Riviera Maya

The Riviera Maya is a tourist area on the Caribbean coast in southeastern Mexico.


The name alludes to the Italian Riviera and the French Riviera as a synonym for a particularly beautiful coast. Although beautiful white sand beaches are to be found with clear water in two sections, the hinterland, however, differs considerably. To further distinction were then the Maya, who inhabited the peninsula, taken with the name.


More specifically, the Riviera Maya is located on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo, and thus in the extreme northwestern Caribbean Sea, near the transition to the Gulf of Mexico. It extends over a length of approximately 150 kilometers from Cancun to the north with the local Hotel Zone Zona Hotelera about Playa del Carmen with the local Playacar Hotel Zone to something beyond Tulum in the south.

Cancún with more than half a million inhabitants and Playa del Carmen, with more than 100,000 inhabitants are the main centers of the region.


Since the systematic construction of the Hotel Zone in Cancún in the 1970s, the Riviera Maya is continually growing to this day. In the 1990s, the former fishing village of Playa del Carmen began to boom and lately also has a corresponding development in Tulum. There are now in the region of several hundred tourists hotels of all categories, all sizes and all chains. In the meantime, are also located between the towns - some very remote location - many Hotels.


The area presents itself as a level without any natural elevations which is almost completely covered by about 4 feet high, dense and non- managed forests. A special feature are water-filled dips of the limestone subsoil to mention the so-called cenotes.

The Riviera Maya is hurricane threatened, that is, it is to be expected from June to December with possible hurricanes. Hurricane Wilma taught in October 2005, major damage in the region. In the rainy season in July is often to be expected with short but strong rain showers and thunderstorms, but it is also still mostly very sunny (about 30-35 ° C during the day).


Forms the backbone of the region's well-developed highway Carretara 307, which runs parallel to the coast in a north-south direction from the largest city in Quintana Roo, Cancun, Chetumal to the capital, at a distance of a few kilometers.

Public transport operates through a dense and inexpensive bus and taxi network in this part of Mexico very well ( for example, with an ADO bus Cancun and Playa del Carmen in 10 -minute intervals for 36.00 Mexican pesos).

The Riviera Maya is good by air, usually directly from the Cancun International Airport ( IATA: CUN) to reach. From Mexico City from the flight time of about two hours.

Furthermore, especially Playa del Carmen and Cozumel Island are regularly driven by cruise ships.


Tourists will find a very well-developed and focused on infrastructure it here. In Cancun and Playa del Carmen lure shopping malls or even an attractive pedestrian zone with representatives of all possible known and operating worldwide brand names as well as many restaurants and bars. This is complemented by various amusement parks such as the parks of Xcaret and Xel -Ha.

The offshore islands of Isla Mujeres and Cozumel talk more the nature lovers, as well as of the Nature Park Sian Ka'an, the Biosphere Reserve is a World Heritage Site by Unesco since 1987. In many places, such as on the island of Cozumel, very interesting places found for diving. Near the island of Holbox Island in the far north, it is even possible to swim with whale sharks in the wild.

Tulum offers an oceanfront Mayan temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site Chichen Itza and the Mayan pyramid at Coba are easily accessible by road, even if they no longer are in this holiday region.

However, located in the Riviera Maya major cities have nothing to have Mexico as a typical central square ( Zócalo ) and a cathedral because of their young age. This point again only more distant cities such as Mérida or Valladolid on ( Yucatán ). The excursion programs offered to the tourists with prices between 25 and 250 U.S. dollars are correspondingly extensive, but many tours can also be done itself.

Beggars and pushy merchants and self-appointed "helpers" are encountered only rarely. Shops selling counterfeit products - such as found in many resort areas - there are, however, not at all there.

The package tourists come for the most part from the U.S. and Canada. The rest is split between Europeans and Mexicans. Of the Europeans, most German, British and Italians. For Spring Break, many youthful Americans meet to party in Cancun, similar holding young Europeans with Ibiza or Mallorca.

While in Cancun more the so-called " concrete block " - high-rise hotel buildings like - dominate, the hotels in the rest of the region are mostly flat with several smaller buildings constructed to act not bulky despite its high capacity.

All major German tour operators have offers for this region in their program.