• Overview
  • Best Time
  • FAQ
  • History
  • Itinerary

The Riviera Maya, a stretch of Caribbean coastline in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, is a paradise for beach lovers, adventure seekers, and history buffs alike. This vibrant region encompasses three distinct destinations, each with its own unique charm and allure.

Cancun, a world-renowned resort town, beckons with its pristine white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant nightlife. Indulge in luxurious accommodations, world-class dining, and endless entertainment options. Explore the underwater world with snorkeling or diving excursions to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world.

Tulum, a bohemian beach town with a laid-back vibe, offers a more authentic and eco-conscious experience. Discover the ancient Mayan ruins perched dramatically on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, or explore the mystical cenotes, natural sinkholes filled with crystal-clear water. Relax on secluded beaches, practice yoga in a jungle setting, or sample the local cuisine at charming restaurants.

Playa del Carmen, a lively town with a cosmopolitan atmosphere, is a hub for shopping, dining, and nightlife. Stroll along the pedestrian-friendly Quinta Avenida, lined with boutiques, restaurants, and bars. Take a ferry to the picturesque island of Cozumel, a haven for divers and snorkelers. Or simply unwind on the beach and soak up the sun.

Together, Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen offer a diverse and unforgettable experience, combining natural beauty, ancient history, and modern amenities. Whether you're seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, the Riviera Maya has something to captivate every traveler.

Best Time to Visit Cancun, Tulum & Playa del Carmen

The Riviera Maya enjoys a warm, tropical climate year-round, making it an ideal destination for sun-seekers and beach lovers. However, certain times of year offer distinct advantages depending on your preferences and priorities.

Peak Season (December - April):

This is the most popular time to visit the Riviera Maya, as the weather is dry, sunny, and warm, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius). The Caribbean Sea is calm and inviting, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. However, expect larger crowds and higher prices during this period, especially during holidays and school breaks.

Shoulder Seasons (April - May & October - November):

These months offer a sweet spot for travelers seeking a balance of good weather, fewer crowds, and more affordable rates. The temperatures are still warm and pleasant, with occasional showers, and the beaches are less crowded. This is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities, explore Mayan ruins, and take advantage of special deals on accommodations and tours.

Rainy Season (June - September):

The summer months bring higher humidity and more frequent rainfall, but showers are usually short-lived and followed by sunshine. This is the low season, so you can expect lower prices and fewer crowds. If you don't mind the occasional rain, this can be a great time to visit, especially if you're interested in exploring the region's lush jungles and cenotes.

Special Considerations:

  • Hurricane Season: The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, with the highest risk of storms occurring from August to October. While hurricanes are relatively rare in the Riviera Maya, it's always a good idea to check the weather forecast before you travel and consider purchasing travel insurance.
  • Sargassum Season: Sargassum seaweed can sometimes wash up on the beaches of the Riviera Maya, particularly during the summer months. While efforts are made to clean the beaches, it's important to be aware of this possibility when planning your trip.

No matter when you choose to visit, the Riviera Maya promises an unforgettable experience filled with sunshine, adventure, and cultural immersion.

The most convenient way to travel between these destinations is by bus or taxi. The ADO bus company offers frequent and comfortable services, while taxis are readily available for a more private experience. Car rentals are also an option if you prefer to explore at your own pace.

While English is widely spoken in tourist areas, learning a few basic Spanish phrases can enhance your experience and help you connect with the local culture.

Cancun: Explore the underwater world at the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, relax on the stunning beaches, and experience the vibrant nightlife.

Tulum: Discover the ancient Mayan ruins perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, swim in the crystal-clear waters of cenotes, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this bohemian beach town.

Playa del Carmen: Stroll along the bustling Quinta Avenida, take a ferry to Cozumel for world-class diving and snorkeling, and unwind on the beautiful beaches.

History: Cancun, Tulum & Playa del Carmen

The Riviera Maya's history is a captivating blend of ancient civilizations, colonial influence, and modern development.

Ancient Mayan Civilization:

The Yucatan Peninsula, where the Riviera Maya is located, was once home to the mighty Mayan civilization. This advanced culture flourished for centuries, leaving behind impressive archaeological sites that offer a glimpse into their rich history and complex society.

  • Tulum: This ancient walled city, perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, served as a major port and trading center. Its well-preserved ruins, including the Temple of the Frescoes and El Castillo, showcase the Mayans' architectural and astronomical prowess.
  • Coba: This sprawling city, hidden deep within the jungle, boasts the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula, Nohoch Mul. Explore its ancient temples, ball courts, and sacbeob (white roads) to uncover the secrets of this once-thriving metropolis.
  • Chichen Itza: This UNESCO World Heritage Site, located inland from the Riviera Maya, is one of the most famous Mayan cities. Its iconic El Castillo pyramid, the Temple of Kukulcan, is a testament to the Mayans' mastery of astronomy and mathematics.

Colonial Era:

After the Spanish conquest of the Yucatan Peninsula in the 16th century, the region experienced a period of colonial rule. While many Mayan cities were abandoned, new settlements emerged, and Spanish influence began to shape the landscape and culture.

  • Cozumel: This island off the coast of Playa del Carmen was an important site for Mayan rituals and later became a strategic port for Spanish explorers. Today, it's a popular destination for diving and snorkeling, with vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life.

Modern Development:

The Riviera Maya's modern history is marked by the rise of tourism. Cancun, once a small fishing village, was transformed into a world-renowned resort destination in the 1970s. Playa del Carmen and Tulum followed suit, attracting visitors with their stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and diverse activities.

Today, the Riviera Maya is a thriving tourist hub, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Its ancient Mayan heritage, colonial past, and modern development create a fascinating tapestry that continues to evolve.

Mexico City and Cancun Excursions (8 Days)

Day 1 (Saturday)

  • Arrival in Mexico City, hotel check-in.
  • Welcome meeting.

Day 2 (Sunday)

  • 7:00 to 8:45 am: Breakfast.
  • Chapultepec Castle tour.
  • Walk through the historic area.
  • Return to the hotel and rest.
  • Preparations for the evening dinner.

Day 3 (Monday)

  • 7:00 to 8:45 am: Breakfast.
  • Tour of the Guadalupe Shrine.
  • Lunch at La Gruta.
  • Tour of Teotihuacan.
  • Dinner at the hotel.

Day 4 (Tuesday)

  • 7:00 to 8:45 am: Breakfast.
  • Fly to Cancun.
  • Arrive at hotel in Cancun and check-in.

Day 5 (Wednesday)

  • 7:00 to 8:45 am: Breakfast.
  • Tour at Xcaret (All day).
  • Lunch included.
  • Return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 6 (Thursday)

  • 7:00 to 8:45 am: Breakfast.
  • Morning tour of Tulum.
  • Lunch in Tulum.
  • Return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 7 (Friday)

  • 7:00 to 8:45 am: Breakfast.
  • Free day.
  • Options: Beach, visit local attractions.
  • Dinner at the hotel.

Day 8 (Saturday)

  • 7:00 to 8:45 am: Breakfast.
  • Jungle tour by wave runner.
  • Lunch included.
  • Return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 9 (Sunday)

  • 7:00 to 8:45 am: Breakfast.
  • Check-out and flight home.