Subject: Re: Summer Travel - US or Abroad?
Hi Vanessa,

Lisa hit the nail on the head when she recommended the Yucatan Peninsula. No where in Mexico do all the elements for great travel come together so completely. There are the two extreme examples of culture; the Mayan ruins and current day villages of their descendants, as well as, the Spanish colonial cities as exemplified in Mérida and Valladolid populated by the majority mestizo population called the cosmic race by Octavio Paz. There are the incomparable beaches of Quintana Roo stretching from north of Cancun well past Tulum, an area dubbed the Mayan Riviera. There are wondrous nature preserves such as Celestún with its flamingos and crocodiles, Sian Kan with monkeys and jaguars, Punta Laguna near Coba with its spider monkey preserve, and the coral reefs of the Caribbean with their myriad populations of sea life. In additon to the beach activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, kayaking, or just plain sunbathing, there are many other adventurous pastimes like hiking in the jungles, caving (with or without dive equipment), and deep sea fishing.

Oh and if your concerned about cuisine, in addition to the many wonderful dishes found throughout Mexico you'll also find the superb deicacies of the Mayans: cochinita pibil (pit-roasted pig), poc chuc chicken, tikin xik sauce (made from the fiery achiote), and fresh fish from the Gulf and Caribbean. And in Mérida the sizable Lebanese population affords one an opportunity to sample Middle Eastern cuisine. After dinner make sure and try a glass of the local liqueuer Xtabentun for a nightcap.

If this intrigues you Vanessa I recommend heading to your local library to pick up a few travel guides about the area. Then if you choose the Yucatan as your next travel destination please feel free to ask for more help.

John in San Diego