Tulum, Mexico Mayan Ruins
The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is proving to have some of the most beautiful water in the world. Just a couple of hours south of the tourist mecca Cancun lies Tulum, an ancient Mayan city and up and coming vacation destination. Tulum is a special site not just because of its beauty but because there are so few Mayan sites that are known to exist along the ocean. It is perched amazingly along a rocky coast line overlooking the sea with a couple of natural white sand beaches within the site.
Usually you are able to swim at each beach, which is definitely needed after walking the site in the heat, but during my visit the first beach was closed as it contained sea turtle eggs that had yet to hatch. It was closed to protect the eggs until the turtles hatch. The other beach was open and is very tempting given the heat and absolutely gorgeous water.
If you need more than a quick swim, you can also arrange for snorkeling after you complete your tour along Maya Beach that is just past the ruins after exiting the ancient city. The reef creates a naturally shielded beach that is great for swimming and also provides some good snorkeling opportunities.
Of the couple of ruins close to Cancun, Tulum is definitely my pick.