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Discover the Riviera Maya Beyond Cancun

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Posted on January 06, 2023

Are you planning a vacation on the colorful and gorgeous Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico? If so, chances are good that you're looking for things to do in Riviera Maya. Cancun may be the most well-known city in the region, but it's a good idea to wander farther afield.

Why not make the most of your stay in a Riviera Maya timeshare in Mexico by getting to know the Riviera Maya beyond Cancun? Some excellent attractions and activities are just waiting to be discovered throughout this emerging area.

From the shopping and restaurants of Playa del Carmen to the amazing beaches, eco-tourism and Mayan history, the region is a fascinating spot for any vacation. Below we have highlighted the historical and nature-based experiences that draw visitors from around the world.

woman at secluded cenote in Riviera Maya

Explore Tulum

If you're looking for things to do in Riviera Maya, it would be difficult to do better than a visit to Tulum. This ancient Mayan site sits adjacent to the modern town of Tulum, which is known as an upscale vacation destination. While enjoying the laid-back luxury of the town, make certain that you reserve time to discover the ruins for which it is named.

El Castillo stone tower is the signature sight for this attraction. Perhaps you've already encountered images of this edifice as you were planning your Mexican escape. El Castillo is perched on the edge of the ocean, making it instantly recognizable.

Tulum ruins in Riviera Maya Mexico

Long ago, Tulum was a thriving port city. Today, it is recognized the world over as an archaeological site of unique value. Thousands of tourists visit here every year, some of them arriving as part of organized tours while others prefer to make a more solitary journey.

Tour Xcaret

Did you know that the Riviera Maya boasts an incredible water park? Called Xcaret, this is one of the best places to explore Mexican culture while also gaining a better understanding of the country's many natural riches. Whether you enjoy a presentation of pre-Hispanic dance or explore an underground river, Xcaret is always an unforgettable experience.

Swim in a Riviera Maya Cenote

woman swimming in cenote

Within the mysterious jungles of the Mayan Riviera are concealed countless underground lakes and rivers. The entire Yucatan Peninsula consists of a porous limestone bedrock and underground rivers have flowed beneath the surface of this bedrock for thousands of years.

The rivers carved caves and tunnels out of the limestone, and in some places, the surface of the ground has caved in. This makes it possible to access underground caves and rivers with ease.

Called cenotes, these natural features are found across the Yucatan Peninsula. Mayans believed that these holes where the openings to the underworld, but people today regard them as refreshing and beautiful natural attractions.

Many of these cenotes are open to the public and you can swim in them whenever you like. Some of the more worthwhile cenotes are accessible via guided tours. For instance, you might be able to float along an underground river with the help of a knowledgeable guide. The waters are crystal clear, the hanging vines are gorgeous and you might find that a visit to a cenote is a highlight of your stay in Mexico.

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