribbean for its rich fishing grounds and in the summer sailfish, marlin and wahoo are in season. However, whatever the time of year you are sure to land your own catch of the day. That’s exactly what Charo Bodiongan and Grand Residences owner Garry Sanchez did when they caught this huge mahi-mahi or dorado.

Ask your Concierge if you would like to go fishing. Many local marinas have a catch and release policy for species such as sailfish and marlin.

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Every picture tells a story

We thought you would like to see a festive selection of photos to remind you of the natural beauty and colors that make the Mexican Caribbean such an incredible destination.

If you have a picture of Grand Residences, Puerto Morelos or a favorite place in the Mexican Caribbean or the Yucatan that you would like to share with us, we would love to see it. Send your pictures to memories@royalresorts.com. A selection of the photos we receive will be published in this newsletter.

 

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The Steinvurzel Family

Meet Sharon and Bernardo Steinvurzel, Royal Resorts members for more than 30 years. They recently stayed at Grand Residences with their children and grandchildren and had this to stay about the resort.

“It was magnificent, says Sharon.” “The service was par excellence, second to none, really incredible and the staff were amazing. They were very friendly and took time to get to know us and find out what we like.

“We came down with our family, all in all eight adults and seven children and we were treated Royally, she adds.” “We found it all very easy, very accommodating for such a large group and the food was excellent. We were so happy to be together, we didn’t need anything else, although the services such as the gym and all the activities are first-class.”

“One of my sons and his family live in West Virginia and the rest of us are in New York State, explains Sharon.” “Due to the distance, we don’t see that much of them and our summer vacation at Royal Resorts –this time at Grand Residences–is our chance to spend precious time together. It also gives our children time to catch up with each other and our grandchildren get to know their cousins better. Our eldest grandchild is 11, the next one is nine and then eight and then there are the little ones. They enjoyed a super Kids Club at the resort and were thrilled with it. We kept asking where they were only to be told that one or two of them had popped over to the club. Needless to say, the adults were also delighted with the Kids Club and staff.

“All in all, Grand Residences was a perfect spot for us. I don’t even have words to describe the suites except to say that if I had a permanent home here in the Mexican Caribbean I would want it to be like this! I loved the kitchen; if you are a cook it is wonderfully spacious and well equipped. We also liked the fact that there are only two suites per floor, it gave it a very secluded feel and the elevator is secure for children.

“If I have a message for fellow members it would be, we have been members of Royal Resorts for more than 30 years and this was one of the best experiences we have ever had here. We very often visit the Cancun resorts or The Royal Haciendas twice a year so that we can say that we have been here 50 times. You have to really like a place to say that!”

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Mayan Magic

The ancient cities of the Maya have an air of mystery whenever you visit them but for many travelers, a trip to the World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza in September to witness the Equinox offers even more wonders.

 

An ancient god returns to earth

On September 22 and 23, the Pyramid of Kukulcan or El Castillo reveals its function in ancient times as a solar clock marking the passage of the seasons. It is aligned to catch the rays of the setting sun on the days of the spring and fall equinoxes in March and September. Triangles of light and shadow appear along the side of the north staircase forming the rippling body of a snake. It merges with the head of a stone serpent at the foot of the building, creating the illusion of a gigantic reptile coming down from the sky and slithering across the ground towards the Sacred Cenote.

The snake symbolizes Kukulcan (also known as Quetzalcoatl in central Mexico), the feathered serpent god, returning to earth to give hope to his followers and heralding the spring planting and fall harvest seasons for the Maya.

 

A reflection of the Mayan calendar

The pyramid of Kukulcan was built some time between A.D. 650 and 800, with later modifications during the Itzae period of glory, possibly from A.D. 1000 to 1150. It is also believed to represent the ancient Mayan calendar as the number of terraces and wall panels coincides with the number of months in the Mayan year (18) and years in a calendar round (52), respectively, and the number of steps in the staircases, including the top platform, equals 365, the days in the year.

 

Chichen Itza’s ancient astronomers had an observatory

A short distance from the Great Plaza is the round tower known as El Caracol or the Observatory. It has a viewing platform and wells, which were used by ancient astronomers to mirror starlight, and the building was aligned to catch sunsets and moonsets on both equinoxes and to mark the course of Venus.

 

Planning your trip to Chichen Itza

Ask your Concierge to arrange a trip to Chichen Itza for you. The snake of light and shadow is also visible the day before and after the equinox, cloud cover permitting.

