Useful information on
Riviera Maya

Welcome

Cancun International
Airport
77.9F
25.5
56 .4 in
143
Tulum
Playa Del Carmen
Mayakoba Golf Club

General info

<div align="center">Riviera Maya General Information<br /></div><br />Riviera Maya Airport<br /><br />The Cancun International Airport is the closest direct descent to get to Riviera Maya. It is located approximately one hour from Riviera Maya which allows for a beautiful drive down the pristine coastline with breathtaking views of the turquoise water and sandy white beaches.<br /><br />Cancun International Airport<br />Phone number:(011)52(998)886-0183 or (011)52(998)886-0193<br /><br />Renting a car is the only way to get to Riviera Maya from Cancun. A staff member of the villa will be at the airport to greet you and assist you with your car rental and directions to your villa.<br /><br />Riviera Maya Communications<br /><br />Telephone: If you are calling from the United States or Canada, or you may be leaving contact phone numbers where you can be reached, you must dial the international code (011) plus the Mexico country code (52) and the area code for Riviera Maya (984) before dialing any telephone numbers.<br /><br />You may be able to use your cell phone in Riviera Maya. Check with your cell phone carrier to be sure. Keep in mind that even if you can use your cell phone the charges can be very expensive, around 5.00 USD per minute. However, if your cell phone carrier can add temporary international coverage, the fee will be minimal and the per minute rates will decrease as well. <br /><br />Another option is rent a cell phone from &quot;Cancun Valet&quot; http://www.cancunvalet.com/ <br />The charge is around $40.00 USD. You can pick it up at the airport. <br /><br />Internet: Currently there are no internet cafes in Riviera Maya. However, the luxury villas are beginning to offer internet access in your villa for a small fee. This way you won’t have an expensive increase on your cell phone bill. If you are an AOL member, contact AOL 226-0208 and receive a local access number that can be used via the computer to make phone calls at no long distance charge to you.<br /><br />Riviera Maya Transportation<br /><br />Cancun has one of the best highway infrastructures in the nation. Route 180 leads to Merida and Mexico City (more than 1,860 kilometers away). The region’s most important bus line is ADO.<br /><br />Car Rental<br />Many major car rental companies have offices in the Cancun airport and area.  Cancun car rentals can be easily arranged for you by the Villas Caribe concierge service. A valid United States driver’s license is all the documentation needed in order to rent a car in Mexico.  Driving at night is highly discouraged in Cancun. Unless you plan on exploring outlying areas, you&#39;re better off taking taxis or using the easy and inexpensive public buses around Acapulco.<br /><br />Riviera Maya Golf<br /><br /><br />If you are in the mood for some tropical golf, the courses that were designed for Riviera Maya are some of the best in the world. Always attempt to reserve your tee times in advance and take advantage of discounted green fees.<br /><br />Names of recommended golf courses for ultimate play and relaxation:<br /><br />Riviera Maya Resorts Golf Course - located at the Mayan Palace Resort on Playa Secreto. Radiant white sand traps, lakes surrounded by natural rock, jungle vegetation and undergrowth are obstacles to overcome on this high-precision executive golf course by Nicklaus Design.<br />Tel: 984-206-4043 <br /><br />Playacar Club de Golf - located in Playacar, Playa del Carmen is an 18 hole/72 par course designed by Robert von Hagge. Tee times begin at 6:00am daily. Players have the option to play 9 or 18 holes, carts are available. Driving range is open daily.<br />Tel: 984-873-0624 <br /><br />Puerto Aventuras Club de Golf is a 9 hole/ 36 par Bermuda grass course designed by Thomas Lehman in 1990. Tee times begin at 7:30am daily. Golf carts are available. No reservations are required.<br />Tel: 984-873-5109

