Riviera Maya begins 18 miles south of the Cancun International airport and runs 75 miles along the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. The largest towns are Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and Tulum.
Like Cancun, Riviera Maya boasts year round sunshine making it ideal for a vacation at any time of year. The average temperatures range from 20° to 30° C from October through to March and from 22° to 33° C from April to September.
Transportation between towns and beaches in Riviera Maya is made simple with buses running regularly down the stretch from Cancun all the way to Tulum. There are bus terminals in Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. If you prefer not to take a public bus taxis and tour buses are also easily found.
The official currency in Riviera Maya is the Mexican peso but American dollars are also widely accepted. Banks are open Monday-Friday from 9am to 4pm but there are exchange houses found in larger towns that are open much later.
In Riviera Maya the official language is Spanish, however most Mexicans working the tourism industry speak English. Many of the indigenous people still speak Mayan as their first language and you may even hear them speaking it amongst themselves.
The standard electricity supply is 110 volts; therefore you will not need convertors unless you are bringing 220 volt devices (hotels will often offer convertors).
Riviera Maya offers an abundance of excursions which could keep you busy your whole week away if you wish. Some favourites are:
Archaeological sites are found all over Riviera Maya and give you a glimpse into the Mayan world. Some of the most popular are Tulum, Coba, Xcaret, and Chichen Itza. Tulum, meaning “walled city”, offers some of the most impressive ruins in the Mayan world, built on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea the views are stunning. Ecological sites such as Xel-Ha and Xcaret can fill your day with lots to see and do. Xel-Ha is a natural aquarium where the ocean combines with fresh water currents of springs and underground rivers. Surrounded by thick jungle, caves, a couple of small archaeological sites and even cenotes this becomes a paradise for snorkeling. Xcaret offers the opportunity to learn about the area’s ecology as well as Mayan history or just relax on the beach. Some favourite things to do there are float down one of the two subterranean rivers, swim with dolphins or wander trails through the jungle.
Playa del Carmen, also known as La Quinta Avenida, is definitely a favourite shopping destination among tourists to Riviera Maya. It offers the flavour of a fishing village mixed with the cosmopolitan atmosphere of high end shopping. Fifth Avenue is where you will find the majority of shops as well as restaurants and even nightlife.
Either head into the town of Playa Del Carmen for many options of restaurants, bars and clubs or stay at your resort and take advantage of what is offered there. Some resorts boast better nightlife than others so if that is important to you make sure to find out ahead of time what your resort offers.
There is no lack of golf courses in Riviera Maya with many of them near or even attached to resorts. If you know you will want to golf while away find out if there will be one nearby or choose a resort where you can golf daily.
Hard Rock Riviera Maya
Azul Fives by Karisma
Grand Sunset Princess
Royalton Riviera Cancun
Dreams Riviera Cancun