15 Best Things to Do in Riviera Maya

15 Best Things to Do in Riviera Maya

Turquoise ocean water sparkling at your feet, white fresh sand to crush on the soft shores of the beach, thick green vegetation to bless the eyes wherever one looks with long palm trees and you with a glass of your favorite drink to complete the picture perfect dream of a perfect holiday at the beaches.

Hawaii and Maldives are there but to get the perfect out of the box feel you need to find other gems spread across the globe, otherwise where is the fun in travelling!

The Riviera Maya can prove to be the quintessential escape land or beach paradise you have been searching for to find your much awaited solace from the everyday humdrum of 9 to 5 life and the chaos of the crowded world in general.

One cannot possibly imagine a better tourist spot than this because the Riviera, Maya is officially known to exist primarily on the sector of tourism in the Mexico territory. Riviera is known as the ‘resort and tourism district’ of southern Cancun in Mexico and was initially called the “Cancun Tulum Corridor”.  

The Belize Barrier Reef stretching from Cancun to Guatemala is known to be the second largest reef worldwide. Hence, one can only imagine the endless list of things to thrilling do at Riviera.

A Marine Paradise at Xcaret

Xcaret
posztos / Shutterstock.com


This magical place is located at the Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez 282.  It is a theme park that opens into the waters of Riviera.

The entire park has one after the other things to do and areas to visit.

They feature animals and bird like the pelican, flamingo or red macaw!

Xcaret is often called Mexico’s sacred paradise for the obvious scenic bounty. Opened in 1990, this park represents the biodiversity and cultural finesse of Mexico.

There are underground rivers here; tubing is very common, they have their own beaches, there is bird watching, swimming almost everywhere from the lagoons to the rivers to pools, there is a scenic watch tower that rotates; a tropical jungle trail too.

There are restaurants, pavilions, events and authentic performances, musicals at galleries, aquariums, butterflies, turtles, boat rides, miniature caves, fireworks, water falls, small cottages, extensive well-maintained gardens, horse races and much more to discover.

The Unforgettable Cenotes Dos Ojos Reefs, Caves and Caverns

Cavediving in Tulum Riviera
aquapix / Shutterstock.com


This is one of the top destinations as per a traveller’s choice in Tulum Riviera. There are geological jewels for you to spend your day admiring.

Take a guide and you will go to the deepest crevasses of the planet. Swimming and scuba diving are only some of the things you can expect here.

Take your swim fins and dive in to see the coral formations, a world full of fish of different species, other sea creatures.

The caves and hollow formations that so easily allow us to enter are also a wonder to witness. You can also go boating.


Visit the Tulum Archaeological Site

Tulum archaeological site
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This location is of immense historical and archaeological value apart from the scenic beauty it provides.

Riviera or Tulum was originally a part of the Pre-Columbian walled city of Maya which was used as a port of Coba.

This area gracefully holds up the coastal remains and ruins of that age old history. The view of the ocean is beside and from the 12 feet tall cliff you see the stony piece of architecture still standing erect, white in its shade.

It’s a humbling treat to watch with the blue waves of the water adding to the picturesque view here.


Checkout the Fabulous Collection at The Croco Cun Zoo

Iguana at Croco Cun Zoo
Derek Robertson / Shutterstock.com


Located at Puerto Morelos, the Croco Cun Zoo is not any other zoo where you just get to see basic animals from afar.

It is often called the petting zoo because at this place you can literally hold and touch the animals!

This place is also a rehab center for animals and a rescued zone so it is bound to soften your heart. Along with the animals the area also features a full-fledged jungle.

Don’t be shocked if you get to hold a baby alligator, a boa snake, chameleons, a baby chimp, lovebirds or rainbow macaws with your own hands!


Walk by The Fresh Akumal Beach

Akumal beach
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Located at Akumal itself the Akumal beach should be in your bucket lists if you are travelling Riviera Maya.

This is a much preferred beach for visitors who want their solace and calm from the world instead of a noisy beach filled with people and rubber balls.

The beach sand is a major source of attraction here owing to its powdery white hue and stark cleanliness maintained.

Going for a swim is totally an option and spotting starfishes or angels or sea turtles swimming with you is totally a possibility.

Other activities like paddle boating are also quite popular here.


Be Amazed at The Rio Secreto Cavern

Rio Secreto Cavern
nikitich viktoriya / Shutterstock.com


The mysticism starts with the name itself, Rio Secreto! Once you reach there you might actually feel like having discovered a secret water cave in the earth!  

This place possesses the precious underground river of Mexico, which is one of the rarest geographical possibilities in earth depending on the geological conditions of the area.

The coral formations hang from the cave in sharp cone shapes all around and the water reflects the trapped sunlight into the cave walls giving the entire location a film set like view, hard to fathom! These rivers and caverns are as old as time gets.

The Blue Yal-Ku Lagoon

 Yal-Ku Lagoon
Vadim Gouida / Shutterstock.com


Everybody loves blue lagoons! This is as scintillating and blue as a lagoon gets. Located at Akumal, Riviera, the Yal-Ku Lagoon is another natural blessing in earth.

People are obsessed with coming here with their families and floating in the blue waters.

In between the waters you are to find green patches of vegetation that amplifies the scenic beauty to another level.

