Forget Cancun, Mexico is a truly diverse country, with a vast array of attractions for travellers of all tastes epitomised by the two totally different coastlines, one on the Pacific, the other on the Caribbean. While the Pacific side is battered by the ocean and best known for resort towns such as Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, the Caribbean coast offers calm waters and pure white-sand beaches, and is home to the Riviera Maya on the Yucatán Peninsula.
Mexico also has a rich cultural heritage that includes the ancient Aztec and Mayan ruins of the central Mexican heartland and the Yucatán Peninsula, as well as picturesque colonial towns and the vast and vibrant metropolis of Mexico City.
When it comes to the Yucatán diving, there is much to admire on both coasts. To the West is the Sea of Cortez, cut off from the Pacific by the fascinating Baja California. Studded with rugged islands surrounded by stunning, almost deserted white sand beaches, this is one of the most biologically rich bodies of water on our planet and has over 800 vertebrate species and 2,000 invertebrates. Here hammerhead sharks school in groups of up to 200 or even an amazing 2,000, colonies of sealions live undisturbed and grey whales come to mate, give birth and make their winter home.
To the East, around the Yucatán Peninsula and here it is all about variety. There's something for everyone: beginners can explore the thriving shallow reef ledges and their tiny drop-offs, while experienced thrill seekers can ride the famous Maroma current and dive the cenotes or inland sinkholes. Add to this virtually guaranteed whale sharks at the right time of year and you can see the appeal.