What to do in Riviera Maya?

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The Riviera Maya is a stunning area of Mexico at nature but full of hotels put in good weather, Caribbean beaches, jungle and Mayan ruins. The concept of the Riviera Maya was created in the seventies and eighties in the region of Quintana Roo that goes from Cancun and Playa del Carmen to Tulum. Building on Highway 307 that is parallel to the coast, with endless Caribbean beaches and good weather large resort hotels were built for tourists, mainly Americans and Europeans.

Riviera Maya

Photography by Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Hotels with all inclusive:

Most packages sold by travel agencies to the Riviera Maya, are trips to hotels with «everything» including, where the first thing they do upon check-in is to get a wristband so you can go by the hotel and eating it you like. Many of the hotels are in the midst of jungles interesting; for example, saw all kinds of animals in the hotel where we stayed.



Cancun is the vital center of the Riviera Maya, with its international airport. There are many resorts on the beachfront, restaurants and nightclubs. However, there is nothing interesting to visit. We stayed at a green hotel is a bit off the tourist area.

Playa del Carmen:

Known as Xaman Ha in Maya, a spectacular beach and Fifth Avenue with countless hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs to spend both day and night. Therefore, if you want to be relaxed in the Riviera Maya, this is a place to avoid.

What to do in Riviera Maya?

Photography by Sean y Lauren


Tulum Mayan Ruins has some simple a castle in the sea that make it almost mandatory visit to take a bath and take a photo. The town of Tulum, is not as touristy and has a couple of craft shops and bars. However, accommodations in Tulum stand out as mostly organic and luxurious. We slept in a cabin by the sea without power. The place was impressive, but turned out to be a bit expensive. In Tulum hotels wrist will not find quite the contrary, places to relax and be calm.

Mayan ruins:

Chichen Itza:

Possibly Chichen Itza Mayan ruins are quite far from the Riviera Maya, however, are probably the most requested activity by tourists who travel there. For this reason, Chichen Itza may have become so famous ruins. And it’s a must-see, so if you have the opportunity to visit these spectacular Mayan ruins, do not miss them. At night there is a light show that appears to be interesting, although some say boring.

Chichen Itza Mayan ruins

Photography by ramonbaile


Tulum ruins are very interesting, however, if you come to visit other Mayan ruins in central Mexico, we do not recommend visiting. The photo of Tulum Castle with the sea and the beach can be done with other perspectives from behind the castle where there is a campsite or from other angles without having to enter the ruins, where there are not many interesting buildings.

Tulum, also houses the Mayan ruins has many miles of deserted beaches. In most of these beaches you can find cabins to sleep, however, prices in Tulum are very expensive as I said before. In the sand of the beach there are also plenty restaurants and pizzerias very quiet. We at dinner at a restaurant in the light of candles in Tulum we were told that there was a turtle laying her eggs at twenty meters from the restaurant, so you’ll be surrounded by nature.


Coba Mayan means that turbid water is one of the few Mayan ruins that can scale to the top of their pyramids almost swallowed by the jungle Caribbean. They are interesting, yet happens to Tulum, if you’ve visited other Mayan ruins of Palenque and Yaxchilan and Bonampack, perhaps you can avoid to perform other activities. About Coba are five cenotes.

Isla Mujeres:

This island is a great place to visit for a day with an early morning ferry and returning with the last ferry if you can not sleep on the island. The island is 13km from Cancún and transport around the island are basically taxis, golf carts or a bus. To us offered to go to Isla Mujeres diving from the hotel in the Riviera Maya. Also agreed that whales had come to the area and was very possible to dive with them.


Cenotes are unique places in the Riviera Maya that were formed when the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs struck the Caribbean. It is still wonderful to find a few hundred meters from the beach freshwater giant hole crystal with all kinds of marine life living in them. We swim and dive the Cenote Cristal, but there are many across the road from Playa del Carmen to Tulum.

Playa del Carmen

Photography by dMap Viajes

Snorkeling and diving:

The archaeological park of Xcaret eco can enjoy the Mayan culture and the nature of this area of Mexico. Xcaret is an underground cave where the two rivers flow underground will take you through a mile of spectacular cave. We leave you with a video of Traveling with Diego de Xcaret.


Xel-Ha means «the place where water is born» is a natural park dedicated to the conservation of flora and fauna with a stunning turquoise lagoon. In the camp of Xel-Ha you can find a turtle, a dolphin space and a space for native birds. Said to be the most spectacular natural aquarium of the world, but worth a visit Xel-Ha, you’ll be walking with hundreds of tourists there.

Travel of the Riviera Maya

Photography by Drew y gold

How to get around the Riviera Maya?

Bus in:

Most hotels in the Riviera Maya have bus service that takes anyone who wishes to Cancun airport, Playa del Carmen and other cities. The best in these cases is to ask the front desk if they have this service, bus routes and prices.

Rent a car:

Possibly the easiest way to get around the Riviera Maya is renting a car. Although, prices for car hire in Cancun are significantly higher than in the rest of Mexico, is a conveyance of interest to visit your pace every corner of the Riviera Maya. Indeed, we almost rented a VW beetle, but prefer not to have another car air conditioning. So my recommendation is that the car has air conditioning alquiléis.


I never took any taxi on the Riviera Maya, but asking the front desk can certainly call a taxi to come get you and take you right where deseéis! In the taxi, it is best to agree a price with the driver depending on the route you wish to do.

You all amenities for a great vacation on the Riviera Maya!

One Response to “What to do in Riviera Maya?”

  1. July Says:

    Riviera Maya beaches and exclusive hotels are for sure a good travel option for the vacation.

    I went a couple of times and get involved with these destinations. Also into one of my trips I went to El Chepe an amazing train route. Full of beautiful natural landscapes, excellent food and service.

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