Riviera Maya & Playa del Carmen Things to Do - Mexico Attractions
Riviera Maya Water Sports
The Riviera Maya is a paradise for water sports and at Grand Velas Riviera Maya guests of all ages can delight in the wonders of the crystalline Caribbean waters. Enjoy snorkeling tours of pristine coral reefs in Riviera Maya, Mexico, teeming with tropical fish; scuba dive in some of the world's best dive spots near the Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen; swim in the ocean alongside massive, gentle whale sharks or swim with dolphins in one of many Riviera Maya Mexico all inclusive water parks created especially for you to connect with the area's marine life. Fishing is also popular in the Riviera Maya and Cancun, with swordfish, marlin and sailfish to be caught during the spring fishing season.
Riviera Maya Mexico Eco Park - Adventures for the Entire Family
Did you know? Scientists believe that over 65 million years ago the Yucatan Peninsula and Riviera Maya in Mexico was rocked by an asteroid, which was a large factor in the extinction of the dinosaurs during the Cretaceous period. Over the years, erosion of the mostly-limestone peninsula created a network of sinkholes (locally known as Cenotes), caves, underground rivers, and even underground freshwater lakes. Combined with the gorgeous tropical fauna and flora of the Riviera Maya and the white sands and azure waters of the Mexican Caribbean, these geological wonders fill the Riviera Maya in Mexico with things to do and create an incredible environment for exploring the natural world.
Known as the world's largest natural aquarium, Xel-Ha park in the Riviera Maya near Playa del Carmen is composed of lagoons, inlets and cenotes, at the mouth of the longest underground river in the world. The parks seemingly-infinite number of activities are near Grand Velas Riviera Maya and include observing colorful tropical fish, mangroves, and cenotes, walking on jungle trails, swinging on ropes into crystal pools, riding bikes, chatting with parrots and even swimming with dolphins.
Featuring a beach, lagoon and pools, exhibitions of butterflies and orchids, a Coral Reef Aquarium, cultural sites such as a Mayan Archeological Site, an authentic Mayan Village and a grand variety of animals, Xcaret near Playa del Carmen is a great way to become immersed in the natural wonders and culture of the Riviera Maya. At Xcaret you can also swim with dolphins near your Riviera Maya all inclusive resort.
Indulge your sense of adventure in the Riviera Maya at Xplor, a unique underground world filled with things to do, featuring seven exhilarating circuits to enjoy. Experience zip lines near Playa del Carmen with amazing water landings, exciting rides in amphibious land/water vehicles, underground rafting, mystical caves full of stalactites near and more, all close to Grand Velas Riviera Maya.
Discover a breathtaking underground world near Grand Velas Riviera Maya that hasn't been touched for thousands of years. The partially-submerged Rio Secreto is one of the best things to do in Riviera Maya, and is a protected nature reserve covering over 7.5 miles where you can safely explore the Yucatan Peninsula's best-kept secrets. Observe stunning stalactites, stalagmites, rock formations and crystal-clear fresh waters. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you can't miss!
Explore the Ancient Mayan World in the Riviera Maya, Mexico
Known for their advanced mathematical and astronomical systems, art and spectacular architecture, the Mayas of modern-day Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya, Mexico are also the only known pre-Columbian culture to have a fully-developed written language. The Mayans never disappeared, and sizable populations of Mayan people and their descendants still exist, keeping ancient customs and traditions alive near Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Experience the splendor of the Mayan culture by visiting a Mayan village in Riviera Maya, Mexico and the ruins of ancient Mayan cities and fortresses near Playa del Carmen and Cancun.
Chichen Itza is one of the most famous Mayan sites in Mexico. Approximately 3 hours from Grand Velas Riviera Maya, you'll need to allow a full day to visit them and take photographs of the Pyramid of Kukulkan, a massive structure built to display the Maya calendar, and enjoy the 360° views of the jungle near your Riviera Maya resort.
The Mayan site of Uxmal near the Riviera Maya is known for having ornately carved facades representing great ceremonies in Mexico. Much emphasis at Uxmal was placed on appeasing the rain god Chaac, as the site did not have a cenote or river to provide water. The double-headed jaguar throne at the Governor's Palace at Uxmal is another interesting feature to visit when in Riviera Maya.
Imagine a mystical stone fortress on a bluff overlooking the striking blue expanse of the Mexican Caribbean, a photo opportunity you will not want to miss in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The ancient seaport of Tulum near Playa del Carmen and Cancun monitored the trade route between the Yucatan and Honduras, and remained inhabited long after the arrival of the Spaniards in Mexico. A white-sand beach at the base of the fortress provides an excellent and refreshing resting place to enjoy.
Still swallowed up by the dense jungle of the Riviera Maya, Mexico, Cobá is steadily being excavated and studied by archeologists. Covering approximately 26 miles, its impressive size and imposing ruins near Playa del Carmen are indicative of its status; it was once one of the most important cities in the Mayan civilization. Interesting structures include the Pyramid of the Painted Lintel and the Temple of the Church, and it is easy to visit from many Riviera Maya Mexico all inclusive resorts.
Whether you are looking for Riviera Maya souvenirs, locally-crafted jewelry, unique clothing items from exclusive boutiques or high-end pieces from your favorite designers, Riviera Maya and Cancun have it all. A five-minute ride from Grand Velas Riviera Maya to Playa del Carmen allows you to browse through original artwork, native handicrafts, beautiful jewelry and beach accessories, while a trip from all inclusive resort to Cancun offers you malls like the Kukulkan Shopping Plaza, Plaza la Isla, Flamingo Plaza and Plaza Caracol with hundreds of shops and boutiques, currency exchange, duty-free and jewelry stores galore.
After a long day of sun and sand, the Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen areas offer great venues for going out, having some cocktails, and stepping out onto the dance floor. Visit places like Di Vino Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar or Pure, a nightclub with international and Latin music in Playa del Carmen. Or, leave your Riviera Maya all inclusive resort and experience the legendary nightlife of Cancun with a visit to a super-club like Coco Bongo, The City and The Bulldog.
Riviera Maya Jazz Festival
The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival presents you with the incredible sounds and vibrant voices of jazz near Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen. Having become the great musical event of the destination, it has showcased the talents of legends and Grammy winners like George Duke, Four Play, Sergio Mendes, Herbie Hancock, Ivan Lins, David Sanborn, Earl Klugh, Armando Manzanero and Sacbe, who have graced Playa Mamitas and captured the hearts of music lovers far and wide. This three-day event takes Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya, Mexico by storm every fall. Come and join us!