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Frequently Asked Questions

Q
Are Cancun and Riviera Maya the same thing?
A Cancun and Riviera Maya are both located in the Mexican Caribbean but they are not the same thing. Cancun is a city with 2 distinct areas: the traditional downtown and the Hotel Zone, which is the coastal area with luxury hotels, nightclubs, shops and restaurants. Riviera Maya is a touristic zone or a corridor with luxury hotels and resorts. It is also well-known for hosting Playa del Carmen, a city attached to the most typical traditions and architecture of Mexico, as well as an environment in harmony with nature. Grand Velas Riviera Maya is one of these luxury resorts located in the Riviera Maya.
Q
Is it safe to go to Riviera Maya, Mexico?
A Cancun and Riviera Maya are a few of Mexico's most sought-after destinations for unforgettable vacations. The Riviera Maya region and Cancun are dedicated to the safety and security of tourists and locals alike. The area is known for the warm, Mexican hospitality and friendly service. Safety is another thing that both Cancun and Riviera Maya are known for and when you book with Grand Velas Riviera Maya, you can relax and enjoy a gorgeous Caribbean vacation without worry.
Q
When is the rainy season in Riviera Maya?
A The rainy season in Riviera Maya is from June to November, however it's not uncommon for the area to receive a few light showers throughout the year.
Q
Are Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen the same?
A Many people ask if the Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen are the same thing, and the best answer is to say that Playa del Carmen is a city and Riviera Maya is the region where Playa del Carmen is located. Riviera Maya is home to many beautiful and touristic destinations but Playa del Carmen is the largest city that you'll find in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico.
Q
When is hurricane season in Riviera Maya, Mexico?
A Mexico's hurricane season is typically from June 1 - November 30, however it's rare for hurricanes to make landfall in Riviera Maya, Mexico. 
Q
How far is the airport from Riviera Maya?
A The Cancun International Airport (CUN) is just a 45-minute drive away from Riviera Maya. The airport offers an array of rental options and certified taxis for you to travel feeling safe at all times. For your convenience, your Personal Concierge can help you with any arrangement to schedule this service with extra cost, for you. Please feel free to write to: conciergerm@velasresorts.com or call at: +52 (984) 877 4400.
Q
What are non touristy things to do in Playa del Carmen?
A One of the beautiful things about Playa del Carmen is the mix of locals and tourists. It's interesting to know that the locals enjoy many of the same places as the people who travel to Playa del Carmen for vacation. The locals in this area love to grab a folding chair and lounge on the beach under the Caribbean sun. They love swimming and snorkeling beside the gorgeous reefs and wildlife or visiting the small towns of Tulum and Akumal just outside of Playa, where there is a relaxed vibe and opportunities to snorkel beside sea turtles. There are several ways to soothe the soul and experience holistic wellness in Playa including yoga classes and the unique experience of a traditional Temazcal ceremony led by a Mayan shaman. There are so many things to enjoy "off the beaten path" that all you need to do is walk past the chain restaurants to enjoy something a little more quaint and authentic.
Q
What are the best Playa del Carmen tours?
A Playa del Carmen offers numerous eco-tours and attractions for on your next trip to Riviera Maya! The top attractions and best tours that you'll find in Playa del Carmen include 4x4 ATV tours through the lush jungle, swimming or snorkeling in the crystal-clear Caribbean ocean alongside the vibrant sea life, and the famous snorkeling tours inside the cenotes (underwater caves). Some cenotes are open-air and some are located deep within majestic caves with rock formations to swim beside.
Q
What are the best things to do in Playa del Carmen at night?
A Playa del Carmen offers a fantastic nightlife scene that is a little more mellow than Cancun clubs. There are a strip of clubs along 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, but if you're looking for something a little different to do at night in Playa, you'll also find an array of options that include art classes, art walks, a beautiful Teatro De La Ciudad with live performances, wine tastings, live music, cooking classes and the famous Cirque du Soleil Joya has a permanent location in Riviera Maya. Whether you want a night on the town, a live show, or a cultural adventure, there are plenty of things to do at night in Playa del Carmen.
