The Grand Mayan

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Riviera Maya – Area Attractions

Riviera Maya - Area Attractions - Ocean View from Pool Cabana

Ocean View from Pool Cabana

Characteristic of the Riviera Maya region is gorgeous scenery and an ecosystem overwhelming in its variety. Forests, jungles, archaeological zones, and beautiful beaches bordering crystal-clear turquoise waters.

The ancient Mayan Civilization grew in the Riviera Maya, which is bordered by the magnificent Caribbean, and intoxicates with its delightful tropical climate. The Riviera Maya is an 81 miles long strip of solitary beaches and modern architectural complexes of hotels, marinas, golf courses, restaurants and other tourist attractions.

Many tropical jungles flourish on the region’s flat land with its beaches of soft and fine white sand, and its topography is characterized by coves, bays, and mangroves of incomparable beauty.
Lagoons and sink water holes (cenotes) of great beauty can be found surrounded by the intense green of the Riviera’s vegetation. Most of the Maya settled precisely around these cenotes (bodies of fresh water pools), that were used for sacred rituals.

Playa del Carmen, once a quiet fishing village, is now home to internationally renowned hotels. The main ecological reserve of the zone, Sian Ka’an, habitat of a rich flora and fauna, is located nearby. Perhaps the most important characteristic of this tourist destination is its diversity: a choice of adventure sports, golf, tennis, treks through the jungle on foot or horse, water sports, sailing and boating, as well as touring the indescribable cultural and archaeological vestiges, legacy of the Maya world.

One of the most popular activities is skin-diving, for the Great Maya Reef, the second largest in the world, is located here. Also, different areas of the Riviera Maya, such as Tulum or Xcacel and Xcacelito, were declared “Marine Turtle Sanctuaries” in 1988, where a variety of species may be observed at close range.

The outstanding archaeological zone of the Riviera Maya is Cobá, located 25 miles from Tulum, right in the jungle and surrounded by lakes. In its time, it was considered the southern capital of the Maya empire. Tulum, a walled city situated on a cliff overlooking the sea, is one of the most important historical sites on the Riviera Maya. A thousand years ago, Tulum, together with Xcaret, was important as one of the busiest commercial centers of the Maya, with magnificent buildings and a main plaza used for ceremonies and rituals.

But perhaps the most beautiful of all these places is Xel-Ha, whose strategic position made it a haven for boats, a commercial center, a gathering place and refuge for sailors dating from pre-hispanic times. As do all other archaeological zones, Xel-Ha has a great number of ruins, although it is thought that most of them are covered over.

At night, a visit to the most popular spots with disco and salsa music in downtown Cancun or Playa del Carmen is recommended. A mixture of cultures may be enjoyed every evening by visitors from around the world.

If you prefer, ask at Mexican Travel about more exciting places to visit on the Riviera Maya.