In this post you will know about the Riviera Maya, the Caribbean Sea, the Barrier Reef, Akumal, Tulum, Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and more of the wonderful postcard landscape in Mexico. We arrived in Cancun and from there we began to identify the Riviera Maya. We planned the route from south to north, to enjoy it by land, and although we could only see part of it because Mexico is immense, we were fascinated by the nature that the territory offers.
Having arrived in Cancun, we only had one thing in mind: to tour the well-known and renowned Riviera Maya. We wanted to swim in its pristine waters, enjoy the white sand beaches taking margaritas and eating tacos with guacamole until we were bloated.
When you put your feet in Mexico, you realize that it is such an authentic, diverse and rich country. Your attention to the Riviera quickly turns to all the rest of the country’s offerings: Mayan ruins, cenotes and pink lagoons with flamingos. All this I tell you because we really had the fortune to stay in the Yucatan Peninsula (only in the peninsula) for two months, which allowed us to enjoy it slowly and in different ways.
To tour the ruins, as we told you in the previous post of Valladolid and its surroundings, we decided to rent a motorbike and it was an excellent decision, because in this way we visited at our pace everything we wanted, and motivated us to rent a car that will take us from the lowest possible point in the Riviera Maya and go up through the points of interest, exploring each of its corners.
AKUMAL – swimming with turtles
This was a sensational stop because we were in the nesting season, so we were lucky enough to swim with them, renting only the lifeguard (mandatory for business and regulation).
Tip: The tours that sell to swim with the turtles are usually super expensive (because, really, in this area they want to squeeze the tourist as juice). We suggest you go on your own and move away from the most crowded areas, because the turtles do not like it too much.
TULUM – Mayan ruins on the edge of the Caribbean Sea
This is one of the places to visit when visiting the Riviera Maya. The special thing about Tulum is that there are the only Mayan ruins on the edge of the sea. In fact they were a sacred place and the representations, murals and findings in parchments show that they used boats, so it is intuited that, during the height of the Mayan civilization, the maritime advances were quite wide and probably traveled more than nearby islands.
Tip: in this place there is not much shade because there are not many trees and because of being at the edge of the sea the sun feels implacable. There are also no water troughs, so go well protected for the sun, umbrella, sunscreen, and above all abundant water to hydrate. The way is long.
Although it was on the “must t see”of our list, we did not know we would have been so amazed. Isla mujeres (“Island woman”in Spanish) is little piece of paradise in the Caribbean sea. Seriously, for me, is right now the best beach I have ever seen, pristine waters, white sands and an incredible good vibe everywhere.
From eating fresh sea food, to shopping local handcrafts and souvenirs, this little island has everything for you to chill away from the crowd and rushing pace of Cancún. The best to do? Explore the sea with a snorkel or scuba dive.
One of the main attractions when visiting Isla Mujeres is to snorkel a natural aquarium full of little and colorful tropical fishes, all the natural flora and fauna of the reefs, turtles, stars, rayes, anemones, clown fishes… is like being in a Chapter of Nemo the movie but in real life.
In the same day you can swim on top of the MUSA, the underwater museum of Art of Cancun.
MUSA – Museo subacuático de Arte
(Underwater Museum of Art)
This is a very interesting project, created after 2009, when Hurricane and the climate changed threatened the reef in Cancun and Isla Mujeres. They decided to create a place where environmental sciences and art could bring a refuge to the undersea life, and try to prevent the fast and irreversible damage to the reef in the area. Today, MUSA has more than 500 permanent submerged sculptures that will allow undersea life to grow on them in order to grow artificial reefs.
When swimming in this underwater museum, you will be amazed by the statues of crowds of people, a volkswagen beetle, a house, among many others. The main objective is to prevent the damage of the reefs by moving the careless tourists to someplace new, and encourage the development of new reefs. Jason Decaires was the British artist hired for the challenging task and MUSA is today the most attractive underwater museum in the world.
HOW to get there
When in Cancún you will see tours everywhere, each hotel has also its own package. However, we recommend you to go direct to Puerto Juarez, from where very often ferry and private tours leave from Cancun to the island.
It’s also a good idea to make a group with people that wants to visit the same places. We did like that with a family of 4 and we got a very good discount because we were already 6 in the boat.
Important: to make the most out of MUSA is highly recommended to scuba dive the place, but is is going to cost more, and you need to be a certificate diver. Mauro was not in shape to dive, so we only snorkeled the place, and it was ok, but we saw everything from the surface.
We invite you to take a look to the video we made about the Riviera Maya.
Did you liked the post? help us to share it! Did we forgot an awesome place of the Riviera Maya? Tell us which one on the comments! Thanks for reading.