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The Riviera Maya is a stretch of Caribbean coastline on Mexico’s northeastern Yucatán Peninsula. It's known for its numerous all-inclusive resorts, such as those in the town of Playa del Carmen, and its long beaches. To the south, Tulum is home to yoga retreats and the preserved ruins of an ancient Mayan port city, perched on an outcrop above a white-sand beach.
The capital of the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, evolved from a small village of Mayan pilgrims to a lively, cosmopolitan city with the highest urban growth in the country. Its natural features, beauty and long beaches, its enviable geographical location and its blend of sea and jungle make this destination on the Mexican Caribbean a magnet for both Mexicans and visitors from other parts of the world.
In this diverse city, activities and imagination go hand in hand: the coast lends itself to all kinds of water sports. There are diving facilities, sport fishing and jungle treks to nearby archaeological sites.
The other famous destinations of the riviera, each with its own unique character and attractions, are Akumal, Tulum, Puerto Aventuras to name but a few.
Playa del Carmen provides an enormous variety of water activities, ranging from swimming, boating or more strenuous sports such as windsurfing, sailing or diving in the nearby reefs. Other beaches of the Riviera include:
The climate in the Riviera Maya is hot and humid, but the humidity is not as high as in other areas. The average annual temperature ranges from 25 C to 30 C. Offshore water temperatures range from 26 C in January to 29 C in August. May through November is the rainy season.
Quintana Roo is one of the youngest states in the country as well as the furthest east, meaning that it is the first Mexican state to see the sun come up every day. It is located in the Yucatan Peninsula, which it shares with Campeche and Yucatán, to the south it is separated from Belize and Guatemala by the Bay of Chetumal and Río Hondo, and to the east it is washed by the Caribbean.
The region known as the Riviera Maya was an important commercial and religious centre for the ancient Maya during the Post-Classic period (1000-1550 A.D.). It is still inhabited by Mayan communities, descended from those that fought in the War of the Castes, that have managed to preserve their ancient rites and traditions.
Playa del Carmen lies halfway between Cancun and Tulum on a coastal strip that combines jungle, mangrove swamps and white sandy beaches. It is characterized by its diversity; the porous soil of the Peninsula creates a variety of features such as natural wells surrounded by jungle, bays where underground rivers blend with the sea and extensive mangrove swamps.
Unique to Here
The Great Mayan Reef
Cancun International Airport
The departure tax of around US$40 per person is usually included on your plane ticket, please verify.
68 km to Playa del Carmen
987-31260 or 987-32850
October though March
Activities & Sports
Attractions & Sights
When to Visit the Riviera Maya
The dry season begins in late November and ends in February, making this season the best time to visit the Riviera Maya. Avoid Riviera Maya travel from March through May, however - the heat and humidity are oppressive.