Why not make a day of it and visit Valladolid and its nearby cenotes beforehand, explore Chichen Itza and witness the Equinox? Eat an early dinner at the neighboring hotel and stay on for the brand new evening Light and Sound Show in the Great Plaza, a marvel of computer-generated art and video mapping.

 

 

More Mayan Wonders

 

Ek Balam

A 20-minute drive to the north of Valladolid is the ancient city of Ek Balam, which means “black jaguar or star jaguar” in Maya. The city flourished between A.D. 250-1200 and its crowning glory is the façade on the upper level of the Acropolis, the principal building, which features the magnificent stucco figure of an ancient lord thought to be the first ruler of the city. The figure’s ornate feathered headdress resembles wings and has led many people to refer to him as “el angel” or the angel.

 

Uxmal

An hour’s drive south of Mérida, Uxmal is one of the loveliest ancient cities in the Maya World. During the Late Classic period (A.D. 600-900), it was a regional capital, controlling southwest Yucatán and a chain of smaller cities referred to as the Puuc Route: Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak and Labná.

Apart from location, these sites share a unique architectural and artistic style called Puuc. In recognition of their outstanding cultural worth, UNESCO declared them a World Heritage area in 1996.

Highlights at Uxmal are the Magician’s Pyramid, the Nuns’ Quadrangle, a gracious courtyard surrounded by four palace-like buildings with magnificent friezes and the impressive Palace of the Governor on a mound and platform overlooking the site. Other buildings of note are the Temple of the Birds, the Great Pyramid, The House of the Turtles and El Palomar.

 

Coba

From Tulum on the Riviera Maya coast, head inland to the ancient city of Coba (25 miles/41 km from the coast), one of the Maya World’s largest archaeological sites.

Coba means “waters ruffled by the wind” in Maya and the pyramids and temples at this jungle site are clustered around four shallow lakes. The city reached its peak during the Mayan Classic period, A.D. 250-900, when it was an important trade center. Archaeologists believe that it may have had links with Tikal in Guatemala.

The principal buildings or groups at Coba are Nohoch Mul, at 42 meters, the tallest pyramid in the northern Yucatán, the Cobá group, La Iglesia (another pyramid), Las Pinturas, the Ball Court, Xaibe and the Macanxoc group which has nine circular altars and eight stelae.

Cobá is also famous for the sacbes or Mayan roads that radiate from the heart of the city. The longest sacbe in the Maya World links the city with the site of Yaxuná, near Chichén Itzá and is 101 km long.

 

 

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Puerto Morelos Seaweed Update

Beach cleaning efforts in Puerto Morelos to remove the sargassum or seaweed washing ashore have been boosted since the beginning of August. More than 850 people are currently involved and the number is set to top 1,000 for the next 35 days.

Cleaning brigades are patrolling the stretch of shoreline from Bahia Petempich south to the village where seaweed has washed up in larger quantities; others are removing the weed floating in the shallows. Light tractors and beach rakers are being used on some of the beaches that are not sea turtle nesting sites.

Seaweed is still coming ashore along the Mexican Caribbean coast and the amounts vary from day to day and in different locations. We will keep you posted on the statewide beach cleaning initiative, research into the causes of the seaweed invasion affecting the entire Caribbean and possible solutions.

Visit www.royalresortsnews.com for additional updates.

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More Statues for the Cancun Underwater Museum of Art

Cancun’s iconic underwater museum is expanding once more. “Entendimiento” (The Understanding), a cluster of figures kneeling around the sacred fire is the latest group of sculptures to be submerged in the Cancun Underwater Museum of Art and it will soon be joined by two more art works: Zoe and Bendición (The Blessing), out of a waiting list of 16 that are ready for exhibition.

The work of artist Eliezer Amado Gil, Entendimiento is now on display underwater in Punta Nizuc, where visitors arriving on the wave runner jungle tour will be able to admire it.

The Cancun Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA) already has more than 500 sculptures for snorkelers and divers to admire and there is room for at least 846 more in the Manchones and Punta Nizuc galleries.

In addition to their message of art, the sculptures have become a habitat for fish, lobsters, corals, sponges and anemones and are slowly being transformed into living reefs.

If you would like to visit the Cancun Underwater Museum of Art during your next trip, ask your Concierge for details of snorkeling and scuba trips.

