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What is the Mayan Riviera?

Posted: 15th September 2016 09:13

At the south-eastern edge of Mexico lies the Yucatan Peninsula, home to some of the most stunning landscapes the country has to offer.  The area was once the heart of the Mayan civilization, a large and complex culture that is responsible for the many impressive ruins that can still be found throughout the area.  The most famous of these is the Chichen Itza, but it is the ruins at Tulum that first introduce you to the ‘Riviera’ part of the Mayan Riviera, standing on a tall coastal cliff looking over sandy beaches and beautiful blue waters.

The Mayan Riviera refers to this stretch of coast, from Tulum to the beautiful fishing town of Puerto Morelos, a popular diving resort that has so far escaped the development of its party hard neighbours Cancún and Playa del Carmen.  No one would blame you however for heading inland every now and then, to explore the other ruins, wander the jungles, and swim in the refreshing waters of the cenotes.

Many Maya people still live here, both in the larger towns and in small traditional villages where they still speak their ancient Mayan language.  Celebrations and festivals are still common, and occasionally visitors are invited to stay and join in, sharing traditional foods like tortillas.  Remember however that some villages are less welcome to visitors, and turning up unannounced can be seen as disrespectful – the best way to meet Maya people is through a guide that knows the locals.

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