24 January 2011
Mexico: Beneath Blue Waters
Gaze on Mexico's turquoise sea or plunge right in: discover a kaleidoscope world of coral and colourful fish.
The water that laps at the edges of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula seems too good to be real - almost as if your mind had its own Photoshop tool to accentuate the colours. But the dazzle is wholly natural and thoroughly astonishing. The blues and greens range from near pastels to deep jewel tones - all in one bay, and all set off by a slender crescent of ivory sand. Sun sparkles on the undulating surf; the rolling waves gently rumble. Few can resist the urge to jump straight in and splash around for hours.
Thankfully, the Riviera Maya, the 80-mile coastline below Cancún named for the indigenous people who inhabited this land before the Spanish Conquest, offers multiple ways you can indulge in water worship.
Dark SecretsAdd excitement to your diving by taking the plunge at night, with experienced instructors and strong lights. Or discover the many creatures that live in and around shipwrecks.
Diving Down Deep
Just off the Yucatan mainland is the second longest coral reef in the world, running from Cancún to Honduras. Its official name is the Mesoamerica Reef System, but it might as well be called Diver's Dream. The banks of coral and all the life it supports make for startlingly rich and colorful scuba diving at depths between 40 and 140 feet. With the glass-clear water and the gentle current, divers can see a huge assortment of marine life, including moray eels, lobsters, Hawksbill turtles and some 4,000 different species of fish.
Those who want more of a challenge can explore the many underwater caverns in the region. Many local scuba shops can lead experienced divers from the open water into the magical, other-worldly environment of a cavern. With proper instruction on how to navigate with a roof overhead versus the water's surface, divers can swim around stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and natural archways to encounter the unique marine life down under.
By Jeannie Ralston, a US-based writer for many international publications.
What marine creatures have most caught your attention when swimming around Maroma Resort?