Published on February 10th, 2016 | by Emma Hackwood1
Expert Tips for Travelling to the Riviera Maya, Mexico
Mexico is much more than its beautiful beaches and coastal resorts, and our Mexico Expert Dee Dee knows a thing or two when it comes to finding the hidden gems. Having travelled to this country more than 25 times (and having lived there for 3 years) we asked Dee Dee to share some of her expert tips on travelling to the Riviera Maya region of Mexico.
Mexico is a place where the sea, sun, culture, vibrant colours, delectable cuisine and festive music all mesh together. Where you can taste the salt in the air and where locals treat you like family. Where else can you see ancient ruins, explore underwater caves or cenotes and sip locally distilled tequila? Whether you plan to travel to the Riviera Maya with your partner, friend, or fly solo, here are some helpful tips to know before you go.
Riviera Maya for Couples
• Take a taxi 45 minutes to Chemuyil and visit The Jungle Place which is a private monkey sanctuary for the endangered Spider Monkey. They provide food, shelter, medical care and a lot of love to rescued Spider Monkeys who were victims of the illegal pet trade, poaching, and habitat destruction. This is not open to public for walk-ins, so make sure you pre-book this in advance. Tell your taxi driver to wait for you while you learn about the Spider monkeys, enjoy cute interactions and help feed them in their habitat.
• From Chemuyil to Tulum, stop for tacos and a cold beer in Tulum at La Malquerida.
• Visit the Historic Tulum Ruins. Explore the historic Mayan Ruins, and take a dip in one of the Mayan Riviera’s most iconic and beautiful beaches.
• Enjoy Dinner at Alux. This one of a kind mystical, and unique dining experience will take you down a candlelit staircase into an underground cave and cenote where you’ll enjoy fine dining and a fantastic wine selection in with one of the most breathtaking backdrops you can imagine. This is an absolute must when you are in the area!
• Taxi over to the Blue Parrot outdoor beach night club for a night cap and some romancing on the outdoor beach dance floor. Grab a front row seat for the spectacular Fire and Dance show. The Blue Parrot is known for this explosive and bold performance.
Riviera Maya for Singles
• Xcaret is my pick as the best eco-archaeological park in the state. Swim down the magical mineral-rich sacred waters, and caves. There is an unbelievable amount of things to do here. My favourites are swimming with nurse sharks, a sting ray encounter, scuba diving, or spending some time at the Temascal.
It is a pre-Hispanic tradition to reconnect with nature and achieve a state of mental and physical relaxation. You can also watch the Papantla Flyers (pole flying religious ceremony ), or check out the Mayan Ball game. Your entire day can be spent here taking part in all sorts of unique activities, or just relaxing at the beach taking in the majestic surroundings.
• Head in to the city to El Fogon, the #1 taco place in the Mayan Riviera/Cancun area. Squeeze in at a table with the locals enjoy the famous Tacos Al Pastor, and lime margaritas. There might be a big line-up, but trust me when I say it’s worth the wait!
• Head over to Club de la Cervaza home to the largest international craft beer selection in the area. I suggest sitting outside on their patio that has a beer garden type feel to it. It gets lively most evenings during the week. And gives you a chance to try beer from all the different regions in Mexico.
• End your night with a bang and visit the infamous Coco Bongo’s. They have flying acrobats, bar top conga lines, soap bubbles, balloons, confetti, streamers, huge video screens, celebrity impersonators and a mix of all different styles of music. It is truly a one of a kind experience and the party doesn’t stop until 6 in the morning!