8 Reasons to Visit Mexico’s Riviera Maya

I had such an amazing time in Riviera Maya, Mexico that Scott and I have decided we will be going back there together for a romantic and adventurous getaway.

I wanted to make a list of all of my favorite things about Riviera Maya and instead of talking about it, I’ve decided to show you with some photos of the best things to do in Riviera Maya. I hope these photos will transport you to the Yucatán Peninsula so you are able to smell, taste, and feel the beauty of this place.

 

Top Things to See & Do in Riviera Maya, Mexico

 

Cenotes, Underground Rivers and Caves

I was told if you dig deep enough anywhere in Riviera Maya, you will hit water. This just goes to show how many options there are for swimming in cenotes and underground rivers.

All in one day, I was able to rappel into a cenote, swim in the breathtaking underground pool known as Yaxmuul, zip-line into the mouth of a cave filled with water and snorkel in an underground river with Alltournative tours.

Just when I thought we had seen it all, two days later we visited Rio Secreto in Playa Del Carmen and explored caves only lit by our headlamps and swam through the clearest water I have ever seen.

Rio Secreto Cave - Playa Del Carmen Mexico

Rio Secreto – Playa Del Carmen

Rio Secreto - Playa Del Carmen Mexico

Rio Secreto – Playa Del Carmen

 

Stunning Sunsets

Sunsets never get tiring, especially in tropical destinations with turquoise ocean water as the foreground.

 

Tasty Cuisine

There are plenty of restaurants in Riviera Maya offering authentic Mayan food prepared with the same ingredients used centuries ago. A few popular Mayan ingredients and dishes include chaya (Mayan spinach), locally caught seafood, lime soup and papadzules.

Top Things to Do in Riviera Maya, Mexico

Fresh Shrimp Salad at Le Reve Hotel in Playa Del Carmen

 

Of course, you won’t be stuck with only Mayan cuisine options. Riviera Maya offers an eclectic mix of culinary delights to tempt even the most picky eaters. The cooks at our hotel, Le Reve, amazed me on a daily basis with their unique dishes.

Top Things to Do in Riviera Maya, Mexico

Creamy Scallop Risotto at Le Reve Hotel in Playa Del Carmen

 

Colorful Beaches

Blue-green translucent, salty water. Need I say more?

Tulum Ruins in Riviera Maya

The Beach View from Tulum Ruins

 

Adventure Sports

In the mood for adventure? Take your pick of caving, scuba diving, snorkeling in underground cenotes, zip-lining, rappelling, jungle tours, ATV tours, boating, parasailing, and deep sea fishing. The list really goes on and on.

If none of the above sounds exciting to you, then just grab a drink by the pool and make that your adventure for the day.

Top Things to Do in Riviera Maya, Mexico

Adventure Tours with Alltournative

Rio Secreto - Playa Del Carmen

Rio Secreto – Playa Del Carmen

Top Things to Do in Riviera Maya, Mexico

Ocean Water Sports

 

Ancient Ruins

Tulum Archeological Site Riviera Maya

Tulum Archeological Site

 

It seems like everywhere you turn in Riviera Maya you will find beautiful Mayan ruins to explore. The Tulum Archeological Site is one of the most well known, but a few more include Chichen Itza, Coba and Muyil.

 

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Sian Ka’an is in a league of its own. The name means “Gift from the sky” and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. I was introduced to this place by Community Tours, a company who is committed to environmentally sustainable development and generating jobs for the people who live in the communities of Punta Allen, Muyil and Chumpon.

Our tour consisted of a boat ride through the Sian Ka’an reserve, floating down the fresh water canal on life jackets (the coolest lazy river experience) a walk through Muyil Archaeological Site and a home-cooked meal for lunch.

Top Things to Do in Riviera Maya, Mexico

Sian Ka’an Tour with Community Tours

Top Things to Do in Riviera Maya, Mexico

Sian Ka’an Tour with Community Tours

Top Things to Do in Riviera Maya, Mexico

Sian Ka’an Tour with Community Tours

 

Race Car Driving

This may come as a surprise to you, but you can actually live out your fantasy of speeding around a racetrack in some of the fastest cars in the world. Exotic Rides offers an experience of a lifetime.

You can ride as a co-pilot and experience what it’s like to go as fast as the NASCAR drivers or drive one of these dream cars yourself. For those of you who would rather get behind the wheel of a smaller vehicle, you can race around the track in one of their thrilling go karts.

Top Things to Do in Riviera Maya, Mexico
 

Do you want to visit Riviera Maya, Mexico?
 

 

Disclosure: I was a guest of Riviera Maya Tourism Board, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Photo Credits: Adam Baker, Alltournative Tours and Rio Secreto.

Christy Woodrow is a travel photographer and professional blogger based in San Diego. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Scott, since 2006. Join them in their quest to find off-the-beaten-path destinations by signing up for weekly emails and following her on .