Walk the earth of the ancestral Mayan World
First time visitors may initially think the Riviera Maya is simply seductive beaches and enticing waters. Those are the obvious attractions when you first arrive. But this is just the beginning; there is more to see and do than most people ever imagine.
Stay at Bungalows Nueva Vida and you will be very close to endless attractions like:
Visit the ancestral cities of Tulum, Coba & Chichen-Itza, biggest ruins of the Mayan culture, one of the most brilliant civilizations the world has ever known. The Tulum ruins are 20 minutes away, Coba 45 minutes, and Chichen-Itza 2 hours.
Be amazed by the Eco-Parks like Xel-Ha where you can enjoy aquariums, dolphins, gourmet restaurants, and much more. Xel-Ha is 25 minutes away and Xcaret 40 minutes.
Explore the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, the biggest natural protected area in state of Quintana Roo and also the most important reserve in Mexico. You will be able to observe the abundant flora and fauna as well as several distinct natural ecosystems. The entrance to the biosphere is 5 minutes away!
Be one of the first people in the world to dive the recently discovered largest underwater caverns; a thousand Michelangelos working over the course of human history could not have produced anything more beautiful than these sculpted caverns which are 25 minutes away. Also enjoy picturesque places like Playa del Carmen and Cozumel Island, scuba dive the second largest reef in the world, or maybe stay the whole day at Nueva Vida de Ramiro's wonderful beach drinking a cool beer, margarita or piña colada.
Since the Riviera Maya is such a popular destination, there's so much for you to experience on your Riviera Maya vacation. Here's some of what you can expect to see and do:
The Riviera Maya is one giant, white sandy beach on the Caribbean blue sea! Here you have over 100 miles of coastline that spans from Playa del Secreto in the North to Punta Allen in the South. We've picked just a handful of the fantastic beaches you will find in Riviera Maya, but you're sure to discover more secluded ones when you arrive.
Less than 100 meters off the town of Tulum's beach is the Great Mayan Reef which is the world's second largest reef. Just south of the Tulum Archaeological site, you'll find gorgeous deserted beaches of the Mayan Brook.
Playa del Secreto & Playa Paraiso
These two beaches that are just 5 km apart create a secret paradise with the longest stretch of white sand beach in the area. Watch out for the beautiful endangered sea turtles and crabs.
A tropical reserve where the crystal fresh water from the river meets the salty sea to create a spectacular tropical reserve with a unique ecosystem.
Just south of Punta Beté lies this quiet haven on a peaceful beach aptly named "twin coconuts" for all its coconut trees. Nearby are small archaeological sites and quaint restaurants serving fresh fish.
Run away to this small beautiful romantic bay where palm trees border the wide white sandy beach. It is a perfect spot to spend a quiet and relaxing day away from the crowds. On summer nights, sea turtles come here to lay their eggs.
Xpu - Há
Explore the underwater life in this extremely calm ocean bay. Drive with care along the seven dirt roads that lead to this petite town with restaurants and dive shops. Check out nearby Xpu-Há Lagoon where manatees may be found.
Another fantastic beach in the Riviera Maya and south of Xpu - Há that's full of palm trees and close to the Great Mayan Coral Reef.
Chemuyil's portion of the Caribbean with silky white sand kissed by peaceful turquoise water borders the lush jungle. Its shallow water, pristine seafloor and excellent visibility make it just the right spot for young children.
Xcacel's bay is famous for its marine turtles. Researchers have established a care and preservation center here. Its sparkling sand and peaceful water make a magnificent spot for a relaxing day. Don't miss the cenote that's just to the south.
Xel - Há
Come to the place "where water is born". Off these sandy shores, you'll find a remarkable ecosystem where freshwater meets seawater. Witness the stream of bubbles from the ocean floor and vibrantly colored sea life while snorkeling.
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
On the eastern coast of the Sian Biosphere Reserve's peninsula are fantastic untouched beaches along the Caribbean Sea.
