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Riviera Maya Vacations

Riviera Maya beachfront

Your Riviera Maya vacation

On Mexico's own Riviera, get set to be seduced by the aqua ocean and white sand.  From the catwalk-style beaches of Cancun to the deserted stretches further south, there's a sunset view with your name on it.

Nab a budget flight to Cancun and dance 'til dawn or head down the coast. Scale Mayan ruins, zip-line through the jungle and kiss a dolphin -- all before sunset piña coladas on the beach. Divers and snorkelers, get ready to meet the largest coral reef in the Western Hemi.

Let Orbitz show you the way to your Riviera Maya vacation. Our insiders dish on the best time to go and top attractions, including where to find dolphins, nightlife and sinkholes.

Best time to take a vacation to Riviera Maya

  • Anyone craving sun, a slower pace and plenty to do will find it year-round on the Mayan Riviera. Winter is mild, warm and balmy while summer can be a scorcher with plenty of humidity. Rainy season lasts from May through November, and January and February are dry and cooled by El Norte (northerly winds). Summer and September bring high heat and a chance of hurricanes.

    Expect a surge of vacationers and higher rates at Christmas and Easter. In March, spring breakers shake up the scene in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Travel in the shoulder seasons to balance tan-inducing temps with reasonable rates:  mid-April to mid-June, and October through mid-December.

Insider tips for Riviera Maya travel

  • Swim at the ruins (Tulum)

    Wear your suit under your clothes so you can splash into the cool Caribbean after roaming the seaside ruins in Tulum.

  • Mexican-German beer garden (Playa del Carmen)

    What started as one Berlin man's dream for a beachside sausage shack is now Mannes Biergarten. Find your schnitzel and hausfusel under a thatched roof on 4th Street between 10th and 15th Avenues.

  • Laguna Bacalar

    Little touched by tourism, Laguna Bacalar spans 50 miles through the jungle. Stroll through town and count the colors in the sparkling lake. Dine at Cenote Azul restaurant which sits on the rim of one of the purest cenotes in the Yucatan.

  • Dirty Martini Lounge (Playa del Carmen)

    A mixed crowd, a mix of music and a few skilled mix-masters keep this local's bar interesting and unpredictable. Grown-ups sip specialty martinis and classic cocktails a block from the kids whooping it up on 5th Avenue.

  • Puerto Morelas

    One of the last fishing village holdouts, Puerto Morelas also welcomes tourists and divers. Mingle with loyal clientele over ceviche at Posada Amor, the oldest local restaurant. On most Friday nights, Cantina Habanero's restaurant jams with live music a half block north of town square.

More on Riviera Maya from the Orbitz Blog

Sinking in: Cenotes of the Riviera Maya

Running roughly 20 miles along the main road near Puerto Morales is the Riviera Maya's "cenote route," a vast collection of azure pools where you can snorkel, scuba, and get your Eden on.

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Riviera Maya Vacation Packages

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1 Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa - All Inclusive

4 stars
4.2 / 5 133 reviews

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Bordered by sun-kissed pools, including two huge kids pools, two oversized Jacuzzis and more than 60 private plunge pools, unique octagonal shaped guest rooms and suites. Indoor Jacuzzis in every room, a second outdoor Jacuzzi in all of hotel's Preferred Club rooms and... More

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2 Gran Porto Real Playa del Carmen - All Inclusive

4 stars
4.8 / 5 6 reviews

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The picturesque Gran Porto Real Resort & SPA is on the best location in the heart of Playa del Carmen right ona beautiful, protected stretch of swim-friendly beach, mere steps from Fifth Avenue's shops, clubs andrestaurants. Architecturally reminiscent of one of... More

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3 Iberostar Paraiso All Inclusive Complex

4 stars
4.1 / 5 161 reviews

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$50 Credit at Lapis Jewelry & 1 Mayan Pendant FREE

A replica Mayan temple soaring up into the brilliant blue sky marks your entrance into Iberostar Paraiso Riviera Maya, a luxury complex of four family-oriented resorts. Clouds of flamingos and swans greet your arrival, while traditional thatched roofs reveal... More

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4 The Royal Playa del Carmen Adults Only - All Inclusive

4 stars
4.2 / 5 34 reviews

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Elegant spaces with in-suite Jacuzzi near Playa del CarmenFeaturing plush accommodations, state-of-the-art amenities and an ideal beachfront location, The Royal Playa Del Carmen Adults Only - All Inclusive welcomes guests to a relaxing escape in Riviera Maya. At this... More

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5 Excellence Riviera Cancun Luxury Adults Only - All Inclusive

