Mexico's Riviera Maya - Tulum header

Why Mexico’s Riviera Maya is One of the Top Destinations of 2021

Also known as the Mayan Riviera, the 100 miles of coastline with sandy beaches is comparable to the gorgeous tropical vibe of Cancun. In addition, Riviera Maya includes gorgeous mangroves, lagoons, ecological reserves, adventure parks, and so much more to make your vacation worthwhile.

Where is it located?

The Riviera Maya is located on the Caribbean coastline of Quintana Roo, 20 miles south of Cancun, Mexico, and ends near Tulum. It’s not the same as the Mexican Riviera, which is a name for Mexico’s west coastline.

Mexico's Riviera Maya - Fort Bacalar

Fort Bacalar Gun
Image: Adobe Stock


This spot was significant during the Mayan times. Many archaeological sites can be found all over the area, along with several religious centers. As Cancun came to popularity, tourists wanted an alternative option to the mega-resorts, and Riviera Maya became just that. There are many large hotels; however, these options allow visitors to experience the biodiversity and local culture of this region of Mexico.

Destinations in Riviera Maya

Playa Del Carmen: Starting as a quaint fishing town, Playa Del Carmen quickly developed into a more urban place offering plenty of shopping, nightlife, and fine dining.

Cozumel: As the largest island in the area, it’s a fantastic spot for water-based activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving with visibility up to 200 feet.

Tulum: Tulum was once a Mayan ceremonial center and trading port, which became more of a tourist hotspot.

Akumal: A small beach-front resort community located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Akumal in Mayan means “Land of Turtles” and is best known for snorkeling with sea turtles, clear waters, and beautiful beaches.

Mexico's Riviera Maya - Turtles

 Snorkel with turtles
Image: Adobe Stock


Adventure seekers, this is the spot for you. There are adventure-filled activities you can participate in every day to keep you on your toes. There are cenote expeditions, swimming or raft in underground rivers, taking an ATV through the forest, or flying on ziplines through the jungles.

Mexico's-Riviera Maya-Cenote

Swim in a cenote
Image: Adobe Stock

Ecological Parks-Reserves

Many ecological parks, including the Xcaret Eco Theme Park, offer an abundance of water activities for you to enjoy the whole day. Go tubing or swim with the dolphins, or even take a tour throughout the jungle and end the day by taking a break on “Hammock Island.”

Aktun Chen holds 1000 acres of rainforest and caves that can give you a glance at the local wildlife. Xaman Ha Aviary and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve are also great places to check out more wildlife and ancient Mayan ruins. Take a kayak tour and cruise through the freshwater canals, mangroves, and lagoons.


Relax on the beach in Cozumel
Image: Adobe Stock

If a getaway to Riviera Maya is calling you, why not answer? Get started by contacting your travel advisor today!

 Feature image of  the beach at Tulum with the ruins in the background courtesy of Adobe Stock.