The Riviera Maya

The Riviera Maya is a tourism district following Highway 400 along the coastline of Quintana Roo, Mexico. This district historically started at the city of Playa del Carmen and ended at the village of Tulum. Although the towns of Puerto Morelos, situated further north, and the town of Felipe Carrillo, located further south, are both currently being promoted as part of the Riviera Maya.

This entire district is famous for its large-scale, all-inclusive resorts and smaller boutique hotel. Luxury travel entities have been instrumental in increasing luxury villa rentals and yacht charters in the area; however, these only represent a small fraction of the total tourism accommodations available. Tourists of all budgets will be able to find clean and updated accommodations in the Riviera Maya.

The major attractions throughout the Riviera Maya are the beautiful coastal water and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (aka Belize Barrier Reef), which begins near Cancun and continues along the whole length of the Riviera Maya continuing southward to Guatemala. This barrier reef system is the second longest in the world. Activities at the most visited locations include jet skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, zip-lining, horseback riding, and guided jungle tours. Archeology is also a big tourist draw in the area, including the popular Tulum, Xcaret and Xel-Ha sites.

Another very popular activity is swimming in cenotes. Cenotes are large sinkholes that occur in these limestone regions exposing a network of underground rivers. The cenote water temperature stays at 76 °F year round while coastal waters range from 78 °F in January to 84 °F in August. In 2008, the Quintana Roo Speleological Society reported more than 700 km of flooded cave passages within the limits of the Riviera Maya. The groundwater resources are accessed via the thousands of cenotes throughout the Riviera Maya.