Riviera Maya holidays

If you like the idea of being able to bask on beautiful beaches, explore ancient ruins, and dance at some of the best parties in the Caribbean, check out our impressive range of getaways. Holidays to Riviera Maya are popular with both families and couples, offering plenty of things to see and do, but with a definite emphasis on indulgence. Nightlife is an important part of any holidays to Riviera Maya and, if you enjoy bright lights, stunning stage shows and the best beats, you won’t be disappointed by the nightclubs in the area. However, if you want your holiday to be more laid back and relaxed, you’ll find fine-dining restaurants, quiet bars, and sophisticated lounges, where you can chill out with the rich and famous.

Historic attractions

The nearby jungles are littered with the remains of the Mayan culture. So yes, there really are pyramids and temples hidden away in the undergrowth, so it’s time to unleash your inner Indiana Jones or Lara Croft and head into the wilds. Guided tours take you into the heart of the jungle, or you can head to the coast and visit the impressive 13th century Tulum fortress. This magnificent clifftop citadel towered above the coastline as a warning to the local pirates to stay away, but today it’s much more welcoming and a great place to spend a day exploring. The views are amazing, too.

Entertainment

Riviera Maya holidays are all about having fun, and if you love dancing until the sun comes up then you’re in the right place. Serious clubbers flock to the hotspot of Player del Carmen in January, when the annual BPM Festival keeps everyone jumping and pumping to some serious electronic music. Head here in November and you can chill out to the smooth sounds at the annual Jazz Festival, or celebrate Carnival during February. Riviera Maya is a very family-friendly destination, and there’s plenty of kid’s clubs and entertainment for youngsters, including some amazing experiences to be had at the various Eco theme parks. Check out Xcaret, where a day’s excitement includes swimming in lagoons, meeting the local cheeky monkeys, and exploring a network of underground rivers.

Towns and cities

Riviera Maya’s towns and cities are a great chance to pick up some souvenirs, head to some of Mexico’s best upmarket restaurants, or discover the markets that are full of colour and energy. From local art at the Puerto Morelos art market or the spices and noises of the Tulum Bazaar, shopping in Riviera Maya is a wonderfully exciting experience. In cities like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Playacar you’ll also get the chance to try authentic Mexican cuisine, explore the bars and clubs, and take a wander around museums and art galleries. It’s a great chance to take a break from all that sunbathing on the beach (well, a short break, at least…)

Map of Riviera Maya

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23°C to 26°C

This region subtropical temperatures throughout the year, with a short rainy season in September. 

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10 hours

It takes approximately ten hours to fly here from the UK.

Riviera Maya is best for...

Beach lovers: Your Riviera Maya holiday will introduce you to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Strewn with white, powder-soft sands, fringed by lush palms, and lapped by clear blue waters, every beach in the region is something special. However, it’s worth taking the time to visit Maroma Beach, which is widely considered to be the cream of the crop. Paradiso Beach, Akumal Beach, Xu-Ha Beach and Manitas Beach are also well worth a visit, with great facilities and plenty of room to stretch out and relax.

Nature Lovers: A holiday to Riviera Maya wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Xel-Ha ecological park. From daredevil high-dives, to safe and supervised snorkelling activities for young children, the Xel-Ha park offers you the chance to discover new activities and challenge yourself.

Adventurers: Let loose your inner Indiana Jones or unleash the Lara Croft within, with a visit to some of the ancient ruins that the Riviera Maya has tucked away in its dense rainforests. One of the easiest to get to and most impressive is the clifftop fortress of Tulum. Built in the 13th century, it overlooks a stunning beach so if the midday sun gets a little too much, you can refresh yourself with a dip in the warm, blue sea.

Fast facts for Riviera Maya

Language: The primary language spoken here is Spanish, but you’ll find that the locals also have a good command of basic English.

Currency: The currency used is the Mexican Peso, although some establishments will accept US Dollars.

Local Time: Riviera Maya is 5 hours behind GMT/UK time.

Fly To: Cancun International Airport. Transfers to Riviera Maya take 1–2 hours. 

Flight time from the UK: The flight time to Riviera Maya is 10.5 hours.

Tourist information: Further tourist information can be found here.

Visa / Health: Before your holiday to Riviera Maya, visit here for recommendations and advice on visas and health.

 

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Getting around Riviera Maya

By Car: Hire a car and explore the area at your own pace. Rental companies can be found at the resort and the airport. Roads are well maintained and well signposted.

By Bus: Bus services are dependable and efficient. Most buses are air conditioned, making this a very cool way to travel. Tickets can be bought from the local bus stations.

By Colectivo: Colectivos are vans, which operate as shared taxis. They don’t have designated stops, so it’s a case of hailing one down, hopping on, telling the driver where you want to go, and paying your fare. Cheaper and quicker than buses, colectivos are the better option for longer journeys to neighbouring resorts, such as Cancun.

Events in Riviera Maya

BPM: For ten days in January, Playa del Carmen gives itself over to the annual BPM Festival. Thousands of clubbers come to see leading lights from the world of electronic music, as DJs from every corner of the globe play pumping sets and get the crowd whipped up to dance all night long. You’ll find outstanding gigs at nightclubs, on the beaches, and even in the spectacular cenote caves. A truly world-class event for those who like it loud!

Carnival: Take your Riviera Maya holidays in February if you want to enjoy the biggest and brightest spectacle on the local calendar. Carnival is definitely Mexico’s answer to the Brazilian Mardi Gras, and you can expect live music, fabulous floats, stilt-walking giants, street food, and a party atmosphere like no other!

Jazz Festival: While this region has plenty to offer clubbers and techno-heads, it’s also home to one of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals. Book your break in November and you’ll find the beaches brimming with jazz fans, listening to laid-back tunes played by some of the biggest names and jazz bands. Pack a picnic, choose your spot, and relax in the sunshine.

Riviera Maya weather

If you’re taking a holiday to Riviera Maya in search of some much-needed sunshine, then book your break between June and August. June is the hottest month, with the mercury hovering around 26°C on average, with highs of around 32°C. August sees the most hours of sunshine per day, and is the best month if you want to enjoy the sea, with the ocean heating up to around 29°C. September is the wettest month and January the coldest, although temperatures only fall to around 23°C, which is perfect if you want a Riviera Maya holiday but want to avoid the crowds.

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