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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 2,131 Hotels in Riviera Maya
Hotel Xcaret Mexico - All Parks and Tours/All-Inclusive £276
Hotel Xcaret Mexico - All Parks and Tours/All-Inclusive

Hotel Xcaret Mexico - All Parks and Tours/All-Inclusive

Carr. Chetumal - Puerto Juarez Km. 282, Playa del Carmen
     
    4.6
    of 5, from 89 reviews
    4.5 out of 5.0

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

    Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa - All Inclusive £398
    Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa - All Inclusive

    Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa - All Inclusive

    Carr Federal 307 Tulum-Cancun Km 332.15, Puerto Morelos
       
      4.1
      of 5, from 563 reviews
      4.5 out of 5.0

      Located in Puerto Morelos, this beachfront resort is in the city centre, 10.6 mi (17 km) from Ventura Park Cancun, and within 20 mi (32 km) of Cancun Country Club and Puerto Morelos Town Square.

      Ocean Riviera Paradise All Inclusive £170
      Ocean Riviera Paradise All Inclusive

      Ocean Riviera Paradise All Inclusive

      Carr Fed Chetumal Cancun km 296 Predio, Playa del Carmen
         
        3.6
        of 5, from 245 reviews
        4.0 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.

        Azulik £310
        Azulik

        Azulik

        Carretera Tulum-Ruinas Km. 5, Tulum
           
          4.2
          of 5, from 184 reviews
          3.5 out of 5.0

          Nestled on the beach, this Tulum hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Tulum Mayan Ruins and Tulum National Park. Gran Cenote and Muyil Ruins are also within 20 mi (32 km).

          La Pasion Hotel Boutique by Bunik £44
          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 968 reviews
            3.5 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.

            Sandos Caracol Eco Resort - All Inclusive
            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 2,420 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Playa del Carmen, this beachfront resort is next to a golf course and within 6 mi (10 km) of El Camaleon Golf Club, Plaza Las Americas and Quinta Alegria. Mamitas Beach Club and Quinta Avenida are also within 6 mi (10 km).

              Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort £155
              Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort

              Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort

              1a Avenida esquina Calle 26, Playa Del Carmen
                 
                4.6
                of 5, from 885 reviews
                4.5 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.

                Ocean Coral & Turquesa - All Inclusive £136
                Ocean Coral & Turquesa - All Inclusive

                Ocean Coral & Turquesa - All Inclusive

                Super manzana 12, Lote 1-05, Puerto Morelos
                   
                  4.0
                  of 5, from 1,579 reviews
                  4.0 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).

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