Guide to the best things to do in Riviera Maya, Mexico

Riviera Maya GUIDE


Explore the Riviera Maya and you’ll soon realize that its many charms go far beyond the celebrated 100 miles of soft white sand. Dive some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the Caribbean, part of the Mesoamerican Reef, the world’s second longest. Shop, dine and kick back in trendsetting Playa del Carmen. Relax in Puerto Morelos, Tulum and Akumal, smaller beachfront communities, all with their own distinctive ambiance. Visit Mayan archaeological sites, indulge your sense of adventure with a day in the jungle and reconnect with nature.

Spend the day with family and friends in the area’s famous eco and adventure parks such as Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor, Rio Secreto and Aktun Chen. Xcaret is a blend of nature and Mexican culture with endless appeal and its evening show is not to be missed. Xel-Ha is a vast turquoise inlet that is a natural aquarium and paradise for snorkelers.

Stroll along lively Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen, the waterfront capital of the Riviera Maya, and even plan a visit to the offshore island of Cozumel, just a short boat ride away.

Marvel at the cliff top temples of the ancient Maya in Tulum and the Nohoch Mul pyramid, the tallest in northern Yucatan, at the jungle site of Coba.

Take the plunge, snorkel in a sheltered bay or inlet and discover the reefs of Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Akumal on a scuba diving trip. Set sail on a romantic catamaran cruise at sunset and try your hand at sport fishing on the high seas or bone fishing in coastal lagoons (respect the catch and release policy to preserve fish stocks).

Venture into the jungle to cool off in crystal-clear jungle pools known as cenotes or sinkholes, which are formed by the erosion of the limestone rock. The world’s longest underground rivers discovered to date are right here in the Riviera Maya and the area is a magnet for cave divers and archaeologists who have made amazing discoveries

Play a round of golf on the Riviera Maya’s many championship courses.

Fly through the trees on a zip line.

Spend the morning horseback riding, kayaking, on an ATV adventure or a dolphin swim.

Go wild in the vast Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to over 350 species of birds and rare creatures such as the jaguar, ocelot, howler and spider monkeys, tapir and the manatee.

Meet the Maya and learn about their lives, customs, cuisine and history in a chain of rural communities in Sian Ka’an and central Quintana Roo known as Maya Ka’an.

This post is also available in: Spanish