Caribbean / Mexico

The Mayan Riviera

The ruins of the Maya city of Tulum along the coast of the Mayan Riviera

If you like your beach with a frisson of authentic Mexico on the side, the Mayan Riviera is the place to be.

This 30-kilometre area of the Yucatan shoreline from Playa Del Carmen to Punta Allen provides visitors a plush, often more luxurious holiday than Cancun.

The hotels are a showpiece; the pools, white sandy beaches and bright-blue seas are inviting, and you get a little, or a lot of Mexico thrown in.

Riviera Maya, also known as the Mayan Riviera, is a tourism district following coastal Highway 307 which parallels the Caribbean coastline of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, located along the eastern area of the Yucatán Peninsula.

The Mayan Riviera is famous for its large scale all-inclusive resorts and an historical number of smaller boutique hotels, as well as many fine-dining restaurants along the highway 307 and on or near the beaches. Luxury travel entities have been instrumental in increasing luxury villa rentals and yacht charters in the area.

The Mayan Riviera has become one of Mexico’s fastest growing vacation destinations, attracting visitors from the United States, Canada and Europe.

Weather is ideal, and this plus the striking white sandy beaches, crystal clear blue waters, water and sightseeing activities make the Mayan Riviera a ‘go-to-once and plan-to-visit-again’, vacation destination.

If you enjoy a leisurely snorkel, or you are prepared to dive below the waves and scuba dive, you will appreciate the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (also known as the Belize Barrier Reef) which begins near Cancun and continues along the length of the Riviera Maya south to Guatemala. This barrier reef system is the second longest in the world.

Top Eleven things to do in the Mayan Riveria:

  1. You absolutely must visit Rio Secreto, which is located only 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen. There you will ‘discover; one of the most incredible natural marvels found anywhere.’ Rio Secreto is an underground labyrinth of endless passageways formed by ageless geological processes. Rio Secreto is an ancient and mysterious subterranean world that until now has remained unexplored for millions of years.
  2. You will want to swim off the shores of Tulum, which is an archaeological site located by the sea.
  3. Visit Xplor, an all Adventure park.
  4. Snorkel in the largest natural aquarium in Xel Ha.
  5. Explore the mystery of the Mayan caves in Aktun Chen.
  6. Spend some time strolling along La Quinta Avenida in Playa del Carmen.
  7. Visit the ‘Mayan Village’.
  8. Get in touch with the earth at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
  9. Definitely treat yourself to a Mayan spa experience.
  10. Golf, whether you’re a serious golfer or new to the game.
  11. Snorkel or scuba dive the aforementioned Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.

You can also travel to Tulum to visit a cherished cliff-edge Mayan temple and the ruins at Chichen Itza, crowned by a stunning stepped pyramid.

All in all, if you are looking for  a ‘classy’ place to retreat for a week, spend some time along a dazzling oceanfront, discover a bit of history and dine well under the Mexican stars, you may well want to consider the Maya Riviera. And, oh yes, plan to return.

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