Young Thais are drawn by the big city lifestyle
A bright, cheery yellow, Casa Carolina in Xcalak has four rooms, each equipped with a kitchen and fridge, plus balconies with sea views. All levels of scuba instruction (NAUI) are offered here, as well as recreational dives at the barrier reef (casacarolina.net; Calle Costero, nr Xcalak Pueblo, Xcalak 77940; from £70).
The bus system is reliable and inexpensive, with routes covering all major cities. For more remote places, you’ll need to hire a car. Car hire outlets operate at Cancún and Mérida airports (£25 per day; hertz.com).
When to go
The Yucatán Peninsula is hot and humid, with the rainy season from June to October. The best time to visit is November to March, when it is comparatively dry and cool. You can also catch Mérida's carnival and Holy Week celebrations in February and March.
How to go
British Airways flies from Heathrow and Gatwick to Cancún. Thomson flies from Bristol, Gatwick, Birmingham, East Midlands, Newcastle, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow (from £600). Flights to Mérida and Cozumel go via Mexico City or the US. A taxi from Cancún airport to Ciudad Cancún costs £8.