Q
What are some things to do in Playa del Carmen on 5th Avenue?
A A popular shopping and dining destination in downtown Playa Del Carmen, 5th Avenue begins by the Cozumel Ferry Pier on the south end of town. 5th Avenue spans about 22 blocks and is the primary place to walk and enjoy Playa del Carmen. You'll find many restaurants and places to eat, souvenir shops, clothing stores, local and chain department stores, jewelry stores, and street vendors and artisans.
Q
Where is the nightlife in Playa del Carmen?
A Playa del Carmen has a thriving nightlife scene that's a little calmer than Cancun, but still one of the best destinations in Mexico for a night out. Most of the clubs are located on 10th or 12th streets in downtown Playa del Carmen. There's everything from relaxed jazz clubs to techno dance clubs and even relaxed hookah bars with couches to enjoy people watching.
Q
Where can I go shopping in Playa del Carmen?
A Most tourists begin shopping on 5th Avenue (or "Quinta Avenida" in Spanish), the main pedestrian street that is parallel to the beach and stretches out across 22 downtown city blocks. This avenue is an attraction in and of itself with its shops, restaurants, bars and tourist attractions. Souvenirs are a must when shopping in Playa Del Carmen, and on 5th Avenue there are several choices. You can find t-shirts, tequila, and Mexican sombreros in local shops, as well as department stores, handmade jewelry, locally made art, and high quality artisans selling their handicrafts and clothing.
Q
What is the Riviera Maya known for?
A The Riviera Maya region is known for (and named after) the ancient underground rivers still flow under this region of Mexico to this day. These interconnected waterways and underground caves were considered sacred to the ancient Maya people and can still be enjoyed today. One of the most popular things to do in Riviera Maya is swim in a cenote, which is a small pool where the underground rivers meet. Sometimes the cenotes are open and sometimes they are located inside beautiful caves and caverns. We invite you to visit a cenote on your next visit!
Q
What is the best beach on Riviera Maya?
A There are countless beaches in Riviera Maya, each offering their own array of charms! Maroma Beach, located just 10 minutes north of Playa del Carmen, is renowned as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world by Discovery Travel and Living. It's the perfect place to take breathtaking beach photography or simply kick back and relax in the sun. You may also want to visit the famous Akumal Bay. Akumal means "land of the turtles" and it lives up to its name. This is a favored spot for large sea turtles to lay their eggs and the perfect beach for snorkeling beside the sea turtles. For a more cultural beach, you can't miss Tulum's Paraiso Beach. Located a few minutes from the Maya ruins, the calm Caribbean waves, soft sand and relaxed vibe set the stage for an unforgettable beach day.
Q
How to get to Riviera Maya, Mexico?
A Being a renowned international destination, Riviera Maya is easily accessible via air travel. Many important cities in the US and Canada feature direct flights, such as Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Miami and New York; Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary, and recently new flights from Portugal, France, Spain and Germany added to the list. Most international flights to the Riviera Maya land at Cancun's international airport, the second largest in Mexico. Once in land, we recommend having your Personal Concierge at Grand Velas Riviera Maya arranging a VIP taxi service for you, at an extra cost. Please feel free to write to: conciergerm@velasresorts.com or call at: +52 (984) 877 4400.
Q
What are some good places to stay in Riviera Maya?
A There are a variety of all-inclusive resorts to choose from in this breathtaking region of Riviera Maya. Grand Velas Riviera Maya is among the best hotels in Riviera Maya for its unparalleled standard of quality and the warm, Mexican hospitality that they've come to be known for. Luxury is found in the subtleties and the exclusivity of a resort that not only embraces the natural beauty of the Maya jungles but also includes a jaw-dropping stretch of Caribbean coastline with soft-sand beaches and a relaxed vacation vibe.
Q
What are the main reasons for visiting the Riviera Maya?
