There are few – if any – places in the world that offer as many different extraordinary activities as Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Stretching about 80 miles south from Cancun through Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras and Tulum, this fabled region is home to the best beaches in the world and offers some of the world’s most incredible experiences for people of all ages and abilities.
In fact, boutique hotels and international travel companies are getting in on the action and offer a staggering array of local excursions that will dazzle even the most seasoned traveler and make other vacation destinations pale by comparison. For example, Airbnb recently expanded their Experiences program in Mexico to include a variety of unique experiences in the Riviera Maya, all designed to showcase the region’s most authentic and unforgettable attractions.
“Due to the importance of Cancun, Riviera Maya region, the [Riviera Maya] is the first outside of Mexico City to be included in the Experiences program”, revealed Airbnb in a statement.
Read on to see why each of these Riviera Maya activities should be at the top of your travel bucket list and start planning your next Mexico vacation today!
MUSA Underwater Museum in Cancun
The MUSA Underwater Museum in Cancun is a permanent exhibit that’s not only beautiful to behold, but also provides support for the environment in keeping with the Riviera Maya’s commitment to sustainability. The project includes 516 (and counting) sunken art pieces that have become colonized by coral, providing much-needed support for the Great Mesoamerican Reef – the world’s second largest – which lies just offshore and also makes the Riviera Maya a top diving destination.
Mayan Clay Bath Day
Offered exclusively through KASA Hotel + Residences in Tulum, this one-of-a-kind spa experience takes you into the beautiful jungle near Tulum for a memorable day of relaxation and rejuvenation. The Mayan Clay Bath Day is an interactive healing spa treatment that is designed to energize and detoxify the skin and spirit. Used since ancient times in purifying bathing rituals, Mayan clay is like taking a dip in pure liquid gold. A definite must-do for anyone who needs to refresh both body and mind.
Whale Shark Snorkeling Safari
Airbnb offers 27 experiences in the Riviera Maya right now, with more to come. One of the most exciting is definitely the Whale Shark Snorkeling Safari, which takes participants off the coast just south of Cancun to swim with whale sharks – the largest-known extant fish species. These gentle giants come to feed in the warm Mexican Caribbean waters each year from mid-May through mid-September, so if this is on your to-do list, be sure to take timing into account. If it sounds frightening, don’t worry - these enormous underwater inhabitants only eat plankton!
Mayan Underworld Tour
No trip to the Riviera Maya would be complete without exploring some of the region’s gorgeous freshwater cenotes, which are formed naturally in the Yucatan Peninsula’s limestone bedrock and offer an otherworldly experience that is truly like no other. The half-day Mayan Underworld tour at KASA Hotel + Residences will take you from a morning of snorkeling along the reef in the clear turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean Sea, to exploring a breathtaking cave and cenote filled with magnificent limestone formations.
Ancient Mayan Ruins
Even if Indiana Jones isn’t one of your all-time favorite movie franchises, the ancient Mayan ruins of the Riviera Maya are definitely another “must-do” activity. Sites like Chichen Itza – one of the seven wonders of the modern world – along with the seaside ruins of Tulum, mystical Muyil and the sprawling city of Coba, are all easy to access and guaranteed to leave you speechless with wonder and eager to come back for more.
Have you ever been to the Riviera Maya, or would you like to visit? Tell us in the comments!
Planning a Mexico vacation? Read 5 Exciting Off-Resort Activities in the Riviera Maya Near Downtown Playa del Carmen and discover even more ways to take your trip to another level!