Travelers who have visited the Riviera Maya know just how much magic this destination holds. This 70-mile stretch of coastline along Mexico’s Caribbean shores is home to the world’s most beautiful beaches, swaying palm trees, vibrant beach towns, lush jungles and ancient Mayan culture. You’ll never run out of places to go and things to see when visiting the Riviera Maya!
Here are just a few of our favorite places to explore in the Riviera Maya:
The beach city of Playa del Carmen is located right in the middle of the Riviera Maya, and offers amazing white sand beaches in addition to incredible cuisine and a laid-back, bohemian vibe. The heart of the city is 5th Avenue, a long pedestrian street that runs parallel to the beach. 5th Avenue is lined with colorful boutique shops, small hotels, souvenir stores, art galleries, and endless restaurants serving all kinds of cuisine. The city’s wild nightclubs (some located on the beach) can be found near the intersection with 12th Street. It’s easy for travelers in Playa del Carmen to spend days exploring everything that 5th Avenue has to offer, whether you’re out for a morning coffee at an outdoor café, shopping in the afternoon or treating yourself to a gourmet dinner in the evening.
At the far southern end of the Riviera Maya are the Mayan ruins of Tulum. This centuries-old site is considered one of the most beautiful Mayan cities because of its spectacular location… set on a cliff by the Caribbean Sea. Below the ruins, you’ll find one of the world’s most unique beaches; just follow the stairs down the cliff to a stretch of sand where you can relax and swim in the Caribbean with ancient Mayan temples right above you.
This popular beach has some of the most beautiful water in the Riviera Maya! Akumal is located half an hour south of Playa del Carmen. Here, you’ll find open-air beachfront restaurants, souvenir shops and a calm bay with crystal clear waters, like swimming in a pool. Akumal means “Place of the Turtles” in Mayan, and if you snorkel out into the bay, there’s a good chance you’ll come across a sea turtle!
This hidden gem is located just five minutes from Playa del Carmen. The entire region is filled with a system of underground rivers, and Rio Secreto is one of the best places to explore them. Visitors are taken on a guided tour of a complex cave system in the jungle, where they can see incredible stalactite formations and swim through underground rivers. Rio Secreto is a fascinating adventure for kids and adults alike!
From mouthwatering cuisine and great shopping to underground rivers and white sand beaches, it’s no wonder that the Riviera Maya is a favorite travel destination for vacationers from all over the world! Start planning your next trip so you can see for yourself what this fascinating place has to offer.