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Under no circumstances should you take any photographs of customs at any airport [especially in the US]. You may end up in security explaining your actions.


Experience the Tortuga Liberation!
Every year hundreds of baby Green Sea Turtles emerge from the sandy beaches of the Mayan Riviera and head into the vast ocean.

Mexico peso (Mex$) = 100 centavos

In 1998 there were 9.6 million telephones main lines in use.

There are 31,048 km of railways in Mexico.

Females are allowed to volunteer for military service.

In 1997 Mexico had 31 million radios in use.

Mexico's exports partners: US 89.3%, Canada 1.7%, Spain 0.6%, Japan 0.5%, Venezuela 0.3%, Chile 0.3%, Brazil 0.3%.

Mexico produced 176.055 billion kWh of electricity in 1998.

The main industries are: food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism.

The Mexican name for the Atlantic coastal region of the Yucatan Peninsula is Riviera Maya. The English use is either Maya Riviera or Mayan Riviera. It is used all three ways in this web site.

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Mayan Riviera
Snorkeling Locations
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Buckle Up!

Mexico now has
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ECO ATTRACTIONS IN THE YUCATAN PENINSULA

Eco Attractions in and around:



CANCUN CANCUN

Isla Mujeres: The Island of Women is located 11 km off the coast of Cancun and is known for its relaxed tropical setting and turquoise blue, bathtub warm water. Ferries leave from five points of isla Cancun. You can catch ferries at Punta Sam, Puerto Juarez, Playa Linda Terminal, Playa Tortugas and the Club Nautico Dock. Bicycles and Mopeds can be rented on the island. Taxis are available and there is an infrequent local bus service.
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For Isla Mujeres information including ferry schedule see:

Isla Contoy: From Isla Mujeres it's possible to take an excursion by boat to tiny, uninhabited Isla Contoy.

The beautiful island of Contoy lies just north of Isla Mujeres. This tiny island is under 4 miles long and only 20 meters wide at its widest point. It was declared a National wildlife reserve in 1961 and is renowned for its flora, fauna and particularly for its birds.

Over 70 species have been counted including large nesting colonies of Brown Pelicans and Magnificent Frigate birds, along with Roseate Spoonbills, Herons, Egrets, Terns, Kingfishers, Cormorants and an occasional Flamingo. Bring mosquito repellent, and beware of the boa constrictors and small crocodiles that live in the island's ponds.

For tours to Isla Contoy visit "Gaitan Tours".

Gaitan Tours
Located at the Contoy Pier located on Av. Rueda Medina
[next to Las Brisas Restaurant, Centro Isla Mujeres]



MAYAN RIVIERA

Rancho Loma Bonita: Horseback ride through the jungle mangroves, lakes and the Caribbean Sea. You can also ride a 4-wheeler, snorkel, bicycle or kayak around lagoons or swim in the pool. There is also a restaurant. Located at km 45 on the Cancun-Tulum highway.
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Tres Rios Ecopark is located 10 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. Explore nature in this tropical reserve.

Xcaret is an Eco Mayan theme park. We just love this place. It is a paradise for children and you can spend the whole day there. Some of the attractions include a re-enactment of a traditional Maya ballcourt game, butterfly pavilion, traditional Mexican dance and music, small zoo and much more. The swimming here is excellent and the water theme parks rival Disney World; in fact we think they are better.
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Xel-Ha is a great place to go snorkeling or swimming. It is a fresh water bay that meets the ocean. Many sea creatures make their home in the bay and its tributaries and a snorkel around the bay will simply blow your mind if you are not an avid diver or snorkel. It is well worth the price of admission and a great place for kids. There are many well-trained lifeguards on duty.
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Aktun Chen: Beautiful underground dry caves with stalactite and stalagmite formations and a spectacular fresh water cenote. You might even be lucky enough to see spider monkeys. Poisonous and non-poisonous snakes can be seen at the serpentarium. Located in the jungle between Akumal and Xel-Ha.

