Riviera Maya, is one of the most visited and popular areas in Mexico.
This is a coastal area and very diverse: areas of long white sand beaches such as Playa del Carmen next to areas of ancient Mayan ruins such as Tulum and Coba.
Hidden Riviera Maya
The magic of Riviera Maya, is that despite being a place with sometimes excessive tourist activity, if you dive into the hidden part, the real Riviera Maya, you can discover rivers, underground pools where you can enjoy bathing in the wild nature and then go into nightlife.
At Cancun Airport it is easy to rent a vehicle or opt for the public service.
The real hidden Riviera Maya, offers hotels and guest houses AirBnb version for an average price of 20 euros per night.
In addition of course, we can find excellent hotels resorts of Hotel Chains like Barceló, Hyatt, Hard Rock… among many others.
Playa del Carmen
Characteristic by miles of white sand, an immensely long main street known as Fifth Avenue. Full of clothing stores, souvenirs, restaurants, trendy bars and discotheques.
The average annual temperature is 25 degrees, food is affordable, low house architecture, with vivid colors, palm trees and tropical plants and Latin music in every corner.
It is 30 minutes away from Playa del Carmen: it can be reached by collective Taxis or car.
Location recognized by the presence of sea turtles that can be easily seen snorkeling.
The sea here is crystalline blue. Highly recommended, except that it is always overcrowded.
It is the place that every tourist dreams and yearns to find. Kilometre-long deserted beach located in front of Playa del Carmen, accessible by a ferry that can be taken from the famous dam of Playa del Carmen or surpassing the second wharf.
So that it doesn’t happen to you as it does to us, know that there are areas of the island that are cut off with difficult access, so even if they recommend it to you, don’t choose any car of great dimensions.
It is a place worth visiting, because it is still wild, inhabited by local people who have not yet had to change their lives for the arrival of tourists… There are small authentic places to eat for 2 euros.
Although we fell in love with Cozumel, we must highlight the beauty of the great pearl of the place, Tulum. A green space with around real Mayan ruins with a beautiful cliff as a backdrop where if you approach, the immense blue crystalline falls in love more.
It can be reached by bus, private excursion or public bus. But our recommendation is to go first thing in the morning to avoid meeting many tourists.
You can ride a bicycle, a tricycle driven by local people who take you to know the Mayan ruins in the middle of the jungle. the tour is exciting, especially when you reach the pyramid, located 40 meters from the ground, not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo.
Yucatan is full of cenotes or underground pools where water has accumulated over the centuries. It is possible to swim and the experience is quite a spectacle.
The Great Cenote is one of these. Descending the famous spiral staircase, you will find this great cave where there is a real swimming pool, surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites. The water is really frozen and after a dive you feel renewed.
There are those who hate it and those who love it. They say it’s a den of American springbreakers, and in fact it is. But it must be said that it surprises the first time.
There’s the real, chaotic, noisy, busy city. And then by bus you reach the hotel zone, the resorts and beaches.
There is the clean, tidy version, with green grass and lagoon. A long and wide beach with colorful local houses that give us the cinematographic image with lifejackets just behind the big hotels and skyscrapers that sell us as local.
Located 20 minutes by ferry from Cancun to the wonderful Isla Mujeres. The ticket costs about 145 pesos. Beaches surrounded by palm trees everywhere, Caribbean colors and small local shops.
Riviera Maya Food
When we arrived at Riviera Maya, one of our first surprises was the difficulty in choosing where to eat. Around us we were invaded by numerous restaurants, clubs and fast food venues.
To start from somewhere, in Playa del Carmen, I recommend the famous Fifth Avenue, where we will have the security of a very frequented place and therefore, a place where the food goes out daily. However, if your option is to spend less, I personally recommend you to stay away from the more famouse streets.
I share with you my tips below that go from the most famous pubs and restaurants and international to local home-cooked and traditional food.
For those with the most exquisite palates and hygiene, including vegans, we recommend you always try corn-based dishes, a staple of Mexican food.
WIFI & TIPS
For the European travellers who don’t have Roaming in Mexican lands, don’t worry!, in any of the bars, chiringuitos and ice-cream parlours around Playa del Carmen, you will enjoy WIFI if you consume in the place, you only have to ask for the password.
Remember that Riviera Maya is North America and as in the U.S., local tips should include 10-20%.
Eat & Drink Playa del Carmen
The Hidden Hidden option in Playa
As its name says, it is built inside a cave. A place located in interior, far from indiscreet glances and with romantic air. The center of the place is a big fishbowl. Dishes very well taken care of, small portions, somewhat high prices inside a warm and pleasant atmosphere.
More options in Playa del Carmen
Pleasant and simple place, characterized by low prices and a wide selection of hamburgers (with vegetarian and vegan offer).
Famous and recognized location. With good quality-quantity-price ratio.
Their specialty, the dish of cheese roasted with mushrooms.
It’s a chain you’ll find in every corner close to nightclubs and bars. A place therefore of obligatory stop. Pizza of fine dough to the cut with prices that in occasions never surpass the two euros.
The best choice of Asian food, where you can eat noodles in all its forms and with all kinds of condiments.
Known location located inside the Hotel Reina Roja. Very nice, and they have service from early morning until dinner.
Excellent mixed croquettes, take away service and plenty of promotional offers for women from special prices in cocktails to 2×1 dishes.
It’s the typical restaurant you expect to find when you travel to Mexico: Great burritos, margaritas and all kinds of cocktails. Open until late and prices suitable for all pockets.
Restaurant recognized and with somewhat high prices compared to the rest of local. Very good quality and good presentation in the dishes.