A There are numerous reasons that people flock to Riviera Maya each year, of course, one of the primary reasons is to escape the cold and enjoy the beautiful tropical atmosphere and laid back beach vibes, but there is so much more to the Riviera Maya than the 88 miles of breathtaking Mexican beaches and coastline. Riviera Maya is also home to some of the most fascinating wonders of the ancient Maya world including the ruins of Tulum, the tall pyramids of Chichen Itza and Coba and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere - one of Mexico's most impressive natural wonders! The Riviera Maya is also home to delicious Mexican cuisine, a thriving nightlife and great shopping. From eco-tours to a night on the town to lazy days on the beach, Riviera Maya is a beautiful destination to visit.
Q
How much does a taxi cost in Yucatan and Quintana Roo, Mexico?
A Taxis in Quintana Roo (Riviera Maya) cost approximately $30 Mexican pesos per kilometer (approx $1.50 USD). However the fare may vary based on time of day, daily tolls or available routes.
Q
What does it feel like to experience Chichen Itza in Mexico?
A Visiting the ancient Maya ruins at Chichen Itza is like taking a step back in time. This is one of the largest archeological sites that tourists can visit in Mexico and the grounds are spread out over 4 square miles, so you'll want to take as much time as possible to truly take in the whole experience and walk the grounds to each site in the area. There are 2 ancient cenotes where the underground rivers have joined to create a fresh water pool. The towering pyramids create dramatic photos at any time of day. We recommend taking a guided tour and buying an informational map of the site so you understand the nuances of the ancient Maya civilization.
Q
What ruins are near the Riviera Maya?
A Riviera Maya has roots that run deep as well as a rich and mysterious history. Some of the most well known ruins in Mexico reside in the region, including the ancient city of Tulum, the towering pyramids at Chichen Itza and Coba as well as Muyil, nestled deep within the breathtaking Sian Ka'an Biosphere. Each one is unique and a must-see on your next visit!
Q
Do you personally consider expensive trips waste of money?
A Every traveller has different expectations for their best vacation. Some people enjoy vacationing on a dime and enjoying the culture and others enjoy the subtleties and nuances that accompany luxury vacations. When you travel to Riviera Maya the Grand Velas Riviera Maya is a wonderful option for enjoying the curated luxuries that visitors enjoy on their vacation in Mexico.
Q
What are the best places to visit in Playa del Carmen, Mexico?
A There are countless things to do in the Riviera Maya region, home to 88 miles of breathtaking Caribbean coastline and beaches as well as numerous towns and cities and ancient archaeological sites, Riviera Maya truly has something for every type of traveler. Visit some of the most fascinating wonders of the ancient Maya world like the ruins of Tulum, Coba or Chichen Itza or visit a Cenote - one of the natural freshwater pools that are connected by a series of underground rivers and waterways. You'll also find great shopping and delectable Mexican cuisine in Riviera Maya to fill you up for full days of eco-tours and adventure, or simply a quiet day on the beach under the tropical sun.
Q
What's the weather in Riviera Maya, Mexico?
A The weather in the Riviera Maya is divided into the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season is from May to October each year with the average temperatures reaching 82°F (28°C). This wetter season also sees the highest average temperatures for the year. The dry season is considered the months from November to April and the average temperature is at 75°F (24°C). The coldest month is January at 73°F (23°C) and the month with the most rainfall is September with an average of approximately 10 inches of rain. The best month for swimming in the ocean is in August (during the rainy season) when the water temperature is the warmest at 29°C (84°F).
Q
What is the Riviera Maya?
A

Riviera Maya is a beautiful coastal region of Mexico located on the Yucatan Peninsula, just south of Cancun that is home to popular tourist towns including Playa del Carmen. The Riviera Maya spans more than 88 miles (133 kilometers) of gorgeous Caribbean Sea coastline, dotted with white sand beaches  ancient Mayan ruins, and the cities of Puerto Morelos, Tulum, Puerto Aventuras, Xpu-Ha, Akumal, Soliman's Bay, Tank Ha Bay, and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere.

Q
What is Riviera Maya Mexico?
