My pictures of the Bahia Principé resort from February/March 2008 and the area of Akumal can be seen here.
One of the reasons we chose the Mayan Riviera was the archaeological alternatives to the beach. We have visited the ruins at Coba, Tulum, Chichen Iza, and most recently (March 2008) at Muyil and ek-balam.
We hired a taxi to take us to the archaeological site of Muyil, approximately 20 km south of Tulum. When we arrived we discovered no admission, no option to hire a guide and no people/tourists. Instead we simply wandered around the site, reading the descriptions of the various buildings (fortunately in English as well as Spanish) and taking pictures. We encountered one other group of people, but we generally had the entire site to ourselves. What a treat! After seeing the archaeological ruins we took the Si'an Kaan trail to the Muyil lagoon.
However an even more spectacular treat was waiting for us. As we were paying our driver for the trip to Muyil, we asked whether he could take us to ek-balam. He was very enthusiastic about the site and gave us a price for the 7 hour trip. A day later we had the hotel arrange for him to pick us up at 8:30 Thursday morning March 7. Two hours later we arrived at ek-balam.
While a little more on the map of tourist sites, it was still very uncrowded. There were maybe 30 other people on the site while we were there. Our driver offered to be our guide for the price of admission - a true bargain.
This site offered some of the most spectacular artifacts I have seen along with some amazing buildings. As with Muyil, we roamed the site, listened to our guide/driver provide a depth of information about the site and took lots of pictures.
Here are the links to my 2008 diving pictures: February 25 - March 8, 2008
On April 5th we headed to Jamaica. This trip replaced an ill-fated trip to Roatan that was planned for January, but had to be cancelled. One of the main features of the resort was the included diving and snorkelling. The coral appeared healthier than in the Mayan Riviera, but there were fewer fish and they tended to be smaller. I saw only one angelfish and that was a juvinile. Howerver, I did see a lot of other marine life including some new animals. Here is a link to the underwater pictures I took from April 6 to April 11, 2008.