Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya Travel Guide

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.

An ecological theme park, Xcaret has a plentiful roster of activities and attractions focused on the surrounding natural environment and Mexico's cultural history.

Sure, you could book shiatsu, but this spa’s specialty is heavenly Mayan-inspired treatments. Everyone’s visit begins with an outdoor steam-cleansing ritual using resin from the revered copal tree.