Blessed by incredible geography, the Riviera Maya offers tourists an array of activities, places to explore, the chance to do all sorts of sports, as well as see the most breathtaking sceneries, and countless archaeological remains of one of the most important and enigmatic ancient civilizations. The alluring Riviera Maya has it all. It is the perfect place to have exciting adventures, restful holidays, enlightening cultural moments, and a lot of fun.
Attractions in the Riviera Maya range from colorful coral reef environments to ancient Mayan cities nestled in the rainforest. There is always something amazing to do. Dive into the subterranean rivers or the sea. Go horseback riding or sport fishing. Visit stunning natural reserves and be a part of unforgettable experiences. You won't be bored, not even for a minute, even if you decide to bask in the sun by a pool or on the beach. The stunning view of the sea and the cool ocean breeze will surely captivate you.
Playa del Carmen lures hundreds of national and international tourists because of its excellent location, only 30 minutes from the Cancun International Airport. Its unique geomorphology offers the perfect blend of sea, rainforest, and urbanity, making it the heart and soul of the Riviera Maya. Playa del Carmen has evolved from a mere Mayan village to one of Mexico's fastest growing economies with one of the most important infrastructures for tourism in the country.
It offers tourists a wide scope of possibilities including restaurants, nightclubs, stores, and bars, as well as world-class sporting facilities for golf, boating, sport fishing, diving and snorkeling, just to name a few of this town's attractions that will make every moment of your trip enjoyable.
Of all the cities of Mesoamerican civilizations, Tulum is the only one built on the coast and the only one fortified with a wall. It was the first Mayan city spotted by the Spanish in the 16th century and paradoxically the last Mayan fortress during the conquest. The structure called the Castle was used as a lighthouse to guide the Spanish galleons away from the reef as they attempted to come ashore. It resembles a limestone cliff overlooking the beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Also the Temple of the Frescoes, which still bears traces of the original color in its murals, gives the visitor a clear view of this civilization's complex writing system and cultural achievements.
This charming little town has somehow escaped the modern development of the neighboring towns on the Cancun-Tulum Corridor, so it still conserves a nice, slow-paced way of life, with a small travel industry, uncrowded beaches, and a marvelous barrier reef that attracts those fond of scuba diving and snorkeling. It is definitely a great choice for people who want to enjoy the wonders of the Caribbean and the chance to explore its unique cenotes and beaches without a care in the world, and without having to give up going to good restaurants and modern conveniences.
Puerto Aventuras is undoubtedly a peaceful place south of Playa del Carmen. It features a great marina called San Carlos, an example of man's ingenuity over what was originally a bay with the right conditions and depth for the docking of large vessels, luxury yachts and catamarans. The attractions in Puerto Aventuras go from sport fishing and swimming with dolphins to golf in fantastic courses, as well as fine wining and dining. Puerto Aventuras also features several stores, hotels, and entertainment options, making this place a great choice for a great vacation experience.
Translated from the original Maya, "Akumal" means "place of turtles" because of the hundreds of green turtles that return to these beaches to nest every year. This idyllic spot of the Riviera Maya is the perfect setting for a dream vacation, with some of the most stunning sunsets and breathtaking sceneries on the Mexican Caribbean Coast.
Two and half miles of beach with white chalky sand, lined by hundreds of palm trees, Kantenah Bay is the ideal place to explore or simply relax in a hammock. It features its own barrier reef with thousands of colorful fish and easy access to docking facilities. There are a number of small restaurants, where you can enjoy a good meal and spend the day in this tropical paradise.
Xpu-Ha is an area that has fantastic beaches surrounded by exuberant tropical vegetation and luxury hotels. Its calm and clear waters are suitable for all sorts of water sports and its beaches feature a large expanse of soft powdery sand, a gorgeous lagoon, an inlet, and a refreshing cenote just waiting to be explored.
Coba is one of the most popular archeological sites in the Riviera Maya with an amazing array of buildings in a 50-mile area, built between two large lakes. The main building, the highest in all of the Yucatan Peninsula, is a 46-foot tall pyramid.
Diving in the Great Mayan Barrier Reef, located in the coast of the Riviera Maya, is one of the main attractions in this destination because it is the second longest in the world, comprising of 70 coral formations. You can also explore underwater wonders in the many cenotes in the area or learn the new sport of cave diving, where you can explore amazing underwater caves, the only area in the world with such an extensively explored cave system. The Yucatan has countless cenotes to swim in and some of the most beautiful ones are in the Riviera Maya: the Taj Majal, The Ponderosa, Dos Ojos, Calavera, Cristal, Escondido and the Gran Cenote, are just some of many found in a famous area called the Route of the Cenotes.
Located just a 10-minute drive from Playa del Carmen, Xcaret is the most important ecological and archaeological theme park of Mexico. It is surrounded by lush vegetation and is home to several animal species. It offers visitors the chance to swim with dolphins, snorkel in an underwater river, a lagoon, or an inlet, and explore the cliffs and cenotes. Xcaret promotes the region's most precious natural attractions and thrives to give tourists a broader picture of Mexican culture. The nighttime program includes music concerts, dance and singing performances from different parts of Mexico, featuring some of the best folk performers.
Xel-Ha, Xcaret's sister park, is known as the world's largest natural aquarium. It has an enormous estuary with hundreds of tropical fish, featuring some archaeological remains of the Mayans, as well as caverns and cenotes. The park's facilities include restaurants, showers and lockers for your convenience.
Translated from Mayan, "Aktun Chen" means "cavern with a cenote inside", and that is just what it is: a magnificent, 656-yard cavern with stalactites and stalagmites formed from the dripping of mineral-rich water for thousands of years, featuring a crystal clear cenote, 40 feet deep. This cave system is surrounded by 990 acres of thick jungle, which bring visitors closer to nature.
Known as the place where the sky begins, this natural reserve is located in the southernmost point of the Riviera Maya, with an ecosystem that is habitat to hundreds of species, such as pumas, spider monkeys, jaguars, deer, crocodiles and 345 species of birds, as well as extensive flora with hundreds of rainforest species, many of which are not even known to man. You can visit the reserve on a guided boat tour that takes about 3 hours.
The Riviera Maya features beautiful golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, and Robert Trent Jones among other designers, hired by important resorts and developers, which have made the Riviera Maya a world-class golf destination. All of them offer first-class facilities for professional and amateur golfers alike, a club house, and restaurants, including caddie and catering service.
The Riviera Maya's extensive wild life offers an abundance of both shallow water fish like wahoo, Atlantic bumper, cubera snapper, bonitos, Atlantic mackerel, as well as deep sea fish like sailfish, marlins, tuna, and mahi-mahi available especially during the season from March to June, all of which would make perfect fish trophies for an enthusiastic angler.