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The Riviera Maya, Mexico

Across from Isla Cozumel the Riviera Maya, also known as the Mayan Riviera, is a major tourism district on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and is renowned for its excellent resorts, great weather and countless activities on offer, on both sea and land. Much of the tourism in this region follows the route of Highway 307 which runs parallel and close to the Caribbean coastline and it is along this route, around the resorts or near the beaches, that many of the hotels, restaurants and other visitor facilities are based. In recent years, there has been great investment in the Riviera Maya which has helped to expand and improve it as a holiday destination.

There is much to draw visitors to the Riviera Maya as it has many great hotels and a large number of fine dining restaurants, as well as the opportunities to engage in all manner of exciting activities. The Belize Barrier Reef lies just off the coast and is a real haven for divers and wildlife enthusiasts, who get the rare opportunity to swim among such incredible biodiversity as well as sparkling aquatic natural beauty. There are also natural parks, archaeological ruins and animal centers to explore, all accessible by flying in to Cancun International Airport, around thirty miles north of the upper reaches of the Riviera.

One of the main resorts in the region is Playa del Carmen, located in the center of the Mayan Riviera. It started life as a small fishing town but tourism steadily grew thanks to the ferry service to the nearby island of Cozumel which now has a world-famous reputation for excellent scuba diving. Since then, tourism in the town has exploded, bringing many hotels and condominiums to Playa (as it is known locally) which has been accompanied by the arrival of major brands in both retail and entertainment.

At the southern end of the Riviera is the growing resort of Tulum which looks likely to become one of the main centres of the tourism industry in the area, especially as there are plans to build a new international airport near the town. In addition, one of the other main reasons that Tulum has brought in so many visitors is that it is located near to the archaeological ruins, dating from the 13th Century Mayan civilization, that share its name. Elsewhere there is development in the jungle near the town as well as the expansion of the `hotel zone` which offers many rustic accommodation options, including traditional cabanas with hammocks for beds.

Some of the other resorts that are currently undergoing major development to make the Riviera Maya one of the world`s leading tourist destinations are the towns of Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and Chemuyil. In addition, the towns of Puerto Morelos and Felipe Carrillo Puerto lie outside of the official boundaries of the Riviera but are hopefully going to be modernized and thus provide the basis of an extension of the region.

As the Riviera Maya is a growing destination, this is a great time to visit and make the most of all the new attractions and friendly atmosphere, but choosing a resort and a hotel can be tricky. Web resources such as can help make the decision easier by offering comparisons between the different options available.


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