Hugging the pristine Caribbean coastline of Western Yucatan Peninsula for nearly 130km, the beautiful Riviera Maya presents itself as one of the premiere destination regions in all of Mexico! Blessed with a perfect blend of history, glamor, and accessibility, Riviera Maya is home to ancient Mayan ruins, incomparable shopping, world-class dining, amazing accommodations and endless adventure! This fascinating region encompasses some of the most enticing destinations throughout Mexico, including Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Akumal.
La Pesca, Avenida 30, near Constituyentes, across from the Mega grocery store. Arguably the best seafood in Playa del Carmen. Reasonable prices, awesome food. Try the cazuela de camaron. Open every day until 9PM (but if you get there before 9, you'll still be served with a smile).
Ah Cacao Chocolate Caf
Ah Cacao Chocolate Caf
Babes Noodles and Bar
Very popular restaurant bar serving Thai-style noodles, loud music, and lots of beer. Two locations: Calle 10 between 5th and 10th, and 5th Ave. between calle 26 and 28.
Calle 1 Sur between 15th and 20th Avenidas, well off the tourist strip of the Quinta Avenida. This butcher/restaurant is almost impossible to find without a recommendation. The arrachera nacional is so tender it almost melts in your mouth. The meat is served simply with a foil wrapped potato and half of an avocado. If you are looking for something a little different, but truly delicious, try HC. With prices around 80 pesos a person, make sure to get there early, they are open until only 7pm.
Ileana's Il Piscadore
Located on the North end of Playa, a newly renamed Italian Restaurant that is a must on any visit to Playa. The Owner, a lady originally from Italy, is entertaining, charming and readily introduced us to her mother and neice. (Guess it is a family restaurant.) The Calamari is among the best I ever ate! The tiramisu is outrageously delicious and unique. The home made pasta is superb. The portions are a decent size but you do not leave thinking you over ate. Cash only. 5 Sombreros.
La Casa del Agua
La Casa del Agua is located on 5th Avenue at 2nd Street, Playa del Carmen. Great ambiance; the Calamari at lunch was excellent as was the fish when we returned on a subsequent day for dinner. A little pricier than other restaurants but well worth a try. Their indoor 'waterfall' is a variation of a small pool of water cascading down rocks. The method cools nicely and is emulated in several restaurants. 5 Sombreros.
La Cueva del Chango
Contemporary Mexican cuisine in an offbeat 'jungle garden' setting. A refreshing change from the frenetic pace of the 5th Avenue restaurants. Calle 38, between 5th Ave. and the beach. The 'Monkey Cave' is open for breakfast, lunch and supper and frequented by 'locals' and many Americans who own villas locally.
Mexican Grill' is located upstairs on the corner of Calle 8 and 5a Avenida. The Mariachi band was excellent and would play any single song that they knew for $10 USD. Similarly, one guidebook mentioned the restaurant as heving been excellent, but unable to maintain its excellence with the increase in traffic attributed to its past reputation. 2 Sombreros.
5a Avenida between Calles 12th and 14th. The locals think highly of the restaurant, as do others. However, we (four) left without trying the cuisine. Located on the second floor and open to the air on the 5a Avenida side, we found the restaurant too noisy to have enjoyed the food had we ordered. We obeserved one table where diners were trying to talk over one another which caused us to initially change tables before we left. The restaurant offers vegetarian dishes, fresh fish, wonderful pastas and salads. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Mexican seafood. Battered shrimp tacos, seafood soup, fried fish. Attracts mostly Mexicans and Playa locals. Prices are reasonable and the quality is consistent.
At the beach. Octopus Tacos, wonderful.
A Mayan Cuisine restaurant located on 8th Street, between 5th and 10th Avenues, a half block from 5th Avenue. The Hotel gave us a card, good for one after dinner drink, a 'Mayan Kiss'. The soup (a Mayan Name) with Grouper was excellent. The shrimp plate was also tops. We returned on another occassion and had the Grouper dinner...Excellent! We also tried the creamed Chaya soup, wow. The menue for lunch and supper were the same as were the prices. One of our friends didn't care for the spicy shrimp dinner. 4 Sombreros.
Dirty Martini Lounge
The Dirty Martini Lounge located on 1st Avenue between 10th and 12th street gives you an alternative place to party and chill without all the hussle and bussle of the other bars.
