Local Attractions

The Mayan Riviera is known for its beautiful and tranquil beaches, network of underground rivers and cenotes, eco-adventure sports (including kayaking, mountain biking, and scuba diving), archaeological sites and eco-adventure parks. The area has so many fun things to do - you can pick and choose as you like. Here are some ideas:

Scuba Diving

Come dive in the world’s second largest reef, stretching 724 kilometres/450 miles from the tip of Cancun, south to the Bay Islands in Honduras. This coral reef is home to more than 150 species of fish and nearly 100 coral species. In addition, freshwater sinkholes called cenotes are prevalent throughout the Yucatan Peninsula and many are perfect for diving. Dive shops are located in Akumal and Tulum for equipment rental and tours.

Snorkeling

The Mayan Riviera offers so many opportunities for great snorkeling. The vacation rental properties we feature in Marisol Vacation Rentals have great snorkeling from your own backdoor or kayak out from your house. The cenotes scattered throughout the Yucatan also offer a different kind of snorkeling experience and are not to be missed! Manatee Cenote in Tankah Bay is very close to many of these vacation properties. Yal-ku Lagoon in Akumal is another fun snorkeling experience with crystal clear water and lots of fish. Of course, Akumal is known for sea turtles and you are very likely to see one during their nesting season from May to September.

Cenotes

Cenotes or limestone sinkholes are scattered throughout the region. You can snorkel, dive, or swim in most cenotes and each one is different. Some are open and others have cathedral ceilings with stalactites and stalagmites; all of beautiful and surrounded by jungle. Two amazing cenotes are found at Hidden Worlds and Dos Ojos or “Two Eyes” named after the two connected cenotes where footage for the IMAX film “Journey into Amazing Caves” was filmed. This is one of the most magnificent underwater cavern ecosystems in the world. You can also explore the “Bat Cave” without getting wet.

Beaches

This region of Mexico is known for beautiful, white sand beaches and turquoise water. Akumal, Soliman Bay, Tankah Bay, and Tulum Beach are just some of the beaches in the area. Tulum Beach and Akumal are the most developed for tourists with numerous restaurants along the beach.

Tulum Pueblo

The town of Tulum has good restaurants and shopping, as well as money exchange, ATM, and a large grocery store.

Tulum Myan Ruins

One of the most beautiful and iconic places of the Riviera Maya, the archaeological zone of Tulum is not to be missed. Tulum is the only known archaeological site located by the ocean, built on a cliff facing the Caribbean Ocean. Over sixty structures are located in Tulum and all are well-preserved. A small beach accessed only from within the ruins is surrounded by rocks and provides a good place to cool off. Further south from the ruins, the hotel zone features nightlife, restaurants, cabañas, and charming "eco-hotels" along one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in the Mayan Riviera.

Coba and other ruins

In Mayan language, Coba means turbid or cloudy waters, likely referring to the five cenotes in the area which may have been the source of water for agriculture. Coba has the Yucatan Peninsula’s highest pyramid: Nohoch-Muul, which visitors can climb to the top for amazing views of the jungle beyond. A small village, close to the ruins, has restaurants and shopping.

Playa del Carmen

An old fishermen's' village now well-developed for tourism, Playa as it is known locally has all the amenities you could need. With luxury hotels, nightlife, bars, shopping centers, restaurants, cultural and recreational centers, water sports and golf. La Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) is the main pedestrian walkway with lots of fun dining and entertainment options, making it a hotspot for nightlife that goes on until dawn. La Quinta also has shopping from small booths of beautiful, hand-crafted items to designer boutiques with brand names of cosmetics, jewelry, and clothing. Restaurants include small cafes to gourmet restaurants.

Punta Laguna Spider Monkey sanctuary

This reserve, owned and operated by the Mayan Community has an estimated 400-800 spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). A small number of howler monkeys (Aloutta pigra), also live in the reserve but are less frequently observed. There is lots of good shopping and refreshments along the way on the road to Coba. Entrance to the park as of summer 2012 is the equivalent of around $6 US. A guide is additional and may be worth it as they know right where the monkeys are. The best times to see monkeys are early in the morning or late in the afternoon. We arrived around 4pm and had the pleasure of following a group with 3 infants for awhile. Other activities include canoeing in or zip-lining over the lagoon, rappeling into a cenote, or camping next to the lagoon. They can also pick you up from your hotel.

Phone: +52 (985) 107 91 82 +52 (984) 168 10 04

Website: www.puntalagunamexico.blogspot.com

Directions:

Take the road to Coba at the intersection north of Tulum pueblo (From Highway 307, take a right and go toward Coba ruins). At the fork in the road before the Coba ruins, go right and continue toward Nuevo Xcan until you see the sign for Punta Laguna. Punta Lagunas is on the left side of the road with a large sign you can’t miss.

The Jungle Place Spider Monkey Rescue

The Jungle Place or Kuxi Kaax, is a spider monkey rescue center. Depending on what monkeys are there and their state of mind and health at time of visit, you may have the opportunity to interact directly with spider monkeys. Make reservations as early as possible before your trip.

Phone: +52, 984 116-9777

Website: www.thejungleplace.com/tours.html