The Riviera Maya is located on the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, specifically in the state of Quintana Roo. The main attraction for local and international tourists are the beaches. It brings together some of Europe’s favorite Caribbean vacationers, such as Punta Esmeralda, Akumal and Playacar. In total, there are over 140 kilometers of coastline to cover.
In addition to the beaches, the Riviera Maya offers world-famous cultural attractions. This is the case of the city of Puerto Morelos, the walled city of Tulum and the archaeological site of Chichén Itzá. The latter two are important Mayan ruins, one of the most representative civilizations of pre-Columbian America.
The Riviera Maya is the perfect place for excursions, diving, beach days and all kinds of outdoor activities. The climate is hot, with lots of sunny days and daytime temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.
There is everything and for everyone. Its hotels have the best services and excellent internet connection. The latter is great for travelers who prefer to party in their room while writing online casino Spain in the browser of a laptop or mobile device. Then a list of the best places around here.
The main attractions of the Riviera Maya
Are you planning your next trip to this wonderful Caribbean region? There are many places and activities that cannot be missed on your itinerary.
Playa del Carmen is the most famous tourist destination on the Mayan Riviera. It is a spa, hotel and shopping center. With a wide variety of restaurants, bars and nightclubs that make it a must-see for nightlife fans. The hotel is adjacent to Xcaret Park, Punta Esmeralda Beach and Los Fundadores Park.
Every year, it is the starting point of the Mayan Sacred Journey, in which pilgrims go by kayak to Cozumel. In addition, it is the home of the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, which has been held annually in November since 2003. Both events are at the center of cultural tourism.
Puerto Morelos is a group of ports and fishing facilities in the state of Quintana Roo. But it is also an important tourist destination thanks to its beaches as it is home to a marine park with the second largest natural coral reef in the world.
Diving and snorkeling activities are organized around the reef or the so-called cenote route. The beaches are conducive to windsurfing and canoeing (water scooters and motor boats are not allowed at all). Very close to Puerto Morelos, 2 km away, is the largest botanical garden in Mexico, the “Alfredo Barrera Marín”.
Chichén Itzá is a Mayan archaeological site, one of the most attractive because of its well-preserved monumental architecture. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988. It is an ancient ceremonial city, most of the buildings were built between the 9th and 11th centuries, clearly influenced by Toltec culture.
The most famous temple in the city is the Kukulcán Pyramid, also known as “El Castillo”, 24 meters high. Another great attraction is the “Sacred Cenote”, from which the name Chichén Itzá (which means “Boca del pozo de los Itzaes”) is derived. For centuries it has been a place of Mayan pilgrimage, as well as rituals and human sacrifice. There are guided tours around the city and its surroundings.
Tulum (walled city)
The Mayan city ruins of Tulum are a place not to be missed for their historical and cultural value. The buildings date from the 13th-15th centuries, which corresponds to the post-classical period of the Maya civilization.
It is located within the Tulum National Park, consisting of a walled city and a vast territory of natural value. The park has been declared a Protected Nature Area. It is adjacent to the modern city of the same name.
Cozumel is an island located 19 kilometers off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is a frequent stop for Caribbean cruises and Riviera tourists. Its main attractions are the possibility of diving and beaches. The large number of coral formations and cenotes present in its geography are home to several unique animal species on the island. It is part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves designated by UNESCO.
It is one of the ecological parks in the region. It is distinguished by richness in terms of biodiversity, as well as natural beauty. It is located just 13 kilometers from the city of Tulum and can be reached by road. It is part of the Mexican soil with a seawater inflow. This flow meets the fresh underground water, creating a huge cove inhabited by species of plants and animals, both from the sea and from the jungle.
The route includes a natural nursery, famous restaurants and snorkeling practices. A spectacular walk for nature lovers.
The influx of tourists in 2021
The tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit by protracted closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, Mexico saw a decline in the number of international tourists by around 80%, according to data from the World Tourism Organization. Despite this, it became the third most visited country in the world, after Italy and France. Since 2019, the country of Central America has been in the top ten.
Expectations for the current year are more optimistic than in the previous year. From January to March, the Riviera Maya Hotel Association recorded an average of 32% occupancy. During the Easter period, it was over 40%. This trend is expected to continue in the coming months. However, the Ministry of Tourism confirms that the sector is not expected to be 100% recovered until at least 2023. It is worth noting that tourism activities are a vital part of the Mexican economy, currently accounting for 8.7% of Gross Domestic Product.
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