The name Mayan Riviera or Riviera Maya if you like, refers to a stretch of Yucatan coast that runs from the South of Cancun to the South of Tulum. If you ask me, the Mayan Riviera is one of the most inspiring tourist destinations facing the Caribbean Sea. Tropical beaches, fantastic all inclusive hotels, lots of wildlife, and one of the largest coral reefs in the world are being complemented by some stunning Mayan archeological sites. more...
This time of year provides me with the time and perfect mood to relive many of my magical travel moments and to prepare a list of places in the Caribbean I definitely would like to visit soon. The Mayan Riviera on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico along the coast of the Quintana Roo province is one of these very special destinations.
The name Mayan Riviera or Riviera Maya if you like, refers to a stretch of Yucatan coast that runs from the South of Cancun to the South of Tulum. If you ask me, the Mayan Riviera is one of the most inspiring tourist destinations facing the Caribbean Sea. Tropical beaches, fantastic all inclusive hotels, lots of wildlife, and one of the largest coral reefs in the world are being complemented by some stunning Mayan archeological sites.
The Mayans are considered the most brilliant civilizations of pre-Hispanic America who made great strides in the fields of mathematics, astronomy and writing. The temple site of Chichén Itzá, though not located on the Mayan Riviera, is just one stunning example of the advanced level of knowledge that existed among the Mayans.
A smaller but -due to is location- equally appealing Mayan site, looks out over the Caribbean sea and is situated near Tulum at the southern tip of the Mayan Riviera. Tulum is exciting city located directly along the highway; its beautiful beaches are situated a few kilometers outside town. From Tulum it is easy to venture on a daytrip to the archeological remains of Cobá, which are especially interesting because they are completely surrounded by jungle.
One hour to the north of Tulum you find the third largest town of the Quintana Roo province, Playa del Carmen, a very modern tourist town which has seen enormous growth over the last five years. Playa the Carmen is along with Cancun the most popular Yucatan tourist destinations and features, just like Tulum and Cancun, great beaches and is a fabulous place to go shopping.
Playa the Carmen is also the best place to take off for the island of Consumel. Consumel is known the world over for its excellent diving and snorkeling sites while many argue that the Consumel beaches are even better than those of Playa del Carmen. Here you can find the archeological site dedicated to Ixchel, the goddess of fertility and the moon, a site of special importance to Mayan women.
Another typical characteristic of the Mayan Riviera are the many beautiful cenotes, or sinkholes that are worth a visit for their outstanding beauty as well as to go for a swim. Here divers can gain access to amazing underwater cave systems. These cenotes once were the only resource for sweet water in the Yucatan jungle and played a very important role in the Mayan religion because the Mayans considered them being the entrance to the ‘underworld’.
The Mayan Riviera has lots to offer and is the place to go for an unforgettable cultural beach vacation. Without any special effort you will get to know more about the impressive Mayan civilization that always will remain an integral part of Mexico society. Go and find out for yourself and be amazed by the archeological sites, enjoy the delicious Mexican food, nature, beaches, resorts and of course the hospitality of its wonderful people.