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HOTELS & BEACH RESORTS ON THE MAYAN RIVIERA, QUINTANA ROO
TRAVEL GUIDE TO THE RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO

Sunrise Over the Caribbean Sea, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
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Palapa Umbrella on Cancun Beach, Mexico
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Aerial of the Beaches of Cancun, Mexico
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MEXICO TRAVEL GUIDE
A Quick Overview of Mexico
Lesser Known Yet Fabulous: Puerto Aventuras
Lets Go To Mexico - 5 Great Mexico Vacation Destinations
Mexico's Island of Cozumel
Vacation Rentals in Akumal
Your Vacation in the Riviera Maya

Featured hotels on the Mayan Riviera

Cancun: Mexico at its Most Luxurious   by Jacinto Snow
Cancun is certainly the most luxurious destination in the Mexican Caribbean. Offering all of the finer things in life, the Hotel Zone and downtown areas of Cancun are brimming with top notch entertainment and relaxation opportunities..... read more

Crystal Blue Waters and Mayan Civilization of Cancun   by James Tutten
The older part of Cancun city is connected by bridges to the newer Cancun which was developed as a resort destination for tourists. Tourism is the number one reason for a booming economy in Cancun. Inside the seven shape exists Nichupte Lagoon. This is a freshwater lagoon which hosts many water activities to the tourists.... read more

Your Vacation in the Riviera Maya   by Enrique Torres

Plan Your Next Vacation Getaway in the Riviera Maya
Featured hotels on the Mayan Riviera

It's time to plan your next vacation and, trust me, the Riviera Maya is an excellent place for virtually anything you might be considering for a vacation destination. Riviera Maya is the name that was given to the quaint Caribbean coastline that stretches south of Cancun near the Sian Ka'an Biosphere. Regardless of whether you'd rather be in a stunning and modern waterfront town filled with vacationers from all over the globe, or just lay back in an isolated, tranquil beach paradise, you'll find exactly what you're searching for on the Mayan Riviera. For snorkeling or diving, the Riviera Maya has one of the largest reef systems in the world, and houses over 500 types of fish.

Because of what the Riviera Maya provides, we are confident you will cherish and be appreciative of your stay in established areas of Playa del Carmen and Tulum or to the other growing resort areas such as Akumal, Puerto Morelos, and Puerto Aventuras. This variety gives this area a huge range of attraction, personality, and ambiance to fit different vacationing styles.

El Castillo, Quintana Roo Caribbean Sea, Tulum, Mexico
El Castillo, Quintana Roo Caribbean Sea, Tulum, Mexico Photographic Print
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If you vacation in Playa del Carmen, you must walk down the fanciful and trendy 5th Avenue. On 5th Avenue, you'll have the opportunity to shop and check out a fantastic variety of stores with just about everything you can think of, from bargain handicrafts to costly jewelry. If you'd rather not go shopping, lay back and have a seat in any of the various bars, caf?s and coffee shops in the area. When you're there, you can watch people who have come from all over the world , and listen to the local music and drink a cold beer.

If you're looking for magnificent Caribbean surroundings, sandy white beaches, a relaxed atmosphere and warm water, then Akumal is your type of vacation paradise. Where Cancun is a booming, busy metropolis, and Playa del Carmen is a busy and popular tourist spot, Akumal is out-of-the-way and serene.

Akumal is a half hour drive off Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and other amazing areas along the Riviera Maya, allowing you to check out the area and then go back to the peace, relief, and quiet of your Akumal villa. Additionally, if you love water sports, you will find delightful spots for deep sea diving or snorkeling. Actually, a great location to go snorkeling is in front of your dwelling.

The Castle (El Castillo), Also Known as the Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza, Mexico
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The Riviera Maya is fast becoming one of the more booming tourist places in the world. The tropical climate combined with the Mayan Riviera's environment generate some of the most plenary ecosystems on earth. The zone offers a labyrinth of subterranean rivers, the peacefulness of uncrowded beaches, more than a hundred cenotes, and adventure sports like rafting, deep-sea diving, bike riding, snorkeling, hiking, deep sea fishing and bird watching. It is in close proximity to different activities of the archeological eco- parks, Mexico's Mayan archeological sites, as well as golf, shopping, gourmet dining and a range of lodging accommodations to fit every lifestyle and budget. All of this will keep visitors to the Riviera Maya returning.