If you're craving a taste of Latin life with a touch of Cuban spice, the atmosphere at Habana Caf
Right in the middle of the hotel zone, this small but modern aquarium lets you get up close and personal with aquatic life. You can pet rays, nurse sharks, touch starfish, etc. There is also a chance to swim with dolphins in a large pool.
Bird watching at the airport
It may sound odd, but because the airport is basically carved out of a large block of forest, there are all kinds of birds and animals around, especially early in the morning. Look for the Mexican agoutis (large forest rodents) grazing on the lawns next to the forest.
Swim with Dolphins, Wet'n'Wild
Offers dolphin experiences. (Beware: no cameras are allowed, then they charge $25 for the first photo, $20 for each subsequent one).
During your Cancun Jeep Adventure you will get to visit some of the most beautiful parts of the Caribbean which are rarely visited by tourists.We avoid all of the usual tourist sites and concentrate on an action packed day full of scenic beauty and fun! Your professional adventure leader will guide you throughout the day to amazing places that even few locals get the chance to experience!
Xel-Ha is an ecological theme park or natural aquarium. Here you can swim with dolphins, see sea turtles, bicycle, snorkel, cliff-dive, and scuba. If you choose to scuba you will get to pet stingrays and see larger fish. This park is quite large, so bring good shoes to walk up river, you bag your dry belongings and they will be driven back to the main area. There is a buffet restaurant and free drinks as part of the park entry-fee, as well as snorkel equipment and rafts.
Water and sand
Cancun is possibly best known for its beautiful turquoise waters and powdery white beaches.
Exciting water tour! Choose either a Jet ski or two person Jet boat for a trip through the lagoon out to snorkel on the reef, their top tours are Jungle Tour and the Sailing Quest (Catamarans).
The Lobster Dinner Cruise
Romantic night out. Both the guys and gals will enjoy this trip. Take a trip out on the calm lagoon on a beautiful boat with friends you have not met yet. The staff allows you to take part in the fun or settle back and watch the sunset. Steak and lobster is cooked on the boat and tastes so much better away from the city sounds.
The most beautiful of sports is new in Cancun with the First Division team 'Potros de Hierro (Iron Colts) of Cancun'. The Atlante team, now based in Cancun, has a brand new stadium downtown.
Bring your haggling skills and get ready for a vast shopping experience in any of the city markets. Great buys can be found, but you need the nerve to get the price right.
La Isla is a huge outside shopping mall in Cancun right near many of the local hotels. It features hundreds of stores ranging from American brands like Polo to Mexican brands like Gasolina. There are numerous restaurants including Chili's and McDonalds along with more local Mexican foods.
Open 5.00 p.m TO 2.00 a.m. Bar with swings. Located next to La Carreta for cold Mexican beers, cheladas, exotic cocktails or aged tequila with live music.
Aviario Xaman-Ha is a beautiful Aviary where you will find different species, not just birds, other animal species like the butterflies, 'iguanas', turtles and other small mammals. The animals and plants that live here are in their natural habitat and they live in semi-captivity. We have endemic, threatened, and endangered species.
Quinta Avenida, also referred to in English as 5th Avenue, is the main tourist thoroughfare in Playa. It is a pedestrian only, cobblestone lined street which spans approximately 20 blocks. Along 5th Ave. you will find a variety of restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping opportunities and various services. In Playa, nearly everything starts from this street.
The best beach is Playa Tukan at the north end of town off of Calle 26. It is best to arrive early. Rent a canopy bed on the beach. Draw the canopy back and catch the rays, then pull it back again for an afternoon nap. Mamitas Beach Club has plenty of beds and great music playing during the day. Be aware that some women do go topless but this is not widely accepted by locals.
A number of the best nightclubs are located on the beach. If you are interested in nightlife (dancing, drinks late until the evening/morning), then be sure to visit Blue Parrot, El Pirata, Santenera, and Hotel Deseo. The Blue Parrot has an intese and spectacular nightly fire show at 11pm and offers beach dancing, swings at the bar, and plenty of dancing. Santenera has a beautiful roofdeck bar. Deseo also has a roofdeck bar, but it comes with beds. Very relaxing and beautiful.
Scuba diving and snorkeling
Mesoamerican Barrier Reefwww.abyssdivecenter.com.