Restaurants

<div align="center">Riviera Maya Restaurants<br /></div><br />La Buena Vida Restaurant: <br />Half Moon Bay&#39;s most popular hang out. Offers wide varieties on their menu . . . beef, chicken, fish, pasta, salads and Mayan specialties. There are a number of dishes that are prepared tableside. The restaurant is a 2 story structure with a bar downstairs (you sit on swings at the bar) and the dining room upstairs with great views of Half Moon Bay. Service is generally excellent. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfasts are especially wonderful. Prices are moderate.<br /><br />Charlie’s Restaurant – This fine restaurant features seafood and Mexican dishes with live entertainment on Saturday nights. It is also a local gallery featuring unique art, gifts, and unique clothing.<br /><br />Leo&#39;s Pizza is in the village of Chemuyil; Take 307 south until you see signs for Chemuyil. Take a right turn and follow the road. It&#39;s a small village so you shouldn&#39;t have too much trouble finding it. Leo&#39;s is a small eatery with some great food, especially the pizzas and pastas.<br /><br />La Cueva Del Pescador - This very busy place is a dinner restaurant specializing in local cuisine and fresh fish. The parking lot is always full and the appetites are greatly satisfied.<br /><br />Blue Sky<br />Blue Sky is located in Tankah (just North of Casa Cenote) and serves exceptional Italian cuisine. Every meal here at this little gem has been excellent—seafood, homemade ravioli, very frest vegetables, salads, and tiramisu for dessert. An authentic Italian chef prepares the delicious meals that will have you going back again and again. <br /><br />Casa Cenote<br />Casa Cenote is a popular restaurant located in Tankah just north of Casa Rosa. It boasts an exceptional setting, right on the beach under a large palapa.  It’s great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, chips and salsa, guacamole and famous for their killer margarita. The restaurant opens from 8:00AM until 9:00PM. Feel free to bring your swimsuit and enjoy the gorgeous fresh water Cenote just across the road from the restaurant, which jets fresh water into the ocean. The ocean swimming is excellent.<br /><br />Turtle Bay Bakery is a Mayan favorite for breakfast. It is on Akumal Bay and is open for breakfast and lunch. The restaurant makes excellent baked goods fresh daily. Try stopping in at 7:30 a.m. each morning to buy fresh muffins and other pastries to have with morning coffee and do at least a lunch or dinner that boast very fresh ingredients.<br /><br />La Cueva Del Pescador is right next door to Turtle Bay and serves lunch and dinner; it specializes in local cuisine and fresh fish. The food is top rate and reasonably priced and offers fresh seafood daily. The owner, Carlos, has been fishing the coastline for many years. The restaurant has a sand floor, interior and exterior seating, and a romantic atmosphere under candlelight. Open for lunch and dinner daily.<br />

History

<div align="center">Riviera Maya History<br /></div><br />The region known as the Riviera Maya was an important commercial and religious center for the ancient Maya during the Post-Classic Period (1000-1550 A.D.). The Riviera Maya was still a busy trade route when the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century. During the next three hundred years, under Spanish colonial rule, the lack of adequate roads deterred any significant demographic growth in this region, which suffered a long period of partial abandonment. And now, the Riviera Maya is considered the tropical style vision of paradise, and includes a crystal clear sea hiding live treasures and a lush jungle boosting mystery and life.<br /><br />Most of the indigenous population still speaks their native Mayan tongue. In the past few years, people from all parts of the world have settled here, giving this region a cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is fairly common to encounter English, German, Italian and French- speaking people.<br /><br />There are thousands of years and hundreds of miles of mystery, and music found in these more than 100 miles of spectacular coastline. This is the land of legends and there really is no other place that is able to bring you the highest quality of modern luxury villa accommodations and impeccable service that comfort you during your stay, yet allows you to experience the ancient lifestyle of the Maya culture through many direct descendants that still live in this paradise.

