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5 Must-See Places in the Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya Resort Tres Rios

The Riviera Maya is a special place.  That’s why Hacienda Tres Rios developed an eco friendly resort surrounded by lush jungles, tropical plants and exotic animals on a white sand beach along the Caribbean Sea.  Near Cancun, the Riviera Maya is located in a safe and peaceful area in the southern region of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that contains many natural activities and cultural attractions:  nature reserves, eco parks, white beaches, the Caribbean Sea, tropical rainforests, underground rivers, cenotes, caves, and archaeological sites of ancient Mayan ruins.

Five must-see places in this tropical paradise are:

Playa del Carmen MexicoPlaya del Carmen

With a Playa del Carmen address, Hacienda Tres Ríos Resort lies on the outskirts of town, only a five-minute drive from La Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue), the famous promenade with trendy cafes, popular bars, hot nightclubs, outdoor restaurants, arts and crafts shops, and boutiques.  The town’s European influence offers an eclectic variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops, in addition to its customary scuba diving, fishing, sky diving, and kiteboarding activities.  Only 68 kilometers (42 miles) from Cancun, Playa del Carmen includes the ferry port for transportation to Cozumel island.

Snorkeling in Cozumel MexicoCozumel

Famous marine explorer and diver, Jacques Cousteau, introduced the world to Cozumel island, a diving paradise with spectacular coral reefs and sea life along the great Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.  This part of the Caribbean Sea contains many tropical fish, exotic sea life, and colorful coral reef formations that make it ideal for snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, submarine tours, sailing, kayaking, glass bottom boat rides, and for swimming with dolphins.  Only 60 kilometers (36 miles) south of Cancun, Cozumel is a 45-minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen’s port.

Tulum Mexico Mayan RuinsTulum

Built on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Tulum is the only ancient Mayan city with fortress-like walls serving both to protect the seaside trading port from invaders and to separate the upper and lower classes.   The Tulum Mayan ruins are recognized for their distinctive temples and pyramids, primarily El Castillo (the castle or lighthouse), the tallest and most famous structure at this Mayan archaeological site, which is located 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Playa del Carmen and 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Cancun.

Xcaret Mexico Eco ParkXcaret

The ecological and archaeological park of Xcaret features natural activities and cultural attractions, such as white sand beaches; inlet, rivers, cenotes; a botanical garden, aquarium, aviary, butterfly farm, exotic wildlife, turtle conservation programs, and even on-site Mayan ruins.  One of the many vacation activities at Xcaret eco park includes a night show with authentic cultural, historical, and traditional Mexican performances.  A great day trip, the park is 24 miles (38.5 kilometers) from Playa del Carmen and 37 miles (59.5 kilometers) from Cancun International Airport.

Puerto Morelos Mexico BeachPuerto Morelos

An authentic fishing village nicknamed the ‘Jewel of the Caribbean,’ Puerto Morelos has pristine beaches along the Caribbean Sea containing a portion of Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System; abundant fish make it an ideal spot for snorkeling and fishing.  Local fishermen catch fresh fish daily, distributing to the town’s best seafood restaurants.  Nearby attractions are The Cenotes Route, Croco Cun Zoo, and Yaax Che botanical garden.  Centrally located, Puerto Morelos is only 22 miles (36 kilometers) from Cancun and 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Playa del Carmen.

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