With just over 45 years of history, Cancun and Riviera Maya have become a world class tourist corridor. Year
after year, the beaches in the north of the
of Quintana Roo are visited by millions of tourists from all over the world.
Although the beaches and the paradisiacal sea that surround them are the main attraction of Cancun and
Riviera Maya, there is a wide diversity of places in the area that have been created to satisfy the
entertainment needs of tourists. It also should not be overlooked that this region was also the area in
Mayan civilization flourished several
centuries ago. So, in addition to the natural wonders, all the places of fun and entertainment; there are
of great cultural relevance.
It’s clear that traveling to Cancun and Riviera Maya in the Mexican Caribbean can be an unforgettable
experience. However, to make the most of the trip, it is important to plan in advance and define which
places of interest will be included in your activities while visiting these destinations.
In the following paragraphs we will briefly talk about the places of interest in Cancun and Riviera Maya:
Cancun Hotel Zone. This is the
area where most of the hotels in Cancun are located. It is a strip of land of approximately 15 miles (24
kilometers) surrounded on one side by the sea and, on the other, by the Nichupté Lagoon. In addition to
the presence of more than 80 hotels of various types and categories in this area, you’ll also find
restaurants, shopping centers, bars, nightclubs, beach clubs, piers, among other attractions. If your
plan is to stay in Cancun in your visit to the Mexican Caribbean, it is very likely that you will end up
in this area. However, there are also hotels in other areas of Cancun (Punta Sam to the north, as well
as close to downtown).
Fifth Avenue. In Playa del Carmen, this is the area with the largest tourist flow. It is a
corridor of just over 1.9 miles (three kilometers) where you can find restaurants, boutiques, shops,
pharmacies, hotels (mostly boutique style), bars, convenience stores, a ferry dock (to Cozumel), a park,
beach clubs and nightclubs. It is an area exclusively for pedestrians, so it is pretty easy and safe to
walk from one end to the other.
Isla Mujeres are islands that are
located near Cancun and Playa del Carmen, respectively. Given its proximity to these places, it is
possible to make a quick visit without having to stay. Each one has its own attractions, although both
share water activities as the main things to do. Other islands in the region are
Isla Contoy. However,
both are more focused in ecotourism.
Archaeological sites. The Yucatan
Peninsula, the place where Cancun and Riviera Maya are located, was the cradle of the Mayan
civilization. Many ruins and vestiges of cities and temples of this interesting ancient culture still
remain. Most of them are open to visitors. Some of the most popular are Chichen Itzá, Cobá, Ek Balam and
Tulum which are visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
Cancun airport. This
airport is the second
busiest in Mexico, just after the one in Mexico City. Almost all the tourists that visit Cancun and
Riviera Maya arrive to this airport. The airport connects directly with Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa
del Carmen and Tulum. The island of Cozumel has its own international airport, but it’s a smaller
airport with much less traffic.
Ports and piers. Sea
transportation is also a dynamic activity in the Mexican Caribbean. Cozumel (island) and
Mahahual (a town south to Playa del
Carmen) are two of the main cruise ports in the Caribbean. On the other hand, Puerto Juárez in Cancun is
home to the ferries that sail from Cancun to Isla Mujeres carrying hundreds of tourists every day.
Theme parks. Throughout Riviera
Maya, there are different parks. Most of them have taken advantage of the jungle’s exuberant vegetation,
the underground rivers (cenotes) and the beautiful beaches of the region to create attractions through
adventure activities (such as rafting, zip lines, snorkel, trekking, etc). Mexican culture and folklore
also take places in most of them. Some of these parks are Xcaret, Xoximilco, Xplor, El Garrafón, Ventura
Park, etc. They are a must for those looking to experience the ecosystem of the region.
These are the main places of interest in Cancun and Riviera Maya. For more details of the activities, the
things to see and do in each destination, you can find more information in the main menu posts.