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.

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