Experience the Cenotes
Tulum is approximately an hour south of Playa and most famous for its beautiful Mayan archaeological site which sits on a low cliff overlooking a beautiful beach and the turquoise Caribbean sea.
Cozumel for around US$10. The dock is on the south end of the city, just south of the plaza. Boats leave roughly every hour, from 8Am to 8PM, and the ride itself is 30 minutes.
Tulum is a Pre-Columbian walled city of the Maya right on the ocean, the number one attraction when visiting the region, the site consists of a large temple, several auxiliary buildings and huts. Many tours frequent the archaeological zone so it is often busy, you can shop at several different vendor sites on your way in our out and it is recommended you use the washrooms near where the buses load.
Ek BalamCobaChichen Itza. Many tourists visit Chichen Itza as a day trip, especially from Cancun, more than 100 miles away. This archaeological site is also an hour and a half away from Merida, the capital of Yucatan. The Mayan communities near Chichen Itza have developed many wonderful sites for travelers to rejoice in the Maya Cultural heritage. It is recommended you avoid a day-trip visit to Chichen Itza and schedule a night or two to enjoy all the activities nearby. This allows time to see more than just a portion of this large site. If you stay a night here, come to the archaeological site early in the day before the sun is so hot, and before most of the day-trippers arrive.
You may see many boats on the beach in Playa del Carmen waiting for a deep sea fishing charter. Ask around. Some Captains are better than others. Asking the right questions may get your catch filleted, cooked or directions to an establishment that will prepare the catch. Most places on the beach will cook up your catch for somewhere around 7 bucks a head. If you are prone to queasiness, make sure you book ahead of time on a big boat out of Puerto Aventuras or Puerto Morelos because it can be a little rough in the smaller craft parked on the beach.
It's the ideal location for those who want a quiet beach vacation away from the glitz, but with ample tourist amenities. The town has just two principal streets and you can walk from one end to the other in about 15 minutes. You can get by with English, but Spanish is not superfluous. Most places accept US dollars but not credit cards. Almost all prices are quoted in Mexican pesos and it is generally cheaper to pay in pesos, than in US dollars. The reef just off the shore is a protected National Marine Park. Buildings in Puerto Morelos are limited to three stories by local bylaws, to preserve the village type of character. There are two parts to Puerto Morelos, the former fishing village on the coast, now Hotels, Condominiums, Restaurants and Tourist shops, and the second part about 2 Km. inland and adjacent to Highway 307, on the western side, called La Colonia by locals. The inland portion is mainly single level dwellings for the local workers.
Diving Tours in Tulum
Hidden Worlds Cenotes Park
Offering unique jungle adventures to suit everyone, Hidden Worlds is situated on the most extensive system of underwater caves and caverns on Earth. The park is home to some of the most incredible cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula, as featured in the critically acclaimed 2001 IMAX movie Journey Into Amazing Caves and the 2007 BBC Planet Earth series.
Holistic spa specializing in Mayan treatments. Located in Tulum.
Tres Rios Ecopark
Located 10 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. Explore nature in this tropical reserve.
Tulum Pueblo sits split by highway 307 running South-North. 'El Pueblo', as referred to by locals, is home to most workers of the tourist industry and where many of the stores, supermarkets, two bus stations, inns, hostels and small hotels are found. This section of town has a definite feel of existing mostly to cater to the Tulum ruins. Tulum pueblo is indeed a destination for shopping, great restaurants, a modest night life, booking tours, banking, shopping for food, local vegetables, fruits, cafes, and local flavor. Do not miss it
Tulum Playa nests along the coastline highway that leads into the Sian Ka'an Biosphere [Ecological Reserve], the Caribbean white sandy beaches to the east, an impressive mangrove & wetland reserve to the south. Tulum Playa embraces many of the fancier, ecological, boutique and spa hotels, and it has a decent to excellent selection of restaurants and night spots. There are also a number of affordable beach front cabana-type lodging locations. Walk the beach and simply step in and inquire about accommodations and rates. You will be surprised and delighted.
Tulum Ruinas is the archaeological site where the Maya ruins of Tulum stand. It is conformed by a-mile-long road leading into the ruins from highway 307. The road is flanked by several restaurants, a commercial area geared to one-day visitors, a huge parking lot, a small bus station that operates part-time and a handful of middle range hotels.
One-hundred foot submarine excursion. Located in Cozumenl 01-800-7150-804