In addition to active on-site choices, Club Med Cancun offers excursions such as a half-day trip to Chichen Itza. // © 2015 Club Med Cancun
Feature image (above): Brave guests can try their luck on a flying trapeze. // © 2015 Megan Leader
My legs shook as I climbed the ladder to the platform of the flying trapeze at Club Med Cancun Yucatan. I’m not usually one for heights, but how often do you get the chance to pretend you’re in the circus? I wasn't going to miss my chance to fly.
As I climbed, I distinctly remembered a conversation I had with a resort staff member named Alex when I checked in. He told me that the flying trapeze was a Club Med favorite and encouraged me to try it. I expressed some skepticism, but Alex assured me it was very safe, adding that many guests — some as young as kindergarten-age — considered it the highlight of their stay.
“I’m one of the GOs [Gracious Organizers] who works at the trapeze. Stop by one afternoon, and you can see it for yourself,” he said.
Sure enough, when I approached the flying trapeze the next afternoon, there was Alex, helping guests prep for the big jump. I watched as both children and adults conquered the trapeze, one by one. It was extraordinary to watch their fear transform into giddy delight after they dismounted, met by the onlookers below with a round of applause.
I had to make that jump.
When it was my turn, I shakily climbed up the ladder. Emerging above the palm trees, I looked out over the sparkling Caribbean to my left, trying not to notice how small the people looked below me. After my harness was clipped in, the GO at the top of the trapeze told me to slowly lean forward and then jump.
That trapeze swing is now a blur, but I do remember when it came time for me to drop into the safety net, Alex was on the ground below, shouting, “Kick forward, back, forward, now let go!”
I dismounted in an uncharacteristically graceful backflip.
Conquering the flying trapeze set me on a mission to explore the other sports activities that Club Med Cancun Yucatan had to offer. As it turns out, there are a lot of them — I was just getting started.
Club Med’s Sports Culture
Even if you don’t consider yourself a sports enthusiast, there’s a good chance you will gain some athletic skills after spending a week at Club Med Cancun. When you’re surrounded by such unparalleled beauty, it feels wrong not to explore the environment’s offerings to the fullest. In just a few days, you could justifiably call yourself a windsurfer, a wakeboarder or a trapeze-artist-in-training.
“Sports have always been an integral code of the Club Med brand,” said Sabrina Cendral, vice president of marketing and digital for Club Med. “Our guests get the chance to do things they never expected and [continue] to advance throughout their stay.”
At Club Med, sports are a way of life, whether you’re a professional athlete or a wide-eyed kid on vacation with your grandparents. Vacations at Club Med properties give all-inclusive access to a wide variety of on-site sports activities, so guests can not only try a new activity for the first time, but also develop their skills in a new sport within the span of their stay.
Some of Club Med’s resorts have their own dedicated sports academies, where athletes enroll in extended programs with world-class coaches in golf, running, tennis and other disciplines. Even seasoned sports pros can look forward to top-quality equipment and amenities amid gorgeous surroundings.
Leveraging Cancun’s Landscape
When Club Med Cancun Yucatan was established in 1976, it was one of the first resorts in Cancun, meaning that Club Med essentially got its pick of locations on the pristine Caribbean coast. The resort’s position on a peninsula gives the property four distinct waterfront areas, each uniquely suited to its own range of water sports.
“Providing guests with a wide range of sports activities has always been at the core of not only the Club Med brand in general, but of Club Med Cancun Yucatan specifically,” Cendral said. “One side of our property stretches along a long strip of beach — ideal for swimming and tanning. On another, we border a lagoon — the ideal setting for those interested in waterskiing or wakeboarding. And on another stretch, we border the world’s second-largest coral reef. Closer to our new oceanfront family building, guests can learn or finesse their skills at sailing, windsurfing or kayaking.”
Back on shore, guests also find a spa and a fully equipped gym with fitness classes, as well as the aforementioned family favorite, the flying trapeze, open to guests ages 4 and older.
A Personal Touch
It’s not just the variety of activities and amenities that make Club Med Cancun Yucatan special. Sometimes, you need a little encouragement to try something new. This is where Club Med’s renowned staff comes in — like my pal, Alex, who encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone.
As mentioned before, staff members are known as GOs, an acronym for “Gracious Organizers.” The title is an accurate descriptor: GOs are sincere, enthusiastic and certainly gracious. They go out of their way to develop friendships with guests during sports, meals and activities — they learn your name, and they remember the details. GOs also make the difference for kids at Club Med.
“Our GOs are childcare professionals who act as ‘big brothers and sisters’ and ensure that every child feels they’re getting extra attention, along with tailor-made and safe fun,” Cendral said.
Kids enjoy spotting their favorite GOs throughout the property during meals, excursions and the weekly resort White Party.
It's easy to see why Club Med’s sports-focused offerings are so successful among families. Over the dinner table, kids excitedly recount a list of the day’s activities — the activities they tried, how they felt, the friends they made and the GOs who helped them along the way. The whole family gets to try new things and step out of their comfort zones here, and these are the experiences that the best family vacations are made of.