Riviera Maya

20 Best Excursions in Riviera Maya: A blog about our best excursions and tours in Mexico

Riviera Maya is a perfect destination for travelers in Mexico. It is a place where you can explore everything at a time nature, food, history, and culture.

There is much more to explore and enjoy at Riviera Maya. So instead of just lying down and chilling out all day on the beach, move and explore that place’s culture and history. You would be amazed by its food and the cultural things out there.

What is the exact location of Riviera Maya?

Riviera Maya is located on the Yucatan Peninsula; It is almost a 100-mile coastline that starts from the south of Cancun, Puerto Morales, to the fishing village of Punta Allen. In addition, there are beach towns like Playa del Carmen and Tulum and islands like Isla Mujeres and Cozumel. These beaches and islands are part of Riviera Maya.

If you want to explore the Riviera Maya, The nearest airport to this destination is The Cancun airport. However, Cancun is not part of Riviera Maya but is often considered part of the area.

There are tons of things that you can do and enjoy at the Riviera Maya. Continue reading the article to make a bucket list of the best things to do in the Riviera Maya.

20 Best Excursions and things to do in Riviera Maya

Mexico is well-known for its fantastic beach destinations. And if you want to explore Riviera Maya, you definitely will not miss the beaches. On the contrary, I think these incredible beaches are the main reason for your visit to Mexico.

Some famous beaches include Xpu-Ha, Punta Bete, Maroma beach, and Xcacel Beach. Before you doubt Riveria Maya excludes the beaches, make sure you have everything in your bag you need on the beach.
Click here to explore more beach destinations.

Travel to cenotes in the Mexican forest

To visit us in the note is a beautiful experience you must have while exploring Riveria Maya.
This natural wonder is breathtaking and unique.

No matter what cenotes you select to go, whether it is a fully open cenote or half empty, these incredible Mexican water holes are so spectacular that their crystal clear waters and lush greens around the water will make you feel like you have entered a magical Paradise.
There are many cenotes in Mexico; make a list of all those cenotes and then decide the one that is nearest to you and worth visiting.

You can search these cenotes on your own or opt for a guided tour that takes care of all the tour details. There are many companies of tour guides that have some special packages. For example, you can check out four- a cenote adventure from Tulum or a one-day tour with a cenote and other activities.

Explore Mayan History at Chichén Itzá

Mayan ruins are one of the main tourist attractions in Riviera Maya and are called Chichén Itzá. This Pre-Columbian city is over four square miles and was built by the Mayans. You would have a spectacular view and buildings to explore.

The step pyramid, El Castillo, is an influential structure, but there is much more to explore. These dominating structures include temples, cenotes, and crumbling ruins. This place is enriched with history and culture.

Pro Tip: Tour companies have arranged many excursions. You can pick a tour of Chichén Itzá. This trip includes transportation, an entrance fee, a visit to the cenote, and a local guide.

Enjoy Parasailing by the sky.

You can explore the splendid coastline of Riviera Maya with some extra fun. You can fly above the Caribbean sea and enjoy thrilling Parasailing.

You can explore Playa Maroma on this thrilling parasailing adventure. Playa Maroma is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. This parasailing adventure will take you 12 minutes up above in the air; make sure to hold onto your camera so that you can capture the unique experience and memories.

Swim Closer to the whales

Swimming closer to the whale sharks is one of the most incredible things to do in Riviera Maya. This beach area is a migration route for whale sharks, so it is easy for you to swim closer to them. The peak season for the whales to come here in this beach area is from May to September.

When you book a tour of Riviera Maya, they will take you to the exact snorkeling area where you can find more whale sharks and swim with them. There you may discover numerous whales. Most adult whale sharks measure up to 13 meters long.

After two hours in the waters with the whale sharks, you can enjoy lunch at Playa Norte on Isle Mujeres.
This is a must-do activity in Riviera Maya if you are a marine life lover and love being in the water. This excursion is highly rated because tour guides here are very safe to travel with, and they take precautions to ensure the tourist do not get closer to the harmful creatures of the waters. And tour guides also help you to keep safety distance while snorkeling near the whale sharks.


