08 Feb Cancun and the Riviera Maya
Welcome to Cancún & the Riviera Maya
Nestled along the pristine Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula lies the enchanting region of Cancún and the Riviera Maya. While connected geographically, these destinations offer distinct experiences that cater to diverse traveller preferences.
Cancún, situated on the peninsula’s northeast coast, is a vibrant resort city renowned for its luxurious hotels, bustling nightlife, and lively atmosphere. Its famous Hotel Zone is a strip of upscale resorts, restaurants, and entertainment venues overlooking stunning beaches and azure waters. The Riviera Maya, south of Cancún, offers a serene and nature-focused atmosphere. With Playa del Carmen’s coastal charm and Tulum’s cliffside Mayan ruins, it captivates with tranquillity and stunning landscapes. Both destinations share the allure of breathtaking beaches, water activities, and Mayan history, but each offers its own unique charm and atmosphere.
How To Get There
By Air: The most convenient way to reach Cancún is by flying into the Cancún International Airport (CUN). Mexico’s second busiest airport is serving numerous international and domestic flights. You can easily reach Cancún and the Riviera Maya from the airport by taxi, private transfer, or shuttle service.
By Road: If you are already in Mexico or nearby regions, you can reach Cancún and the Riviera Maya by road. Major highways, such as Federal Highway 307, connect these destinations to other cities and towns in the Yucatán Peninsula. Buses are a popular mode of transportation, with several bus companies operating regular services to Cancún and the Riviera Maya from different parts of Mexico.
By Ferry: To visit Cozumel from Playa del Carmen or explore the island, a 45-minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen offers convenient access. Playa del Carmen is easily reachable from Cancún by road.
By Cruise: Cancún is a popular port of call for many cruise lines, offering travellers the option to visit the region as part of a cruise itinerary. The cruise terminal is located in the Hotel Zone of Cancún.
Places Of Interest
One of the New Seven Wonders of the World and notably a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chichén Itzá is an ancient Mayan city featuring iconic structures such as the Temple of Kukulcan (El Castillo). Marvel at the impressive architecture and learn about the fascinating history of the Mayan civilization. Book tour here.
Located on the coast, Tulum is a stunning archaeological site overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea. The well-preserved ruins provide insights into Mayan life and offer picturesque views. Explore the ancient structures, including the Castillo and Temple of the Frescoes, and enjoy the stunning Tulum beach. Book tickets here.
Discover the natural wonders of the Yucatán Peninsula by exploring cenotes, underground sinkholes filled with freshwater. Some famous cenotes in the area include Dos Ojos, Ik Kil, and Gran Cenote. The walls of Cenote Ik Kil are covered in green leaves, and vines hang down from the top of the Cenote. With its straight high walls and natural foliage, Ik Kil is one of the most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan. Take a refreshing swim, snorkel, or dive in these crystal-clear waters. Book tours here.
This small island near Cancun offers a laid-back and idyllic atmosphere. Isla Mujeres is known for its pristine beaches, including Playa Norte, consistently ranked among the world’s best beaches. The island also features charming streets, delicious seafood, and opportunities for snorkelling and diving. Book tour here.
Cozumel is a popular island off the Riviera Maya coast renowned for its exceptional scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities. Its vibrant coral reefs are teeming with colourful marine life. Enjoy beautiful beaches, explore Mayan ruins, or venture into the island’s charming town.
A natural aquatic park, Xel-Há offers various water-based activities and experiences. Visitors can snorkel in a cenote and river, float down lazy rivers, zip-line, and relax in hammocks. The park also provides opportunities for wildlife encounters, including swimming with dolphins and manatees. Book tickets here.
Visit the lively coastal town of Playa del Carmen, known for its vibrant Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida) lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. Relax on its beautiful beach, browse local boutiques, and savour delicious cuisine at beachfront restaurants. Book tickets here.
Snorkel with sea turtles in Akumal, a small coastal town known for its abundant marine life. Encounter these gentle creatures in their natural habitat and enjoy the crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches.
This eco-archaeological park blends cultural experiences and natural beauty. Visitors can witness traditional Mayan ceremonies, explore underground rivers, snorkel in crystal-clear cenotes, and encounter various wildlife. Xcaret also showcases performances, including a spectacular night show highlighting Mexico’s history and culture. Book tickets here.
A unique night out in Cancun is to visit the famous theme park, built around Mexican culture, customs, music and food, on gondolas that take you through the Mayan jungle. The famous ‘trajineras’ (a boat that was previously used for transporting flowers, fruits and vegetables, which were grown in floating gardens, are found in this unique place.
Xoximilco, The Mexican Floating Fiesta treats include Mexican cuisine, an open bar of tequila and beer, and traditional live music. The crew onboard will entertain and serenade you under a star-filled sky and warm tropical weather, then transport you through time with an authentic Mexican fiesta of live music, gastronomy and flowers.
Where To Stay
Experience ultimate luxury at The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City hotel. Nestled in the heart of the bustling capital, this exquisite property offers opulent accommodations, exceptional dining options, world-class amenities, and unparalleled service for an unforgettable stay.
A beachfront resort located in the vibrant Hotel Zone of Cancún. With its stunning ocean views, expansive sandy beach, and an array of amenities, Hotel Casa Maya offers guests a comfortable and memorable stay. The resort offers comfortable and well-appointed rooms with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea.
This budget hotel is a vibrant and trendy restaurant in the heart of Cancún. Its unique concept and commitment to showcasing Mexico’s flavours and culinary traditions stand out. It is conveniently situated in the famous Cancun Hotel Zone, ideal for budget-conscious travellers seeking a comfortable and affordable stay.
We stayed at the following:
Grand Oasis Cancun Beach Resort
Blanco Red Circus
Every night the lobby of the Grand Oasis Cancun hotel becomes a stage where a unique show begins with colours, lights and sensations that will excite and surprise you. From synchronized performers, contortionists, and acrobats, with amazing clothes and outfits.
Where To Eat
La Parrilla: Located in downtown Cancún, La Parrilla is a popular spot for traditional Mexican food. Enjoy dishes like sizzling fajitas, tacos, and regional specialities in a casual and lively atmosphere.
El Fogón: Known for its mouthwatering tacos al pastor (marinated pork tacos), El Fogón is a local favourite in Playa del Carmen. This small and bustling eatery offers affordable and delicious Mexican street food.
La Cueva del Chango: Situated in Playa del Carmen, La Cueva del Chango is a charming restaurant in a jungle-like garden. It serves fresh and flavorful Mexican cuisine with a focus on organic ingredients. Take advantage of their delicious breakfast options and refreshing juices.
Los Aguachiles: For seafood lovers, Los Aguachiles in Playa del Carmen is a must-visit. This casual eatery serves a variety of ceviches, fish tacos, and other seafood dishes prepared with fresh ingredients.
Cancún and the Riviera Maya offer a treasure trove of experiences that captivate travellers worldwide. From the pristine beaches and turquoise waters to the rich Mayan history and vibrant culture, these destinations have something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring the ancient ruins of Chichén Itzá and Tulum, swimming in cenotes, indulging in authentic Mexican cuisine, or simply basking in the sun on white-sand beaches, Cancún and the Riviera Maya provide a tropical paradise in the heart of Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
White Sandy Beaches of the Caribbean
Set sail on the Nichupte Lagoon on the Spanish galleon “Columbus” for an intimate romantic dinner sunset cruise on a historic replica ship featuring live saxophone music, wine & lobster. As the sun goes down, enjoy unforgettable views with a drink from the open bar and later enjoy a delicious Surf n’ Turf or Lobster dinner accompanied by wine and great music in the background.’
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