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Riviera Maya

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Holidays in Riviera Maya

The Mayan Riviera is Mexico's main tourist destination and among the world's most visited. It lies within the tourist district of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, in the east of the Yucatan Peninsula. This historic district begins in the city of Playa del Carmen, ends in the town of Tulum and includes Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and Chemuyil.

Mayan Riviera Resorts

Riviera Maya is in the State of Quintana Roo in the southeast of Mexico. It is a region known for its tropical abundance, ranging from beaches and a tropical climate to excellent cuisine and multiculturalism.

Geographically it extends along the coast from the town of Isla Blanca in the north to Punta Allen in the south.

Cancun International Airport is the main gateway to the Riviera Maya. It is the second most important airport in Mexico and the largest for international passengers in all of Latin America. It has 4 terminals and receives more than 11 million passengers a year.

Riviera Maya can also be reached by road from Chetumal in the south of Quintana Roo or from Mérida in Yucatán.


Puerto Morelos – Playa del Carmen – Puerto Aventuras – Akumal – Tulum


Mayan Riviera Resorts

  • Puerto Morelos is 16 km south of Cancun International Airport. It is the northernmost part of Riviera Maya. Off the coast of Puerto Morelos is the Puerto Morelos Arrecife National Park, a protected natural environment. The barrier reef in Puerto Morelos is located near the beaches and makes this the ideal place for windsurfing, snorkeling and diving.
  • Playa del Carmen is the famous "heart of the Mayan Riviera". A destination in constant growth which receives millions of tourists every year, with a great choice of hotels and resorts, golf courses and residential areas. It is also the departure point for the island of Cozumel.
  • Puerto Aventuras is famous for its exclusive and extremely private tourist and residential development. There is a shopping area with a range of hotels, golf courses, restaurants, beach clubs and tennis clubs. A great place to enjoy with all the family.
  • Akumal is a tourist destination with few hotels compared to the other places mentioned. For years, it has been the headquarters of the Akumal Ecological Center, dedicated to the preservation of the region.
  • Tulum is a living archaeological area. An ancient commercial port that still delights us with perfect structures to this day. It is 118 km from Cancun airport. There is a secondary road that heads northwest to the archaeological ruins of Cobá, as well as Chemax and Valladolid, both small cities in Yucatan state. To the south and along the coast there is a dirt road that leads to Punta Allen, entrance to Ascension Bay and the Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve.

Riviera Maya offers hundreds of miles of beaches, several of which are still untouched and can only be visited by sea. Here is a list of our favorite beaches due to their unparalleled beauty and tranquility.

Mayan Riviera Resorts


  • Xcacel- Xcacelito: located 46 km south of Playa del Carmen, this is one of the most noble beaches in the region and one of the sites used by sea turtles for spawning every year. Xcacelito, is a small cenote that is right between the jungle and the sea.
  • Punta Maroma, Xcalacoco and Punta Bete: Punta Maroma, Xcalacoco and Punta Bete are three areas joined by a strip of sand which is three kilometers long. This is also home to a freshwater river known as “Tres Ríos” (Three Rivers) as well as hotels that offer all the comfort and charm of the Riviera Maya. Very near Grand Riviera and Grand Sunset Princess.
  • Paamul: located between Xcaret and Puerto Aventuras and south of Playa del Carmen. Paamul is ideal for nature lovers and is another of the favorite beaches for turtles. It has a rocky bay with a coral reef in front.



Mayan Riviera Resorts

  • Xpu-Há: located 20 kilometers south of Playa del Carmen and offering a wide range of services, dive shops, restaurants and small hotels. A little bit further to the north, there is a small lagoon. An excellent place to rest and enjoy the Caribbean Sea.
  • Mamitas Beach: especially good for parties, Mamitas Beach is best known for hosting multiple events ranging from electronic music festivals to being the main venue for the last ten years for the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival.

Long-distance excursions:

Mayan Riviera Resorts

  • Chichen Itza: Known as the most important capital of the Mayan world, Chichen Itza is a source of invaluable data on the pre-Hispanic past of Mexico, a cultural reference point for all Mexicans and a symbol of indigenous and national identity. Considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world, this archaeological site will help you connect with Mexican history.
  • Xel-há: a natural park with a huge lagoon ideal for swimming and snorkeling or for long walks along the jungle trails to view all the flora and fauna. The park is 40 minutes from Playa del Carmen and offers world-class facilities and all-inclusive packages with buffet meals, life jackets, snorkeling equipment and open bar with Mexican drinks.
  • Holbox Island: you are definitely going to fall in love with this little corner of the Mexican Caribbean. Contact our water sports center and discover the beauty of Holbox. An excursion that can include snorkeling or diving, ending the day with lunch on a dreamlike beach.



Mayan Riviera Resorts

  • Isla Mujeres: one of Quintana Roo's best kept secrets. It is the first place in all of Mexico on which the sun rises. The calm waters and beautiful coral reefs in the western part of Isla Mujeres are perfect for snorkeling and diving.
  • Cozumel Island: This Mesoamerican coral reef is twenty-two kilometers long, stretching out alongside white sandy beaches. But this is not the only thing that will make you fall in love with the island. Thanks to the amazing marine biodiversity it is considered the ideal place for diving. The large coral reefs form living underwater gardens and are home to a rich and varied marine life.
  • Tulum: Just one hour from Playa del Carmen, be surprised by the beauty of this little corner of the Riviera Maya. The site of one of the most representative archaeological sites of Mayan culture with a famous "castle" located within Tulum National Park, the only protected natural area in the Cancun - Tulum corridor.
  • Sian Ka'an: The name means "where sky and the sea come together". It is located 127 km from Playa del Carmen and is one of the most fascinating natural reserves in Mexico. The almost virgin beaches along its coastline will amaze you, and you will also get a chance to appreciate the diversity of its flora and fauna.


