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Must Do’s/See’s/Experience for Riviera Maya, Mexico

This is my 1st trip to Riviera Maya, and my husband and 8 yr old daughters 1st time out of North America.
Can anyone share their faves for the area? Thanks!!!

Posted by
6408 posts

Islas Mujeres, (take the boat from Cancun)
Tulum (take the bus from Cancun it was better than Cancun)
You could day trip to Chichen Itza

Posted by
2646 posts

It really depends on where you are located, if you are renting a car, in an apartment or all inclusive, but Xel ha is part of a larger group of adventure parks. I am sure one at least would interest your daughter. For a first trip, I recommend considering tours. Taxis aren't metered so you need to find a chart with recommended costs for transport.....and decide on costs before getting into the taxi.

Posted by
3314 posts

day trip to Chichen Itza

It is probably the most impressive of many Mayan sites we've visited. Be aware, however, of the travel time there and back. When we went it was about a three and a half hour drive each way so we didn't have as much time on site as we wished. Don't remember if we started from Cozumel, Cancun, or ?? so your travel time may be different.

Posted by
1959 posts

Is your daughter a good swimmer? There are some great spots for snorkeling off the beach - especially in Cozumel and south of Cancun - like Akumal.

Posted by
6134 posts

Tulum - both the beaches and the Tulum Maya ruins - are my favorite. Stunningly beautiful. Coba is another Maya ruin that's not as touristed as Chitchen Itza and interesting (it's close to Tulum). There are also many "cenotes" (literally sinkholes in the limestone filled with water) which are an unusual attraction and great "cool off" spots. They have no safety features though (it's at your own risk) and the wet limestone ground is quite slippery, so I'm not sure they'll be great for 8 year olds (but they're really fun for adults). I would wear some kind of water shoes with some traction if you go to prevent slipping.

There are some sites that are more accessible/closer to Cancun than Riviera Maya, so it depends where you're staying exactly. I'm guessing Playa del Carmen?

(PS. Mexico is in América del Norte/ North America, along with other countries)

Posted by
4794 posts

Really depends on where you are staying, if you are doing all inclusive, or if you have made some plans yet

Posted by
3 posts

We stayed at a resort in Playa Del Carmen and had a great excursion to Coba. It had a little bit of everything - kayaking, ziplining, swimming in a cenote, some lessons in Mayan culture, and a trip to the Coba ruins. (If you go I would highly recommend getting a rickshaw ride instead of walking to the ruins).

It's been a couple of years but I'm pretty sure this is the company and tour we used.

Posted by
50 posts

Agree with Maria's recommendation. I expect your daughter would love Xel Ha, a water amusement park.
There are buses that run down there from Cancun and Playa del Carmen. If you have a car, it's an easy drive down the main coastal road.

Posted by
233 posts

XelHa and Xcaret are both fun with kids. I'd look into them and Tulum. Coba might be a bit much for an 8-year-old in terms of travel time and heat. Chichen Itza is also great, but probably a longer trip, depending on where you are staying.