Perfectly placed on the idyllic Caribbean coast, the Bahía Principé is a five star, all-inclusive hotel in the Riviera Maya. The Akumal, Sian Ka’an and Tulum resorts blend effortlessly into the seclusion and beauty of the untamed landscape. Thatcthed roofs and winding stone pathways perforate an endless stretch of emerald vegetation, whilst the warm glow of a thousand candles dances across the luminescent waters of the Caribbean.
Upon entering the Tulum resort, I was struck by the enormity of the space before me. A towering stone pillar rested on a bed of marble, steadfast under the weight of the colossal structure by which I was now encompassed. The expanse of the room was seemingly infinite yet, despite the grandeur of my surroundings, I felt comfortable; instilled with a sense of familiarity so rarely experienced in a new destination. As a new arrival, I was greeted by smiling staff, offering cold towels and a choice of freshly squeezed orange juice or champagne. It became immediately clear why the Bahía is referred to as “luxury”.
A bustling market by day, the moonlight transforms this quaint bazaar into a vibrant and lively hub of entertainment. Bursts of red and dashes of black flutter beneath the warm hue of the Hacienda, as the Flamenco dancers inspire awe amongst the audiences flooding the courtyard.
Boldly jutting from the earth is the magnificently preserved El Castillo, the focal point of the once thriving city of Chichén Itzá. It was as if Kinich Ahau himself had awoken, spiting me with searing heat and humidity to veil the grim history that lurked beneath this hulking mass of stone. For the Maya are infamous for the practice of human sacrifice, believing that offerings of blood would grant favour from their pantheon of deities. Atop the 91 steps of the pyramid, priests are thought to have carved the beating heart from a captive’s chest, before beheading them and tossing the body down the unforgiving steps.
Standing on the precipice of an ancient civilisation, I can only be thankful that this dark tradition no longer takes place.
Dense, looping mangrove swamps and stretching reefs are bountiful at Xel-Ha.
Mask and snorkel at the ready, I plunged into the crystal clear waters of the reef, keen to explore the wonders beneath the surface. Hot and cold currents clashed in the depths. Fish glided inches from my fingertips, their scales glistening in the midday sun. For a moment, it felt as though mankind’s ever-reaching shadow had been kept at bay.