Golf

<div align="center">Riviera Maya Golf<br /></div><br />If you are in the mood for some tropical golf, the courses that were designed for Riviera Maya are some of the best in the world. Always attempt to reserve your tee times in advance and take advantage of discounted green fees.<br /><br />Names of recommended golf courses for ultimate play and relaxation:<br /><br />Riviera Maya Resorts Golf Course - located at the Mayan Palace Resort on Playa Secreto. Radiant white sand traps, lakes surrounded by natural rock, jungle vegetation and undergrowth are obstacles to overcome on this high-precision executive golf course by Nicklaus Design.<br />Tel: 984-206-4043 <br /><br />Playacar Club de Golf - located in Playacar, Playa del Carmen is an 18 hole/72 par course designed by Robert von Hagge. Tee times begin at 6:00am daily. Players have the option to play 9 or 18 holes, carts are available. Driving range is open daily.<br />Tel: 984-873-0624 <br /><br />Puerto Aventuras Club de Golf is a 9 hole/ 36 par Bermuda grass course designed by Thomas Lehman in 1990. Tee times begin at 7:30am daily. Golf carts are available. No reservations are required.<br />Tel: 984-873-5109 <br />

Airport

<div align="center">Riviera Maya Airport<br /></div><br />The Cancun International Airport is the closest direct descent to get to Riviera Maya. It is located approximately one hour from Riviera Maya which allows for a beautiful drive down the pristine coastline with breathtaking views of the turquoise water and sandy white beaches.<br /><br />Cancun International Airport<br />Phone number:(011)52(998)886-0183 or (011)52(998)886-0193<br /><br />Renting a car is the only way to get to Riviera Maya from Cancun. A staff member of the villa will be at the airport to greet you and assist you with your car rental and directions to your villa.<br />

Communications

<div align="center">Riviera Maya Communications<br /></div><br />Telephone: If you are calling from the United States or Canada, or you may be leaving contact phone numbers where you can be reached, you must dial the international code (011) plus the Mexico country code (52) and the area code for Riviera Maya (984) before dialing any telephone numbers.<br /><br />You may be able to use your cell phone in Riviera Maya. Check with your cell phone carrier to be sure. Keep in mind that even if you can use your cell phone the charges can be very expensive, around 5.00 USD per minute. However, if your cell phone carrier can add temporary international coverage, the fee will be minimal and the per minute rates will decrease as well. <br /><br />Another option is rent a cell phone from &quot;Cancun Valet&quot; http://www.cancunvalet.com/ <br />The charge is around $40.00 USD. You can pick it up at the airport. <br /><br />Internet: Currently there are no internet cafes in Riviera Maya. However, the luxury villas are beginning to offer internet access in your villa for a small fee. This way you won’t have an expensive increase on your cell phone bill. If you are an AOL member, contact AOL 226-0208 and receive a local access number that can be used via the computer to make phone calls at no long distance charge to you.<br />

Nightlife

<div align="center">Riviera Maya Nightlife<br /></div><br />The fun doesn&#39;t stop when the sun goes down, it just begins!! Whether its live music, great restaurants, themed meals, exotic drinks, live bands or adult entertainment, there is something for everyone and this is especially true after dark. The Riviera Maya is famous all over the world for its nightlife. <br /><br />Frequently live music is featured in nightclubs and some interesting shows are occasionally featured. You can also take the party to the high seas on one of the many cruise ships. Wherever you decide to go, there&#39;s a spot on the dance floor waiting for you.<br />

Car rental

<div align="center">Riviera Maya Transportation<br /></div><br />Cancun has one of the best highway infrastructures in the nation. Route 180 leads to Merida and Mexico City (more than 1,860 kilometers away). The region’s most important bus line is ADO.<br /><br />Car Rental<br />Many major car rental companies have offices in the Cancun airport and area.  Cancun car rentals can be easily arranged for you by the Villas Caribe concierge service. A valid United States driver’s license is all the documentation needed in order to rent a car in Mexico.  Driving at night is highly discouraged in Cancun. Unless you plan on exploring outlying areas, you&#39;re better off taking taxis or using the easy and inexpensive public buses around Cancun.

