Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya Travel Guide

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.

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.

Snap up beach reads, bestsellers, classics, tomes on Maya culture, and local guidebooks and maps—the largest selection of (mostly used) English-language books in the Yucatán—at this inviting warren of overflowing wooden bookshelves reminiscent of a college-campus hangout.

Where It Is: The limestone bedrock that underlies Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is pocked with freshwater-filled sinkholes called cenotes. For divers, one of the best known is the 48-foot-deep Cenote Taj Maja, just south of the Caribbean coastal town of Playa del Carmen.

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.

The tour takes small groups on snorkeling trips to lesser-known underground rivers like the recently opened Kin-ha.

Tangle with a snake, feed a peccary, walk through a crocodile den, and be accosted by an affectionate spider monkey at this 150-acre nature reserve, home to reptiles and mammals indigenous to the Yucatán, all rescued from the wild or from illegal owners.

Cozumel is a duty-free shopping zone. The collection of luxury products found in this enormous store runs the gamut from perfumes and Baume & Mercier watches to Montblanc pens, and even includes a Lacoste boutique.

Modest compared with those on the Yucatán peninsula, Cozumel's Mayan ruins are still distinct. San Gervasio, in the interior, was occupied by the Maya for more than 1,300 years and served as a trading hub as well as the worship center for the goddess Ixchel.