Riviera Maya and Isla Holbox
From intimate sandy coves, to family-friendly beaches and glitzy resorts; pretty fishing villages and sleepy towns; historic Maya ruins, ecological parks and coral reef; bird, marine and wildlife, as well as countless water activities, a holiday to Riviera Maya and Isla Holbox offers much in the way of attractions and experiences.
For quiet barefoot style and natural beauty, we’d suggest heading to tiny Isla Holbox, just a two-hour drive and 20-minute boat ride north of Cancún. With no cars, an emerging arts scene and a lagoon full of flamingos and pelicans, it’s a wonderful place for total peace and relaxation. If you prefer a sprinkling of glitz and glamour, the purpose-built resort of Cancún has luxury spa hotels, fine dining restaurants, vibrant nightlife and plenty of water and marine activities to indulge in, should you feel the desire to arise from your lounger. Or for fabulous beaches overlooked by Maya ruins, the laidback town of Tulum, around two-hours south of Cancún, adds an interesting element of culture and history to any stay.
In fact, we’d recommend a visit to the Maya ruins at Tulum regardless of where your holiday is based. Built to act as a defensive fort and perched on a clifftop overlooking the ocean, this is the only walled city and the only ruins on the Caribbean, built by the Maya. For a more traditional Maya site, Coba is 44-kilometres northwest of Tulum. A vast only partially-excavated site, you can climb the giant pyramid here. We’d suggest either hiring a bicycle at the entrance gate for exploring Coba or taking a guided tour. It’s also possible to visit the famous Maya site at Chichén Itzá, which is just a two-hour drive from Tulum or a two-hour 30-minute journey from Cancún.
Bird, marine and wildlife lovers will love this area. Visitors can take a boat trip from Isla Holbox to see pelican, flamingo, ibis and sea hawk in their natural habitat and cruise alongside playful dolphin and giant otters. During the summer months you may also see whale shark that migrate here for the plankton-rich waters. Another highlight for nature lovers is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, just 15-minutes from Tulum. A vast area of tropical rainforest, freshwater canals, lagoons, mangrove wetlands and a fabulous barrier reef, this is a wonderful place to kayak, take a boat trip, dive and snorkel the coral reef and trek along the jungle trails. The reserve is home to many conservation projects and home to many species of bird and mammal, including jaguar and puma.
An area of incredible natural beauty, wonderful coastline, delicious seafood and Maya ruins, we think Riviera Maya and Isla Holbox have everything required to create the perfect beachside holiday for both couples and families.