What to do in the Riviera Maya
Swim in a cenote
A refreshing dip in these mysterious water caves.
The cenotes are large natural caves and an iconic feature of the geography of the Yucatan Peninsula. In Mayan times, they were used for the supply of fresh water and religious ceremonies, but today they are the perfect place for tourists who want to swim, dive and relax in a unique environment.
Most of the cenotes are filled with fresh water that has slowly seeped through the ground, making it very pure and clean. With excellent water visibility, they are a perfect place for snorkelling and diving.
You don't have to be a particularly strong swimmer to enjoy a swim trip to a cenote, but since many are up to 45 feet deep, you need to be confident that you know how to float. Many of the more popular cenotes offer life jacket and snorkel rentals.
Diving and snorkelling
Learn about the spectacular marine life of the second largest reef system in the world.
The Great Mayan Reef, which stretches more than 600 miles from the top of the Yucatan Peninsula to Honduras, is home to some of the best snorkeling in America.
The warm ocean and the impressive variety of corals, tropical fish and larger sea creatures make it a paradise for divers.
One of the best places to start is at Akumal Beach, a nesting place for turtles. Spend the day relaxing on the white sands under a palm tree or floating in the warm waters, watching tropical fish and turtles graze and float around you.
Those who already have an open water rating will find no shortage of scuba excursions that depart from locations along the coast. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a lemon or nurse shark amongst the beautiful array of Caribbean sea creatures.
The perfect beaches meet Mayan history.
With perfect sands, blue waters and a relaxed and refreshing atmosphere, Tulum is a city like no other. The impressive Mayan ruins alone are worth a visit, the much loved coastal region has much to offer beyond its ancient sites.
From relaxing beachside yoga to spunky kitesurfing, Tulum is undeniably zen but also packed with action. A dip in the cool waters of Tulum's many cenotes is a must, and if you're looking for adventure, a snorkeling tour with one of the city's excellent diving schools is highly recommended.
After a fresh lunchtime ceviche at one of Tulum's many beautiful beachside restaurants, venture a few minutes south to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, where you can see alligators and even shy manatees in the picturesque lagoon.
To get a taste of traditional Mexico, head into the city of Tulum. Straddling the highway, the town itself is a long way from the idyllic beach resort, but it's worth a visit for local tacos al pastor and colorful fresh fruit popsicles. Tulum is less than an hour's drive south of Playa del Carmen.
Nightlife in Playa del Carmen
Head out to dinner and party the night away at this refined destination.
Vibrant and full of character, Playa del Carmen's nightlife is something to behold. While neighboring Cancun is known for its party scene, Playa del Carmen offers something a little more refined, without losing a resounding sense of fun.
Nightlife in Playa del Carmen is centered around the beach and Fifth Avenue, while smaller local hotspots can be found within walking distance. You can enjoy some of the best cuisine on the Riviera, have cocktails at one of Playa's many beachside bars, and dance the night away at various popular clubs.
One of Playa del Carmen's biggest nighttime attractions is the flamboyant Coco Bongo, where the entertainment rivals the glitzy shows in Las Vegas. Enjoy a tribute to some of the greats of all-time music such as Elvis and The Beatles, see an energetic acrobatic display, or experience a fabulous tribute to Broadway.
For something a little quirky, look out for Beercycle, a pedal pub tour. Local favorite Don Mezcal serves traditional drinks in a central location, while Alux Caverna restaurant offers a magical place to eat and chat in an amazing naturally formed cave.
Absorb the rich culture of the Mayans at these world-famous monuments.
Hailed as one of the Seven Wonders of the New World, the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá truly deserve their status as the second most popular attraction in all of Mexico. Located between Valladolid and Mérida, 125 km west of Cancun, the ancient city can be visited in