On the caribbean side of Mexico you will find a 140 kilometer stretch called The Mayan Riviera. This is the most popular vacation paradise in Mexico for foreigners and domestic visitors alike with over 7 million visitors per year and growing. With so many people visiting The Mayan Riviera there are plenty of activities to do and places to visit ranging from tranquil experiences to adrenaline pumping extreme sports. Here are some of our favorite places and experiences in the Mayan Riviera.
Here you will find the world famous seven shaped hotel zone with all included hotels, restaurants, bars, discotecs and more. Some international tourists prefer to stay in the all inclusive five star hotels enjoying the crystal clear waters on the private beaches and use the activities provided by the hotels to entertain their families. If you are in Cancun for spring break you should try out the famous movie themed discoteque Coco Bongo. During the day there are various big malls to visit with a wide selection of restaurants and branded shops.
Playa Del Carmen
In the middle of the Riviera Maya you will find this traditional Mexican beach town with plenty of things to do. For a nice walk and some good food visit the 5th avenue near the beach. The street is always filled with people enjoying themselves in the restaurants and in the evenings the bars and discotheques are filled. A great place to visit for couples and youngsters looking for fun.
Xcaret / Xel-Ha
Located in Playa Del Carmen roughly 45 minutes by car from Cancun you will find two enormous amusement parks with focus on aquatic activities. They both sport shows such as horse shows and mayan indigenous shows plus a wide variety of aquatic activities including swimming, boating and just hanging out on the beautiful caribbean sandy beaches. These are great places to visit for families and it will take the whole day to see it all. You can get a day pass so that you may leave at some point to go and eat or just to go back to the hotel to change and relax for a bit and then return later for more fun.
Around an hours drive south of Playa Del Carmen you will find the ruins of the pre Columbian Mayan city of Tulum. These mayan ruins standing on a bluff is a great place to visit for some stunning vistas, and just below the bluff there is an amazing beach to enjoy. Around Tulum you will find many cenotes, some open to the public and it is a very special experience to swim in them. A very nice trip for families. For the more adventurous people you will find underground caves close by that you can get a guided tour off. You will swim thru them and in some spots you will have to dive under some passages. It is a very special experience and a beautiful one at that.
The ecological reserve of Holbox Island is the perfect place to vacation if you are looking for an idyllic place to clear your mind and just enjoy the sun, beach and wildlife. You will find many flamingos, pelicans and other birdlife around the island. For accommodation there are no big hotels but rather smaller boutique hotels such as Hotel Villa Flamingos. This paradise island off the coast of the Mexican Caribbean is also perfect for romantic getaways.
There are many more activities and places in the Mayan Riviera, you can find a full list here.