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About the Author - With more than eight years of residing and working directly with vacationers in the Riviera Maya, Mr. Enrique Torres is a recognized web master, entrepreneur and travel adviser in the fast growing zone of Mexico. To read more information and advice on Akumal rentals, check out his primary project, http://www.akumal-rentals.com.
Mexico's Island of Cozumel   by Glen Singleton

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The island of Cozumel is only 12 miles (19 km) off the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula's east coast and 44 miles (71 km) south of Cancun. For years, Cozumel was a quite sleepy island that didn't get many visitors until Jacques Cousteau did a documentary on it after discovering the world class scuba diving at the Palancar Reefs nearby. Since 1961, Cozumel has been known as one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world. In fact for decades since that time, the only tourists visiting the island have been primarily scuba divers. Mainstream tourists went to the resort intensive Cancun in the mainland instead. However, Cozumel became a regular cruise ship port of call in recent years and today it is one of the busiest with two separate terminals. It is common to have five or even six different cruise ships at port on any given day. I've been to Cozumel twice, the first time staying several days on a scuba diving vacation and the second time for a day via cruise ship (also scuba dived during my second visit).

Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel, Mexico Photographic Print
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As a result of the cruise ship boom, there has been lots of retail development along the main waterfront road of Avenida Rafael Melgar in the island's only town of San Miguel de Cozumel. There are countless jewelry and t-shirt shops most with staff standing in the entrances enticing visitors to enter their stores. Both silver and liquor can be good bargains here. There are also some nice Mexican crafts shops too. The one problem that we found was that after about 4 jewelry shops, they all started to look the same. It was almost a retail overload. For those who came for a wilder time, there are some bars such as Carlos 'n' Charlie. The town's main outdoor square, Plaza del Sol, is just opposite the main ferry dock to the mainland. There are usually street vendors and artists in the Plaza as well local entertainment during some evenings. The artists do some amazing artwork with spray paints and their prices are very reasonable. San Miguel's main tourist area can be very busy during the day when the cruise ship passengers are in town but since most ships depart at dinnertime, the evenings are actually very quiet. The only tourists left at night tend to be the scuba divers staying in Cozumel.

Most of the hotels and resorts are south of San Miguel and are not within walking distance. However, there are numerous white taxicabs that are readily available. The larger and more luxurious resorts tend to be even further south of town along the southwestern shores. This is actually not surprising since most of the best scuba diving sites are southwest of the island. An easy way to see the 33 mile (53 km) by 9 mile (14 km) island is by renting a scooter or a 4x4. I once rented a scooter and zigzagged along most of San Miguel's streets to see the neighborhoods. Then I went on the main road leaving town and went south. After passing by the larger resorts and going around the southern tip of the island, I found the beaches along the southeastern shores. The shores near San Miguel along the crowded west coast are not known for beaches but the southeast part here have some really spectacular ones. Even better is that there is very little traffic here so the beaches are pretty quiet. Sometimes people can park their scooters and enjoy a beach all for themselves. There are a few stops with refreshments and more souvenirs at prices even better than in San Miguel. After traveling north again, there is a road about halfway up the island that goes across and takes you back to San Miguel entering the town's east side. My scooter tour of the island took just over 2 hours and cost $25 US for the rental. Cozumel has several ancient Mayan ruins but they are not nearly as large or spectacular as the ones on the mainland. After seeing some photos of them in advance of my trip, I didn't even bother to see the ruins.

Cozumel is a nice port of call for cruise ships as there are many shopping opportunities. Passengers who scuba dive or snorkel can easily book directly with the many dive shops in San Miguel without going through their cruise ships which will cost much more. For cruise ship tourists who do not intend to do any water sports and have some time after shopping, it is highly recommended to rent a scooter or 4x4 to tour the island. This is also a nice way to spend the last day of a scuba dive vacation in Cozumel.

