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Cancún + The Riviera Maya Travel Guide

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Photo: Morgan & Owens

Photo: Morgan & Owens

Photo: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

Photo: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

Photo: Courtesy of Selvatica

Photo: Morgan & Owens

Photo: Morgan & Owens

Photo: Morgan & Owens

Photo: Morgan & Owens

Photo: Morgan & Owens

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Like sequins on a dress of powder-fine sand, the Riviera Maya’s resorts dot 80 coast-skimming miles of the Yucatán Peninsula, topped by the showiest sparkler of all—Cancún, glittering brazenly on a flat limestone slab that divides the Gulf of Mexico and the turquoise-blue Caribbean Sea. The draw has always been the region’s natural assets—that sky, those waves—but don’t mistake this 40-year-old for a city with no heritage. Remnants of Mayan civilizations endure, as does the tranquillity of the Riviera Maya’s fishing villages, thanks to restrained development policies. The result: a rare, near perfect balance of comfort and traditional simplicity, at least for now.

Don't Miss

  • Climbing Cobá’s 1,500-year-old Nohuch Mul, the Yucatán’s tallest pyramid.

  • Donning a sleep mask and delving into altered states during the Awakening of the Senses ritual at Maya Spa.

  • Rappelling into a cenote, a subterranean pool of temperate water.

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