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve: Just south of Tulum, the reserve has an abundant amount of flora and fauna and several distinct natural ecosystems. The reserve contains unexcavated Maya ruins, freshwater canals, cenotes, mangroves, lagoons and inlets. The fishing village of Boca Paila is within the reserve. The town of Punta Allen is the end of the Maya Riviera found at the southern tip of the reserve.
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NOTE: The roads in and out of Sian Ka'an are treacherous. When you rent a car, quite often the clerk will ask you where you are planning on taking the car. Some car rental agencies will not let you take a car to Sian Ka'an because of the possibility of damage being inflicted on the car due to the rough road conditions.

Xaman-Ha Aviary: Home to exotic birds including scarlet macaws, flamingos and herons. Xaman-Ha is in Playacar which is right next to Playa del Carmen.

Punta Laguna: Spend time with spider monkeys and howler monkeys in their natural habitat. You can trek in the jungle and travel Punta Laguna by boat. Birds, deer, turtles and crocodiles are among the other wildlife to be seen. Punta Laguna is northwest of Coba. There is also a Mayan ruin site here.
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Nohoch Jungle Crossing: Snorkel into one of world's largest discovered subterranean river system. In this ancient natural miracle, you will experience its spectacular geological formations and crystal clear fresh water.
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Jardin Botanico del Dr. Alfredo Barrera: Beautiful botanical gardens located a few minutes south of Puerto Morelos on the eastside of highway 307. Experience exotic species of tropical fauna displayed in the natural settings of the tropical rainforest.



MERIDA

These attractions are located near Merida:

Celestún
Located 80 km west of Merida on Highway 281.
Celestún is a small fishing village and bird sanctuary on the Gulf of Mexico on the Western Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Inland waterways provide a natural habitat for flamingoes, herons and other tropical birds. If you are lucky you may see a flock of flamingos flying over you, which is quite an experience.

Hacienda Ochil
Located about 50 km south of Merida on the road to Campeche.
Convenient for visitors to Uxmal and other nearby Mayan ruins. Contains Museum of Yucatan Peninsula Haciendas and shops with local artisans working on different typical folk-art and clothing.

Komchén de los Pajaros
Located 35 km northeast of Merida - 50 km from Rio Lagartos.
The Komchén Bird Sanctuary is a private non-profit organization created at Hacienda Henequenera. This sanctuary provides facilities for the practice of ecotourism. Its mission is "to sustainably develop and conserve a nature reserve and at the same time improve the living conditions of local people".

To learn more about the Komchén Bird Sanctuary visit:
http://www.komchen.org

Rio Lagartos
Located about 85 km east to Tizimín and 30 km north.
Declared a wildlife refuge in 1979, the Rio Lagartos Reserve covers over 100,000 acres of a wide variety of habitats including flamingoes, howler monkeys, crocodiles, jaguars, pheasants and white tail deer.

Uaymitun
Flamingos can also be seen at Uaymitun, just north east of Progreso.
Visit the lookout tower that is right next to the road. Entrance is free and the caretakers will even lend you binoculars.

Ik Kil
Ik Kil is a favorite cenote near Chichen Itza.



CAMPECHE

Calakmul is a biosphere reserve located 318 km from the City of Campeche. In this area jaguars, howler monkeys, deer, pumas, wild cats and many other mammals have their home, together with many kinds of spiders, reptiles, insects and more than 800 plant species.

The Royal Highway was the road used to link the two most important peninsular cities, Campeche and Merida during the Spanish conquest. Driving along the highway, you can shop for hammocks, wooden handicrafts, liquors and syrups made from local fruits.


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In Mexico they speak: Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages.

90% of Mexicans age 15 and over can read and write.

Mexico Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Mexico has a population of: 100,349,766 (July 2000 est.)

There is 61,000 sq km of irrigated land. (1993 est.)

Mexico's natural resources are: petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber.

There is 9,330 km of coastline.

The life expectancy is: male 68.47 years, female 74.66 years. (2000 est.)

The geographic coordinates are: 23 00 N, 102 00 W

Mexico had 38.6 million people in the labor force in 1999.

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