Mayan Ruins at Tulum, Riviera Maya, Mexico (iStockphoto)

Ruins of Tulum, Mexico (iStockphoto)

Caribbean Tulum Mexico tropical panoramic beach (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Riviera Maya

It takes a bit of resolve to leave the all-inclusive resorts that characterize the Riviera Maya, and it should, with fabulous swimming pools, beachfronts, and mangrove tours that, by themselves, would make for a great vacation. But do try. This 80-mile stretch of the Yucatan Peninsula is home to wonders both man-made and all natural. Mayan ruins at Coba and Tulum present a backdrop for modern wonders like the theme parks at Xcaret, Xel-Ha, and Xplor. Add to that cenotes, natural freshwater pools the Mayans believed to be the entrance to the underworld, where today's visitors can swim and dive; the lagoons in Akumal for snorkeling; and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, home to rare flora and fauna. At night, Playa Del Carmen parties until the wee hours. If all that sounds daunting, just grab another free drink and lounge by the pool.

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Traveler Reviews of Riviera Maya


cj2011 rates Riviera Maya
The all inclusive resorts are much nicer than anything you could find in the states for the price. The weather is beautiful year round, and the people are very friendly. The airport is in great condition and is easy to get in and out, and a large highway runs all the way down, so it is easy to get anywhere else in Riviera Maya. There is a variety of activities to please everyone, from water sports to clubbing to historical sites. I have been there a few times and can't think of a bad thing to say about it!
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Pieter rates Riviera Maya
The Rivieria Maya is one of my favorite places on earth. I've been three times and stayed in the Fairmont and Hacienda Tres Rios. Playa Del Carmen is really fun, with great places to sit outside and have margaritas. I like the beaches at Akumal best, though Tulum is nice too. And nothing beats swimming in the cenotes.
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