Cancún + The Riviera Maya

Cancún + The Riviera Maya Travel Guide

Jaguars, ocelots, and tapirs, as well as hundreds of species of birds and fish, roam these 1.3 million acres of coastal jungle, home to nearly every Yucatán ecosystem and studded with unexcavated ruins.

Mexico is famous for its silver, and the most celebrated craftsmanship still comes from the town of Taxco, near Mexico City. One of Taxco's most famous design houses, Los Castillos, creates the majority of the products for sale at this shop, from earrings to anklets and everything in between.

This ever-popular thatched-roof beach bar is located on the less-frequented eastern half of the island. Take note: it's only open in daylight hours (there's no electricity on this side of Cozumel).

A mix of guided jungle and water activities are offered at this park in an up-close, jungle environment. Water activities are focused on snorkeling and diving in the cenotes—underground pools and waterways common in the area.

With its passionate guides and open-ocean enclosures, Dolphin Discovery is the best of several companies in Mexico offering swims with dolphins. Under a guide’s tutelage from afar, you’ll hang onto fins for a ride, practice hands-free waterskiing—and collect a kiss.

Get your fix of Mayan criollo chocolate—bitter and complex, with hints of fruit, smoke, and vanilla, a “food of the gods” that’s exponentially richer than the forastero cacao used in 90 percent of blends.

Located at the beachfront Azul Sensatori Hotel, this 14,000-square-foot spa provides a variety of treatments in a Zen-inspired environment, decorated with skylights, fountains, and handcrafted tile mosaics.

The bar and restaurant on the ninth floor of the new Hotel Wynston has panoramic views of the harbor, the town center, and the sea. In addition to the usual spirits, the bar stocks an extensive wine list to complement the restaurant's Mediterranean-Asian–fusion menu.

The 11th-century walled city's 15 pyramids are illuminated in shades of red, blue, and amber for 45-minute nighttime tours.

Divers shouldn’t miss an excursion to see the first phase of artist Jason de Caires Taylor’s underwater sculptures series, a collection of 400 sunken works off the Caribbean coast.

Try to nab a couch in front of the aquarium wall—a dramatic backdrop to lantern-lit cabanas and dining palapas rising from a lagoon on stilts.

Many cenotes—sinkholes in the subterranean rivers that riddle the Yucatán—are either limited to divers or overrun with crowds, but not this 15-by-130-foot pool, fringed with fan palms on a rocky bluff.