Enjoy Snorkeling with the Turtles at Akumal Bay

Akumal Bay is one of the safest palaces to snorkel with turtles. It’s okay if you think snorkeling with the whale sharks is a little bit too much. Instead, you can choose snorkeling with turtles in the sea.

If you love staying in the waters and swimming with Marine creatures, snorkeling With The Turtle is the best activity you can do while visiting the Riviera Maya.
this activity e is available All Around The Year, and you can commonly find three species of Turtles here in this area. You may see one specie at a time, or you can see all of them simultaneously. An excursion to Akumal and snorkeling with Turtles is the most popular thing to do in Riviera Maya for outdoor activity lovers.

You can go directly to Akumal and snorkel on your own. You can rent a snorkel gear set from a dive shop there. but it is recommended to consider the guided tour. So you can enjoy more time rather than searching for something at an unknown place. The guided tour may include a snorkeling gear set, transportation, and a guide. you can book a single time to Akumal or combine it with other Nearby beach tours.

Capturing snaps at the worthy spots of Tulum

You are going to be amazed by the worthy beauty of Tulum. This place is so attractive For photographers and IG addicts. This beach town has Picturesque beaches and a beautiful lush green forest. According to a report, Tulum is a safe and attractive place to visit in the Riviera Maya.
You can post the snaps on your Instagram to attract friends and followers. Here are some unique spots in Tulum you must visit:

Follow that dream:

You can find this attractive sign in the town just by putting “Suenos Tulum” In your Google Maps. This sign is opposite this hotel. You may click many pictures with this famous sign “follow that dream.”

Matcha mama

This is a cute small smoothie stall. the wooden swings at the booths are worth seeing. all you have to do is to arrive early in the morning at this smoothie stall to take the perfect shot without wasting your time.

Crooked palm tree:

This is also a trendy spot for a photoshoot. But first, you must go to Playa Paraiso Beach Club and look for The Blue Umbrella to find the crooked palm tree.
You will not have free bike parking in this place. Instead, you must buy food or drinks to validate your vehicle parking.

Casa Malca:

Casa Malca is also a notable mention that has so many photo Hotspots. This mention belongs to Pablo Escobar. If you are not a hotel guest, you have to spend a minimum of $50/ 1000 pesos on drinks or food to access this mansion.

Explore the Tulum ruins

If you want to explore Mayan history and culture, visit the Tulum ruins. Mayan ruins in Tulum are worth seeing. If you compare the Mayan ruins in Tulum To Chichen Itza, it is not quite impressive as Chichen Itza. However, as it is situated on the Cliffside, this adds more to the charm of this place.

It is a unique and popular spot in Riviera Maya. I recommend visiting this place early in the morning or late afternoon because it is closed in the afternoon to avoid large groups of tourists.

I suggest you check out the tour guides and companies for the Tulum ruins without the crowd’s excursions. It is beneficial for you to visit Limit ruins without any group and to accompany a local tour guide who can get you inside Mayan’s unique history and culture.

Pro Tip: Bring your swimwear and snorkeling gear set with you. You will get access to a secret beach in the Tulum ruins to snorkel and swim in the water.

Climb and explore the pyramid at the Coba Ruins

You can add a visit to the ancient city of Mayan, which is enriched with culture and Heritage. The Mayan ruins are a bit less famous than other places in Riviera Maya as this place is located within the Mexican jungle.

Here you will experience so many incredible things. Climbing the tallest pyramid is one of them. This tallest pyramid is called lxmoja. The scenery of this place is as unique as the scenery from the Tomb Raider movie. it seems so adventurous and extraordinary.

Ancient Maya ruins and Chichen Itza are worth visiting. to explore more about these two places, I suggest renting a bike and getting lost in the Heritage and cultural trials.
You will only understand the rich culture of Mayan by visiting these ancient cities and ruins. It is both a knowledgeable and adventurous day trip from Cancun.