A Riviera Maya is a region of Mexico located on the Yucatan peninsula just south of Cancun. It's named after the large system of ancient rivers that run underground in the region and it's also home to several popular tourist cities and towns including Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Puerto Morelos, and Puerto Aventuras. Riviera Maya stretches along more than 88 miles (133 kilometers) of breathtaking Caribbean beach coastline.
Q
What is Riviera Maya Cancun?
A Riviera Maya is a region of Mexico located on the Yucatan peninsula just south of Cancun. It's named after the large system of ancient rivers that run underground in the region and it's also home to several popular tourist cities and towns including Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Puerto Morelos, and Puerto Aventuras. Riviera Maya stretches along more than 88 miles (133 kilometers) of breathtaking Caribbean beach coastline.
Q
What to do in Riviera Maya?
A Riviera Maya has a variety of things to do from eco-tour activities to sea adventures, scuba diving and snorkeling to a thriving nightlife for those who want to dance the night away on a fantastic vacation in Mexico. Riviera Maya delivers the whole package for visitors, from the historical archeological sites like Tulum, Coba and Chichen Itza to the modern areas of downtown Cancun and 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen - there is an adventure awaiting every type of traveler!
Q
What time is it in Riviera Maya?
A Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Cancun are all on Eastern Standard Time (EST) which is the aligns with the time zones for New York, Miami and 8 different Canadian airports.
Q
What animals are in Riviera Maya?
A Riviera Maya is home to a breathtaking array of tropical birds, lizards and small mammals. Some of the species you might encounter on your next trip to Riviera Maya are parrots, iguanas, geckos, coati, as well as horses and donkeys. In the ocean, you'll find many types of tropical fish, rays and even sea turtles, wild dolphins, and if you visit between June to September, you can have the opportunity to swim with the gentle giants of the ocean - the whale sharks - during their migration.
Q
Where is Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen?
A Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen are located on the east coast of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula, just south of Cancun, Mexico.
Q
Do you prefer Playa del Carmen over Cancun?
A This is a common question as Cancun and Riviera Maya are often mentioned together. The difference is that Cancun is a large city and Riviera Maya is not a city at all, but a region, that is slightly south of Cancun. The city of Cancun is situated outside of the Riviera Maya region. The cities that are inside Riviera Maya include Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras, Xpu-Ha, Akumal, Soliman's Bay, Tank Ha Bay, and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere. Riviera Maya covers over 88 miles (133 kilometers) of beach coastline.
Q
Is Riviera Maya in mexico?
A Yes, Riviera Maya is in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
Q
Where's Riviera Maya?
A Riviera Maya is a tourist destination along the Caribbean coastline, in the state of Quintana Roo.
Q
Is Riviera Maya safe?
A As a prestigious tourist destination in Mexico, Riviera Maya is one of the safest places to visit.
Q
What to do in Riviera Maya?
A There are countless things to do in Riviera Maya: snorkel in a coral reef, go scuba diving in an underground river, explore the marvels of an eco-park, enjoy horseback riding in the jungle, swim in a cenote, soak up the sun on the beach, and delight in cochinita pibil tacos.
Q
Is Riviera Maya in Cancun?
A Riviera Maya is a region to the south of Cancun, both destinations are located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Q
Is Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen?
A Playa del Carmen is located in the Riviera Maya area, along the Caribbean coast of Mexico.
Q
Is Riviera Maya safe to travel?
A Absolutely! There are no current travel restrictions to visit Cancun and Riviera Maya, which are two of Mexico's most popular beach destinations.
Q
What ocean is Riviera Maya on?
A Riviera Maya is located along the turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea.
Q
What airport is close to Riviera Maya?
A The Cancun International Airport is the closest to Riviera Maya, which is located 20-60 minutes away, depending on where you go.
Q
When is hurricane season in Riviera Maya?
A Hurricane season starts in June and ends in late October.
Q
What to do in Playa del Carmen?
