“Just an hour from Cancun but a world away from the spring break madness,” is the headline on the latest article in the Winter Travel 2013 series by Chicago Magazine,which features the sunny,luxurious getaway destination of Playa del Carmen,Mexico. Situated in the heart of the tropical Riviera Maya,Playa offers everything sun-starved,winter-ravaged Chicagoans could want in a vacation – or in a second home away from home.
The area is rich in ancient Mayan ruins and the winter months provide the perfect time for those who live in colder climates to visit Playa del Carmen real estate,which boasts daytime highs in the low 80s. Just a short – not to mention scenic – drive from Cancun’s large international airport,Playa offers a diverse collection of hotels and other accommodations that are sure to suit any budget and lifestyle requirements.
“The town has undergone a renovation boom in recent years,” writes Chicago Magazine. “Playa del Carmen’s all-inclusive properties strive to be not only luxurious but also culturally significant and environmentally sound.”
From shaman-led sessions in a traditional Mayan sweat lodge,known as a temazcal,to taking a refreshing swim in one of the area’s many freshwater sinkholes,known as cenotes,to deep-sea fishing or snorkeling along the world’s second largest barrier reef,there is plenty to keep you occupied in Playa. For example,the shopping along Fifth Avenue,or Quinta Avendia,rivals what can be found in any of the world’s most cosmopolitan locales,while the dining here is also second to none,offering everything from traditional Mayan-inspired dishes to gourmet world-class fare.
In addition,the nearby Mayan ruins of Tulum offer easy access to a breathtaking seaside pyramid,which overlooks the turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean,while plenty of hiking is available in more than 1.6 million acres of Mangrove forests and lagoons in the Sian Ka’an Bioshpere Reserve. And with mile after mile of the most beautiful while sand beaches in the world,it’s easy to see why the Riviera Maya continues to grow in popularity year after year!
From Chicago,visitors can fly directly to Cancun from O’Hare on United or American Airlines,or from Midway on AirTran,in less than four hours. Shuttles,taxis and rental cars are available upon arrival and roundtrip tickets can often be had for less than $400 – what more could any traveler ask for?