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About the Author - For tips on dwarf weeping cherry and weeping white pine, visit the Weeping Trees website.
HOTELS & BEACH RESORTS ON THE MAYAN RIVIERA, MEXICO

FEATURED HOTELS IN AKUMAL, RIVIERA MAYA, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO

Vacation Rentals in Akumal   by Caitlin Moore
For your next vacation, imagine flying into Cancun airport. After gathering your bags and taking your first few breaths of fresh Caribbean air, hail a taxi and, with a hint of pride in your voice, tell him to take you to Akumal. That's right, instead of heading to the mother of all Mexican tourist destinations, you'll be heading south to a quieter but no less lovely locale. You've decided to things differently, and that's a very good thing... read more
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Akumal Beach Resort All Inclusive, Akumal
A warm welcome certainly awaits you at the Akumal Beach Resort. This all inclusive hotel promises lazy days on its stunning beach and entertaining evenings, with a different show every night. Each of the hotel's three restaurants are located next to the beach, offering stunning views while you dine. The reef-protected waters of Akumal Bay form the backdrop for this 241-room resort, 21 miles south of Playa del Carmen. Guests can choose from beachfront, ocean-view, and garden-view rooms, all of which have balconies and air conditioning.  Daily activity programs, nightly live entertainment, and six bars and restaurants provide plenty of options.
Gran Bahia Principe Akumal All Inclusive, Akumal
Six miles from Xel-Ha (a nature park with minor ruins), the Gran Bahía Príncipe Akumal All Inclusive and its neighbor resort, Bahía Príncipe Tulum, are set between a mangrove jungle and a gorgeous white-sand beach. The neighboring resorts share pools, nine restaurants, 12 bars, and an entertainment center, providing guests with unlimited food and drink 24 hours a day, and lots of places to eat, drink, and play. The beach and poolside sundecks provide an immense amount of space for sunbathing on lounge chairs. An enormous lagoon-style is divided onto two levels, and features a swim-up bar.
Gran Bahia Principe Tulum All Inclusive, Akumal
The Bahia Principe Tulum is a beachfront resort, with distinctive architecture inspired by the Puuc Mayan architectural period.  Guests can dine at five restaurants and several bars with completely different atmospheres. The hotel features a large swimming-pool in the form of a lake with a with a special children's area, a quaint, open-air jacuzzi, an enormous sundeck with sun beds and sunshades, a private beach, mini-club, amphitheatre that hosts shows and entertainment, two tennis courts, a water-sports center, a gym, shops stocking essential goods and gifts, a vast natural setting, and a large convention center with top-quality facilities.
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FEATURED HOTELS IN COZUMEL, RIVIERA MAYA, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO

Mexico's Island of Cozumel
The island of Cozumel is only 12 miles (19 km) off the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula's east coast and 44 miles (71 km) south of Cancun. For years, Cozumel was a quite sleepy island that didn't get many visitors until Jacques Cousteau did a documentary on it after discovering the world class scuba diving at the Palancar Reefs nearby. Since 1961, Cozumel has been known as one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world. In fact for decades since that time, the only tourists visiting the island have been primarily scuba divers... read more

