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What to do in Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya is a picturesque area of beachfront small towns and resorts that spans south of the Cancun International Airport until the southern reaches of Tulum. This coastline stretches approximately 120 km.

Riviera Maya is a rich tapestry of beautiful sandy beaches and lush landscapes. Each place along this coastal paradise contributes its unique charm, making the Riviera Maya one of the best vacation destinations.

Things to do in Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya is also renowned for its captivating scenery, where pristine beaches meet lush jungles. The azure waters are not only a paradise for beachgoers but also an underwater wonderland for scuba enthusiasts.

Riviera Maya attracts travelers with its adventurous spirit. Beyond the serene coastlines, the region unfolds as a playground for active travelers and adventurers, offering a myriad of activities to satisfy every thrill-seeker.

Summer beach activities in Riviera Maya

Explore the best-rated resorts in Riviera Maya, where a blend of luxury and stunning natural surroundings awaits. Delve into Mayan history in Tulum beachfront ruins that provide insights into the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Taste local cuisine in Playa del Carmen, and immerse yourself in traditional experiences in Puerto Morelos that offer a glimpse into the authentic local lifestyle. Escape to the winter getaways in Puerto Aventuras tranquility.

Points of interest on Riviera Maya (from the North to South):

  • Puerto Morelos
  • Paraiso Beach
  • Punta Maroma
  • Playa del Carmen
  • PlayaCar
  • Xcaret Park
  • Paamul
  • Puerto Aventuras
  • Akumal
  • Xcacel
  • Xel-Ha Park
  • Tulum

From the tranquil shores of Puerto Morelos to Playa del Carmen and the adventurous spirit of Tulum’s beachfront ruins, each place and spot contributes to making Riviera Maya one of the best vacation destinations.

Popular destinations in Riviera Maya

Beach areas and resorts along the Riviera Maya

Paraiso Beach

Paraiso Beach is a slice of paradise along the Mexican Caribbean coastline.

With powdery white sands and azure waters, this beach destination invites travelers to unwind in a tranquil setting. Enjoy panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, engage in water activities, or simply bask in the sun.

Paraiso Beach is a haven for those seeking a serene escape with a touch of tropical allure.

Punta Maroma

Punta Maroma is known for its beautiful beaches and lush green surroundings. Nestled north of Playa del Carmen, this destination caters to those seeking luxury and privacy on the bustling rowdy Caribbean coastline.

The beachfront here is a postcard-perfect blend of turquoise waters and soft, sandy shores. Punta Maroma is synonymous with upscale resorts, providing an ideal retreat for travelers looking for an intimate and refined beach experience.

The are some luxury resorts in Punta Maroma and the surrounding area.


PlayaCar, a resort community in the south portion of Playa del Carmen, seamlessly blends luxury and nature. This upscale destination offers exclusive beach access, golf courses, and a stylish atmosphere.

Stroll along tree-lined streets, explore Mayan ruins, and indulge in upscale shopping and dining experiences. PlayaCar is a distinctive destination for those desiring a refined beach vacation with a touch of cultural exploration.


Nestled between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Paamul is a charming and secluded beach spot. Known for its laid-back atmosphere and pristine coastline, Paamul is a retreat for those seeking a quiet escape.

The intimate cove-like beach provides a peaceful setting, making it perfect for relaxation and unwinding away from the bustling crowds.

Puerto Aventuras

Puerto Aventuras is a resort community situated along the Riviera Maya.

This charming coastal small town is known for its upscale marina, which features shops, restaurants, and even dolphins. The local community offers a mix of luxury resorts, vacation rentals, and a golf course.

Scuba diving in Puerto Aventuras unveils an underwater paradise, where divers can explore vibrant coral reefs, encounter diverse marine life, and immerse themselves in the captivating beauty of the Caribbean Sea.

With its picturesque setting and a variety of water-based activities, Puerto Aventuras is a popular destination for those seeking a more relaxed and exclusive coastal experience, away from the bustle of Cancun.


Xcacel, a hidden treasure along the Riviera Maya, offers a pristine and eco-friendly beach experience. Known for its turtle sanctuary, Xcacel provides a unique opportunity to witness nesting turtles and their hatchlings.

The beach itself is a natural paradise with soft sands and clear waters, making Xcacel an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking a more untouched coastal environment away from noisy tourist crowds.

Theme and eco parks in Riviera Maya

Xcaret Park

Xcaret is a sprawling eco-archaeological park located on the Riviera Maya.

Xcaret Park activities seamlessly combine nature, culture, and adventure. Visitors to Xcaret can explore underground rivers, witness cultural performances, interact with wildlife, and discover archaeological sites.

The park is known for its commitment to conservation and sustainability, offering a wide range of activities that showcase the beauty of the natural environment and the rich history of the region.

Xel-Ha Park

Xel-Ha is a natural aquatic theme park with the diverse marine life of the Riviera Maya.

The park is centered around a large natural inlet and lagoon where freshwater from underground rivers meets the saltwater of the Caribbean Sea. Visitors can snorkel, discovering colorful fish and other marine species.

Xel-Ha also offers a variety of activities such as zip-lining, nature walks, and cultural experiences. It’s a family-friendly destination that allows guests to connect with nature while enjoying a range of water-based adventures.

Ziplining at Xel-Ha Park is an exhilarating adventure, where thrill-seekers can soar above lush landscapes, enjoying panoramic views and an adrenaline-pumping experience in the heart of this natural aquatic theme park.

One-day excursions from Riviera Maya

Explore the rich tapestry of the Riviera Maya with Coba ruins day trip, Chichen Itza guided tour, Sian Kaan, and Cozumel, each promising a journey into ancient history, pristine nature, and the vibrant culture of Mexico.

  • Visit the ruins of Coba
  • Visit the iconic Chichen Itza
  • Visit the nearby Cozumel Island
  • Visit Cancun and Isla Mujeres
  • Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve exploration

Cenote tours in Riviera Maya

Embark on underwater caves and grottoes journey through cenote tours. Immerse yourself in the sinkholes, where crystal-clear waters beckon for a refreshing swim, and the play of light creates a magical ambiance.

Cenote tours in the Riviera Maya offer enchanting adventures beneath the surface. Whether you are an experienced diver or just a novice, cenote tours are an exciting and unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Where to stay in Riviera Maya

Accommodations for every taste

Riviera Maya caters to various preferences. From small charming hotels exuding local flair to mega all-inclusive resorts ensuring a luxurious stay, the accommodation options are as diverse as the towns themselves.

Relax at luxury resorts in Punta Maroma, discover the charm of boutique hotels in Tulum, or enjoy a family-friendly retreat in the welcoming atmosphere of PlayaCar. There are accommodations to suit every budget.

Getting around in Riviera Maya

Getting to Riviera Maya

Reaching this tropical paradise is convenient, thanks to the Cancun Airport. As the sole airport in the area, it is served by major international airlines, providing direct or non-stop flights from around the world.

Cancun Airport transfers, private shuttles, and local low-cost budget “colectivos” offer safe and convenient transfers to anywhere in the Riviera Maya. From Cancun’s downtown to Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Chetumal.

Buses from Cancun also provide regular service to Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen, offering a budget-friendly and scenic alternative. There is a bus service from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, the route takes 1 hour.

Driving in Riviera Maya is a viable option that offers flexibility in getting around.

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