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Riviera Maya is a tourism and resort district south of Cancun, Mexico. If you want to enjoy the warmest sun, the waves, the reefs and the natural wells on the Caribbean coast, Riviera Maya is where you want to be. Here, you will find world-class restaurants, a nightlife that keeps you dancing till the morning, exclusive spas, shopping centers, and some of the world's best golf courses. There are countless of things to do at Riviera Maya to entertain you. If you are more into eco-tourism, looking for natural environments to get away from large crowds, Riviera Maya is good news, because much of the region is still not urbanized and it's easy to find many amazing spots to become one with nature.
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The most popular things to do at Riviera Maya are diving and snorkeling. On its shores lies an extensive coral reef, home to a vast variety of marine species. If you are lucky enough to submerge in the Caribbean waters, you will find yourself surrounded by tropical fish, stingrays, and even the fascinating whale sharks. The experience of exploring a cavern and swimming in the crystal-clear water will stay in your memory forever. This experience is worth the tickets you paid.
Another thing to do at Riviera Maya is to step into another world at the Mayan Sanctuary pool. Protected by a ring of lofty palapas and a tight grove of palm trees, the Mayan Sanctuary is your aquatic haven in the center of Riviera Maya. And if you are really into aquatic activities, you will love to practice them in the sea, but also in the natural pools formed in underground rivers along the Riviera Maya. There is a ticket fee to enter the pool.
Another fun thing to do at Riviera Maya is to shop. You can easily find a variety of stores selling Mexican handicraft art, souvenirs, clothing, diamonds and gold or silver jewelry. There are plenty of bargains to be found at the open-air markets just off the square. Los Cinco Soles is a popular souvenir stop, especially with the cruise ship crowd. Cozumel is famous for its jewelry stores. Among the most visited is Diamonds International which offers choices in diamonds, gold and silver jewelry. Because Cozumel is a duty-free shopping zone there are some great bargains to be found on luxury items. Head to Pama Cozumel in San Miguel for your duty-free shopping afternoon.
Most of Cozumel's nightlife is in its only city, San Miguel. There is no nightlife on the east coast since the few restaurants there close at dusk. Downtown bars open until the wee hours include the Hard Rock Cafe with its great music and bar along with Carlos 'n Charlie's and Fat Tuesdays. Both open-air bars are known for their loud, party atmosphere. If sipping margarita's on an oceanfront deck is your idea of a good time, then Margaritaville Cozumel is the place for you. Longstanding favorite, Coconuts Bar and Grill offers spectacular views along with tropical drinks from its cliff-top perch.
How to Get Tickets?
Riviera Maya is a district and you can enter this area for free without tickets. However, if you want to do activities and tour, you need to purchase a ticket or pay the admission fees. Most popular places in the area sell their tickets online on their official websites. This is the best way to get your tickets. You can also ask your hotels and get a ticket and a tour from your hotels, they often provide round-trip shuttle as well. Riviera Maya is crowded most of the time, so it's better to book your tickets and plan your visit before visiting.
How To Get Around?
The bus system in the Mayan Riviera is reliable and inexpensive, making it one of the simplest methods of transportation available. One ticket is only 8 pesos and buses run along the main highway all day, seven days a week. Another option is a colectivo, which is a van transit system that offers passengers a way around Mayan Riviera's main Highway 307. Get your tickets and you'll find these vans running every 5 to 15 minutes, every day of the week between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. Be cautious when taking taxis in Riviera Maya. It is recommended that guests only take hotel taxis or those based out of designated taxi stands (sitios).
What Should I Wear?
You can wear anything comfortable at Riviera Maya. There is no dress code and it is mostly sunny here, so bring your sunglasses and sunscreen to protect you. Don't forget to bring along you swimsuit with you as most of the attractions are water-related. Also, bring comfortable shoes and flip-flop for your footwear.
Best Time to Visit
Whilst Riviera Maya is a great place to visit any time of year, the months between December and April (the dry season) are the most popular, and therefore expensive, times to visit. July and September are the wettest and quietest months, making them the best time to go if you want to bag a cheap holiday. Be cautious that hurricane season still runs from June to late November. During these months, the region usually sees a few strong storms, if not full-fledged hurricanes.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, it's easy to get around and you can find everything on this website. Your hotels will also have all the information you need and they provide tickets and tour to the main attractions.
How To Get There?
Most international flights to the Riviera Maya land at Cancun's international airport. From there, most parts of the Riviera Maya are accessed by a highway that skirts the coast and links Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen. It is smart to have your hotel arrange transfers, since local taxis can not pick up passengers at the airport. Another option is to fly into the island of Cozumel and take the ferry over to Playa del Carmen. There's also public transportation like buses and jitney-style vans.