A If looking for incredible things to do in Playa del Carmen, we recommend you to explore the colorful Fifth Avenue, enjoy sunbathing on the beach, delight in a margarita at Playa Mamitas, take a ferry to the Cozumel island, have fun at Xcaret eco-park, dance all night long by the nightlife area (Calle 12), and swim in Cenote Cristalino.
Q
Is Playa del Carmen safe?
A Playa del Carmen is definitely a safe destination. Given that there is not travel restriction, this tropical wonder offers a relaxing vacation for you and your family.
Q
How far is Playa del Carmen from Cancun?
A The distance between Playa del Carmen and Cancun is 63 km or 70 minutes.
Q
Where to stay in Playa del Carmen?
A There are very different options to stay in Playa del Carmen, from a hostal to a luxury resort. If you are looking for an unforgettable getaway with your family, Grand Velas Riviera Riviera Maya is always the best option. Featuing +1000 sq. ft. suites with jungle or ocean views, haute cuisine in a wide variety of restaurants, Kids' and Teens' Clubs, a Forbes 5-starred Spa, activities for all ages, and personalized service, this luxurious resort located in the heart of Riviera Maya will amaze each of your senses.
Q
What airport is near Playa del Carmen?
A The Cancun International Airport is the closest to Playa del Carmen. The distance between both destinations is 45 minutes.
Q
Is Playa del Carmen in Cancun?
A Playa del Carmen is 60 minutes south of downtown Cancun.
Q
Is Playa del Carmen in Riviera Maya?
A Certainly! Playa del Carmen is one of the most popular tropical treasures in Riviera Maya.
Q
How is Playa del Carmen?
A This tropical wonder is a picturesque town with a hippy atmosphere, embraced by exotic jungle vegetation and turquoise color waters.
Q
How to get Playa del Carmen from Cancun?
A There are six options to get Playa del Carmen from the Cancun airport or downtown: Colectivo (shared van), ADO buses, taxi, private shuttle, resort pick-up, and rental car.
Q
Is Playa del Carmen in Cozumel?
A Playa del Carmen is 45 minutes by ferry from Cozumel.
Q
What airport is Playa del Carmen near?
A The Cancun International Airport is the nearest. It is a 45-minute drive from Playa del Carmen.
Q
What's in Playa del Carmen Mexico?
A Playa del Carmen is full of tropical treasures; exotic vegetation, white sandy beaches with turquoise waters, picture-postcard hotels, luxury All-Inclusive resorts, eco-parks, cenotes, underground rivers, and much more.
Q
Is it safe to rent a car in Riviera Maya?
A Absolutely! There are a number of trusted car rental agencies in Cancun and Riviera Maya.
Q
What is the weather in Riviera Maya?
A Rainy season runs from September to November, and dry season from January to August. Weather in Riviera Maya ranges between 14°C (57°F) and 32°C (90°F).
Q
What is the weather in Riviera Maya in January?
A The weather in Riviera Maya in January ranges between 14°C (57°F) and 24°C (75°F).
Q
What is the weather like in Riviera Maya Mexico?
A The Riviera Maya weather is usually warm all year round. Daily temperatures range from 14°C (57°F) to 32°C (90°F), depending on the season.
Q
What is the weather like in Riviera Maya in November?
A The average temperature in November ranges between 23°C (73°F) and 29°C (84°F).
Q
What is the weather in Riviera Maya in October?
A October tends to be the last month of the rainy season. The average temperature ranges between 23°C (73°F) and 29°C (84°F).
Q
What is the weather in Riviera Maya Mexico?
A Riviera Maya daily temperatures range from 14°C (57°F) to 32°C (90°F).
Q
What is the weather like in Riviera Maya in December?
A The weather in Riviera Maya in December is great for travelers looking to escape the cold. Daily temperatures range from 21°C (70°F) and 28°C (82°F).
Q
What time zone is Riviera Maya Mexico?
A The time zone in Riviera Maya is Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Q
When is the best time to go to Riviera Maya?
A It depends on your preferences. If you seek to escape the chilly winds of your country, December-February is the right option as the temperature ranges between 14°C (57°F) and 24°C (75°F). But if you prefer warmer temperatures, April-August is the perfect choice.