Caves of Rio Secreto and the wonders at the underground rivers

There is a wonderful underground world at Rio Secreto that you must explore. There is a network of underground rivers and caves that are incredible and worth visiting during your stay in the Riviera Maya.

It is about a 1 km stretch of cave and river that you can explore in one day tour. by exploring these secret caves, you will learn everything about mineral and rock formation.
This is an incredible and unique experience you should not miss.

Explore the Cozumel

Cozumel is at 45 minutes ferry ride from playa Del Carmen. This picturesque Island is very famous for two things scuba diving and Cruises.

Although the popularity of Cruises may be confusing for some people, this place is still worth visiting. you will only understand its popularity by visiting this place.

The beaches in this place are lovely. However, it would help if you also explored playa Bonita which is famous for its stunning blue waters and white sand. and it also has nearby small Maya Ruins that are worth visiting.

And one other place on this Island is Allegro Cozumel. you will be stunned by The Spectacular and unique water looks in this place.

I spent a few days in Cozumel and explored the wonders of the Underwater World. You have to believe me; if you are an expert diver, scuba diving in Cozumel is one of the most beautiful outdoor activities you want. The stunning blue waters of this area belong to the Caribbean Sea.
Before exploring the underwater wonders, I also believed that aquatic life is real, but being an expert Scuba diver, I have explored many things, from blast swimming to Coral formations.

Cozumel is also enriched with Mayan archaeological sites. There you will see Street art, clutches, and murals All Around The Island. this is one of the major tourist attractions on the Island.

Pro Tip: Check out the fantastic Scavenger hunt to see Cozumel in a super fun way.

Relax at a small beach town in the Riviera Maya

If you are visiting the Riviera Maya and staying at the popular tourist spots like playa Del Carmen or Tulum, you must visit the smaller towns and villages at the coastline. these small towns are rich in culture and scenery.
Never forget to visit the smaller towns like Xpu Ha or Puerto Morelos in the Riviera Maya.

Puerto Morelos is a traditional place well known as the starting point of Riviera Maya. This low-key town has very charming beaches, which is calmer than other places because this town has no Resorts, nightclubs, and five-star hotels.

next place is Xpu Ha. This town has old fashion attractions and a peaceful atmosphere. So you can have a relaxing beach day in this quaint beach atmosphere.
Visiting this kind of calm beach is one of my favorite things. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, you can easily see these beachside destinations by booking a one-day tour guide or renting a car.

Enjoy the delicious Mexican food.

If you want to know about a country’s culture, you better learn about the different foods in that country. it is the only way to get to know more about that place. Other foods in Mexico are diverse and incredibly enriched by the culture.
In the opinion of most of the people for tourists there, the only food you can eat in Riviera Maya is tacos. they are differently prepared and prepared to be surprised.

When you book a tour guide to Riviera Maya, they will guide you to the local food Spots and markets where you can go by yourself and explore different food items like tostadas, tamales, desserts, and much more. There are many things you can eat and study in the local markets.
Here I want to share some personal experiences that I will highly recommend:

Authentic food Downtown tour:

With this local tour, you can eat randomly and Discover around Cancun. In addition, you can better explore Riviera Maya’s culture with this local tour guide.

Learning to cook a Mexican meal:

As we know, food relates to the culture of a place. So if you want to explore the culture of Riviera Maya, you better know about the food. Therefore, it is the best way to explore a place. You can go and attend the local cooking classes and learn how to prepare Mexican cuisine step by step. This way, you will learn more about the taste and spices used by the local people. The more you interact with the local people, the more you know about the food.

Best Taco excursion in Mayan:

When you hire a local tour guide, he will help you to explore the best tacos and Street foods in Tulum.

Margarita and Taco Tour of Isla Mujeres:

If you are staying in Isla Mujeres and want to explore more about the fun night, you should check out this local food excursion.

Pro Tip: Never come to these places with a full stomach. Always come here with an empty stomach!

