Mexico’s Riviera Maya
Seventy-two miles of uncrowded tropical beaches. Breathtaking ancient ruins. A network of underground rivers. The largest coral reef in the western hemisphere.
That’s what you’ll find in the Riviera Maya, a stunning stretch of Mexico’s coastline that starts roughly at Cancun’s southern edge and ends just past Tulum. Whether you’re into adventure sports, archeological sites or just quiet time with sun and sand, there’s something for everyone here.
Part of the Yucatan Peninsula which separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, the Riviera Maya lies on the country’s eastern shore, in the state of Quintana Roo. The state capital, Chetumal, is in the south, near the border between Mexico and Belize. At the northern end of the state is the well-known tourist destination of Cancun. Playa del Carmen is just 40 miles to the south, while Tulum is another 40 miles beyond that.
Our villas are conveniently located in a secluded yet easily accessible area of the coastline, about 25 minutes south of Playa del Carmen and 15 minutes north of Tulum. We suggest reserving a rental car in advance of your arrival at Cancun International Airport for the 1-1/2 hour drive on Highway 307. Pre-arranged airport transfers are also available for a small fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to drink the water?
Please drink only bottled or purified water. Note that all our fresh vegetables and fruits are washed with Microdyne to disinfect them.
How bad is the drug problem in Mexico?
While the border areas between the U.S. and Mexico have experienced drug-related crime, this has not been the case in the Riviera Maya. Tourism brings a lot of money to the area, and the Mexican government is aware that safety is visitors’ paramount concern.
Should I be afraid to go out at night?
Playa del Carmen, the local hot spot, is a tourist haven. Its restaurants, bars and clubs are filled with people. As with any big city, however, we encourage everyone to use common sense and avoid staying out past 2 a.m.
Is there cell phone service and WiFi?
Yes! Most cell phones work fine here, and signal strength is good. When you stay at our villas, we will provide you with a cell phone with a local card. There is a small area in Playa del Carmen where the signal tends to drop. There is no service at Tulum or at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Sian Ka’an. All of our villas are fully equipped with wireless Internet … but checking office email is strictly optional.
Is it easy to rent a car and drive around the area?
We recommend advance online rental from a well-known company such as Hertz, Avis or Budget. Pemex gas stations are numerous and easy to find, but they don’t have cash registers. Tell the attendant how much money you are giving him, and count your change before leaving to make sure you received the correct amount. Note that speed limits are posted in kilometers, not miles. Do not speed! Be careful around Playa del Carmen, as you will likely get a speeding ticket and an opportunity to “pay” the officer directly.
What are all the white minivans on the highways?
They are called “colectivos” and run up and down the highway mostly picking up local workers. They make frequent abrupt stops to drop off passengers, so be sure to leave plenty of room when driving behind them.
What about money?
Banks and ATMs are available in many places. Most shops take both credit cards and Mexican pesos. The exchange rate fluctuates, so check the current rates online.
Are my valuables safe?
In our 12 years in this area of Mexico, we have never had a problem. We do use common sense, however. Lock the car when shopping; lock up computers at night. Wear costume jewelry and leave the diamonds behind. In the water, shiny jewelry can attract sea creatures, so best not to wear it when swimming.
The Mayan people are kind, considerate and very soulful. They are proud of their heritage and will go out of their way to be nice to you.