View map of Cozumel
Become a Castaway on Cozumel
The island of Cozumel serves as an oasis of tempting vacation possibilities in a drab world of office meetings, commutes and daily shots of depressing global news. Not that these things can be forever solved or banished, but taking a trip to a piece of Mexican paradise can cast the rest of the world in a rosier light; it can make life a little more bearable knowing that there is serenity and beauty out there somewhere... read more
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Allegro Cozumel All Inclusive Resort, Cozumel
The Allegro Cozumel All Inclusive Resort Is situated on the southwest part of the island of Cozumel, right on the magnificent blue waters of San Francisco beach, just 20 minutes from Cozumel airport, near the town of San Miguel. With the famous Palancar Reef only a five-minute boat ride away the resort is a treasure to diving enthusiasts. The resort features daily activities such as volleyball, aerobics, and water polo, nightly entertainment, four illuminated hard surface tennis courts, two swimming pools, gym, and sauna.With so much to see and do, it is no wonder this all-inclusive hotel is such an ideal place to stay while on a breath taking Mexican holiday.
Coral Princess Hotel & Resort, Cozumel
The Coral Princess Hotel and Resort in Cozumel is located on the north side of island and is one of just six hotels in the north hotel district. Punta San Juan reef is also located in the area and is one of the island's top diving and snorkeling sites. For day trips, the ferry station for Playa del Carmen is located 2.8 kilometers away while Cancun is located 13 kilometers away. Cozumel airport is located less than four kilometers from the hotel.   The Coral Princess Hotel and resort offers 136 guestrooms and suites in two nine-story towers colored white with terra-cotta accents. Two heated pools, a spa tub, a swim-up bar and a sundeck area provide on-site relaxation.
Fiesta Americana Cozumel Dive Resort
The Fiesta Americana Cozumel Dive Resort stands across the street from the beach in Cozumel, Mexico. This resort is located one-half kilometer from Parque Chankanaab. Mexican atmosphere prevails in the resort's two-story lobby. Modern light-wood chairs are accented with bright fabrics, while walls are painted in ocean-sunset hues. Dining options include The Reef that features panoramic seaside vistas and serves buffet breakfasts and international dishes. The sophisticated Hacienda Miramar prepares a selection of international favorites. The Beach Club offers ocean activities such as scuba diving, kayaking and snorkeling (surcharges). One outdoor pool is located near the beach, while another outdoor pool is set within the gardens. 
Melia Cozumel All Inclusive Golf & Beach Resort
The Melia Cozumel All Inclusive resort rises along a powdery white stretch of sand located in Cozumel, Mexico's Hotel Zone. This property stands seven kilometers north of Cozumel's town center, and Cozumel International Airport is six kilometers away. 7 on-site restaurants and bars include La Isla, where amber, terracotta and saffron décor provides the backdrop for Mexican, Caribbean and French cuisine. Fantasia Club presents evening shows, and, following the show, a nightclub revs into action. Water polo, beach volleyball, daytime and nighttime tennis and ping-pong provide active diversions. A health-and-beauty spa offers saunas, steam rooms, massage, body and facial treatments, and hair and nail care.
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FEATURED HOTELS IN MAROMA, RIVIERA MAYA, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO
Maroma Resort & Spa, Luxury Resort, Maroma
Voted "Number One Beach in the World" by The Travel Channel (2002), Maroma is unsurpassed for water-sports, snorkeling, deep sea fishing and ocean and cave diving (Cenotes). Nearby, you will also enjoy horse back riding, championship golf, swimming with dolphins and on and on. Dining is a romantic candle-lit affair set off by white linen, crystal, and live piano music, and served in the intimate dining room, on the stone terrace or the roof-top parapet.  Spa Treatments include facials, massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, body treatments, reiki and yoga. Or experience the Temazcal, an ancient Mayan cleansing and purification ritual.

FEATURED HOTELS IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN, RIVIERA MAYA, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO