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Macaws bred in Xcaret now fly free in Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz

In the third liberation of its kind in the Nanciyaga Reserve in Los Tuxtlas, 29 scarlet macaws bred in Xcaret Park were released into the wild. This brings the total of macaws that have been reintroduced into the forests of southern Veracruz to 72.

Similar releases have taken place in northern Chiapas, near the ancient Mayan city of Palenque and the hope is that these colonies of macaws will begin to breed and help bring this beautiful bird back from the brink of extinction in Mexico.

Launched in 1993, the Xcaret macaw breeding program has been extremely successful. It is in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest number of chicks hatched in a single year; 175 birds were born in 2012.

Macaws mate for life and there are now more than 100 breeding pairs in the park and to date, over 1,000 birds have been raised from four original breeding pairs.

If you are planning a visit to Xcaret during your stay at Grand Residences and are interested in nature, don’t miss the park’s huge new aviary, now open to visitors. Not only will you see macaws or guacamayas, but no less than 50 species –a total of 1,000 birds– from the jungles and mountain cloud forests of southeast Mexico such as the great curassow, golden eagle, king vulture, keel-billed toucan, parrots and hummingbirds.

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Restoring Yucatan’s Colonial Heritage

The Government of Yucatan has announced that the second phase of the restoration project in the historic town center of Valladolid that will bring many of the facades of 16thand 17th century mansions back to life and illuminate the architecture of the imposing San Bernardino and Sisal monastery is almost complete. The Valladolid project joins the Izamal, City of Light and restoration of the village of Mani in the south as initiatives to preserve the state’s colonial heritage and boost tourism.

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Mayan Discoveries at Uxmal and Chichen Itza

A team of archaeologists working in the ancient Mayan city of Uxmal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Puuc Hills of southern Yucatan has discovered traces of 150 different species of medicinal plants in the vicinity of the Palace of the Governor, pointing to the existence of herb gardens when the city was inhabited.

The herbs were found to the east of the Palace of the Governor and lower down the manmade platform that it crowns. This was a residential area for the nobility and Archaeologist José Huchim Herrera, Director of the Uxmal Archaeological Site, stated that his team has also found evidence of cornfields, bean and squash plants cultivated to feed the elite.

A total of 321 species of plant, more than 200 of which have medicinal uses, have been found throughout the archaeological site. Some of the herbs are still used today in the Yucatan to cure stomach disorders, ulcers, fever, sores and even as a remedy to draw out the poison from snakebites and the team is working with a Mayan herbalist and a botanist to identify and register them all.

Using electromagnetic resistance technology, geophysics experts have found an underground river below the Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza, the Yucatan’s most famous Mayan city and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The hidden pool is in a chamber deep in the limestone, with 20 meters of rock between it and the pyramid’s foundations. Experts believe that it may have fed the other cenotes on the site, the Sacred Well and Xtoloc Cenote.

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Trusted Traveler Program set to Expand in Airports

Starting in 2016, the United States, Mexico and Canada plan to create a “trusted traveler” network that will allow eligible citizens to apply for fast track airport screening.

Under the agreement Mexican nationals who are registered for the Viajero Confiable program will be able to apply for the United States-Canada Nexus trusted traveler program.

Canadians who are members of Nexus will be able to apply for Viajero Confiable and if accepted will be eligible for expedited screening at international airports in Mexico.

Citizens of the United States may already apply for Nexus and Viajero Confiable status in Canada and Mexico though existing agreements between U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the National Institute of Migration in Mexico and the Canadian Department of Public Safety.

(Source: Travel Weekly, Novedades)

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Upcoming events

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5729″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Mexican Independence, September 15-16

From north to south, east to west, Mexico celebrates the anniversary of its Independence from Spain with delicious food, music and colorful festivities on September 15 and processions on September 16.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5588″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Fiesta del Cristo de Las Ampollas, September 27, Merida

The patron saint of Merida is honored with masses, pilgrimages, processions and traditional dances.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5730″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]First International Theatre Festival, Playa del Carmen, October 5-11

Local drama groups join guest companies from other parts of Mexico and overseas in a celebration of the world of theatre.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator separator_style=”line” separator_color=”default”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5423″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Second Festival of Mexican Wine, Riviera Maya, October 15,16 & 17

Conferences and workshops, wine tastings, art, music, wine dinners and the vendimia or wine harvest evening.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator separator_style=”line” separator_color=”default”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5424″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]International Festival of Maya Culture, Merida, October 16-25

In October, Merida will be hosting FICMAYA, an international festival celebrating Maya culture and the arts.

