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15 Feb 2021
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Cancun, Playa, Akumal, Tulum… What’s the difference? 

Riviera Maya is currently trending as one of the most sought-after destinations in 2021 but first-time visitors to the Yucatan Peninsula often times struggle deciphering which locality is the best fit for them. Here are a brief history and description of each major destination in the state of Quintana Roo to navigate Riviera Maya. 

Back in the 1960’s Cancun started attracting celebrities and high profile personalities from all over the world. Today it is an exciting beach destination for travelers searching for a quick in-and-out getaway. Featuring high-rise buildings, a myriad of all-inclusive resorts, and even luxury shopping centers with flagship stores including Gucci and Louis Vuitton among others making Cancun one of the sought-after beaches in the world. 

As Cancun grew into a beautiful city, smaller towns such as Playa del Carmen began to welcome travelers offering a more laid-back experience. Those willing to drive a bit longer from the airport to their final destination chose Playa del Carmen thanks to its low-key yet upbeat atmosphere with plenty of fine dining, shopping, beach clubs, and nightlife. That said, Playa del Carmen is still considered far more urbanized and so elite travelers moved further south to visit Tulum. 

Home to one of the world’s most spectacular oceanfront archeological sites, Tulum is now one of the most exclusive beaches where the term “barefoot luxury” was coined. Its early settlers were an eclectic mix of Mexican and international trustafarians dreaming of creating a community with a more holistic approach but with wi-fi access. This is where people escape city life to live a castaway adventure, enjoy haute cuisine, beach bonfire parties, and music festivals. Of course, this bohemian lifestyle comes with a heftier price tag yet you’ll still have sand in your room and so opening the door for the smaller villages scattered along Riviera Maya. 

Enter Akumal

Since the 70’s families, couples and explorers have been visiting Akumal thanks to its gorgeous Caribbean waters and secluded bays which allow them to be in contact with nature and the local community. This intimate connection between traveler and destination is a stark contrast to what other destinations along the coast have to offer. Featuring beachfront homes for groups and families in residential neighborhoods with access to an unlimited amount of activities and services for everyone at accessible prices.  

Guests staying in Akumal surrounding areas can plan customized vacations according to the experience and budget they most want. The biggest highlight is that unlike the previous destinations mentioned it’s pretty much lights out around 10 PM. Dispersed over 5 bays the vacation rentals available in Akumal provide a Robinson-Crusoe vibe with plenty of activities, shops, and eateries nearby. Large groups of friends and families can create memorable adventures in a private home with a wide variety of options during their stay. Smaller families, couples, and solo travelers have the opportunity to stay in the comfort of their own private getaway in any of Akumal’s beachfront condos and boutique hotels. 

Need more information on how to choose the perfect destination for your upcoming vacation? Contact our local experts for one on one guidance navigating through Riviera Maya.