Riviera Mexico or Rivera Maya in Spanish comprises nearly 100 miles of beautiful white
sand beaches with brilliant turquoise colored water located just South of
This world renowned paradise offers mangroves and lagoons, ancient Mayan cities, ecological reserves and the world's second largest coral reef.
Map of Yucatan Peninsula and the Mayan Riviera
This is the Mexican Caribbean
The Mayan Riviera Mexico runs along the Caribbean coastline of the state of Quintana Roo. Beginning south of Cancun, in Puerto Morelos, it extends down to Punta Allen, a fishing village within the Sian Ka'an Reserve
The Mayan Riviera is quickly becoming a center of international and local tourism, featuring pristine beaches and blue waters unparalleled to any others in Yucatan Mexico. The Mexican Caribbean has a few very important islands of which Cozumel and Cancun are the most important.
The beaches of Cozumel Island are awesome
Cozumel, Mexico's largest island is across the channel from Playa del Carmen and you get there by ferry in about 20 minutes. The island is ideal for Caribbean Snorkeling, Scuba Diving and all kind of water sports.
Chankanaab National Park, located in the center of the island, has a botanical garden featuring tropical plants and many endemic species of small animals and birds and Chankanaab Lagoon, a natural aquarium with more than 60 species of tropical fish, crustaceans and corals.
Playa del Carmen is a top destination on the Mayan Riviera Mexico
Playa del Carmen
This was a sleepy fishing village but has grown into a cosmopolitan town, the largest in the Mayan Riviera, but still small enough to get around on foot.
For nightlife, dining and shopping, Playa del Carmen is the place, but above all, the beach is your main purpose in coming here. Playacar is a nearby resort area offering luxury accommodations and some all inclusive resorts
The beaches near the Tulum Ruins
It has some budget options for accommodation as well as some nice cabanas to rent along the beach. Tulum was once a busy Mayan ceremonial center and trading port. The ruins are in a spectacular setting, on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
Enjoy the river in Xel Ha Eco Park
In Xelha subterranean currents of fresh water combine with salt water producing a unique ecosystem with multitudes of tropical fish perfect for snorkeling.
Other activities at this water theme park include floating along the river on inner tubes, swinging over cenotes and swimming with dolphins.
You may also go on an ecological walking tour through the surrounding jungle, or take a break on "Hammock Island."
Go snorkeling in Xcaret Eco Park
Xcaret Eco Park
A very full day can be spent in Xcaret swimming in underground rivers, snorkeling, seeing a reenactment of the Pre Hispanic ball game, visiting ancient Mayan ruins and topping off the day by watching the spectacular cultural show that is presented every evening.
Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
One of the largest protected areas in Mexico, Sian Ka'an has 2500 square miles of unspoiled natural beauty with not yet excavated Mayan ruins, freshwater canals, mangroves, lagoons and inlets.
Visitors can learn about its diverse wildlife and participate in conservation projects. Ecological tours of the reserve are offered, as well as kayak tours and fly fishing.
Xaman Aviary in Playacar on Mexican Caribbean
Xaman Ha Aviary
This open air sanctuary in Playacar provides a natural habitat to over 60 species of tropical birds. Meander the sanctuary's paths and trails and see if you can spot toucans, macaws, flamingos, egrets, herons and other beautiful birds of the area.
The caves and underground river in Aktun Chen, Mexico
This park covers rainforests and is home to 3 caves with underground rivers. An easy walking tour of the main cave lasts about an hour and allows visitors to witness spectacular geological formations. Walking through the park's jungle paths offers the chance to glimpse some of the area's wildlife.
The beaches of Puerto Morelos south of Cancun
History of the Mayan Riviera
This area was an important commercial and religious center for the ancient Mayans, and there are many archaeological sites to discover in the area, such as Tulum, Coba and Muyil.
For hundreds of years, the area remained isolated from the rest of the country due to the lack of adequate roads. As Cancun was developed, some tourists wanted an alternative to the mega resort area, and the Mayan Riviera was discovered.
Although there are hotels and tourist amenities throughout the area, there are many ecotourism options that allow visitors to experience the natural resources and amazing biodiversity of this beautiful region of Mexico.
Please visit Mexico Tourism Website
The beaches of the Mayan Riviera are out of this world
A visit to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, its beaches, its waters, its weather, the islands of Cancun and Cozumel and the famous ruins is a must in your future plans for a Caribbean Beach Vacations.
images are courtesy of wikimedia commons