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How to Relax and Revive in Cancun

Copyright (c) 2006-2021 Marriott, Inc.
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You probably already know about Cancun's reputation as a tropical beach paradise, complete with luxurious resorts and decadent nightclubs. What you may not know is that when the party is over, relaxation options are not limited to merely sunbathing or shopping for trinkets. From sightseeing to spa treatments, Cancun's Mayan heritage colors all aspects of the area's recreation and relaxation.


Mayan Historic Sites

For instance, in the center of Cancun's Hotel Zone are the Ruinas del Rey (Ruins of the King), a Mayan site dating to 200 BC. Thought by some to be an ancient observatory, remains found at the site also suggest it could have been a royal burial ground. With two plazas featuring well-preserved frescoes and a small pyramid topped with a vault, Ruinas del Rey is an excellent introduction to the intrigue of an ancient civilization.

For tourists with time and a greater penchant for history and exploration, the awe-inspiring Mayan site, Chichen Itza, lies about 125 kilometers west of Cancun. As the most visited archeological site in Mexico, this four-square mile city has long been a popular daytrip for Cancun's visitors. Tourists can climb the esteemed Castillo and visit the largest remaining court from the Mayan civilization. For your convenience, several tours are available through hotels and resorts.


Mayan-Inspired Spa Treatments

The spirit of the Mayans is also captured in a number of unique spa treatments available throughout Cancun. With the beauty of the Mexican Caribbean as a backdrop, local spas and resorts blend ancient techniques with innovative technology. Therapeutic treatments, such as thalassotherapy (the use of seawater to relax and rejuvenate) and traditional hot stone massage, offer great opportunities to decompress at the beginning or end of your vacation. Many spas also utilize a fantastic array of sea greens, herbs and minerals indigenous to the region in their treatments. Furthermore, despite the elegance of these boutique spas and resorts, spa visits in Cancun are generally much less expensive than comparable experiences in the United States.

Cancun also boasts the largest spa in all of Latin America, the three-level, 35,000-square foot paradise at JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa. Offering a full range of Mayan-inspired treatments, incorporating materials such as crystal, stone, mud, exotic fruit and milk, this spa is certainly unlike anything you'll experience at home.

For travelers looking for a distinctively native spa experience, Temazcal is an indigenous Aztec steam bath treatment intended to renew the body, mind and spirit. Performed on hot stones with aromatic herbs, the Temazcal treatments are performed in cloth huts on the beach at sunset. As a traditional form of therapy, Temazcal could be likened to certain aspects of the Turkish bath, Finnish sauna or Arabian hammam. Having been practiced for centuries by tribes throughout North and Latin America, the term "Temazcal" is derived from the Nahuatl (Aztec) terms, "temaz" (bath) and "calli" (house). Several beach resorts also offer more conventionally romantic moonlight massages in outdoor cabanas or secluded terraces, allowing guests to enjoy services in a private environment with spectacular ocean ambience and vistas.

Lastly, to ensure that your relaxation plans don't become stressful, it is advisable to make a reservation when planning a visit to one of Cancun's pampering spas. Guests should also try to arrive 15-30 minutes early and inform spa personnel of any health concerns.


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This article was written by Justin Burch. Justin writes select pieces about travel in Cancun Mexico and other Caribbean resort areas for Marriott Resorts. http://marriott.com/property/propertypage/CUNMX

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Word Count: 550

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Last Distribution Date:
2006-08-23 10:00:00

Internal ID: #3410





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