A lot to go round
You can head for the Riviera Maya, on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, and do nothing but sip cocktails on tropical white-sand beaches. But you can also do so much more. Mayan ruins, eco parks, world-class diving – they’re all on offer along this 30-kilometre stretch of coastline, which takes in lively Playa del Carmen and the quieter Punta Allen.
Picture-perfect Caribbean sands
The Riviera’s beaches really are quite something. What you’ve got here are sugar-white sands shelving gently into warm turquoise waters. The snorkelling and scuba diving are second to none, thanks to the world’s second-biggest reef sitting right off the coast. And the region is also famous for its cenotes – giant rock pools that you can swim in.
A quartet of eco parks
Beaches and cenotes aren’t the Riviera’s only natural attractions – you’ve also got plenty of wildlife, jungle and underwater caves. All of this is best showcased in the area’s huge eco parks. There are 4 to choose from and each one lays on something different, so you can swim with dolphins, raft down rivers or just take in the jaguars, flamingos and monkeys.
Daytrips to Mayan ruins at Tulum
Mayan ruins are a real must-see in Mexico, and you can explore a brilliantly-preserved city at Tulum, on the Riviera’s southern tip. There are about 60 buildings to see, including the castle and the Temple of the Descending God. The whole place is perched on cliffs above the sea so you get breathtaking views – but for the best photos, take the steps down to the beach and look back up.