5 stars
4.6 / 5 451 reviews

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Excellence Riviera Cancun, an adults-only resort, is a great location for those who'd like to enjoy this popular travel destination without being overwhelmed by other visitors. Experience an excursion on pristine white sands before floating in the clear nearby waters. The... More

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6 Paradisus La Perla - Playa del Carmen All Inclusive Adults Only

5 stars
4.7 / 5 94 reviews

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Paradisus La Perla offers a full range of Riviera Maya activities for adults who want a more exclusive feel to their stay. Take scuba diving excursions over coral reefs, and tours of Mayan archeological wonders like UNESCO site Chichen Itza, before returning to the... More

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7 Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun - Adults Only All Inclusive

5 stars
4.6 / 5 486 reviews

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$50 Credit at Lapis Jewelry & 1 Mayan Pendant FREE

One of several Secrets hotels dotting the coastline of the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun is situated right on the seafront. Enjoy the complimentary in-suite Internet access (fees may apply) and a swim-up bar, as well as the cool, stone-tiled... More

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8 Iberostar Grand Paraiso Adults Only All Inclusive

5 stars
4.4 / 5 49 reviews

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$50 Credit at Lapis Jewelry & 1 Mayan Pendant FREE

Luxury resort near Playa del Carmen with grand look, amenitiesThe Iberostar Grand Paraiso is a five-star, all-inclusive luxury resort for adults aged 18 and older. The resort features grand architecture with details such as breathtaking fountains, lush gardens and... More

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9 Paradisus La Esmeralda - Playa del Carmen All Inclusive - Family Oriented

5 stars
4.3 / 5 49 reviews

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One of the few hotels in the exclusive Melia Paradisus chain, the Paradisus La Esmeralda welcomes families in a big way. There's the amazing program of everything from salsa lessons to snorkeling, or the specialized catering that ensures both milk and cookies at bedtime... More

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10 Iberostar Tucan and Quetzal All Inclusive - Playa del Carmen

3 stars
4.0 / 5 114 reviews

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All-inclusive Caribbean complex reflects beauty of its surroundings The Iberostar Tucan & Quetzal complex combines two all-inclusive resorts in one. The complex is located 45 minutes from the Cancun International Airport and is near Playa del Carmen. The complex... More

Riviera Maya highlights

  • Riviera maya
  • Coastal ruins at Tulum

    While the Yucatan Peninsula is filled with fascinating and well-preserved ruins, none have this beach-side setting. In Tulum, piles of Mayan rubble lead right up to the cliff's edge.

  • Snorkeling

    Plunge into prime snorkeling turf off the shores of Akumal or the miles of living coral surrounding reef-famous Cozumel. Divers dig it, too.

  • Cancun nightlife

    Catch a Vegas-style aerial show at Coco Bongo, where techno beats blare between the acts. Drink and dance at Senor Frog's, or Carlos and Charlie's where dinner fuels the dance floor.

  • Underground water

    Snorkel, swim or dive into a cenote, or join a tour to find holes lining the road from Puerto Morelos to Tulum. Tour the underground river and cave at Rio Secreto where thousands of stalactites drip from the ceiling.

  • Inland ruins

    Once a bustling metropolis for ancient Mayan civilization, Chichen Itzá holds its own as one of the "7 Modern Wonders of the World." On a smaller scale, find the pre-Columbian pyramids of Cobá smack in the middle of the jungle.

  • Xel-ha, XPLOR and Xcaret

    Spend a day or more at this trio of family-friendly outdoor adventure parks. Swim, snorkel, explore jungle caves or sail through the balmy air on a zip line.

  • Swim with sea creatures

    Count the dolphins, manta rays and whale sharks as your new swim buddies for the day. These adrenaline-pumping experiences for ages 8 and up are a top attraction throughout Riviera Maya.

  • Boating

    Whether it's a ferry to Isla Mujares or Cozumel, a sunset booze cruise off Cancun, or a private yacht chartered for two, nothing beats the breezy feeling of leaving the crowds back on shore and setting off on open waters.

  • Sian Ka'an Biosphere in Tulum

    Nature buffs can glide through a portion of this 1.3 million-acre protected UNESCO World Heritage site by small boat or kayak. Flora, fauna, butterflies and birds fill its mangrove swamps, savannahs and lagoons. Book a tent cabin for the full eco-experience.

  • Playa del Carmen

    This former sleepy beach town is wide awake with boutique hotels, European fashions and cafés. Streets lead down to a shoreline of kite-surfing and beach bars. Pedestrian-only 5th Avenue offers a festive alternative to Cancun's hopping Hotel Zone.