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29 Jan 2023
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Explore Rivera Maya

Riviera Maya has positioned itself as one of the best destinations for travelers searching for a fun-filled vacation.  The Yucatan Peninsula holds so many beautiful beaches in the world, ancient archeological sites, and nature parks that travelers keep returning to year after year. 

This year Akumal is trending as the best location to explore Riviera Maya thanks to its centric location.  Especially for friends and families searching for great beachfront vacation rentals and exciting adventures during their stay.   Akumal Direct Reservations has compiled a new list of things to do within driving distance perfect for a short outing or an amazing road-trip to see ancient pyramids. 


Akumal's beaches are certainly one of the major attractions that come to mind but Akumal Pueblo is a great place to visit for a more immersive experience.  Known for its resident sea turtles, coral reef, great restaurants, art, stores, and galleries, Akumal also offers a glimpse at what Playa Del Carmen about 45 years ago. The pueblo is a quiet small town where you can walk down the main avenue and explore its colorful murals at your leisure.   On Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays there's a fresh produce stand by the basketball courts.  Get fresh tortillas (there are 3 tortillerias), amazing tacos, and traditional dishes like cochinita pibil and recado negro. 


Guests staying in Akumal, can take a sailing tour or charter a private catamaran a unique experience to enjoy during their vacation.  Enjoy a few hours sailing the Caribbean coast and if you would like a swim in a protected cove with amazing aqua and turquoise waters. While anchored you can take the paddle board out for a spin while the onboard chef prepares some catered snacks. Choose a sunset cruise for a stunning display of colors and light watching the sunset over the Mayan Jungle. 


Yal-Ku Lagoon is a wonderful experience for guests staying in Akumal.  This inlet feeds into Carribbean and connects Yal-ku Ha with Half Moon Bay a.k.a North Akumal.  Arrive at the arch and explore Akumal road all the way down to Yalku Lagoon stopping by its many shops, cafes and restaurants. The best method of transportation is bike or golf cart but there are lots of parking lots at the entrance too. Once you're down snorkeling stop by Jungle cafe on the mangrove or grab lunch at La Lunita or La Buena Vida restaurant. 


Cenotes are some of the Yucatan Peninsula's most unique features. They are mysterious and beautiful, not to mention a great place to cool off. For this reason, snorkeling through a cenote and cavern is on our list of things not to miss while visiting the Riviera Maya. There are cenotes, caverns, and cave systems scattered throughout the Yucatan and the Riviera Maya. Which one you go to can depend on your location so be sure you don't burn daylight driving too far. 


The Akumal Monkey Sanctuary is home to a great variety of primates and other rescued animals. The Sanctuary has a professional and very service-oriented staff that works hard to provide an excellent home to all of their rescued animals. Pay a little extra and tour the cenote as well! The Monkey Sanctuary is worth the drive, down the jungle road about 25 minutes. A great time to just enjoy the scenery. We think this is a great family activity! Open daily 9 - 5. Contact our Concierge for Tours and Admission Prices.


Aktun Chen Natural Park is smaller and more economical than a trip to the bigger Riviera Maya eco-parks like Xplor, Xcaret and Xel-ha, but it doesn’t mean that you will have less fun. This family-friendly, excitement-filled tour includes everything from cenote snorkeling to discovering the secrets of the Aktun Chen cave; from adrenaline-pumping zip line rides to a wildlife zoo spread over 3 hectares of Yucatan Jungle. They even offer a complimentary lunch – a much-appreciated touch after hours of exhilarating outdoor activities.


Akumal's centric location allows guests to enjoy world-class sites for deep-sea, sport, and saltwater fly fishing, you’re guaranteed a great day out on the water at one of the many locations along the Mexican Caribbean coast. From the small fishing town of Puerto Morelos north of Playa del Carmen to the remote village of Xcalak south of the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve, you’ll be spoiled for choice by the vast area of fish-able waters waiting to be discovered.


Bacalar stands on an enchanting inland lagoon, immersed in nature, with a presence of colonial history that includes pirates. Take a sailboat tour to navigate across the mesmerizing waters known for their 7 different shades of blue. The contrasting tones make a fabulous location for exploring the waterways, the hidden history & exuberant nature of Bacalar. This place will make you feel happy & relaxed immediately, and by traveling by sailboat, the experience of being at peace is heightened, with a constant fresh breeze providing a wonderful natural alternative to noisy motorboats.


The most famous city of the ancient Mayan empire, Chichén Itzá, is a majestic archaeological site.  This guided tour has fascinating details of the architectural and historical features of this destination. Valladolid is one of the oldest cities in the Yucatan peninsula. Explore downtown to appreciate its colonial streets, architecture, and shop, or try its gastronomic delights. This tour ends with a visit and swims in a beautiful cenote and a delicious lunch with a typical dish of the region.


These two incredible islands of the Mexican Caribbean, are Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres. Isla Contoy is a natural national park, known as a sanctuary for migratory and native birds, rich in flora and fauna. Weather permitting, enjoy snorkeling in the world’s second-largest barrier reef during your tour.  After visiting Contoy, head to the beautiful Isla Mujeres, an island characterized by the charm of its beaches and its craft markets.


Explore the archaeological ruins of Tulum, built by the ancient Maya facing the Caribbean Sea. This is a perfect place to enjoy an amazing view and learn about the history of one of the most amazing civilizations in history. Visit the Maya jungle and tour a small village known for its traditions, and customs. Finish this expedition with a refreshing swim in the crystalline waters of the cenote of this community.


Enjoy a magical experience of one of the Mayan rituals that for years have been sacred and are still practiced today. Learn about how a small Mayan community lives, as well as their lifestyle and the traditions that they keep in force. Participate in a sacred purification ceremony, the temazcal, a volcanic stone steam bath ideal for cleansing and renewing mind and body. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters of the community cenote, and delight yourself with a simple and delicious gastronomic experience.


Cozumel is sometimes a forgotten destination on your Riviera Maya holiday, but we will say, it is worth a day trip to this island off the mainland. Getting to Cozumel may seem like a chore, but it is far easier than you think. It is a quick ferry ride across the channel between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel Island.  Those looking for a more exciting form of travel can also charter a puddle jumper to Cozumel. 


Navigate through the mangrove route an active ecosystem that houses more than 300 species of birds, crocodiles, dolphins, turtles, fish, and native flora. This journey will lead to the beautiful Mexican Caribbean where visitors can snorkel in one of the best-preserved reefs in the area. Visit Punta Allen, a small fishing village to relax and enjoy the local cuisine. Explore the underwater life of this beautiful reef and an amazing shallow stretch of sand called "La Piscina" and be mesmerized by the low tide and the clarity of the water.


If you’re planning a family vacation in the Riviera Maya, you’re probably overwhelmed by all of the kid-friendly tour options available. No need to stress. When it comes to local activities, there’s one option that everyone will love, and it’s the most famous in the area: Xcaret Park.  Other fun theme parks by Xcaret include Xavage, Xel-Ha, Xoximilco, and Xenses, each providing a unique adventure. 


Make sure your vacation is a success by planning your activities ahead of time.  Contact our team of local experts for more information and details about creating your very own personal itinerary to explore Riviera Maya.