Tulum Archaeological Site, Tulum
This ancient port was built by the Mayans during the Post Classical period. Three enormous walls with amazing doors surround the more than 60 buildings that create Quintana Roo's most important site.
Chichén Itzá the most renowned and authentically restored Mayan ruin. During the Mayans' magnificent reign of the Yucatan, they built these beautiful and famous buildings: the Snail, the Castle, the Warriors Temple, the Ball Game, the Tzompantli, the Eagles House, the Osario, the Temple of the Chac Mool and more. Watch the snake move along the temple steps during the fall and vernal equinoxes.
Mayan Village, Xcaret
Xcaret was the main Mayan port that sustained intense commerce with other Caribbean cities. Come to this small village where indigenous Maya in traditional dress guide you through their thatch buildings and homes.
Cobá Archaeological Site, Cobá
Nearly 50,000 ancient Mayans once inhabited the 80 square miles that make up this Classic period site. Here you'll find the tallest pyramid on the Yucatan called Nohuch Mul (large hill). From the second tallest Yucatan pyramid, the Iglesia, you have a spectacular view of Lake Macanxoc.
Nature & Wildlife
Cenotes of Tulum
There are scores of cenotes in the Tulum area. Most have been explored so it's safe and easy to access them. The area's most famous ones are Calavera, the Grand Cenote, and the Car Wash.
Biósfera Sian Ka'an
The main attraction here in the 528,147 hectares and 100 km of the Great Maya Reef is the spectacular wildlife in the different ecosystems that make up this peninsula: tropical evergreen forests, wetlands, savannah and ocean. You can find many exotic animals such as jaguars, pumas, ocelots, margays, jaguarondis, howler monkeys, crocodiles and over 345 species of birds.
Eco-archaeological Park, Xcaret
A jungle theme park built around actual Mayan ruins where you can inner tube through underground rivers, swim with dolphins, and witness Mayan rituals. It also features an aquarium, botanical garden. and many wildlife in the Aviary, Jaguar and Puma Island, Flamingo Island, Spider Monkey Island, Butterfly Pavilion and Bat Cave.
These vibrantly colored birds are hard to miss with their elegant and noisy calls. They're friendly and accustomed to humans, so don't be afraid to offer a snack to them.
Sea Turtles, Xcacel
This is the preferred spot for marine turtles, and a camp and research center has been established here for the care and preservation of these remarkable turtles.
Punta Laguna, Cobá
Just inland from Cobá is this large lake that's famous for the many howler and spider monkeys living along its shores.
Town of Tulum
Just inside the Mayab forest you'll find the small town of Tulum. Come here for the casual atmosphere and great food at restaurants run by local natives.
Just 5 minutes from Playa del Carmen is this cultural center that houses 19 scale models of the Mayan civilization's most important pyramids. Learn about how they built them and why.
CEDAM, Shipwreck Museum, Puerto Aventuras
Explore the contents of the many shipwrecks that occur along this dangerous coast. The Great Maya Reef that's just off the coast makes it hard to navigate the waters.
Puerto Aventuras Marina
In the center of town, you'll find the boat-filled marina that's surrounded by lovely restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, handicraft stores and a small bookstore. Puerto Aventura's cuisine is renowned throughout the region.
Cultural and Poly-religious Center, Puerto Aventuras
Visit the new unique Cultural and Poly-religious Center where you can learn about the different cultures and religions that come together to create the interesting Riviera Maya region.
Boca Paila and Punta Allen, Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
These two small towns are both on a peninsula inside the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. The only access is through a well-kept dirt road. Here you'll find only private homes, hotels and fishing lodges since the government limits development.
"The Sultan of the East," a title given for the architectural beauty and detailed stonework of facades of its colonial buildings, it`s also the setting of two of Mexico's most significant events: the Caste War in 1847 and the first spark of the Mexican Revolution in 1910. Also has very important cenotes, like Dzitnup and Ik-kil. The majority of the townspeople still using the typical dress of the Mayas.