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Cancunmayan civilization to modern oasis

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Off The Beaten Path

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Swimming with Dolphins
The friendly grin and natural social nature of the dolphin make this mammal almost irresistible. Most dolphins are spotted riding the waves of boats or bobbing close to the shoreline, but they remain just barely out of the reach of humans. AquaWorld offers multiple packages to swim and interact with dolphins for both adults and children at Cancun’s Wet’n Wild waterpark. For the younger ones, shallow pools are available for interaction with the animals. Adults can swim with these animals in deeper pools and observe their underwater antics. Other activities include the foot push, which has the dolphin push you through the water using its nose. Tour prices are between $62 to $180 depending on the package. Wet’n Wild waterpark, Boulevard Kukulcan, Km. 25 Zona Hotelera, Cancun, Q. Roo. Visit AquaWorld website for reservations and more info, or call 52-998-848-8327. 
 
Xplor
One of the most remarkable sights in the Yucatan Peninsula are the cenotes. The cenotes were sacred places to the ancient Mayans and were used as a source of fresh water as well as a place to make offerings to the gods. Touring companies like Xplor give visitors access to these stunning natural wonders. Swim in the nearly quarter mile stretch of underground river or paddle the river in your own personal raft. The underground river lets visitors see the stalactites and stalagmites growing in the caverns—just remember to not touch them. Human fat stops the growth of these rock formations. The tour prices are approximately $99. Federal Highway 307 km. 282 Solidaridad, Q. Roo. Visit the website or call for more info: 52-998-849-5275. 
 
Selvatica
Selvatica has heaps of options for the energetic and adventurous traveler. Take a half- day Extreme Canopy Adventure, a 12-station zip line circuit high in the jungle canopy. If heights aren’t your thing, visitors can also choose to go snorkeling or swimming in cenotes. ATV rides and Segway rides through the jungle are another on-the-ground option. Lunch and pick-up and drop-off from your hotel are also included. The tour price for adults is $99 to $299 depending on the type of tour. Puerto Morelos, Q. Roo, 77500. Visit the website or call for more info: 52-998-898-4312.
 
Hummer Jungle Tours
Take a drive through the jungles of the Yucatan in a Hummer. These all-terrain vehicles seat up to five people and include a guide to help you navigate to all the sights, which include the Ruinas del Rey, a swim in a cenote, and a trip to the Crococun Zoo. Cenotes, or underground wells, are naturally occurring caverns beneath the earth filled with spring water. At the zoo you can get up close and personal with some of the native animals such as spider monkeys, snakes, crocodiles and deer. The tour price for adults is $129 and $89 for children. Children under four are free. Plaza Punta Tulum, Ave. Luis Donaldo Colosio lote 14, local #B-26 m3, sm 57, Cancun Q.Roo, 77500. Visit the website or call for more info: 1-800-697-5905. 
There is no doubt that Cancun has a lengthy list of luxurious and relaxing activities, but it also has great options for the adventurous. The Yucatan Peninsula is home to lush jungles and other natural wonders that can’t be passed up. Check out some of the local companies that get you up close with the wonders of the Yucatan Peninsula.

By Christa Connell
Photos courtesy of Hummer Jungle Tours, Selvatica, Xplor, and AquaWorld

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