The theme of the 2015 festival is Science reflected in the Architecture, Time and Landscape of the Mayab. It brings together researchers, artists and the representatives of Mayan communities from Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco and Chiapas, the Central American countries of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador and other countries. All share a love of Maya culture. This year, Quintana Roo is the guest state and Cuba the guest country, chosen for its strong ties to the Yucatán through history.

Details of the festival program will be revealed in July and will include academic seminars on aspects of the Maya culture and the latest discoveries made by researchers; theater, concerts, dance, art exhibitions and movies. A selection of events from the famous Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato will also be featured.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5731″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]10th Xcaret Festival of Life & Death Traditions, Xcaret, October 30, 31, November 1 & 2

Hosted by Xcaret Park, the 10th Festival of Life and Death Traditions showcases one of Mexico’s richest and most colorful customs, the Day of the Dead or Día de Muertos, which takes place on November 1 and 2. At this time of year, Mexicans believe that the souls of the departed are permitted to return to the world of the living for a short time and they welcome their loved ones back with altars laden with flowers, food, treasured possessions and other offerings, and with candlelit vigils, masses and serenades.

The Festival program features processions, altars, traditional cuisine, art exhibits, music, dance, theater, children’s events and a visit to the colorful Mexican cemetery. The 2015 event will have the participation of Mayan communities from Quintana Roo and Yucatan, several award-winning groups of musicians from guest country Colombia and a gala concert by popular Mexican singer songwriter Julieta Vinegas.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5379″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]OHL Classic at Mayakoba PGA Golf Tournament, November 9-15

Some of the world’s top golfers, including legendary PGA champions and up and coming players will be gathering in the Riviera Maya this November for the OHL Golf Classic at El Camaleon Golf Club in Mayakoba.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5590″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Caribbean Culture Festival, November 11-16, Cancun, Chetumal, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen

The Caribbean Culture Festival is set to take place November 11-16 in multiple venues throughout the state. Cuba is the guest nation and 15 countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America have already confirmed their participation, including Jamaica, Panama, Costa Rica Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Venezuela. Events will include concerts, dance events, theater, film, art exhibitions and academic seminars on Caribbean history and culture.[/vc_column_text][dt_fancy_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5732″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Xel-Ha Triathlon, November 14-15

Professional and amateur triathletes will be participating in the Xel-Ha Triathlon this November. The Olympic event takes place on Saturday 14 and attracts the finest triathletes in Mexico. The scheduled Sunday activities are a Sprint Triathlon, a Children’s event and a Beginners Only Triathlon.

This is the second year that Xel-Há Park has been selected by the Mexican Triathlon Federation as the venue for the National Triathlon Championship 2015.

For more information visit www.triatlonxelha.com[/vc_column_text][dt_fancy_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5428″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, Playa del Carmen, November 26, 27 & 28

The line up for the 2015 Riviera Maya Jazz Festival includes Gino Vanelli in his second appearance at the event, Dweezil Zappa, son of the legendary Frank Zappa, the Zawinul Legacy Band founded by a former member of Weather Report, Dirty Loops and Mexican band Resorte, among others.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5591″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Danxica International Dance and Arts Festival, Cancun, December 2-6

Dance groups from the state, other parts of Mexico and abroad gather in Cancun for the Danxica Festival.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5735″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Cozumel Scuba Fest, Cozumel, December 8-13

For the fourth year running the island of Cozumel will be welcoming divers of all levels in December for the Cozumel Scuba Fest. Advanced divers with Advanced Open water certification will be able to follow a route comprising nine dives that will take them to reefs to the north of Cozumel, the wreck of the Xicotencatl, a ship sunk in 1999, and challenging southern reefs such as Palancar Caves, the Devil’s Throat and Maracaibo.

The JM Cousteau Route takes in some of the reefs made famous by Jacques Cousteau in the 1960s and particular favorites of his son Jean Michel Cousteau.

On the Yucatan Peninsula Diving Route advanced divers will venture into Xibalba, the mysterious underworld of the Maya and explore sacred caves, cenotes and a labyrinth of hidden waterways hollowed out of the limestone over millions of years. The route will take them to the Riviera Maya, site of the world’s longest underground rivers discovered to date, Valladolid to explore the cenotes of the eastern Yucatan and to Merida.

www.cozumelfest.com[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]