Don’t forget to take your fins and go for a deep swim. And while you are at it you can easily find a native toucan staring at you on the branch beside you with its beautiful yellow beak.


Tour Through the Aktun Chen Waterbody

Snorkeling at Aktun Chen
Fraguando, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Another mind blowing pocket of nature awaits you at the Aktun Chen caves and caverns.

Once you go down the hole the entire under area is bound to spark your eyes with its soft caramel coral rock formations and cobalt blue water sparkling with sunshine trapped in between the walls.

Also be rest assured to swim with a thousand fishes all around you! Things on earth can hardly any better than this.

On the land there are other activities like animal watching, yes Riviera is that rich with wildlife, or go zip lining or boating in the warm waters here.


Do Not Miss the Kantun Chi Wildlife and Nature Eco Park


This all in one Eco Park is located at the Federal Highway, Puerto Aventuras.

This Eco Park too is filled with water caves and what makes it unique is that even inside the rock formations there are ethnic sculptures made out of rocks for increasing the aesthetic value of the area.

These caves can be reached after a five minute trail from the jungles. You can go for other activities like normal or paddle boating. Snorkeling too is done here.

There are restaurants with traditional Mexican food and shows to entertain. This park alone has four to five cenotes here.

Swim Into the Mystic Gran Cenote

Gran Cenote
NiarKrad / Shutterstock.com


This beautiful and cozy spot is located at the highway to Coba.

The Gran Cenote is a perfect location for you and your family to spend a fun filled enthralling day at Riviera.

There is a single water cave where all of you and your dear ones can swim together, sometimes with beautiful sea turtles. The swimming area stretches to 140 meters.  

Apart from it, above there is an entire area of more than 100 meters with a beautiful wooden bridge and other features like a garden to relax with your family by the water pocket and take beautiful pictures.


Fun Filled Day Snorkeling at The National Reef Park of Puerto Morelos


It’s time for one of the most loved activities at Riviera Maya: Snorkeling.

This is a reef area with another beautiful and white beach side, green peripheries all around. They give you a mini speed boat ride too.

You can also unwind yourself by sitting at the resting area with beach chairs that give a perfect top view of the blue sea and a luxurious resting experience for you to remember the trip by.

The snorkeling adventures come for different people differently, ranging from amateurs to toddlers to professionals.

There are creatures to witness in those waters from stingrays to octopuses.

Get Thoroughly Charmed at The Akumal Monkey Sanctuary & Rescued Animals


The Akumal Rescue Sanctuary will prove to be a heartwarming visit for you and your family to cherish forever.

These people aim at rescuing hundreds of animals, especially many varieties of monkeys from different parts of Mexico.

There is the spider monkey to the Capuchin ones. It does not end here because you have other creatures like gorgeous pink flamingos and shining snakes, there is an array of rich bird collection from green parrots to green beaked toucans.

You can hold and feed most of the creatures and the monkeys seem to be extremely friendly along with ducks and boa snakes.


Walk and Shop Through the Colorful Quinta Avenida

Quinta avenida
Guajillo studio / Shutterstock.com


Located around Playa De Carmen, this landmark will help you get the true aura and flavors of the city and know it better.  

The Five Avenue is located here which can be called one of the coolest streets in Mexico with an overpowering array of good to buy, stuff to eat and things to do.

Ask for what you want to buy and you will find at least one shop selling it.

From jewelries to paintings to souvenirs to the most coolest of fabric or bohemian fashioned clothes, rather Mexican. You can even find antiques and painted cars here!


Thrilling Dolphin Watching at The Dolphin Discovery Tulum-Akumal

Dolphin at Tulum Akumal
Marco Cesarano / Shutterstock.com


Located at Cancun, this is a beloved animal zone with a specialty in dolphins. Here you can perform lots of activities like going for boating with your family at the waters.

Boating tours with the help of guys are also provided who take you the prettiest and most active areas in terms of sea creatures.

Apart from this there are plenty of water sports you can perform here, a real treat for families.

The most interesting part however is the fact that at the Dolphin-Discovery you are allowed to literally swim along with their dolphins in the marked water boundaries.


Lose Yourself in The Pleasures of The Laguna Kaan Luum Lagoon

Laguna Kaan Luum
Tom Ha / Shutterstock.com


Another favorite at Tulum or Riviera Maya, the Laguna Kaan Luum is one of the coolest lagoons here. The most attractive part of it is the color combination this lagoon represents.

Initially at the beginning of the beach the waters are very light and green to minty in color but as you look beyond or go deeper the change is evident to dark ultramarine blue waters.

The waters are not so deep, hardly up to the waist; hence you and your kids can easily go for a nice swim.

There is also an extremely aesthetic and long wooden bridge above.

Look Into the Water World Through the Cenote Chaak Tun

Chaak Tun Cenote
mundosemfim / Shutterstock.com


The trip to Riviera must end with a typically quintessential and out of the world cavern or cenote as they call it in mexico.

The Chaak Tun Cenote has repeatedly proven to be a traveler’s favorite through the last two decades.

Located at the Playa Del Carmen, this cenote is said to have one of the most high end and professional environments, services, guides and staff.

Snorkeling should be a must on the checklist while you are here. you will come to know a lot about Mexican marine life here all while swimming through sea creatures and beautifully alive plantations.