Tulum and Riviera Maya
The Mayan Riviera stretches from Cancun in the North to Tulum in the South. With 75 miles of beautiful coastline peppered with tropical parks, snorkelling and diving havens, small rustic hotels and luxurious resorts, the Riviera Maya is a fantastic place to spend some time relaxing at the end of your holiday or to use as a base to explore the Yucatan Peninsula.
Perhaps the peninsula’s most well-known holiday destination; Cancun lies on the North Eastern tip of the Yucatan. Commonly associated with a buzzing party scene, Cancun’s more cultured areas are often neglected. Although a popular destination for party-goers, it makes a great base to begin a Yucatan adventure, with the picturesque island of Isla Mujeres just an hour’s boat ride away and downtown Cancun’s traditional markets.
An hour south of Cancun lies the smaller town of Playa del Carmen – although a little touristy, the beaches are still beautiful, as are the hotels. With an abundance of shops and restaurants, there is plenty to choose from, but we recommend venturing off the main drag and heading towards some of the locally owned Mexican tapas restaurants, where hospitality is exceptional and the food even more so.
Tulum is located at the southern end of the Mayan Riviera; a stunning location offering beautiful beaches to relax on, away from the busier tourist zones further north, as well as within close proximity to Mayan ruins and protected biospheres. The Mayan ruins of Tulum are one of the main tourist draws in the whole peninsula as they boast a picturesque location, perched atop a cliff edge overlooking the Caribbean Ocean. It is very different to other ruins found throughout Mexico, Belize and Guatemala as it is the only walled city the Maya built, and the only one affording such a great location. Making for a fantastic day trip, visitors can explore the ruins before spending the afternoon on the beaches below, frolicking in the sand and snorkelling in the reefs.
Just north of Cancun, Isla Holbox (pronounced ‘Holbosh’ and ‘black hole’ in Yucatec Maya) is a beautiful island boasting enormous swaying palm trees, sugary white sand and glistening turquoise waters. Only 25km long and 1.5km wide, Holbox is separated from the mainland by a shallow lagoon that is home to flamingos, pelicans and other rich birdlife. Not yet heavily touristic, the island's main industry is fishing. However the tropical island’s beauty is beginning to attract the masses and is Mexico’s top barefoot destination. A visit to Holbox will prove utterly unforgettable, as snorkelling or diving here is one of Mexico’s best kept secrets.
Whether you are travelling as a couple or with your family, spending a few days relaxing on the Mayan Riviera is a perfect addition to the rich culture and colonial heritage experienced elsewhere in Mexico.
When to go: The best time to visit the Riviera Maya is during the dry season, between the period of November and March. After this, the heat and humidity becomes intense and during the summer, the wet season makes for cloudy days with frequent showers.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942