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Riviera Maya and Playa Del Carmen

Riviera Maya

 

One of the best ways to enjoy nature is to visit the Riviera Maya, a 120 km shore line with spectacular landscape. This area, stretching from Puerto Morelos through Carrillo Puerto (in the heart of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve) to Punta Allen, is full of attractions. Playa del Secreto, Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Puerto Aventuras, Aktun Chen grottoes, Xel-Ha and Tulum. These, among others, are places where you can find Maya ceremonial centers on the seashore, discover local biodiversity and choose from a variety of water sports in the world's second largest coral reef. Once home to small fishing villages, the Riviera Maya coastline has since been developed into a modern tourist corridor offering the very best of high-end luxury resorts, fine dining, nightlife, spa retreats, shopping and golf in Mexico.
  

Riviera Maya: delicacies

 

A Caribbean oasis spreads over the Yucatan peninsula, in the state of Quintana Roo. Sea breeze, palm trees, fine sand, turquoise ocean, starry sky … how can there be a better setting for one of the most renowned dining destinations in the country? The cuisine is based on fish and seafood, freshly caught in the Caribbean Ocean. These marine dishes are prepared with Mayan ingredients and techniques, giving them a unique flavor.

 

   

ATV Routes on the Mayan Riviera

 

Let speed take over as you set off on an excitement-packed tour of the Mayan rainforest. You’ll get the chance to enjoy fantastic rainforest trails. While you’re there in the paradisiacal setting of the Mayan Riviera, you might as well fit in a swim in one of the region’s mystical and refreshing cenote pools, or explore the Prehispanic Mayan ruins. In a region that’s big on tourism, the guides are well-trained and bilingual, which is a guarantee that you’ll have a great time.

Xplor

 

For those people with an adventurous spirit, Xplor is the most suitable option. Located on the Riviera Maya, near Cancun, this natural park is one of the experiences you just cannot miss, as it has everything you need to satisfy your curiosity and hunger for adventure. The park’s history begins something like this: after the impact of an asteroid which 65 million years ago crashed into the Yucatan Peninsula and killed off the dinosaurs, the basin formed by the enormous crater began to fill with water, creating large caverns. This is the scenery offered by the subterranean landscape of Xplor.

 

   

Protected nature

 

After crossing Tulum, freeway 307 becomes a highway and traffic is lighter. Shortly after, the most southern point of the Riviera Maya, Punta Allen can be seen, which is the entrance to the Sian Ka’an Bisphere Reserve, the name of which means “Where the sky is born”. It is the birthplace of and home to 103 species of mammals and 345 species of birds. It is covered by mangroves, lagoons and wetlands. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is home to over 1,400 species of plants; there are high, medium and low jungles, coastal dunes, wetlands, savannahs, palm trees, and cattails.

 

   

Balche: the drink of the gods

 

Balche was served during the ancient Mayan ceremonial rites, it is a corn-based and balche gruel, a nectar that was obtained from fermenting the bark of the tree of the same name, and which was sweetened with corn or anis. Today, balche is still consumed in Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Tabasco. The ancient Chontals from Tabasco offered this beverage to alleged goblins, owners of the hill, who took care of the field and domestic animals. Balche was very important for the Maya people.

 

    

Playa del Carmen

 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 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 have to offer; you will not be disappointed!

 

Playa Del Carmen has grown tremendously in popularity during the last decade. There's a good reason for that - Playa is a fantastic place to spend your vacation, hang out, or live. The town has grown along the beach, so wherever you go, you will feel the closeness to the sea. The main street is called Quinta Avenida, or 5th Avenue. Sometimes it's just called La Quinta. It is a pedestrian walkway and a common point of reference. Avenues, avenida in Spanish, run parallel to the beach. They are given numbers in increments of five, 5th Ave, 10th Ave, etc. Streets, Calle, are perpendicular to the coast and they have even numbers north of Juarez and odd numbers to the south.

The town away from the beach is less geared toward tourists and more residential. However, there are a number of excellent places in town to get authentic Mexican food, particularly along 30th Avenue. There are many shops and markets for those willing to explore beyond the beachside resorts.

 

If you’re looking for music, dancing, people watching and a good time, you can find all of them in Playa Del Carmen. Playa is not Cancun. The wild spring break nightlife is generally not found here, but there are plenty of fun places to spend the evening.

 As with most things in Playa Del Carmen, nightlife centers either on or near Fifth Avenue or on the beach.