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Cancun

Jamaica

Playa Mujeres

Puerto Vallarta

Punta Cana

Riviera Maya, Mexico
• Azul Beach Resort
• Azul Sensatori (Kids club)
• Azul Sensatori (Resort Grounds)
• Azul Sensatori (Rooms)
• Barcelo Maya Beach/Caribe
• Barcelo Maya Colonial/Tropical
• Barcelo Maya Palace (1 of 2)
• Barcelo Maya Palace (2 of 2)
• El Dorado Maroma
• El Dorado Royale Casita
• El Dorado Royale Spa Resort
• El Dorado Seaside Suites
• Excellence Riviera Cancun
• Gran Puerto Real
• Iberostar Grand Paraiso
• Iberostar Paraiso Beach/del Mar
• Iberostar Paraiso Lindo
• Iberostar Paraiso Maya
• Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal
• Paradisus Rivera Cancun
• Riu Palace Mexico
• Riu Palace Rivera Maya
• Riu Yucatan
• Royal Hideaway
• Royal in Playa del Carmen
• Secrets Capri
• Secrets Maroma
• Secrets Silver Sands

St. Lucia

Choose a Property for Riviera Maya, Mexico (Click any one on the left)
Beach Front Ruins of Tulum

Riviera Maya, Mexico


 

When people think of a vacation involving flying into Cancun a lot of people think about the hotel zone where you have a strip of land that has hotel after hotel. Many do not know that if you go south of the hotel zone you are in a total different vacation destination called the Riviera Maya. The Riviera Maya is one of the most diverse vacation destinations there is. The destination is made up of many different towns and cities. For every type of vacation there is a location, hotel, and tour that would fit the needs of every type of traveler there is.

Tour options in the Riviera Maya are the same as those in Cancun and Playa Mujeres. Most of the tours available to those destinations actually take place in the Riviera Maya. I will go over some of the more popular tours. They include eco-parks, Mayan Ruins, water sports, and high adventure tours. If there are any tours that you want to go on it is better to pre-book with me than to wait till you get there. The contracted rates I have are better than what you can book once you arrive.

1. The two eco-parks are Xel-Ha (www.xel-ha.com "shell ha") and Xcaret (www.xcaret.com "ish care et"). Both had a natural lazy river fed by a cenote (an opening to an underground river). You can snorkel in them or float in a tube. Xel-Ha is more of an aquatic eco-park where as Xcaret is more of a zoo. Entrance into Xel-ha includes your meals, drinks, towels, sunscreen, lockers, inter tube and snorkel gear ($20 per person deposit). Xcaret you have to pay as you go. Both places have a dolphin program. If you want to swim with the dolphins it is best to do that with me as they will most likely be booked up by the time you get there.

2. There are two major Mayan Ruins in the area. Tulum is the most popular to go to because it is the closest. A tour there will take about an hour inside the ruins. May people combine the tour with Xel-ha to make a full day out of it. Chichen-Itza is by far the most famous of the ruins. It is one of the new 7 wonders of the world. It is especially popular on the spring solstice. When the sun rises it lights two sides of the main pyramid perfectly leaving the other two with shade. Going down one of the sides you will see a snake carved into the pyramid. It takes about 2 and a half hours to get to Chichen-Itza. The tour usually includes a stop for shopping. Some tours will include a stop at a cenote. I strongly suggest booking this tour with me as a private tour. When booking it normally you will have to go to many hotels to pick up other people first. This can take an hour. The private tour picks you up and works on your schedule.

3. Water sports are big in every beach destination. In the Riviera Maya, Marina Maroma on Maroma Beach is your one stop shop. They have reef snorkeling tours, jet skis, parasailing, deep sea fishing (private and shared), speed boats, sunset cruises, scuba diving, ATVs, and horseback riding. Again I can prebook these cheaper than what you can book them for once you get there. I also have a tour that includes multiple activities to spend a whole day there.

4. Adventure tours are the final category I will discuss. They include The Mayan Zip line, Mayan Encounter, and Jungle Crossing. Look at www.alltournative.com for detailed info on each of these tours and they have a lot of different things included in each. I have lower prices in my reservation system than what is on their website.

The Riviera Maya consists of a sixty mile stretch from the end of Cancun Hotel Zone to Tulum. In the middle there are a lot of different cities and small towns. Fifteen minutes south of the airport is Puerto Morelos.

