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Riviera Maya Holiday Guide

Relaxed beach towns, white-sand beaches, underground swimming holes and ancient Mayan sites make the Riviera Maya one of Mexico’s most compelling holiday destinations.

This stretch of Mexican Caribbean coastline, known for its beautiful turquoise sea, is on the north-eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Stretching from the US-holiday destination of Cancun to Tulum and once home to small fishing communities, the area has developed into a series of modern beachfront resort towns, offering everything from high-end dining and designer shopping to golf, watersports and family-friendly theme parks.Some of the best-known highlights include the historic Mayan sites of Tulum and Chichen Itza, or the underground river system that provides access to a series of swimming holes, or cenotes, formed when the limestone bedrock collapsed, leaving groundwater-filled sinkholes. Explore these on a guided tour, or take a boat trip out to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which runs the entire length of the coast. Here you can snorkel with sea turtles, moray eels and other marine life, or just enjoy a sunset cruise or yacht party where you can dive off the top deck for a swim or try your hand at catching a fish.

If you just want a relaxing holiday, the Riviera Maya is home to a range of all-inclusive beach resorts, family-friendly accommodation and upscale spa hotels. Book an outdoor massage, take a yoga class or enjoy a tequila cocktail as the sun goes down. Alternatively, hit up the trendy shops, bars, clubs and restaurants of Playa del Carmen’s Quinta Avenida, or take the kids to one of the nearby jungle activity parks, such as Xplor or Xenses, for caving, ziplining and underground rafting adventures.

Other Riviera Maya’s towns worth visiting on your holiday include the laid-back fishing village of Puerto Morelos, for more of an Old Mexico feel, or the quieter town of Akumal, which has a calm, swimmable lagoon and is famous for the sea turtles who nest here between May and November.

If you’re looking for a fun-filled holiday in Riviera Maya or a more tranquil setting, you’ll find accommodation to match your needs along the entire coast, so you can settle back and enjoy this glorious tropical destination at your leisure.


Guide to Exploring Riviera Maya


Top Hotel Deals

See all 1,949 Hotels in Riviera Maya
Ocean Riviera Paradise All Inclusive

Ocean Riviera Paradise All Inclusive

Carr Fed Chetumal Cancun km 296 Predio, Playa del Carmen
3.5
of 5, from 196 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Playa del Carmen, this beachfront resort is next to a golf course, 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from El Camaleon Golf Club. 28 de Julio Square is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) away.

The Royal Playa del Carmen All Inclusive Spa & Resort

The Royal Playa del Carmen All Inclusive Spa & Resort

Av. Constituyentes No. 2, Playa del Carmen
4.6
of 5, from 3,730 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Avenida Constituyentes, this beachfront resort is in the city centre and within a 5-minute walk of Quinta Alegria and Pier Navega. Mamitas Beach Club and Nuestra Senora del Carmen Catholic Church are also within 10 minutes.

Hotel Xcaret Mexico - All Inclusive

Hotel Xcaret Mexico - All Inclusive

Carr. Chetumal - Puerto Juarez Km. 282, Playa del Carmen
4.4
of 5, from 33 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Within easy reach of Xcaret Eco Theme Park, Xplor Theme Park and Mahi Golf Course, this Playa del Carmen resort is set on the beach. Area attractions also include Playacar Golf Club and Playa del Carmen Maritime Terminal.

Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort

Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort

1a Avenida esquina Calle 26, Playa Del Carmen
4.7
of 5, from 821 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Playa del Carmen, this beachfront hotel is in the entertainment district and within a 5-minute walk of Mamitas Beach Club and Quinta Alegria. Pier Navega and Nuestra Senora del Carmen Catholic Church are also within 15 minutes.

Sandos Caracol Eco Resort - All Inclusive

Sandos Caracol Eco Resort - All Inclusive

Carretera Cancún Chetumal Km. 295, Playa del Carmen
4.0
of 5, from 2,323 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Playa del Carmen, this beachfront resort is next to a golf course and within 3 mi (5 km) of Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya, Guadalupe Church and 28 de Julio Square. El Camaleon Golf Club and Mamitas Beach Club are also within 6 miles (10 km).

Ocean Coral & Turquesa - All Inclusive

Ocean Coral & Turquesa - All Inclusive

Super manzana 12, Lote 1-05, Puerto Morelos
4.0
of 5, from 1,560 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Puerto Morelos, this beachfront resort is in the entertainment district and within 3 mi (5 km) of Crococun Zoo, Ojo de Agua Beach and Puerto Morelos Reef. Puerto Morelos Town Square and San Jose Catholic Parish are also within 3 miles (5 km).

La Pasion Hotel Boutique by Bunik

La Pasion Hotel Boutique by Bunik

Calle 10 Norte entre 15 y 20, Playa del Carmen
4.6
of 5, from 901 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Playa del Carmen, this hotel is steps away from Central Square and Nuestra Senora del Carmen Catholic Church. Yucatek Divers and Quinta Alegria are also within 10 minutes.

Mahekal Beach Resort

Mahekal Beach Resort

38 St And The Beach, Playa del Carmen
4.6
of 5, from 1,195 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Playa del Carmen, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre and within a 15-minute walk of Mamitas Beach Club and Quinta Alegria. Pier Navega and Nuestra Senora del Carmen Catholic Church are also within 1 mi (2 km).

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