The Riviera Maya is known for its pristine beaches and luxurious resorts, but it also offers amazing hiking spots and plenty of opportunities for adventure. Here are five reasons to visit.
Hiking and swimming in Tulum. Tulum is chock full of cenotes, which are nature’s swimming pools. You can go swimming there and explore the area’s underground caves. The Grand Cenote is one of the most well-known of the area’s cenotes. If you prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of hikes, especially in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. You’ll see a variety of topography in this UNESCO World Heritage spot including forests, savannas, mangroves, coastal and marine habitats, and 70 miles of coastal reefs.
Snorkel with the whale sharks. It may seem daunting swimming with the largest fish in the world, but these gentle giants, which can measure over 32 feet long, are amazingly sweet. The sharks gather in the warm waters of the Caribbean north of Riveria Maya and snorkelers and divers can join their world for a few hours. It’s hard to beat the exhilaration you’ll feel encountering these massive aquatic creatures.
Visit the ruins at Coba. Skip the crowds that hit Chichén Itza and instead head to another set of Mayan ruins, this one smack dab in the middle of the jungle. (As an added bonus, unlike Chichén Itza, you can climb Coba’s pyramid.) You can bike or walk around the grounds. For those adventurous spirits, plan to hike up the Nohuch Mul pyramid at Coba. It’s no small feat, as it’s the tallest Mayan structure in the Yucatan and the steps are uneven and wobbly (there’s a rope for assistance), but the view from the top is amazing.
Explore the Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya. Nestled in the heart of Riviera Maya, this gem of a property offers plenty of active adventure. Take advantage of several recreational activities for the whole family including exploring the resort’s nature trails on foot or bikes, taking scenic boat tours through crystal clear canals, and enjoying the spectacular views from the renowned El Camaleón golf course. There’s added fun for kids at the resort’s Discovery Club & Adventure Camp, which offers dynamic, cultural, and educational activities to spark the creativity of even its youngest campers. Kids 4 to 12 can enjoy epic adventures in the sacred Mayan jungle and learn about the country’s natural and cultural wonders, with the guidance of Iggi the iguana, Chamu the monkey and Balam the jaguar.
Swimming with dolphins, and interacting with other sea life including manatees, is a great way to get families involved first-hand in conservation. Dolphin Discovery, the largest company of its kind, has locations throughout Mexico including the Riviera Maya, and the goal of the program is conservation and education, through fun animal interactions. You’ll learn all about these magical mammals by getting in the water with them, plus you’ll help fund research projects to protect them.
What are your favorite adventures in Riviera Maya? Let us know in the comments!