Puerto Morelos is an old fishing village with many good hotels surrounding it but not in the town. About 40 minutes to an hour (depending on traffic) south of the airport is Playa del Carmen. Playa del Carmen is the main city in the Riviera Maya. It has everything that any city has. It is most famous for 5th avenue which is a street that is closed to car traffic and is lined with shops, restaurants and bars. Its not like the Cancun Hotel Zone because the clubs and restaurants are much smaller. The city is growing. Every time I visit it is different. Senor Frogs and CocoBongo have moved in but the charm of the city stay the same. There are a lot of resorts in and around Playa del Carmen. A stay in Playa del Carmen is very different from a stay in the hotel zone. It is much more laid back but if you are in search of it there is a lot of excitement to be had. Five minutes south of Playa del Carmen is Playacar. This is basically an upscale suburb of Playa del Carmen. It has a hotel zone that consists of about 10 resorts and a golf course. About an hour to hour and a half (depending on traffic) south of the airport is Puerto Aventuras. This is an area with a couple of resort, a couple of time share properties, a small town area and some upscale homes. Tulum is about an hour and a half to two hours south of the airport. There you will find the ruins and a small town. There are not many resorts there but mostly little hotels with limited rooms and limited services. This area is undergoing a lot of growth. As of December 2008 there is a lot of road construction going on to widen the highway. There are rumors of an airport being built. Look for this to be a major tourist destination in the years to come.

The Riviera Maya has many golf courses. Starting from the north there is a 27 hole course at the Moon Palace. Going 15 minutes south there is the new Cancun Golf and Country Club. 15 minutes south of Puerto Morelos is the Playa Parasio Golf Course located in the Iberostar complex at Playa Paraiso. Just south of Playa del Carmen is the Playacar Golf Course.

Cenotes are a unique characteristic to the landscape of the Yucatan Peninsula. By definition a cenote is a opening to an underground water hole. This water hole is actually an underground river. These were very sacred to the ancient Mayas who used them to get water and more importantly in religious ceremonies. Today they are used to get water and more importantly to the tourist to swim, snorkel and dive in. You can fine these all over the Riviera Maya. Xel-Ha and Xcaret are actually where these rivers meet the Caribbean. If you just want to go cenote hopping I suggest allowing me to reserve a private car for you for a half a day as it will be cheaper than paying a taxi driver to hang out with you all day. You can go to toward Tulum and you will find one right after the other on the side of the road. One popular one is called Hidden Worlds. This is where part of the movie The Caves was filmed. On a private tour to Chichen-Itza it would be advised to stop off at Dzip-nup. After 2 hours or so of walking around the ruins in the baking sun a stop at a cenote on the way home is a perfect way to complete the trip. After taking a dip in these two huge underground natural swimming pools you will feel refreshed as every trip to a cenote does.

Transportation from the airport to your hotel is included with all the packages I sell in Cancun. It is on a shared basis where you will be in either a 10 passenger van or a 55 passenger bus. The vehicle will make no more than three stops. I can upgrade this to non-stop for a small fee. That means it will still be on a shared basis but you will be the first to be dropped off and the last to be picked up. The next upgrade is private which usually is in a Dodge Stratus depending on availability and the size of your party. After that I have Lincoln Towncar limos that seat up to 4 and Lincoln Navigator Limos that seat up to 8. If you are interested in an upgrade please ask me for a price quote.

Finding your transportation can be confusing to some people. I suggest that you print off this section on this page if you are traveling to Cancun. It can make things much easier for you. Upon arrival in Cancun you have to go to immigration, baggage claim, customs and finally security. After you have done this you need to make your way out of the airport. You should not talk to anyone after security until you have fully exited the airport. There are time share people that will promise you the world. Trust me these guys will eat their young to get your money. They may pose as your transportation company. Immediately upon exiting the airport is where the transportation that is included in your package. If anyone offers you a ride inside the airport just keep walking. There is no point in even acknowledging they are there. For the most part I use the following transportation companies in Cancun.

1. If your vacation is booked with Fun Jet Vacations or Spirit Airlines Vacations your transportation is with Lomas Travel. These guys will be holding up a Fun Jet Vacations sign with their logo. They will be wearing a turquoise shirt, white pants, white tie, and white shoes. All the upgrades I mentioned above are with Lomas Travel. If you get a limo then they will be holding a sign with your name on it.

2. If your vacation is booked with Future Vacations or Delta Vacations your transportation is with Best Day Tours. They will be holding a sign that says Best Day. They will be wearing a white shirt and blue pants.

3. If your vacation is booked with GOGO Worldwide Vacations your transportation is with Olympus Tours. They will be holding up a sign that says Best Day and will be wearing an orange shirt.

4. If your vacation is booked with Apple Vacations you will be with none other than Apple Vacations. They will be holding up an Apple Vacations sign. They will be wearing a colorful shirt that has flowers on it.

For more information on this destination please read my description of Cancun and Playa Mujures as they have more information about those areas that may be beneficial to a vacation to the Rivera Maya.

 

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