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Those planning a Mexican trip will find that they have lots of different options to choose from. These options range from the beautiful white sand beaches of the Caribbean all the way through the deserts of central Mexico and over to the other side of the country where the Pounding Pacific waves meet the Mexican cliffside towns.

If, out of all of your options, you have chosen to visit the Caribbean Riviera Maya region, it is without doubt that you’ve made an excellent choice. Here you’ll find lots to do and see along with options that are perfect for both families and couples alike.

Rediscover the Riviera Maya on Your Next Vacation

What is the Riviera Maya?

Located on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula, the Riviera Maya is an area known for its long stretches of white sand beach and is home to the famous towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Mayan Riviera all inclusive resorts are also a very popular aspect of the area and are actually what draw most travelers in.

Things to Do

There are lots of great activities you can choose from once in the area. These range from the beloved sport of snorkeling and scuba diving to local attractions built for those who love a bit of adventure.

If you’re traveling with kids in tow, you’ll want to check out Xcaret Park, a theme park that is also a resort and a self-described ecotourism location. Here you’ll find snorkeling and cave exploration activities as well as some great dining options. Another great option is the Rio Secreto where you’ll find yourself exploring miles and miles of caves.

In fact, these caves are known as the longest in the entire country of Mexico and are big enough for you to walk, float and swim. Other activities in the area include fishing, deep sea fishing, water skiing, kayaking, horseback riding (either on land or in the water) and the famed game of seaside golf.

Ruins to Visit

If you’re looking to learn a little bit more about the area’s history while being up close and personal, you’ll want to plan a day trip down to Tulum to explore the Tulum National Park.

Not only is this park beautiful and one that overlooks the ocean, but it also houses the Castillo, the Temple de las Pinturas and a few pyramid shaped temples that present views of the jungle. Then when you’re all done exploring the ruins you’ll be able to take a beautiful walk along the beach and grab a bite to eat.

A Favorite Among Travelers From All Over the World

The Riviera Maya has long been a favorite of travelers from around the world, and for good reason. With so much to do and see, it really is hard to go wrong.

Even if you’re traveling with younger ones who may be a bit fussy as what to do each day, you’ll still find that there are enough options to keep everyone happy. If you’re traveling as a couple, one of the many all-inclusive resort options should be your perfect fit.



Walant Women’s Halter Bikini

Seaview 180° GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask

GoPro Hero4 Black (Underwater Camera)


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Xcaret Park by Tulum by Dennis Jarvis.


  1. The Riviera Maya is my favorite part of Mexico! Excellent scuba diving in that area – I was open water certified there only a few years ago. Great tips and totally agree with you how amazing the ruins are!

    • Nice one Jen! I haven’t done my scuba cert yet, but we did snorkeling in the area and it was fantastic! I can’t even imagine the phenomenal world which lies even further below!

      Will have to get on that scuba cert before our next trip :)

  2. Tulum is the best spot on the Riveria – so chilled and with great beaches, the ruins and fabulous restaurants like the Zebra… Now I want to go back!

    • See you back there! :D

  3. Would love to try the snorkelling option. Does it live up to the ecotourism claim? I would love to try the horse riding and see some local ruins too.

    • Xcaret Park living up to it’s ecotourism claims is a topic which could be debated either way … it’s turned a virgin rainforest into a commercial enterprise and theme park, and many conservationists don’t agree with the fact that creating a network of underground rivers accessible to visitors also required a degree of earth-moving.

      But then others argue that the very idea of eco-tourism is that the person who practices it has the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature in a way that most people cannot enjoy in their routine urban existences (to then hopefully acquire an awareness and a knowledge that will convert them to becoming keenly involved in conservation matters).

      So it depends which argument you are more swayed by. I think there will always be some trade-off between development and protecting ecology and culture. I think that in trying to achieve this balance we have to acknowledge that the global travel market is expanding very rapidly, and unless you work with it, the tourist industry will continue to throw up unsympathetic and damaging resorts beside every sandy beach.

  4. That’s truly a piece of paradise I must say. I like how you have written it and your photos really rhyme to your words. The white sand beach is really my thing. I would love to spend my day there and just enjoy everything that it offers. This will surely be penned on my bucket list.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post! If white sand beaches are your thing, you’ll love the Riviera Maya! Enjoy!

  5. Funny story: When I first took my husband to Mexico I took him to Cabo and he hated it. Hated it so much he refused to go back. 3 years later I took him to Riviera Maya and he fell in love. NOW he talks about going every year. I also love this area <3

    • Haven’t made it to Cabo yet myself, but I’m glad that you convinced him to head back, and that the Riviera Maya managed to sway him! It does that to people lol!

  6. My family took a massive family tip to Riveria Maya (sixteen of us!) when I was 19. It was fun for a big group of very different travelers. We all found at least one thing that we truly enjoyed. The ruins were definitely my favorite part!

    • Wow, that’s a big family trip! But a great location for it – there’s literally something for everyone here, so Riviera Maya is a great choice of destination where half the family won’t be bored :)

  7. I’ve been wanting to visit Tulum. It looks so beautiful. I love to mix a little bit of history and beach time into one vacation. IT’s the perfect combo with me. Throw in a few sea turtles and I’m as happy as a clam.

    • Tulum is incredible! Really is the perfect combination of beach, culture and history. Hope you have the chance to visit soon! :)

  8. Riviera Maya is a very popular destination for Canadians and prices for all-inclusive vacations can be very tempting. I’ve only been once but often recommend Riviera Maya as an excellent choice.

    • Probably some of the most competitive prices for all inclusive vacations in the world … especially when there are so many of them to choose from too :)

  9. I went to the Riviera Maya! It’s beautiful. I got sick though from sitting in a jacuzzi. I think my body soaked up water from it and didn’t enjoy it… you know how it goes with water poisoning. Before that happened I went to a cenote, which was a sight to see!

    • Crazy Sarah! Sorry to hear about your water poisoning, I had no idea you could get sick from soaking up the water like that … it does make sense though!

      I’m glad to hear that you did enjoy your time regardless though :)

  10. I’m in Mexico City now and can’t wait to get to Tulum and see those ruins on the coast! Mexico is an amazingly diverse country, with much more than just beaches – but the Riviera Maya looks like an excellent choice to visit. I’ll be sunning myself on those beaches in a few weeks!!

    • Enjoy your time in Mexico!!

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