Sam Visser

April 24, 2018

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Riviera Maya, Mexico

Riviera Maya, Mexico (which includes Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and other coastal towns) has been made a top tourist destination thanks to its crystal clear blue waters and glistening sandy white beaches that drape the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. Every summer, beachgoers from around the globe pack their bags and make their way to Cancun International Airport to visit Playa, better known as the local’s name for this happening coastal getaway.

It goes without saying, just scrolling through a few pictures on the internet of Playa will already have you itching to book the next flight out to take in the sights and fun set under the Caribbean’s sun – but what else does this lively coastal Mexican resort town have to offer its visitors other than its (stunningly) beautiful beaches?

Well compadre, look no further.

Here are the three things you didn’t know about Playa del Carmen, and to keep on your radar during your next trip:


  1. Playa del Carmen is home to some of the world’s top diving destinations

Beautiful Mexico snorkeling

Indonesia, Galapagos, and The Cayman Islands are just a few of the destinations that get thrown around in conversation when discussing some of the world’s top diving destinations. Although it’s certainly underrated by some, Playa del Carmen also is truly an underwater paradise when it comes to its selection of underwater sights.

Diving in the area on the Riviera Maya offers stunning underwater views as you weave through the caverns of its cenotes and enjoy the lack of currents and crystal clear waters. A promising diving destination which will provide a comfortable experience for both beginners and professional divers alike.

The all-inclusive water park Xel-Há, located right in the heart of the Riviera Maya, is another great option for enjoying water sports while also having everything you’d need right at your fingertips. You’ll even find aquatic zip-lines on site!

Cenote Dos Ojos, meaning two eyes, is a set of sinkholes that glimmer in the sunlight and produce a majestic turquoise effect – truly a sight both above and under the water. The artificial reef of Mama Viña Sunken Ship is another popular spot but is recommended for more experienced divers due to the strong current.


Want to swim with other creatures of the sea? Make your way over to Arrecife Tortugas where you’ll swim with marine turtles, eels and other exotic fish you won’t find anywhere else.

With so much going on also under the water, don’t just stick to the white sands of the beach, and make sure you also get make your way to the other side of the ocean blue as well.


  1. Visiting ancient Mayan ruins located just a stone’s throw away

Playa Del Carmen Mexico Mayan Ruins


Let’s face it – most people visiting Playa del Carmen usually are coming for the beaches and nice weather. But many don’t know that don’t know that ancient Mayan ruins are located within reach from the blue waters of Playa.

The Mayans had an immense cultural influence on Mexico, and it’s certainly evident when taking a closer look at the regions culture, beliefs, and even food. While not situated directly inside of Playa del Carmen, a visit to Chichen Itza is a must for any traveler to the region, as it’s considered to be the most well-known and also the most important Mayan ruins in all of Mexico. This enormous Mayan pyramid is truly a breathtaking sight, and just like the pristine beaches of Playa del Carmen, photos simply don’t do it justice.

During the spring and fall equinoxes, rays of sun create an illusion of a snake ascending over the stairs of the Pyramid of Kukulkan. Both locals and tourists alike flock to catch glimpse of this marvelous phenomenon, and it’s certainly a sight that shouldn’t be missed if you’ll be visiting during one of these time periods.

As an added bonus, be sure to also visit Tulum for its picturesque views from its cliff top location, as well as Ek Balam for a more off the beaten path experience. And of course, don’t forget to add Coba to your list if you’re down for a deep trek into Mexico’s jungle.

No trip is complete to Playa del Carmen without venturing further to at least get a glimpse of these ancient spectacles.

Who doesn’t want to say they’ve visited one of The New Seven Wonders of the World?

  1. Playa del Carmen is a warm getaway spot year round – both summer and winter

Sandy year round beach in Mexico


Due to its close proximity to the equator, the warm days last year-round in Playa del Carmen – making it an excellent destination even in the winter months during the non-peak season. In fact, the quieter months, starting just after January of each year, can be some of the most enjoyable with a lack of tourists and more reasonable prices. Just keep in mind that December is one of the busiest periods for this coastal town.

Being situated in the Caribbean, many people think that Playa del Carmen would always be booming with sunshine and warm weather. Summer gets quite humid, but also includes a rainy season which can put a bit of a damper on any vacation. In the winter months, you can expect more mild weather all while skipping the chance of showers. Expect less daylight during the winter months in Playa del Carmen, but for many, this is a trade-off well worth it to avoid the blistering hot temperatures often synonymous with the summer months.

All dependent on your own personal budget and preferences, Playa del Carmen can accommodate the needs of any traveler, as long as you’re ready for the pleasant Caribbean sun and a good time.

If you’re interested in experiencing the best that Playa del Carmen has to offer, check out these packages:

5-day Riviera Maya Adventure Package (land only) 

From $399

  • Double Occupancy Room at Hotel Aventura Mexicana
  • Daily Hot Breakfasts
  • Daily Morning Yoga (donation based)
  • Visit the Ancient Mayan Ruins of Tulum
  • Zipline through the trees, 4×4 through the Jungle, Swim in underground caves and be blessed by a Mayan Shaman on Alltournative’s Tulum & Jungle Maya Excursion
  • Snorkel, float the Lazy River, and enjoy an all you can eat, all you can drink day at Xel-Ha
  • Explore the Playa del Carmen’s Shopping, Food & Nightlife
  • Fully Guided Experience with trained SA Guide

5-day All Inclusive Riviera Maya Adventure + Flights

From $799

  • Non-stop Airfare from select destinations
  • All-inclusive experience at the hotel (all you can eat and drink at the hotel restaurants/bars)
  • Double Occupancy Room at Hotel Aventura Mexicana
  • Daily Morning Yoga (donation based)
  • Jungle Maya Zip-Line & Cenote Tour
  • Explore the Playa del Carmen’s Shopping, Food & Nightlife
  • Optional day tours available to add-on
  • Guided Experience with trained SA Guide
  • All transfers per itinerary