Weddings

<div align="center">Riviera Maya Weddings<br /></div><br />The Riviera Maya is one of the most romantic destinations in the Caribbean. The memories captured in photos taken on the shoreline or atop a beautiful luxury villa balcony overlooking breathtaking scenes of dolphins playing the ocean would be treasured for a lifetime. Many couples who may be renewing vows or celebrating anniversaries are even beginning to consider the Riviera Maya as the backdrop for such a wondrous occasion. <br /><br />Most luxury villas have designed special packages for weddings and honeymooners which include varied services including a wedding planner to assist with minor details, a chef to prepare a succulent menu for your guests, and a host of other services such as photographer, and florist to satisfy all the pleasures. <br /><br />There are many Mexican regulations that must be adhered to in order make absolutely sure your wedding ceremony is legal; therefore,  be sure to contact the office of the Mexican Registrar to receive updated information on forms to be completed and  any other criteria.

Shopping

<div align="center">Riviera Maya Shopping<br /></div><br />Family run enterprises and even individual entrepreneurial initiatives are quite popular means for earning a living especially in geographic areas that have absolutely no industrialization what so ever like Riviera Maya. Other than farming there are no other means of making a living other than producing some form of marketable product. As you drive along highway 307 in Riviera Maya, the view of the beach and the flat land with the awesome scenery will remind you of a little taste of Europe or Canada. You will be lured to stop along the newly built highway at the occasional craft markets and pick up some of the beautiful hand-crafted pieces to add Mexican flavor to your favorite at home. <br /><br />Original items can be found in every craft genre. Sometimes the artists love an original piece so much they will make a number of similar items, all different but with the same style. In some cases an original item sparks another then another then a whole village is making the thing. <br /><br />Some items sold in craft stores are not actually arts or crafts at all but actual clothing, household items or religious artifacts created for traditional Mayan ceremonies. Mayan ceremonial gear ends up in a collector&#39;s store because as the missionaries travel from village to village they educate the Mayan people their traditional religious beliefs are not good and that they must repent. Repenting -to the missionaries’ - means getting rid of all of their traditional Mayan beliefs. This includes any ceremonial artifacts and even the clothing they wear.<br /><br />But for more of your upscale shopping for designer fashions, local artist canvas, beautiful sterling silver jewelry, the most popular shops are located in Playa del Carmen. You can also catch a ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel and really go shopping! The town of Tulum, just 10 minutes south on the main road, has almost everything you will require during your stay: fresh tortillas, beer, shrimp, limes...all found in wonderful little stores with local vendors. Here you will also find a gas station, money exchange, fax and phone service, bakery, doctor and pharmacy.

