Having spent a holiday in Mexico on the Riviera Maya a few years back, I always dreamed of going back. The pure white sugar sand beaches fringed with palm trees, the translucent turquoise water which seems to sparkle like diamonds, the mysteries of an ancient civilisation that drift on the wind; it really is one of those places you could describe as paradise on earth.
This beautiful slice of Mexico really does have something for everyone. For the active, there’s no shortage of adrenaline-pumping activities from kayaking to parasailing, horse riding to quad biking. For history lovers, well you’ll be well catered for too, with thousands of years’ worth of ruined temples to explore. If relaxation is more your cup of tea, you’re not going to be disappointed either; choose a spot on the beautiful coastline to call your own for a week or two.
Riviera Maya fast facts
- The Riviera Maya runs for 75 miles along the east coast, from Tulum to Cancun
- The official language is Spanish but Mayan and English are also spoken
- It’s home to the world’s second largest barrier reef system
- The Mayan people originated here around 2,600 BC
- You’ll find the three largest underwater cave systems in the world here
If you’re thinking of heading out to Mexico’s Riviera Maya on holiday, take a look at my top five must-do activities.
#5. Spend a day in Tulum
Exploring the ruins in Tulum is a great way to learn about some of Mexico’s history and experience the incredible coastline too. Get there early in the morning to avoid the queues; something that beautiful is going to get busy!
#4. Visit one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World
The Kukulkan Pyramid Temple at Chichen Itza really is a sight to behold. Standing at 24 metres high, take a moment to stand in front of the colossal structure and wonder how on earth something this magnificent was created all those thousands of years ago.
#3. Experience Mexico’s diverse jungle
The Riviera Maya is home to some incredible rainforest and there are plenty of tours available to show you this life-filled landscape. Jump on the back of a quad bike and follow your guide or let them do the driving on a jeep tour. From zip lines and waterfalls to hidden beaches, the jungle is one of Mexico’s must experience things.
#2. Help baby sea turtles
Puerto Vallarta’s Sea Turtle Conservation Programme was set up to give baby turtles the best start in life. If you’re there between July and December, you could help to release the hatchlings safely into the sea; that’s definitely a story to tell family back home and you’ll be playing a part in conserving this endangered species.
#1. Swim in a Cenote
This really is one of those once in a lifetime things to do. A Cenote is a natural fresh water swimming hole and they're an incredible sight; the water is so fresh and clear you can see fish frolicking beneath the surface. There are many organised trips to swim in these fascinating natural wonders and it’s well worth the journey from your hotel.
Have you been on a holiday in the Riviera Maya? Is there anything that would appear in your top 5 that I haven’t mentioned here? I’d love to hear about them, so go ahead and leave me a comment below.