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Top Things To See And Do In The Riviera Maya, Mexico

The Riviera Maya is a wonder that never ceases to amaze visitors exploring the Yucatan Peninsula. The coastline is filled with white sandy beaches, cenotes, and unique ruins that give you a glimpse of the beauty of Mexico. It is also the perfect destination for those looking to enjoy nature, culture, and adventure in the jungle. If you are planning to visit the Riviera Maya, there are lots to see and do for those traveling alone or as a group. 

The Riviera Maya is expansive and offers many things to do and see for vacationers. Some popular activities to engage in while visiting the Mexican tourist corridor are highlighted below. 

Relax on the beach

xpu-ha beach
Xpu-ha Beach

Pristine beaches are the norm in the Riviera Maya with visitors getting a chance to relax and enjoy various activities. The coastline of areas such as Tulum and Cancun are dotted with resorts that are popular with tourists. Most beaches are open to the public but some are closed for private use on exclusive resorts. Even though the beaches vary in size and landscape, they are breathtaking and worth exploring when visiting the area. Some of the popular beaches with swaying palm trees, white sand, and blue waters in the Riviera are Puerto Moleros, Playa Del Carmen, Maroma Beach, Xpu-Ha, Akumal Beach, and Playa Ruinas.

If you are looking for a place to lay back, chill, and soak in the sun by the beach, the Riviera Maya is the place to visit. 

Explore tourist sites

Mayan City
Mayan City

Mexico’s history and the Yucatan Peninsula specifically can be easily explored in the Riviera Maya. The area has numerous archeological sites to see with some listed among the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Mayan cities are the most popular attractions on the Riviera and can be explored on a day trip or even longer. Most of the sites with historical significance are located in Playa Del Carmen and Cancun and are worth the visit. 

The archaeological ruins to visit on the Riviera Maya include Tulum, Coba, Ek Balam, Chunyaxché, and Chichen-Itza. The sites have unique features that showcase the history, and incredible culture of the Mayan people. Most of the ancient attractions require an entry fee to be granted access, which is usually affordable. If you need a guide, you can hire one or book an excursion trip to archeological sites that includes a professional guide. 

Discover nature

Sian Ka’an Biosphere
Sian Ka’an Biosphere

A natural paradise filled with lush jungle, abundant wildlife, and diverse vegetation exists at the Riviera Maya. The destination is perfect for eco-tourists that are interested in visiting natural attractions. Some of the attractions in the Riviera include geological formations, caves, underground rivers, cenotes, reefs, natural reserves, and national parks. 

Although the natural attractions are many in Riviera Maya, some are a “must-visit” for adventure lovers. These sites include Sian Ka’an Biosphere (World Heritage Site), Chaak Tun, Puerto Morelos, and Xcaret Underground Rivers. Activities designed for nature lovers such as bird watching, and swimming in cenotes are also in plenty for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Engage in water activities

Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving

The many water bodies in the Riviera Maya make it the perfect spot for exceptional experiences. The area has an expansive sea, lagoons, underground rivers, cenotes, and caverns that can be explored day and night. Diving and swimming are the most common water activities to engage in while on vacation. If you enjoy jet skiing, parasailing, or riding on waves then the Riviera Maya is the best place to spend your vacation. Other exciting activities for underwater lovers include scuba diving, snorkeling, and deep-sea fishing. 

Water excursions are also a great way to discover the underwater natural wonders in the Riviera Maya. The excursions may include participation in a variety of water sports resulting in a wholesome experience. 

Invest in your wellness

Spatium Spa & Salon at Vidanta
Spatium Spa & Salon at Vidanta

If a healthy vacation that allows you to disconnect and rejuvenate is your thing, then Riviera Maya is your best bet. The coastline plays host to several wellness luxurious spas, fitness centers, and ancestral saunas. Pampering at the resorts is a luxury experience designed to refresh every inch of the body. The majority of popular wellness spots in the Riviera are found in Cancun and Playa Del Carmen.

Wellness experiences in the Riviera Maya offer therapies inspired by the Mayan culture. The use of innovative treatments and aromatic herbs helps you relax and make an ordinary session “out of this world.” Massages on the beach while enjoying the sea breeze are the norm and a “must-do” for healthy vacationers. Yoga sessions on beach fronts are also the perfect way to start the day when at a luxury resort in Riviera Maya.

Enjoy the nightlife

Joyá de Cirque Du Soleil
Joyá de Cirque Du Soleil

At the end of the day, the Riviera Maya comes alive with various night activities open to tourists. Whether you prefer visiting entertainment spots, shopping, or dining, the coastline provides endless options. The best places to explore nightlife are Playa del Carmen and Tulum, which have a lot to offer vacationers. The dining options for individuals and groups are numerous, allowing you to have fun and enjoy exquisitely prepared meals.  

You can also spend time at various shows that provide alternative fun at night. Attending shows such as Rauxa, Xcaret Mexico Spectacular, and Joyá de Cirque Du Soleil is a great way to spend the evening. Some of the shows include meals and a beverage as part of the package, making the evening unforgettable. 

Go shopping

Local store
Local Store

Buying gifts when visiting the Riviera Maya is a great way to take your experience back home with you. The Riviera has various places to shop depending on your goal and preference. For wood carvings, cloth paintings, and coral jewelry, you can visit the local markets. The prices are often affordable and bargaining is allowed in towns such as Tulum, Cozumel, and Puerto Morelos. Alternatively, high-end shopping is done in Playa del Carmen at Quinta Avenida, a popular road in the area. On the environs are one or two malls filled with luxury brand shops filled with bags, clothes, and souvenirs of high value.