Mexico: Riviera Maya

Mexico: Riviera Maya

Caribbean Coastline

Fly in/out: Cancun International Airport (CUN)

Recommended ages: 3 and up

Ball Park Price: $1,000/person for up to five travellers (airfare not included)

Best Season: December-May

Pace: Moderate

Currency Peso, US Currency widely accepted

Time: CST


DAY ONE: Arrive in Cancun International Airport, rent car and go to vacation rental booked through LocoGringo. Rent in the Akumal area centrally located in Riviera Maya.

Riviera Maya
Riviera Maya

DAY TWO: Take a full-day trip and drive to Chichen Itza, an archaeological site rated among the most important in the Mayan culture spreading over 6 square miles. Make a stop at Cenote Ik Kil (Swimming and snorkeling) located 3 km from Chichen Itza.

DAY THREE: Go beach-hopping and explore Akumal beaches for turtles, and at Playa del Carmen and Xpuha Beach for snorkeling offshore. Visit nearby cenotes and caverns.

DAY FOUR: Drive to Xel-Ha adventure water theme park and spend the day doing water activities.

DAY FIVE: Take a ½ day exploring Tulum ruins, Tulum beach and nearby cenotes. Spend afternoon exploring cenotes in the surrounding area of Tulum.

DAY SIX: Take a day trip to Aktun Chen Natural Park with a guided walk through a spectacular dry cave and sprawling sink hole for snorkeling and swimming.

DAY SEVEN: Depart for Cancun International Airport and head home.

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Vacation Highlights

  • We found this area of Mexico a relatively easy place to get around and easy to get to destination with so many options to explore balancing beach time with adventure.
  • We loved the educational exploration around the Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum mixed with the variety water activities, beaches, caves, and cenotes.
  • There were so many wonderful family-friendly activities within a very reasonable driving distance. This area of Mexico is well-prepared for tourists and yet, it never felt overcrowded.

Historical Sightseeing

Great Excursions

  • Our full day trip to Chichen Itza was a great day. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s main pyramid was named one of the new seven Wonders of the World.
  • Xel-Ha Eco-Water Adventure Park: Try the “Cliff of Courage,” Rope Crossing, Kayaking across the Black Lagoon.

Explore Riviera Maya

Vacation Rental Views
Vacation Rental Views

Places to stay

  • There are many all inclusive family-friendly resorts in the Riviera Maya that are highly rated. The write-up for Grand Palladium Riviera Maya and Fairmont Myakoba detailed on lists these all inclusive-resorts as very family-friendly for all ages.
  • We chose to book a villa through LocoGringo because we wanted the flexibility of going off the resort for multiple days. We stayed in a central location in Akumal.


  • Many of the vacation rentals provided in the Riviera Maya area provide a personal chef at reasonable prices.
  • The beach front restaurants don’t require reservations and are small, friendly and casual. We did not attempt any fine dining options on this trip. For a comprehensive list see Riviera Maya tourism restaurant list.


Beach of Tulum
Beach of Tulum
  • Overall, it’s easier to rent a car as the roads are in good condition, easy to navigate and all key landmarks are within reasonable driving distance.
  • Don’t drink Mexican water and use bottled water for everything to play in on the safe side. Bring your own water bottles with you on the key excursion days.
  • Bring good water shoes for both the cenotes and the beaches because both are quite rocky and not your typical great sandy beach. Also, it’s helpful to remember a beach towel and a drawstring water resistant bag to store your extra supplies.
  • Sharing a home rental with another family on spring break cuts down on costs significantly and there are a lot of nice rentals in this area.


A valid passport, with at least six months remaining before expiration, is required to enter Mexico.

Product Feature

Product FeatureWaterproof sandals a must in Mexico.

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