The Best Experiences in the Riviera Maya

The Riviera Maya stretches from the most-famous town Cancun all the way down to Tulum (where I just visited for the first time in January!) with many great places in between. You’ll really want to see it all. At the top, and the place you’ll most likely fly into, is Cancun. It’s the biggest city and where you’ll have the most urban fun. It’s also the place to do shipping and go clubbing. South of Cancun, it gets more relaxed and takes you all the way down to the most relaxed spot, Tulum. In Cancun you’ll take pictures of you and your friends, elsewhere you’ll take pics of you, your friends, the beach, the water and other great natural areas.

Cancun is known for their big hotels and bigger clubs. If that’s your thing, you’ll have a great time. There are streets full of clubs and it’s easy to walk to take a short cab ride wherever you want to go. But Cancun also has beaches. So, if you like clubbing and fancy restaurants but also like the beach, you may just want to stay in Cancun. We recommend staying at an all inclusive resort that will give you access to beaches and will take care of all your needs.

If you want a more relaxing experience, head south from Cancun. There are plenty of beaches to see, islands to travel to, and outdoor things to do. If you don’t want to keep changing hotels, make your life easy by finding a good all-inclusive spot, like the world-famous Barcelo, which offers many options, in the middle of the Maya Riviera and take day trips. All-inclusives offer everything from insider info and advice, to the ability to plan all of your excursions during your stay.

You’ll definitely want to see Tulum. Often those who travel to the Maya Riviera say it’s their favorite spot. If Tulum is too far for a day trip, make sure you plan at least one day and night in this beautiful area.

Besides clubbing, shopping and the beaches, there are many interesting things to do in the Maya Riviera that you can’t get in many places or anywhere else at all. You’ll want to see the Mayan ruins, particularly Chichen Itza, the large pyramid. It’s a little west, so you’ll take a day trip to see it and your guide will show you other things along the way.

These are just some of the many things to do in the glittering Riviera Maya! And don’t leave paradise without capturing it all. See you on Instagram?

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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