Most people have heard of Cancun and its talc powdered beaches. Most have seen images of the turquoise blue waters that line the coast for hundreds of miles. Many have also been very fortunate to go there and experience this wonderful piece of paradise for themselves. Few, however, have ventured off the main strip that is Cancun to other less visited places along the Riviera Maya. I myself was one of those people.
For most, a trip to Cancun means a week or two at an all-inclusive resort with a private beach and an endless bar at the pool. My last trip the Mexican peninsula, however, consisted of the exact opposite as we decided to venture along the coast in search of the jewels that the Riviera Maya has to offer.
Playa del Carmen sits 70 kilometers south of Cancun along the coast and is a perfect place to set up camp to explore more of the peninsula. Find a well priced AirBnB or guesthouse and find yourself a car to rent and you’re well on your way to a great time. Stop by La Cueva del Chango in town to tantalize your senses with an authentic Mexican meal. From Playa del Carmen, you have options in literally every direction. Head south and see the Mayan ruins of Tulum along the coast. Continue south and discover the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve — a UNESCO World Heritage Site teeming with life and natural beauty. Push towards the Belize border and find pristine beauty in Lake Bacalar and its seven different tones of blue crystal clear water.
Push inland westbound and find the historic ruins of Chichen Itzá and the less traveled to, but equally impressive, Cobá ruins. After hiking ancient Mayan ruins, refresh yourself at one of the hundreds of impressive and beautifully well-kept cenotes scattered across the peninsula.
North of Playa del Carmen you can find Isla Holbox off the north-eastern part of the peninsula. Isla Holbox has been a decently well-kept secret as you can still find strips of seemingly untouched beaches to yourself. Prices are a bit expensive on the island, however. Development is increasing the flow of tourists, but until the tourism establishes itself concretely, prices will remain higher than average. Still, Isla Holbox remains an incredibly beautiful piece of paradise to visit and escape the crowds. Visit in June and you will get a chance to swim with the majestic whale sharks that migrate to this island’s coast every year.
So if you’re in need of a blissful vacation with pristine white-sand beaches and adventure around every corner, then look no further than the Riviera Maya.
You can check more of Ulises Roman’s ventures around the world on his website
or on his YouTube page