Food tour in playa Del Carmen:

If you are in playa Del Carmen, you must have gastronomic experience in this place.

Artisanal Mezcal Tasting:

Mezcal is like a religion in Mexico. Don’t you know that? If not, this tour is perfect for exploring more about this religion in Mexico.

Attend cooking classes in Mexico:

If you are exploring the culture of Riviera Maya, you can attend cooking classes with some locals. The more you interact with the local people, the more you will explore the culture.

Attending cooking classes during your trip is a plus point. you can recreate the delicious food you learned during the vacation. it is a fun outdoor activity also.
I love attending cooking classes wherever I go; learning more about the culture and cuisine is very helpful. you will have the opportunity to taste the local spices and cooking.

You can select the cooking class by a traveling chef if you are in playa Del Carmen. It is a top-rated and highly reviewed outdoor activity in playa Del Carmen. If you don’t want to select this, there is an alternative activity cooking class in a chef’s house.

And if you are staying in Cancun, we recommend attending the cooking class. this is the only way to explore the local Markets and restaurants.

Spectacular nature at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere

The Sian Ka’an biosphere is one of Mexico’s most Majestic Natural Wonders. It is a part of 34 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Mexico. This wonder consists of 5280 km2 of pure nature.

It allows you to enjoy watching dolphins, turtle crocodiles, manatees, and rays in the wild. This natural wonder is pure and ecologically diverse. this is even bigger than Cozumel.

You can also explore this mother nature on your own if you have a rental car, but getting a local and organized tour guide would be easier. this place is closely located in Tulum. You can do a one-day tour of this place in the Riviera Maya.

Pass over to Isla Mujeres

This place is just near Cancun’s coastline; this peaceful and beautiful small Mexican Island will win your heart.
This place will give you more privacy and peace than the other beaches in Cancun. However, that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do on this Island. it depends upon your choice. You want to spend your day peacefully and enjoy the beach Vibe or do outdoor activities like shopping, water sports, and exploring and making new friends in a peaceful atmosphere in Isla Mujeres.

Isla Mujeres is an island famous for its calm and crystal-clear water. It has Sandy beaches and friendly locals in the Caribbean. With the natural beauty of the Caribbean and the Heritage of Mayan ruins, the place Isla Mujeres has become a Paradise for people worldwide.

You can easily explore this Island with a rental car or try booking fun tours from Cancun and other towns in Riviera Maya.
You can select one day tour from Cancun. This one-day tour will allow you to explore two places in one day: Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy.

Explore Laguna de Siete Colores (Laguna de Bacalar)

Bacalar is a place of stunning freshwater lakes. This place is also called the seven-color lagoon. And it is often called the Maldives of Mexico. This is one of my favorite places in Mexico.

The beautiful and substantial freshwater lake and its Crystal Clear Water will your all Instagram followers. Its Blue and crystal clear water is mesmerizing and makes you feel of Maldives and Fiji.

You may spend all your time clicking thousands of pictures and swimming in the waters. However, this place has my heart. I spent a few days in Bacalar and loved its pure nature. It is called “the lake of seven colors” because of its multiple shades of blue waters.

If you want to go to Bacalar, here are some of my recommendations:

Bacalar Sailing tour with open bar and snacks:

Check out the best of Laguna Bacalar on this fantastic group sailing tour.

Personal Catamaran tour of Bacalar

You can explore Bacalar with this private catamaran tour. Midas private catamaran tour, you can explore the Lagoon and Sail around it.

Translucent Kayak around the Bacalar Lagoon

The transparent Kayak Around The crystal clear waters of Varkala is worth seeing. you can explore All Around The transparent Kayak with a local tour guide.

Bike tour to explore Tulum

A bike tour to Tulum is a fun way to explore the town’s culture and history. You can get through everything about that Tulum, including food, nature, people, and much more.

There is a 5-hour bike tour that you can book okay and learn about Mayan history and culture. Then, you can go and visit Mayan ruins and Downtown. in Downtown; you can taste local food and enjoy the company of local people. In the end, you will get a chance to swim in a cenote.
I bet this would have a life-changing experience for you.

