The Essential Riviera Maya Travel Guide

The Essential Riviera Maya Travel Guide

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, the Riviera Maya boasts long, white-sand beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, and hidden freshwater cenotes. This area on Mexico’s Caribbean coast is perfect for romantic getaways, family vacations, and fun adventures. Use this essential Riviera Maya travel guide to help plan the perfect trip!


November – April: perfect for escaping the winter cold!

Avoid September & October… it’s their rainy season.


The famous Mayan pyramid Chichen Itza

Though the region is known for beautiful beaches, there is so much to see and explore in this area outside of a resort.

Culture & History

  • Explore Tulum, a well-preserved coastal Mayan site
  • Climb Nohuch Mul, the Yucatan’s tallest pyramid


  • Scuba dive in the Belize Barrier Reef
  • Explore Aktun-Chen, a cave with cenotes inside
  • Snorkel in Cenote Dos Ojos
  • Venture through Punta Venado ecological reserve on ATV and/or wave runner


Riviera Maya pool
My son and daughter enjoying the pool


About: Grand Velas Riviera Maya is a fabulous luxury all-inclusive property

Accommodations: 539 huge suites (they start at 1100 square feet!) in three sections: the Zen Grand, Ambassador, and Grand Class

Dining: 8 restaurants on property, including one 5-Diamond restaurant and two 4-Diamond restaurants

Things to Do:

  • Relax in the spa, voted best spa in the world in 2010
  • Kids Club for 5 and up and a Teen Club
  • Watersports
  • Golf
  • Kite surfing
  • Swim with Dolphins

Why I Love It: Grand Velas is the tip top of all-inclusives. The service is outstanding, food and beverages are fabulous, and the property is gorgeous. And while you’re on property there is so much to do (or not do) that parents won’t have to deal with anyone saying “I’m bored!”

Grand Velas Riviera Maya beach
The beautiful beach at Grand Velas Riviera Maya


The view from the lobby – how serene!

About: Formerly a presidential retreat for world leaders, Nizuc is a private beachfront escape where you can watch both the sunrise and the sunset from your room!

Accommodations: 274 suites and villas

Dining: 6 restaurants on property ranging from Traditional Mexican to Modern Asian Fusion to Unforgettable Mediterranean to Tantalizing Peruvian

Things to Do:

  • 30000 square foot spa
  • Tennis
  • Watersports
  • Snorkeling
  • Winik’s Kids Club
  • Yoga
  • Culinary classes

Why I love It: With its sophisticated and serene architecture and design plus the fact that it borders a nature preserve, you feel like you’re nowhere near the hubbub of Cancun. But it’s actually a quick cab ride to the airport and the shops, making it so easy for a romantic weekend or a quick girls’ getaway! (Plus Cancun has lots of nonstop flights!)


Avoid crowds at the Mayan sites and cenotes by using a guide. I can arrange for one that is knowledgeable and fits your needs so you can make the most of your adventure!


  • Relaxing in the spa at your resort. You’re on vacation – treat yourself!
  • Visiting Mayan ruins. This region has such a rich history, so take time to learn more and explore.
  • Snorkeling or scuba diving in the cenotes, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, or Akumal with sea turtles.


The Riviera Maya has a tropical climate and casual dress code. Pack bathing suits, cover-ups, breezy dresses, shorts, and shirts. Don’t forget sneakers for hiking through ruins, bug spray, and plenty of sunscreen – the sun is strong!

Sunset at Nizuc
Sunset at Nizuc

Contact me to start planning your trip!

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