Riviera Maya boasts the rich tradition and one of the oldest, complete and influential cultures in the world: the Mayan culture.
Mayan Legacy is present across the entire region in archeology, gastronomy, music, astronomy, vegetation, and respect for nature, it also invites you to discover the lively culture that beats every day from the heart of Quintana Roo.
This spectacular tourist area, located along the Caribbean, offers white sand beaches from the village of Puerto Morelos to Punta Allen, comprising 120 km of the peninsula of Yucatan, in the state of Quintana Roo.
This destination begins to fascinate visitors from the first contact through the crystal waters and jungle vegetation embracing the place and offering unique sites to enjoy the special atmosphere that permeates the Riviera Maya.
Its wide range of options for entertainment is shaped by natural beauty, including beautiful weather, the impressive archaeological sites, theme parks, relaxation and recreation centers, world-class spas, exclusive golf courses, wide cuisine offer, bars and nightclubs as well as the great service offered at the local hotels.
This beautiful Caribbean area housed in the old times one of the most enigmatic civilizations in history. That is why visiting the numerous monuments and buildings of the Riviera Maya is a must if you want to know this ancient culture.
Xama ha (in Maya) or Playa del Carmen, as its inhabitants say colloquially, is actually an ancient fishing village which with time has grown to become one of the most visited places in the Riviera Maya. Beautiful beaches and a great atmosphere characterize this town. The magnificent and unique BlueBay Grand Esmeralda resort offers the best accommodation to enjoy 500 meters of private beach front, only 15 minutes from the neighboring city.
The ruins of Tulum walled city, located by the seaside, the name of which echoes of mystery, stand out as one of the most beautiful spots of the Riviera Maya. Here, where the white sand sparkles under a hot sun, the Maya chose to found a fortified city, protected on three sides by stone walls, and the fourth one simply defended by the sea.
Cozumel is the third largest island in Mexico, about 50 km from Playa del Carmen. Formed by volcanic, dusty rock and being a less visited area it still retains its natural charm. Legend has it that it was the home of Ixchel, goddess of love and fertility. That is why you can visit numerous temples dedicated to her, who in gratitude sent out the Maya people's preferred birds, the swallows. An ideal place for diving and snorkeling, which has one of the world's largest reef, Palancar, where Jaques Custeau discovered black coral.
8 kilometers from Cancún, there is a small and quiet Isla Mujeres, an island with nice, turquoise waters. It used to be dedicated to Ixchel, and her believers placed on the beaches their offerings of mud in female forms. When the Spanish conquistadors reached the island in the sixteenth century and discovered these figures they gave it the name of Isla Mujeres. The Turtle Protection Center is worth visiting, as well as the remains of the legacy of the famous pirate Mundaka Antonio Fermin. Mundaca, who was a feared Spanish pirate and slave trader, plundered the Caribbean for years until he finally decided to settle here. According to the legend, he later fell in love with a Mayan Indian, who rejected him and left him heartbroken and depressed for the rest of his life.
Puerto Morelos is the perfect contrast between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. In this small fishing village with nice and friendly people, you can really feel that you are in Mexico. It offers a variety of colorful tropical fish, dolphins, turtles and occasionally whales, in addition to the beautiful extraordinary coral formations of "Marine Reef Park of Puerto Morelos".
In Mayan, Chichen Itza means "mouth of the well of the Itza," and the Itza Maya are a group named after the region they came from, north of what is now known as Yucatan. Chichen Itza was the most powerful city of the peninsula between 550 and 900 AD, during which time, the place reached the proportions and urban characteristics which it has now. As an economic, political and religious center, it was characterized by its advanced organization and the monumental architecture.
Riviera Maya's beaches are famous for their soft sand and dust composed of fragments of coral and shells, which reflect sunlight without trapping the heat, so they are always cool and dry. The seabed sand and clear waters produce a marvelous effect of color, which turns different shades of blue into green and green into turquoise, which characterizes the Caribbean Sea.
Among the best beaches there is El Secreto and Playa Paraíso in Puerto Morelos and Punta Maroma, ranked as one of the hidden treasures of Mexico. There are also Punta Bete, Xcalacoco, Xpu-ha and Paamul and la Bahía de Kantenah, known for its long stretch of beach, lapped by the calm shallow waters. In Xcacel and Akumal, located near the Natural Reserve of Sian Ka'an, sometimes you can find turtles that come ashore to spawn. In Tankah Bay, there is a cenote called Manati, where you can snorkel or scuba dive. Tulum, Boca Paila, Yalcu and Punta Allen are just a few of the other beautiful beaches to visit.
The climate of the Riviera Maya is very hot. Temperatures range between 17 ° and 31 ° C in winter and exceed 32 º in summer. Between December and May, there is usually good weather, though it can rain with wind blowing in the afternoon. In the autumn, storms are quite frequent.
The wettest periods are at the end of spring, in the months of July and August and early September, just before the rainy season.
Do not forget to book a dinner at Don Isi, Gourmet Mexican Restaurant of BlueBay Grand Esmeralda Hotel, where you will find the most important specialties of each region of Mexico (although Mexico has a cuisine so wide that it is virtually impossible to try everything) . Pozole is one of those specialties. It is a typical soup of different types and variants: red, green, white pozole... The main ingredient is corn (variety cacahuazintle). What makes this corn so particular is that the grains are big and white and while being cooked they open like a flower. It is served in many ways, with: toast (fried corn tortillas), beans, picadillo, cheese ... Its secret is a special touch given by the oregano, onion, radish and lettuce, well chopped. The avocado may be the last ingredient in this peculiar soup. No wonder it was one of the favorite foods of Montezuma...
Other typical dishes of the Yucatan Peninsula come from a mixture of Spanish and indigenous cultures, like papadzules, the roasted suckling pig or chocolomo.
Papadzules are corn tortillas dipped in a sauce of pumpkin seeds, and filled with boiled egg (like tacos) and bathed in a tomato sauce with chili habanero and onion.
La cochinita pibil is the roasted suckling pig meat marinated in achiote, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in an oven in the ground. It is usually served with seasoned onions in sour orange, and cakes and tacos, with a pickled chili habanero.
The night in Playa del Carmen can start at the Coco Bongo or Mambo Café, a classic playense. The best shows in Las Vegas style or the best live bands of salsa, hip hop and rap to everything you can name. If you prefer something more alternative, you can continue your night at Santanera with baroque decoration and a dimly lit lounge on the second floor. If you're looking for after hours, many places on the beach are still open and welcome into the next day. In all the places you will find the eclectic diversity of nightclubs of Playa del Carmen.
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