Things to do in Riviera Maya

Adventure Awaits: Discover Things to Do in Riviera Maya

Daring exploits abound in this ancient seaside region.

With leafy palm jungles, crisp white beaches, and crumbling ruins, Riviera Maya is an adventurer’s paradise. Its special blend of history, culture, and natural splendor lights a spark in bold travelers. There are plenty of things to do in Riviera Maya. Here’s where to unleash your inner explorer.

Activities at Vidanta Riviera Maya

This is the zenith of vacation bliss. Vidanta Riviera Maya isn't just a resort; it's a full-blown experience. There’s fulfillment for every traveler here. Thrill-seekers meet their match at the Jungala Aqua Experience, catching surf in the pool amid lush vegetation.

Resort nature strolls offer walks on the wild side within reach of home, where poolside canopy beds beckon after a sun-drenched day of grand excursions. These exclusive ventures aren’t open to the public. Secure your entry by booking your Riviera Maya journey at Vidanta.

The culmination of our experience at Vidanta Riviera Maya is our show JOYÀ. A loving reminiscence of a girl and her grandfather, JOYÀ invokes thought and heart as it spins tales of zany creatures and characters, giant machines of times yet to come, and vessels from worlds outside our own.

This dinner event’s theater is just as remarkable as the story it holds. Carefully planned and created, it appears as if it’s always been here — as if the environment around it was just waiting for it to rise.

Ancient Mayan Ruins

History comes to life among the remains of a once-great city.

1. Visit Tulum Ruins

There’s an endless list of things to do in Cancún, Riviera Maya’s busy neighbor. But what you can’t find in a bustling metropolis is a fascinating archaeological site delicately perched on a rocky clifftop.

Photographer: Nathan Cima

The Tulum Ruins is all that’s left of a powerful port city. Jade and obsidian exports flushed the land with riches, but not forever. A toppled wall now leaves the Mayan ruins open for viewing. Take a walk through the well-preserved castle, an unearthly portal to the 13th century, set against the Caribbean on the curved horizon.

2. Discover Chichen Itza

Every vacation needs a World Wonder, and Chichen Itza delivers. The worn stones of this ancient site date back to the fifth century, and they remain sacred and wholly absorbing. El Castillo towers over the city, its massive steps straining toward the clouds.

To walk through here is to glimpse an era frozen in time. Stone carvings stay etched into the ball court, and holy temples retain a chilling spirit. Book a tour to put your visit in the hands of a charming docent with inside knowledge of the historic site.

Diving and Snorkeling in Cenotes

These sinkholes are ripe for aquatic exploration.

3. Snorkel at Cenote Dos Ojos

Summer is one of the best times to visit Riviera Maya. Here, the warmer months bring new life to a year-long activity deep beneath the sea. Snorkeling at Cenote Dos Ojos offers an up-close look at the sacred caves. Venture under the sea and follow a twisting, turning passageway through narrow caverns.

Delicate stalactites form a winding undersea maze where divers can test their snorkeling skills. Helpful guides steer visitors toward stunning scenes filled with jungle wildlife.

Photographer: Darren Lawrence

4. Dive in Gran Cenote

Gran Cenote stands out among other natural caverns for its size and stunning landscape. Several cenotes are interconnected by quaint wooden walkways. Put on your swimsuit, slather on some sunscreen, and dip in an ancient cenote.

The long-standing pools are highly visible for easy wildlife viewing. Whether you’re an acrobatic type of swimmer or simply looking to lounge in an ancient aquifer, Gran Cenote is worth a visit. Pointed stalactites, dense vegetation, and jungle wildlife make this a swim you won’t forget.

Photographer: Amar Preciado

Adventure Sports and Eco-Tours

Test your mettle on these adrenaline-driven excursions.

5. Zip-line at Xplor Park

Xplor Adventure Park has plenty to offer jungle-bound adrenaline seekers. Naturally, we’re drawn to an activity worthy of our high-flying feats: the zip line. The Xplor's zip lines happen to be one of the most-visited spots worldwide.

High in the air, the jungle whooshes past, its green tops forming a plush mat of vegetation. The wind rushes by as you pick up speed, zipping through the jungle before you make an aquatic landing.

6. Tour the Jungle on an ATV

Jungle roads offer an escape into the unknown, a daring adventure resting just beyond the palms. The boldest travelers make their journey atop a hardy little ride with enough off-road power to conquer the terrain.

The Riviera Maya ATV Adventure is slightly perilous, unbelievably muddy, and, of course, seriously fun. Zip across twisty jungle paths as trees whip by and the ATV's engine roars. At the end of your route, soak in a cenote to cool off. Or, if you’re a height fanatic like us, take your journey back by zip line.

Photographer: Paulo Freitas

Cultural Experiences and Workshops

Dive deep into Riviera Maya culture at these vibrant spots.

7. Take a Mexican Cooking Class

Some of the best things to do in Riviera Maya revolve around food. Mexican cuisine is a blazing blend of spice, tang, and irresistible freshness. At a cooking class, you might find a way to bring that essence home with you.

Step inside your instructor’s home for an authentic exploration of Mexican food. In a cozy, buzzing kitchen, you’ll feel like one of the family. Press soft tortillas and slice nopalitos for a fresh salad to round out your six-course meal. Then, let loose for a funky fiesta.

8. Participate in a Temazacal Ceremony

Mayan culture has a rich history largely unknown to unsuspecting tourists. Slip into the Mayan way of life with an authentic Temezacal ceremony. A white-clad shaman will guide you on a tour through a Mayan community. Here, in the jungle, you’re privy to a unique discussion of long-held Mayan traditions and ways of life.

Photographer: Amar Preciado

The ritual begins when you enter the temazcal, a natural steam bath, for a mind-and-body detox. Cleansed and purified, you’ll take a refreshing dip in a cenote before returning home with a clear mind.

Embrace the Spirit of Adventure and Culture in Riviera Maya

A visit to this tranquil stretch of coastline offers an escape into bold flavors, stunning visuals, and full-body sensations. Experience it all in one night with a seat at our show JOYÀ, featuring at Vidanta Riviera Maya. This heart-wrenching tale of an alchemist and his spunky granddaughter is a meditation on life’s greatest secrets.

Our troupe of zooming, twirling acrobats draw on Mexico’s history and the audience’s five senses to carry the theater along with them as they set off on the ultimate quest. Brimming with thrills and joys and touched by the hand of whimsy, JOYÀ is a performance built to astound. Don't miss out on the joy of JOYÀ. Book your tickets today.

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