Q
When is the best time to visit Riviera Maya Mexico?
A It's important to consider that the dry season starts in late December and ends in June, which makes it the ideal time to visit Riviera Maya.
Q
How far is Riviera Maya from Playa del Carmen?
A Playa del Carmen is located in Riviera Maya, 60 minutes south from Cancun and 40 minutes north from Tulum.
Q
How far is Playa del Carmen from Riviera Maya?
A Playa del Carmen is in the Riviera Maya area, 45 minutes from the Cancun International Airport.
Q
Is Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen the same?
A Absolutely! Riviera Maya is a resort area that straddles from Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum to the Sian Ka´an reserve.
Q
What is there to do in Riviera Maya?
A There is so much to do in Riviera Maya. You can snorkel alongside colorful fish species, swim with turtles in Akumal, have fun at Xplor natural park, marvel at the Tulum archaeological site, visit La Ruta de Los Cenotes, take a stroll on the Fifth Avenue, explore the 30 Museum of Wonders, and visit the Frida Kahlo museum.
Q
Are there sharks in Riviera Maya?
A You will only find docile bull and whale sharks. So you don't have to worry about dangerous shark species.
Q
What is the best month to visit Riviera Maya?
A You can visit Riviera Maya anytime, but it depends of your weather preferences. If want to avoid the rainy season, we recommend you to come from December to June. But if you seek to escape the cold temperatures of your country, January and February are the best options.
Q
How long does it take to get to Playa del Carmen from the airport?
A Playa del Carmen is located 35 km south of Cancun International Airport (CUN), which is approximately a 45 minute to one-hour car ride.
Q
How long does it take to get to Playa Del Carmen from Grand Velas Riviera Maya?
A Grand Velas Riviera Maya is just 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen, a quick drive southwest along Carr. Tulum - Cancún/México 307 highway.
Q
How long does it take to get to Cancun from Grand Velas Riviera Maya?
A Cancun is one hour north of Grand Velas Riviera Maya via Carr. Tulum - Cancún/México 307 highway. If renting a car, the drive is easy and quite beautiful with scenic vistas along the way.
Q
What are the transportation options for going to the airport, Playa del Carmen and Cancun?
A If your plan does not include transportation provided by the resort, you may take a taxi or rent a car right to the Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Some buses run to Cancun, and your Concierge is available to schedule transportation or taxi pickup at any time, as well as help with car rentals.
Q
How can I get to the beach in Playe Del Carmen?
A Depending on which Ambiance you're staying in at Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort, there are a few options. To get to the beach from the Zen Grand ambiance, our complimentary transportation is available 24 hours a day; the ride takes just 2-3 minutes. The Ambassador ambiance overlooks the beach, and you can walk from the suites to the sand. The Grand Class Ambiance is situated directly on the beach for an even more decadent stay.
Q
What airlines fly to Riviera Maya, Mexico?
A

Most major airline carriers fly into Cancun International Airport (CUN) this airport serves international arrivals and departures for the entire region stretching from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Xel-ha and Tulum or Cozumel Airport (CZM) from across the globe. The most common are Delta, American Airlines, United, Aeromexico, JetBlue, and Spirit. Select your dates to see which carrier best works for you.

Q
Which airport is close to Riviera Maya?
A Depending on where you are flying from, you could fly into Cozumel (CZM) or Cancun International Airport (CUN) which tends to be the most common.
Q
Do I need to rent a car to get around? Where can I rent a car from?
A Since there are so many unusual places to check out in the Riviera Maya and the surrounding areas, guests find it easy to rent a car while in town. There are numerous car rental agencies at the Cancun Airport and in town. Our hotel concierge will be happy to assist you in making your rental car arrangements right from our resort. Some of the standard rental companies include Alamo, Avis, Enterprise, BBB Rent-a-Car, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, and National. Typically, renting a car in Mexico is generally more expensive than in the States, but is probably cheaper than taking taxies everywhere. To rent a car, you need a valid driver's license, credit card, and must be at least 25 years old.
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