Once known as a popular Spring Break destination for college travelers, Riviera Maya, on the Caribbean coast, has emerged as one of the most popular and luxurious areas in Mexico.
Riviera Maya Destination Guide
Known for its warm turquoise water, breathtaking beaches, and tropical climate, Riviera Maya offers amenities for even the most discerning traveler. Immerse yourself in the rich historical and cultural heritage of the region, bathe in the luxury of an all-inclusive resort, or simply relax in the beauty of one of Mexico’s most renowned locations. Whatever you desire, Riviera Maya delivers.
Planning for Paradise
If you’re prone to the winter blues, then you’re in luck. Leave the snow and rain behind and plan to visit Riviera Maya between late November and early March. The sunny days are warm, and the humidity is low. There’s always a chance of a passing shower, but who minds a little spritz when resting in the shade under a palapa with a Mai Tai? But if you’re hankering for a little heat, March to May might suit your taste. The humidity can be a little higher, but the rainy season doesn’t set in until late May (and thankfully, most big storms rarely trouble the Riviera).
Places to Go, Things to See
The stunning Riviera Maya stretches 120km (nearly 75 miles) from Cancún to Tulum along the Caribbean coast where a spectacular Mayan ruin stands guard over the beach. Whether you prefer an intimate boutique hotel or an all-inclusive resort, choices abound, including Playa del Carmen, one of the most popular destinations due to its proximity to the center of the Riviera.
And don’t be surprised by the tropical wildlife – the lush rainforest is mere steps from many of these locations. You may see a spiny-tailed iguana sunning blissfully on a rock or hear the call of the Great-tailed Grackle (a boisterous black bird widely seen, and fed, by visitors).
Getting There and Getting Around
If you’re flying in from the United States, Riviera Maya is served by Cancún International Airport, which is located just nine miles from the city center of Cancún. Many hotels offer a complimentary airport transfer service, but if not, taxis stand at the ready to whisk you away to your personal paradise.
No Hablo Español? No Problem!
Riviera Maya has an excellent tourist infrastructure, and it is easy for visitors to communicate in English, both in the resorts and in town. Although Spanish is the national language, native Maya languages are also widely spoken by the local population. Pesos are the primary currency, but U.S. dollars may be accepted in some shops (just look for the signs).
Photos courtesy of David Pezzat Photographers