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Unmissable Things to do on the Mayan Riviera

Walking onto Tulum Beach

Welcome to the Riviera Maya! Over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time in this corner of Mexico, from months spent in Playa del Carmen and Cancun, to week-long winter visits spent exploring Akumal, Tulum, and Cozumel.

This stretch of Mexico is a playground for the sun-seeking and adventure-loving traveler. It’s where you can kick off your flip-flops and dive right into a sea of activities. From the chill vibes of Puerto Morelos to the ancient whispers of Tulum’s ruins, there’s a slice of paradise here for everyone.

Things to Do on the Riviera Maya in Mexico

Ready to explore coral reefs, dine on top-notch tacos, or zip-line through lush jungles? Let’s get started and unwrap the best things to do on the Mayan Riviera and explore everything this coastal wonderland has to offer.

What is considered the Riviera Maya?

The Riviera Maya extends along Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, covering a 75-mile coastline from Puerto Morelos to Punta Allen. This region includes popular destinations like Playa del Carmen, known for its beaches and shopping; Puerto Aventuras, with its marina; Akumal, famous for snorkeling with sea turtles; and Tulum, renowned for its Mayan ruins and white sand beaches. It’s where you can take your Mexican passport on a joyride of experiences, from culinary to culture to art or enjoying yourself in nature.

Puerto Morelos: Relaxed Coastal Charm

Kick off your Riviera Maya adventure in Puerto Morelos, a stone’s throw from Cancun and the gateway to this coastal paradise. It’s a chill spot with a big heart, boasting an inviting beach and a sea brimming with life. Don your snorkel gear and meet the local marine residents around the vibrant coral reefs. For a splash of adventure, the cenotes nearby are perfect for a cliff-jump thrill.

Puerto Morales Fishing Boats Tied at Pier
Fishing boats at the pier

Playa del Carmen: Urban Beach Bliss

Next up, Playa del Carmen offers up its bustling streets and powdery sands. It’s your ticket to exquisite eats and a hub for excursions to ancient Mayan sites and crystal-clear cenotes.

There’s a lot to do in Playa del Carmen, but be sure to indulge in some retail therapy on the bustling 5th Avenue (Quinta Aveneda) in Playa del Carmen, a vibrant street lined with shops, restaurants, and bars all a stones throw from the beach.

If shopping isn’t your thing, master the waves with a SUP rental where the chill vibe of surfing meets the balance challenge of standing up. Playa del Carmen’s waters are perfect for beginners and pros alike to paddle out and…

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