Talc-white beaches, reefs teeming with life, ruined temples in misty rainforests – the Riviera Maya offers a family or romantic beach holiday with a dash of Indian Jones adventure.
Travel bucket list idea:
El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Course
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
The first course to host an official PGA Tour event outside of the United States or Canada, this tree-lined championship course was designed by Greg Norman and makes full use of its natural environment. Like the chameleon in the name, the course changes throughout its routing, weaving its way through dense jungle, mangrove forests and along beautiful stretches of white sand.
Its most distinctive hazards are the cenotes – natural sink holes – and water canals. It’s still the host of the annual Mayakoba Classic – it was here, in 2018, that Matt Kuchar caused a stir when he paid a local caddie a measly $5,000 out of his $1.3m for winning the event. The caddie, David Giral ‘El Toucan’ Ortiz, said he wasn’t too upset, but they did later agree on a better fee.
Getting there & doing it
The course is about an hour’s drive south of Cancun International Airport. Book your tee time through the website, or through one of the four hotels that are part of the Mayakoba resort. It’s worth a splurge to stay at the dreamy Andaz Mayakoba Resort.
When to do it
The course is open year-round except the first week in November, when it hosts the PGA Tour event. High season – when the weather is best – is from November through March; low season, when rain and humidity is highest – runs from April through October.
Destination guides including or relevant to this experience
Round-ups that include this experience