|Cancun's by Nicolas Karim, Creative Common Licence|
In fact, the sophisticated social scene in Cancun takes advantage of the amazing, award-winning cuisine. And Mexico’s Caribbean capital not only boasts jaw-dropping Mayan architecture, but art culture too.
That aside, there’s nothing more welcoming than sugar-dust beaches and glittering sunlight, when you step off your international flight…a sight for sore eyes.
Restaurants: La Habichuela Sunset
|La Habichuela Sunset by jthetzel, Creative Common Licence|
If you were enamoured with Cancun’s historic architecture, La Habichuela is a Mayan-inspired sanctuary for foodies. Expect dishes of shrimp with huitlacoche (corn fungus – it’s more mouth-watering than it sounds), cream of habichuela (a bean – we’re in Mexico, remember!) soup, or a Xtabentun Honey Coculnich Cocktail…which is consequently, an aphrodisiac.
And if that all sounds a little too exotic for you, waiters can prepare a classic crepas con cajeta; because if you’re not in Cancun to eat Mexican, then just why did you board that plane?
Eating times are a little different for the Cancunians, so expect your evening meal to take place at 9pm (8, at the earliest). La Habichuela offers beautiful wrought iron chairs set around candlelit gardens and traditional Mayan replica architecture.
|MUSA by michaelb1, Creative Common Licence|
Below the surface of the water, between Cancun and Isla Mujeres, there’s a crowd of life-sized statues, sunk at the bottom of the sea. Revolutionary artist, Jason deCaires Taylor, specialises in creating stunning underwater sculptures, which eventually develop into coral reefs. His work has taken the strain off the natural coral in the Cancun Ocean, which has almost been trampled to death by eager tourists.
The coral is beginning to form on the glorious garden of statues and the lobsters, which had almost given up Cancun for good, have now taken a fancy to Taylor’s replica VW bug.
Museo Maya De Cancun
|Jaguar face sculpture Museo de Maya Cancun by drterdal, Creative Common Licence|
If you want a taste of Mayan life, Cancun’s very own museum offers all sorts of priceless keepsakes from bygone times. The most impressive exhibit is of a 10,000 year-old skeleton, discovered at Tulum. Originally ritually buried in a dry cave, the remains were discovered underwater in the Chan Hol cave system.
Shopping: Ah Cacao
|Chocolate Masa at Ah Cacao by FoodMayhem.com, Creative Common Licence|
Chocolate-lovers won’t be able to resist the temptation of Ah Cacao. The Mayan people were the first to take cacao and make it into a beverage – hot chocolate without the sweeteners and dairy. The Mayans used this drink in sacred ceremonies and offered the cacao bean as a tribute to their gods – we hardly blame them; chocolate is divine!
This small café produces a rare criollo chocolate. Take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and relax with their addictive brownies (for a super decadent experience, dip them into hot chocolate). Here, they produce their hot beverages the traditional way – with a molinillo (wooden whisk). Bring back chocolate souvenirs for all your cacao-loving friends and share the food of the gods!
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