Mayan Riviera Resorts

  • Valladolid: This magical town only two hours from Cancun will fascinate you with its colonial architectural beauty. The Capital of the Eastern Maya is characterized by the hospitality of its people. Whether you are religious or not, the colonial Cathedrals are worth a visit. In Valladolid there is the Cathedral of San Gervacio dating back to 1545. From there, you can visit Ek Balam or Chichen Itzá, both archaeological sites full of cultural mysticism.

Local activities and excursions:

  • Xcaret Park: this is an almost mandatory visit if you are staying in Playa del Carmen. You have a chance to swim with dolphins, visit the Mexican folk art museum and see Xcaret: Mexico Espectacular, one of the best shows in the whole of Mexico. Ask about this amazing tour at our hospitality desks.
  • ATV's: If you like to live life to the full, then this excursion is for you. Explore the Mayan jungle on a quad like you never imagined.
  • Río Secreto (Secret River): a journey through a “museum of glass”, with rock formations which tell the geological history of the earth. A life-transforming experience.


Mayan Riviera Resorts

  • Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue): Visit the heart of Playa del Carmen and all the boutiques, shopping malls, restaurants and bars that are writing the history of this city. Ideal for travelers looking to connect with local contemporary culture.
  • Xoximilco: enjoy an experience full of the nuances of Mexico and its festivals. Accompanied by traditions, customs and Mexican folklore at every turn, enjoy the most festive night from start to finish.
  • Cenote Azul: A refreshing pool of water in the jungle. You can truly not imagine the natural beauty and its crystal-clear waters until you get here. The site is a great attraction for both local people and tourists.
  • Cenote Dos Ojos: located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum and connected to one of the ten longest underwater cave systems in the world.
  • Altournative: if you are passionate about the cultural heritage and the environment, we recommend you learn more about the different activities Altournative can offer you. From excursions to the Mayan areas to activities of all kinds in the different parks.

Riviera Maya has earned a reputation in Mexico and the world for being one of the most multicultural parts of the country. Diversity has made Riviera Maya a fantastic place to enjoy the best of world cuisine:

Mayan Riviera Resorts

  • Local food: a range of flavors worth tasting. Don’t miss the “cochinita pibil” slow-roasted pork, the black stuffing, “panuchos”, “salbutes” and stuffed cheese.
  • Seafood: a great variety of seafood ranging from delicious lobsters to excellent shrimp tacos. Don’t forget the rich “aguachile” shrimp that are traditional on the Mexican Pacific coast but can also be found on the Riviera Maya.
  • Mole Poblano: Central Mexico presents the delicious “Mole Poblano”, a dish that will satisfy even the most discerning palates. For the Mexicans, recipes for mole are some of the greatest secrets in Mexican cuisine. A fusion of indigenous and colonial cuisine, the recipes have been passed down from generation to generation.
  • Marquesitas: if you visit the heart of the Riviera Maya, you have to try the Marquesitas, a dessert which is native to the Yucatan Peninsula. It is a crispy crepe rolled up and traditionally filled with melted shredded cheese, with the sweet dough of the crepe contrasting with the salty flavor of the cheese.
  • International Cuisine: foreign residents have also set up store in the Riviera Maya. You can find Argentine steaks, German sausages, Italian pizza and pasta and Spanish tapas, among others.

There are several options for getting from Cancún airport to our hotels:

Mayan Riviera Resorts

  • Transfer: you can contact local transfer companies offering pick-up and return services between the airport and the hotel. You just have to look for your name on the sign as you exit the airport.
  • Take a look at the package you bought: if you have bought a travel package, always check whether the transfer service is included or not.
  • Taxi: sometimes the transfer is not included, and we need the help of a taxi. At Cancun airport you can hire taxis and also check the official rates at the airport on arrival.
  • ADO Bus: from Cancun International Airport, the ADO bus will take you to the center of Playa del Carmen where you can then get a taxi for the short ride to the hotel.
  • Car rental: Vehicles can be collected and returned to Cancun airport. All the main rent a car companies operate at the airport offering different types of vehicles to cover any needs you may have.

Before travelling to Riviera Maya, here are a few tips and suggestions:

Mayan Riviera Resorts

  • The electric current is 110V and the plugs are the same as in the United States (flat pin)
  • There is a charge for Environmental Sanitation Rights of 20 pesos per person, per night.
  • In Riviera Maya you can buy in Mexican Pesos, although many places also accept credit cards. You can also pay in US dollars and even euros, although the exchange rate is usually not the official rate.
  • You are traveling to a tropical area with great weather throughout the year. You don’t need a coat, but a light jacket is a good idea. After a day in the sun and then spending time in areas with air conditioning, you will appreciate it.
  • It is a humid and very green area, so it’s also a good idea to bring mosquito repellent. At dusk and dawn is when are most active.
  • It often rains. The climate is very changeable. It can be sunny, then rain for a while, and then be really sunny again.


Mayan Riviera Resorts

  • We recommend you bring more than one swimsuit. Clothes take a long time to dry due to the humidity.
  • The tropical ecosystem around us is very delicate, so it’s important to minimize our impact and take maximum care of the environment. Respect the beach, the mangrove forests, flora and fauna. It is everyone's duty to preserve and protect our natural environment!
  • Do not forget to bring your passport.
  • You must not leave the country without tasting Mezcal, the drink that comes from heaven. There is a popular saying that goes “Para todo mal, mezcal; para todo bien, también” which more or less means "If everything’s going bad, try mezcal. If everything’s going well, the same!".



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