Attend the class on Cocktail making

A holiday without a drink is such a boring thing. Well, we have some suggestions about the drinks. Here is a Cocktail making class in Cancun that will allow you to taste your way through the best Mezcals in Mexico.

If you are staying in Tulum, we suggest this Mezcal experience/ Cocktail making class in Tulum.
It is one of the top-rated tours in Tulum.

Escape to Holbox, Mexico

If you want to escape from your life, you should take a ride to Holbox, Mexico. It adds a 20-minute boat ride from the coastline. You will be far away from the Hustle and bustle of everyday life.

This Island doesn’t have paved roads. It only has white sand beaches and a peaceful atmosphere. This Island is far away from everyday life because here you would not have any mobile phone signals, and Wi-Fi is not supportable on this Island. So you can take a break by spending some time on this beautiful Island.

The main attraction of the Island is swimming with the whale sharks. That is why so many tourists come here. You can enjoy swimming with whale Sharks from June to September. Fishing is the primary industry of this Island. And the main product is lobster. So never forget to eat lobster Pizza when you come here.

Things to avoid staying in Riviera Maya

The Riviera Maya is a vast coastline with numerous marine and animal life. The best way to spend time in a Riviera Maya is to appreciate these creatures in their natural habitat.

These creatures have their ecosystem, so it is best not to disturb their ecosystem and let them live in their diversity.
Scuba Diving and snorkeling are the best ways to get closer to this Marine life, such as sea turtles and whale sharks but be sure to keep your distance from these creatures and be respectful of their ecosystem.

Before going on a tour or participating in an outdoor nature-related activity, it would be better to confirm that the activity you are signing up for will be carried out responsibly and ethically. And always keep an eye on the instructions given by the tour guide. Always follow their instructions. Most of them are the local people of that place, and they are there to help you out and protect nature and keep you safe as much as possible.

It is best to avoid swimming with dolphins. do you know why? just check out this article.

Where should you stay in Riviera Maya?

Riviera Maya is a place of beauty and style. Here you can have some great hotels and resorts. but if you want a more Independent and local experience, I suggest staying in an Airbnb.

In places like playa Del Carmen, Tulum, and Cancun, there are many unique and Stylish Airbnb. But, want to check to book hotels, I will suggest Booking.com.

Frequently asked questions on Riviera Maya.

The best time to visit Riviera Maya save from December to March. There are hurricanes and rainy seasons in Riviera Maya from June to October. So it is best to avoid going to Riviera Maya from June to October.
From June to October, the weather is pleasant and is not too hot, which makes your stay more comfortable in Riviera Maya.

There are so many things that you can do with kids staying in Riviera Maya. First, there are some parks like Xcaret Playa Del Carmen. This Park has more than 50 cultural and natural attractions. Some shallow cenotes and coral reef aquariums would be perfect for kids to enjoy and explore. The Cancun Underwater Art Museum is another tourist attraction, with more than 500 species.

As a whole, Riviera Maya is safe to travel to. it is safe if you avoid anything related to drugs or other drinks. You need to take care of your drinks.
I have spent over a year in Riviera Maya and went there multiple times as a solo Traveller, but I never felt unsafe.

After visiting the main spots of Playa Del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, and Tulum, some other attractions in the Riviera Maya, such as Xpu Ha, Isla de Mujeres, Isla Hol box, and Akumal.

Riviera Maya surrounds 80 miles alongside The Mexican Caribbean coastline. This region is home to over 2500 cenotes, sinkholes, and caves. This is where you can go snorkeling, swimming, and diving.
This area also has so many ancient archaeological sites. Rooms have so much to explore, from white Sandy beaches to these ancient ruins. We love this part of Mexico because there is something for everyone’s interest.

I hope this guide has given you a lot of information and ideas on the best things and excursions to do in Riviera Maya. After reading all this information, I hope you will enjoy your journey to Rivera Maya. if you also want to share something, you can comment below.

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