Hidden Cancún & the Yucatán

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Ulysses, 1999 - Cancún (Mexico) - 345 pages
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Covering Mexico's most popular resort destination as well as Mayan towns, archaeological sites, and natural areas, Hidden Cancun and the Yucatan reflects and embraces the contradictions of traveling in this remarkable area.

Opening with a thorough survey of Cancun, author Richard Harris pulls no punches in reviewing every corner of the tiny fishing village that in a scant 25 years has become one of the most popular beach resorts on the planet. In a place about as subtle as a dozen tequila slammers with salt and lime, this book shows the way through the maze of false-facade resorts. A seasoned travel writer, Harris ably guides the reader to genuine travel gems like Melia Cancun, where a tropical forest fills the hotel's lobby; footpaths wind through lush gardens, streams, and gazebos; and thousands of vines and flowers hang from balconies beneath a soaring, glass-crowned atrium.

But the major focus here is on the opportunities for adventure in the Mayan world beyond Cancun. Famous archaeological sites like Chichen ltza and Tulum are covered temple by temple, as are dozens of less visited destinations like Coba and Oxkintoc. Travelers are led to remote, fascinating wildlife preserves like Parque Natural Rio Lagartos, the Caribbean breeding ground fiat thousands of pink flamingos. Tours of the Yucatan's colonial past include walking guides along the 17th-century battlements that protected Campeche from pirate attacks and through the historic district of Merida, where only 4 percent of Cancun's visitors come to enjoy a festival of local art, architecture, and music.

Hidden Cancun and the Yucatan directs travelers to locally owned hotels and authentic Mexican/Mayan restaurants for asample of the area's exciting culture. Visitors are encouraged to sample pumpkin enchiladas and poc-chuc (the region's popular orange-and-onion pork fillets) at the family-run Los Almendros, and to feel the cool, thick-walled magic of the 18th-century Hotel El Meson del Marques, with its dark, timbered ceilings, wrought-iron trim, and heavy wooden furniture.

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About the author (1999)

Richard Harris is author of several top-selling Hidden guides including "Hidden Cancun & the Yucatan" & "Hidden Colorado". He lives in Santa Fe, NM.

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