Balance July 2018 - 58

t

esc

tis

ape ar

D E ST I NAT I ON
YU CATA N, M EX I CO

Where

wellness
meets
wilderness
Avoid the Spring
Breakers and
Las Vegas-lite
Cancún, and
there's a new
world of wellness
on offer in
Mexico, as
Callum McGeoch
discovered

ISLA HOLBOX
MERIDA

VALLADOLLID

58

PUNTA NUZIC

M

ention Mexico's Yucatan peninsula
and most people think of Tulum's
eco-retreats, spring break in
Playa del Carmen, or the high-rise heaven /
hell that is Cancún. However, away from the
Riviera Maya (the recently re-named stretch
of coast linking those towns) another Yucatan
is waiting to be discovered. One where direct
descendants of ancient Mayans guide you
through hypnotic herbal rituals; where you'll
find flocks of flamingos, gorge on the freshest
guacamole and snorkel in sacred cenote caves.
To truly understand this unique region,
we need to go back about 66 million years,
when the same 10 mile-wide asteroid which
wiped out the dinosaurs smashed into earth
and created the peninsula. Today, it remains
almost completely wild, covered in low-lying,
largely unexplored jungle (what the Mayans
called the Kingdom of the Jaguar). Over
millennia, the cracks created by the impact
filled with water, forming thousands of crystal
clear freshwater sinkholes and caves, which
allowed the Mayans to settle and build a
mighty, thriving empire.
These cenotes now attract scuba divers from
across the globe, who explore epic networks in
hope of finding precious jewels tossed into the
underworld as offerings of thanks.
The second cataclysmic impact was the
arrival of the first Europeans, who took gold
and jade in exchange for alcohol and diseases
that finished off the Mayans. Later settlers
from Spain left a legacy of influences which
give the area a vibrant Latin flavour we love.

BA LA N CE July 2018

FOLLOW IN
OUR FOOTSTEPS

One of around 6,000
cenotes on the
Yucatán Peninsula

The Yucatan Wellness
Trail is a two-three
week circular route
we designed and
tested ourselves.
For full details
and links to all the
places we stayed
at, plus food, spa,
culture and flight
recommendations,
head over to
balance.media/
yucatan



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Balance July 2018

Balance July 2018 - 1
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