Beaches and Weather in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya Mexico
Millions of people a year flock to Playa del Carmen, and the Riviera Maya, to escape cold weather, get a reprieve from work pressures, and take time off for serious rest and relaxation. The major attractions to the area are the white sandy beaches, the amazing crystalline waters, the laid back Caribbean attitude, and the warm tropical weather. The climate in the Riviera Maya is semi-tropical, with an average yearly temperature of 80° degrees Fahrenheit (26 ° Celsius), which can rise to 100° degrees Fahrenheit (37.7° Celsius) in the hot summer months. June first is official start of hurricane season and ends on November 30th. From November to April, which is considered high season here;it is hot and sunny during the day and cool and breezy at night... read more
Playa del Carmen - A True Gem in the Riviera Maya
Originally named Xaman-Ha (waters of the north) Playa del Carmen is part of the Mayan World. Located on the crystal blue waters of the Mexican Caribbean, Playa del Carmen is just 40 miles (60 kms.) south of Cancun. Playa, as it is known as to locals, is the perfect spot from which to explore the fascinating sites of The Mayan Riviera. Playa del Carmen is known for its miles of white sandy beaches, phosphorescent Caribbean waters, and its laid back attitude. Playa del Carmen is a place for those in search of a unique visit, vibrant people, amazing Mayan culture, and an overall travel experience that you will never forget. So come and enjoy everything Playa del Carmen and The Riviera Maya has to offer; you will not be disappointed The once quiet seaside village of Playa del Carmen has doubled in population over the past few years, mainly due to foreigners such as Europeans, South Americans, Americans and Canadians who have discovered this little slice of paradise... read more
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Ocean Maya By H10 All Inclusive Playa del Carmen
The H10 Hacienda Maya is a hotel located convenient to the Cancun International Airport. The hotel boasts a pristine location where the crystal clear Caribbean waters meets the white sand beaches and lush Mayan Riviera jungle. All these wonders of nature combine to form a scenic backdrop for the H10 Hacienda Maya. Only 10 minutes from Playa del Carmen, the unique 320-room resort offers a perfect playground from which you may explore the many sights or simply lie back and enjoy the all-inclusive hospitality.  A full-service resort with emphasis on high quality entertainment and cuisine, the H10 Hacienda Maya offers a melting pot of cultures and tastes.
Playacar Palace All Inclusive, Playa del Carmen
The Playacar Palace All Inclusive stands alongside the Cozumel Ferry Dock in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. The Playacar Spa & Golf Club is located one km from this property.   Several on-site dining venues accommodate guests, including Café del Mar that serves international and Mexican fare, and Momonohana, known for its elegant asian cuisine. Poolside and lobby bars remain open until late in the evening. Complimentary wireless internet access throughout the hotel and multi-function rooms accommodate corporate or social needs. Recreation includes use of an outdoor pool with a swim-up bar, two tennis courts that are illuminated after dark, and a sauna.
Riu Lupita All Inclusive, Playa del Carmen
The RIU Lupita All Inclusive is framed by a golf course and the tropical vegetation that flourishes within the planned community of Playacar, near Playa del Carmen, Mexico.   6 restaurants and bars are available at the hotel, including Adelita that serves international and local specialties. Maria Bonitas prepares authentic Mexican fare. Guests can access the internet via dial-up connections. Recreation includes dancing for guests who are age 18 and over at Pacha, the resort's disco. Nightly live shows with musical themes, such as Mexican folklore, are staged at the open-air theater. All rooms feature views of the surrounding gardens, jungle or golf course. 
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FEATURED HOTELS IN PUERTO MORELOS, RIVIERA MAYA, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO
Vacation in Calmer, Gentler Puerto Morelos
The Yucatan Peninsula is hardly an undiscovered vacation destination. Its fine tropical weather, sparkling beaches and friendly atmosphere make it a desirable and accessible place for travelers of all kinds, which for solace-seekers and peace lovers might sound a little dubious. Don't worry - while Cancun is an important and fun-for-some part of this region, there are other places with a little less traffic and arguably a bit more allure. Try Puerto Morelos on for size; it delivers the getaway goods without all that spring break nonsense... read more
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Hotel Marina El Cid Riviera Maya All Inclusive, Puerto Morelos
Perched on the Mayan Riviera in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, the Marina El Cid Cancun Riviera All Inclusive Resort sits halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The outdoor pool area at the Marina El Cid Cancun Riviera features cascading waterfalls, a diving platform and water slides. The hotel's El Alcazar restaurant serves Mediterranean-fusion cuisine within sleek, minimalist décor. Themed buffet fare is also available indoors or on the terrace at the casual Al Andalus restaurant. The El Arrecife Restaurant serves fresh seafood poolside with spectacular ocean views. Twenty-four-hour room service is also available.
Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun All Inclusive, Puerto Morelos
Paradisus Riviera Cancun is a deluxe hotel. Recreates a Mayan village ambience with its narrow paths and charmingly private three- store bungalow all of them with sea view or garden view.  It stretches between a slush tropical mangrove on a 5000 foot long Caribbean beach protected by a coral reef which is part of the second largest coral reef formation in the world.  Upon arrival at the property one discovers a truly tropical setting with a touch of Mayan culture a luxurious marble finish and the dramatic view of a large free-form swimming pool overlooking the tranquil waters of the Caribbean.
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