Set along the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula is the wonderful Mayan Riviera. Offering 75 miles of coastline, it runs from famous Cancun down to the equally notable Tulum. Though it boasts those many miles of coast, and stunning beaches, it is also home to just as impressive historical sites, ecological parks and many natural wonders.
These are all reasons that the Mexican government initially mapped out this part of the peninsula for development as a travel destination.
North or South?
It is amazingly easy to plan a world class beach holiday anywhere along the Mayan Riviera. Whether it is in the more common destinations such as Puerto Moreles, Tres Rios, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Tulum or the island just offshore – the Isle de Cozumel – you will have many stunning beaches.
Each of the popular beach areas is also well supplied with wonderful shopping areas, restaurants and accommodations. Yet, you will find that each area is also unique. Cancun, as you might guess is full of many attractions and convenient travel hubs, but if you relish a bit more solitude and peace, you will want to head down the coast.
As you head south, you will note that things become a bit more laid back and less crowded the farther you travel. You may prefer the charming and classic fishing village setting that is Puetro Morelos, but you may want a resort-styled holiday and opt to stay at the famous Playa del Carmen with its many premier villas and luxury amenities. Many opt to head to the appealing harbor town of Puerto Aventuras, but then there is Tulum. Once a sleep and out of the way locale, it is now one of the most popular among the glitterati.
Tulum is appealing to many for its Mayan ruins set right along the beach, with mysterious pyramids and pristine sands, it is appealing. Yet, you may find that gazing back at the Mayan Riviera from the lovely Isle de Cozumel is more for you, and you can even fly directly to the island rather than heading in via Cancun.
What to See and Do
Any visit to the Mayan Riviera is going to include days at the beach or on the water. Yet, you have an array of locations from which to choose. For example, kite surfing is a popular activity in Tulum’s waters, but diving is the big thing in Cancun. Snorkeling is generally ideal in all of the beach areas, and then there are the cenotes.
These are an inland experience, but something not to be missed. They are natural caves that serve as connecting points to an enormous network of underground rivers. You will find many opportunities for snorkeling in the caves or simply relaxing in the cool shade and soaking in the soothing waters.
If water activities such as swimming, sunbathing, sailing, or diving and snorkeling are not for you, there is still much to see and do in the Mayan Riviera. If you are near Tulum or Coba, the ruins are a must. However, there are many natural and eco theme parks to visit, including the famous Xcaret Eco park that lets you learn as you enjoy hours of fun.
Whether you opt to stay in a private villa above a beach or a resort property, the Mayan Riviera will prove one of your wisest vacation destinations. Ideal for honeymooners, solo travelers, couples, families and groups, it has something for everyone. Even if you do not step off the grounds of your villa or resort, you are sure to make many memories and plan many return visits.