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30783 Travelers rated Riviera Maya highly for Beaches and Ruins

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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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 trip 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.

Things to do in Riviera Maya

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Insider tips for Riviera Maya travel

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Top Rated Hotels for your Riviera Maya Vacation

Hotel Xcaret Mexico - All Parks and Tours / All Fun Inclusive
Hotel Xcaret Mexico - All Parks and Tours / All Fun Inclusive
5.0 out of 5.0 Carr. Chetumal - Puerto Juarez Km. 282, Playa del Carmen, QROO
$341
4.9/5 (116 reviews)

Everything was just perfect thats why they are 5 diamonds rated. If anyone is looking for a place to go dont wait any longer and reserve with HXM. You will fall in love. This is our second trip here and makes it so hard to try other places because it has everything you want and need. There is no ...

Reviewed on Mar 10, 2020
Guests of Hotel Xcaret Mexico - All Parks and Tours / All Fun Inclusive have access to a full-service spa, 10 outdoor pools, and a children's pool. You can take ...
Occidental at Xcaret Destination - All Inclusive
Occidental at Xcaret Destination - All Inclusive
4.0 out of 5.0 Carretera Federal 307, KM 282, Chetumal a Puerto Juarez, Xcaret, Playa del Carmen, QROO
Get Rates
4.0/5 (462 reviews)

River throughout, many restaurant options, very clean, no ocean access but nice lagoon

Reviewed on Mar 13, 2020
Guests of Occidental at Xcaret Destination - All Inclusive have access to a full-service spa, 5 outdoor pools, and a nightclub. There's free parking if you drive. ...
Barceló Maya Palace - All Inclusive
Barceló Maya Palace - All Inclusive
4.5 out of 5.0 Cta Chetumal Puerto Juarez KM 266.3, Xpu-Ha, QROO
Free Cancellation
$228
4.3/5 (185 reviews)

Nice and clean. Food was outstanding, service was good.

Reviewed on Apr 3, 2020
Barceló Maya Palace - All Inclusive features a private beach, a full-service spa, and 3 outdoor pools. You can take advantage of free parking, along with an ...

Things To Do during your Riviera Maya Vacation

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^Savings based on all package bookings with Flight + Hotel made on Orbitz.com from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.

*Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.