Go Guide: Taninah and the Mexican Riviera
Finding a Resort: Rose located Taninah on the Internet. Several friends recommended Web sites. She started with one for Cancun, then found a link to family housing, which included a site for Taninah. After that, e-mails flew back and forth between her and Marino Tomacelli.
Getting There: Many airlines have flights to Cancun, some of them non-stop. Expect long lines and delays, not only clearing customs, but also getting your bags and rental car. Of course, we chose the President's Day weekend, when everybody seemed to be going to Cancun.
Best Airport Strategy: Select a seat in the front of the airplane and visit the bathroom immediately before landing. As soon as you exit the plane, rush to the customs line before 300 people beat you there.
Transportation: Major hotels and resorts offer shuttle vans. We rented cars, but check in advance to see if your automobile insurance covers you in Mexico. If not, your credit card may. Or, you can purchase insurance from American Express.
Weather: Mexico's Yucatan peninsula juts out into the Caribbean Sea, thus the weather is tropical: warmer in winter, but not as hot as you might expect in summer, claims Marino. Winter evenings can be cool. Bring a jacket. Taninah offers extra umbrellas for guests.
Bugs: Tropical climates provide good breeding grounds for insects. We saw fewer than expected. No more than we normally encounter in Florida, our winter home.
The Water: Most travelers suffer less stomach distress (read: diarrhea) on the Mayan Riviera than they do elsewhere in Mexico. Nevertheless, we used bottled water for everything, including brushing our teeth.
Cooking: Why do it? You can enlist a chef to prepare meals for much less than if you dined at restaurants. We selected menus before departing, so Marino could shop for us. We hired chefs two nights and wished we had done so more often.
Planning: Research the Mayan Riviera either on the Internet or in magazines and books before going. From Xel Ha to Xcaret to Chichen Itza, there is so much to do, we barely found time during our Big, Fat, Mexican Vacation.