Things to Do in Riviera Maya – 5 Fun Activities

Things to Do in Riviera Maya

So you booked your tickets to Riviera Maya and can’t wait to get away from work and go relax on the beach! That’s great!! But, if you’re like me and hate sitting on a beach every single day of your vacation, here are a couple of things to do in Riviera Maya.

Where is Riviera Maya?

Riviera Maya was called the Cancun-Tulum Corridor. Today, it’s a general name to refer to the area along the Caribbean coastline of Mexico.

Where to stay in Riviera Maya

Personally, I prefer Playa Del Carmen or PDC. PDC is the lesser visited cousin of Cancun and is therefore less crowded. It also has a more authentic Mexican vibe than Cancun. It’s also central to many attractions in and around Quintana Roo and the Yucatán Peninsula.

Things to Do in Riviera Maya
Downtown PDC
Things to Do in Riviera Maya
PDC Beach
Things to Do in Riviera Maya
PDC Beach

Here are 5 things to do solo or with a crowd

1. Chichen Itza

One of the wonders of the world and an Unesco world heritage site, Chichen Itza is an ancient Mayan city that should be a part of your Riviera Maya itinerary.

Things to Do in Riviera Maya
El Castillo (Temple of Kukulcan) 

You have two options to get there;

  1. An organized tour – Recommended if you are travelling solo but be prepared for a full day tour
  2. Self-drive – Best if going with a couple of people

There is so much history here that a guide is recommended if you want to really learn about Mayan culture and the significance of each of the ruins.

2. Visit a Cenote or two

Cenotes are sinkholes that appear due to collapsed limestone. Cenotes were an important part of Mayan culture and used as ancient water ways.

Today, you can swim, snorkel or dive in them depending on the location.

Things to Do in Riviera Maya
Ik Kil Cenote
Things to Do in Riviera Maya

3. Visit the Mayan ruins in Tulum

Mayan ruins on a beach? Hell ya! and not just any beach mind you, the turquoise blue of its calm, shallow waters stretches out forever!

4. Xel-Ha

Xel-Ha is an all inclusive water park that’s great for kids and adults alike. The price includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, equipment and unlimited food and alcohol.

They have a large inlet that you can snorkel in all day as well as a natural cenote.

5. Snorkel in Cozumel

Cozumel is one of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the world. In addition to colorful fish and coral, I also saw turtles, starfish and stingrays.

I went with mystic snorkel and they were great! I paid about $65 which included a 3-4 hour guided trip with unlimited drinks, snacks, and all snorkeling equipment (even prescription goggles for the blind like me!)

Things to Do in Riviera Maya
Didn’t have an underwater camera but trust me! Snorkeling here was awesome!

How to get to Cozumel from Playa Del Carmen

There is a ferry that runs several times a day between Cozumel and PDC. Click here for the schedule and cost.

The ferry takes about 45 minutes. You can buy tickets on that day itself or in advance if you want to (tickets do not have a date or time marked and can be used any time)

One of my other favorite things to do is to wake-up to see the sunrise.

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