Everything You Need to Know About Riviera Maya

Everything You Need to Know About Riviera Maya

Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Iris Sinilong

Once home to small fishing villages, the Riviera Maya coastline has since been developed into a modern tourist strip offering luxurious accommodation, spa treatments, fine dining, nightlife, shopping and golf in Mexico. It is an ideal destination for travelers looking to spend time under the sun, indulge in adventure activities, or simply escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


City Basics

From the Airport. The Cancun International Airport is the main access to the Riviera Maya. It is the second most important airport in Mexico and is the largest in all of Latin America for international travelers. It has 3 terminals and welcomes more than 9 million people every year.

Getting Around.  One option to get around the Riviera Maya is to rent a car or jeep. You may also rent a private cab service or take the bus to Playa del Carmen which departs every hour from 10:30 to 9:30 pm.

Note that the average annual temperature in Mexico hovers around 26 C, which may reach to 35 C in the summer. The highest temperatures are recorded between the months of May and August, while September and October make up the raining season.

Where to Stay

Dreams Puerto Aventuras (4.5 stars)

The Beach at Dreams Puerto Aventuras. Photo by Michael Terry.

The Beach at Dreams Puerto Aventuras. Photo by Michael Terry.

Experience the marvels of the Riviera Maya at this 4.5 stars luxury resort nestled between Tulum and Cancun. It features crystalline pools, white sandy beaches, comfortable accommodations, exquisite dining options, and an array of exciting programmes ideal for a romantic or family vacation.

Iberostar Grand Paraiso (5+ stars)

Meticulously decorated by world-renowned artisans, the Iberostar Grand Paraiso is a 5+ stars adults-only paradise in Playa del Carmen. With 310 spacious rooms, 4 a la carte restaurants, 3 buffets, 1 gourmet, 6 bars, and a variety of entertaining activities, every moment spent here will be pleasurable.

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya (5 stars)

The Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya is a luxury hotel that provides guests with unlimited family-friendly activities, lavish rooms and suites, delectable dining options, and VIP room amenities. Here, you are guaranteed to relax and party like a rock star!


The Riviera Maya district includes the cities of Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, Xel Ha, Tulum and Sian Ka’an. During your visit, you may enjoy a variety of attractions and activities that will keep every moment worthwhile. From cave diving in the many cenotes that are unique to the Yucatan Peninsula, to discovering the expansive coral reef system that features an impressive array of marine life including colourful tropical fish, manta rays, dolphins, and whale sharks, to visiting 5ta Avenida, which is known to the be liveliest street of the Riviera Maya. For some Mexican tradition, you may even participate in a temazcal (Mayan sweat lodge) ceremony at any of the many resorts and spas in the area and discover why it was part of the ancient Aztec cleansing ritual. If it’s gastronomy you love, brace your palate with flavourful Riviera dishes and try regional dishes such as Tikin Xic or Cochinita Pibil.

A trip to the Riviera Maya can’t be complete without a visit to Cobá’s 1,500-year-old Nohoch Mul, the Yucatán’s tallest pyramid or a visit to Chichen Itza, which was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya Civilization. Although climbing the top may prove difficult, it will be well worth it. While you’re here, enjoy breathtaking views of miles of jungles, lakes, and of other temples in the city. Be sure to bring enough water, a study pair of shoes, and insect repellents! All archaeological sites are only open from 8 am to 5 pm so make sure to come on time.

Festivities in the RIVIERA MAYA

  • The Expo Tequila takes place during the month of August on 5ta Avenida in Playa del Carmen. You may enjoy delicious gastronomy and tequila explosion at this event.
  • In October, watch showings of independent short films and documentaries at the Riviera Maya Underground Film Festival.
  • The Xcaret Life and Death Traditions Festival takes places from October 30 to November 2 in Xcaret. It is a celebration of traditional, artistic, and cultural gastronomic samples in relation to Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
  • The Cancun Riviera Maya International Film Festival takes place from November 3 to 9 and shows select previews of international films.
  • The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival takes place every night from November 25 to 28 on Playa Mamitas and features the best national and international jazz musicians.

To learn more about the Riviera Maya, speak with a tripcentral.ca travel agent who’s been there before!

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