In Mexico, the Yucatán Peninsula's Caribbean Coast stretches from Cancún to the border of Belize. The 80-mile slice from Tulum to the Punta Allen peninsula is known as the Riviera Maya. Here, travel is all about the turquoise sea that laps at spits of powder-find sand, but you'd be remiss not to set aside time to explore the ancient remnants of the region's Mayan civilizations, too.
Things Not to Miss on the Riviera Maya
You'll likely spend most of your vacation hanging out on the beach or playing in the surf, but for a dose of culture, turn to this Riviera Maya travel guide. Here are some regional highlights:
• The scuba diving cavern Cenote Dos Ojos
• The ecological center of Centro Ecológico Akumal
• The Xibalba Dive Center
• The Punta Venado Caribbean Eco-Park
• The Alma Libre bookstore
• The caves at Xel-Há park
When to Visit the Riviera Maya
Travel to the Riviera Maya requires careful planning. The rainy season begins in May and continues into November; on average, the region receives almost five feet of rainfall each year. Fortunately, the really severe tropical storms and hurricanes tend to hit the other side of the Yucatán Peninsula. The dry season begins in late November and ends in February, making this season the best time to visit the Riviera Maya. Avoid Riviera Maya travel from March through May, however - the heat and humidity are oppressive.