On the tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, the Riviera Maya is full of history, natural beauty, and plenty of adventurous activities. The Mayans dominated this region of Mexico centuries ago and left behind fascinating culture, ruins, and customs. Today, it’s a snorkeling and swimming paradise, with an abundance of white-sand beaches and places to explore underwater.
Inspirato Members have multiple accommodations to choose from when staying here, all equally stunning. The unbelievably clear and tropical waters of the Caribbean lie mere steps from the Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa. Cooking classes, yoga classes, daily snorkeling excursions, and their signature two-hour detox spa treatment offer something memorable for everyone.
At award-winning Hotel Esencia, Inspirato offers something for everyone: a four-bedroom residence ideal for larger groups or suites for more intimate gatherings. Three- and one-bedroom villas are available at the sprawling Banyan Tree Mayakoba resort, and at the chic Nizuc Resort & Spa, Inspirato offers three suites, including a villa with a private pool.
Of course, accommodations are just one part of a vacation. Below, we’ve outlined some of the best things to do in the Riviera Maya to give some inspiration for a Mexican escape.
Snorkeling or Exploring
The Rio Secreto is a highly sacred system of underground caverns and streams. Participants slosh and swim through water that goes from ankle-deep to chest-high, following a rope line along waterways and some dry sections in caves illuminated by colorful lights.
At 1.3 million acres, the Sian Ka’an wetlands reserve – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean. It offers numerous opportunities for going deep into the Mayan world. One is a snorkel tour of a colorful coral reef that’s home to dolphins and sea turtles. Another is the Sian Ka’an and Muyil Tour, which follows a canal Mayas built more than a thousand years ago.
The underworld was sacred to Mayas, a place of renewal used for rituals. Much of their fresh water came from underground rivers and cenotes, natural pools formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock, creating sinkholes that fill with water and become oases for swimming or snorkeling. Many Riviera Maya resorts offer cenote tours where you can swim and snorkel your way from one limestone sinkhole to the next. If you have a rental car, you can drive to places such as Cenote Dos Ojos, a pool ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling.
The Belmond Maroma offers guests a one-hour bike ride through the jungle. If you’re lucky, you’ll see spider monkeys, iguanas, and colorful birds.
Hire a catamaran for a four-hour sail along Isla Mujeres bay that includes lunch onboard and a stop at a prime snorkeling spot.
Eat & Drink
Join a cooking class, tequila tasting, or wine tasting, or ask your concierge to recommend the best place for a feast of traditional, homestyle regional cuisine.
No visit to the Riviera Maya is complete without touring the ruins at Tulum. Perched on bluffs overlooking the coast, Tulum towers over an azure sea. A mostly flat trail traverses the compact compound, making it easy for families to walk among its various constructions. Prehistoric-looking iguanas patrol the ruins while adventurous swimmers bob in the choppy waters below.