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by Orient-Express
Maroma Mexico - Maroma Resort and Spa in Mexico


Contoy Island Bird Sanctuary - This full-day excursion takes you by boat to the Contoy island. A national wildlife reserve which is the home of more than 100 species of migrant and resident birds including a magnificent display of pink flamingos.

Holbox - The northernmost island of Quintana Roo, it is populated by fishermen and offers a tranquil refuge for nature lovers. The village is rustic and friendly, with sandy streets, palm-thatched huts and several small seafood resataurants.

Isla Mujeres - Located seven miles off the coast of Cancun, this island's history dates back to the early 16th Century when Franciscan Hernandez de Cordoba and the Spanish Conquistadors anchored off the island and reported the presence of female idols at a shrine.  It was also a popular with many pirates and may have been used as a supply station for water and salt.

Today the island offers many shopping options ranging from beachwear to handicrafts, which are brought in from all over Mexico.  Look for pottery, woodcarvings, Panama hats, weavings from Chiapas and Oaxaca, Yucatecan huipiles, textiles, hammocks, obsidian, onyx, local art and Mayan style carvings.  This island is also famous for fine gold and silver jewellery created by local jewellers.

The Playa Cocos features powdery white sand, shallow calm waters and spectacular sunset views.  There is a turtle farm, dolphin enclosure, El Garrafon Park, an old hacienda (a former pirate's retreat) and a picturesque lighthouse at the southern tip of the island.

Cozumel - The largest island in Mexico, it offers a wealth of tourist diversions.  The usual array of beach/water activities is also available plus extensive diving and snorkelling options.

Visitors can also explore archaeological sites.  Cozumel is said to have been another ceremonial centre for ancient Maya women from all over the Yucatan making the perilous crossing in open canoes to worship at shrines to Ixchel, the goddess of fertility.  The most restored is San Gervasio in the northern central part of the island and dates back to 100 B.C.

Years later it became the favourite haunt of divers following in the footsteps of Jacques Cousteau, who filmed one of his many documentaries here.  The site was declared an Underwater Reserve in 1972. 


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