Sights

<div align="center">Riviera Maya Activities<br /></div><br />To the right side of the entrance to the Cancún Convention Center is the Museo Arqueológico de Cancún (tel. 998/883-0305), a small but interesting museum with relics from archaeological sites around the state. Admission is $3; free on Sunday and holidays. It&#39;s open Tuesday through Friday from 9am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm.<br /><br />Another cultural enclave is the Museo de Arte Popular Mexicano (tel. 998/849-4848), located at on the second floor of the El Embarcadero Marina, Bulevar Kukulkán Km 4. It displays a representative collection of masks, regional folkloric costumes, nativity scenes, religious artifacts, musical instruments, Mexican toys, and gourd art; spread over 1,370 sq. m (4,500 sq. ft.) of exhibition space. Admission is $10, with kids under 12 paying half price. The museum is open daily from 11am to 11 pm.<br /><br />Bullfights<br /><br />Cancún has a small bullring, Plaza de Toros (tel. 998/884-8372; bull@prodigy.net.mx), near the northern (town) end of Bulevar Kukulkán opposite the Restaurant Los Almendros. Bullfights take place every Wednesday at 3:30pm during the winter tourist season. A sport introduced to Mexico by the Spanish viceroys, bullfighting is now as much a part of Mexican culture as tequila. The bullfights usually include four bulls, and the spectacle begins with a folkloric dance exhibition, followed by a performance by the charros (Mexico&#39;s sombrero-wearing cowboys). You&#39;re not likely to see Mexico&#39;s best bullfights in Cancún - the real stars are in Mexico City. Keep in mind that if you go to a bullfight, you&#39;re going to see a bullfight, so stay away if you&#39;re an animal lover or you can&#39;t bear the sight of blood. Travel agencies in Cancún sell tickets, which cost $35 for adults, free for children under 6; seating is by general admission. American Express, MasterCard, and Visa are accepted.<br /><br />Sightseeing<br /><br />Get the best possible view of Cancún atop the La Torre Cancún, Bulevar Kukulkán Km 4 (tel. 998/849-4848), and a rotating tower at the El Embarcadero park and entertainment complex. One ride costs $9; a day and night pass goes for $14. Open daily from 9am to 11pm.<br /><br />Archeological Sites<br /><br />Tulum -- A popular excursion combines a visit to the ruins at Tulum with the ecological water park Xel-Ha. Ancient Tulum is a stunning site, and my personal favorite of all the ruins. A wall surrounds the site on three sides, which explains the name (tulum means fence, trench, or wall). Its ancient name is believed to have been Záma, a derivative of the Maya word for &quot;morning&quot; or &quot;dawn,&quot; and sunrise at Tulum is certainly dramatic. The wall is believed to have been constructed after the original buildings, to protect the interior religious altars from a growing number of invaders. It is considered to have been principally a place of worship, but members of the upper classes later took up residence here. Between the two most dramatic structures - the Castle and the Temple of the Wind - lies Tulum Cove. A small inlet with a beach of fine, white sand, it was a point of departure for Maya trading vessels in ancient times. Today it&#39;s a playground for tourists, and you can enjoy a refreshing swim. Admission to the site without a tour is $3.50 (no charge on Sun), parking costs $1, and use of video camera requires a $4 permit.<br /><br />Ruinas del Rey - Cancún has its own Maya ruins (tel. 998/884-8073) - a small site that&#39;s less impressive than the ruins at Tulum, Cobá, or Chichén Itzá. Fishermen built the small ceremonial center and settlement very early in the history of Maya culture. It was then abandoned, to be resettled again near the end of the post-Classic period, not long before the arrival of the conquistadors. The platforms of numerous small temples are visible amid the banana plants, papayas, and wildflowers. The Hilton Cancún hotel golf course surrounds the ruins, which have a separate entrance for sightseers. You&#39;ll find the ruins about 21km (13 miles) from town, at the southern reach of the Zona Hotelera, almost to Punta Nizuc. Look for the Hilton hotel on the left (east) and the ruins on the right (west). Admission is $4.50; free on Sunday and holidays. It&#39;s open daily from 8am to 5pm.<br /><br />On Isla Mujeres, you have the opportunity to swim with dolphins at Dolphin Discovery (tel. 998/849-4757; fax 998/849-4758; www.dolphindiscovery.com). There are several options for dolphin interaction, but my choice is the Royal Swim, which includes an educational introduction followed by 30 minutes of swim time. The price is $125 (MasterCard and Visa are accepted), with transportation to Isla Mujeres an additional $5 for program participants. Advance reservations are required. Assigned swimming times are 10am, noon, 2, or 3:30pm, and you must arrive 1 1/2 hour before your scheduled swim time. In Cancún, the Parque Nizuc (tel. 998/881-3030) marine park offers guests a chance to swim with dolphins and view them in their dolphin aquarium, Atlántida. The price of the dolphin swim ($135) includes admission to the park. It&#39;s a fun place for a family to spend the day, with its numerous pools, waterslides, and rides. Visitors can also snorkel with manta rays, tropical fish, and tame sharks. It&#39;s at the southern end of Cancún, between the airport and the Hotel Zone. Admission is $27 for adults, $23 for children 3 to 11 (American Express, MasterCard, and Visa are accepted). Open daily from 10am to 5:30pm.<br /><br />La Isla Shopping Center, Bulevar Kukulkán Km 12.5, has an impressive Interactive Aquarium (tel. 998/883-0411, 998/883-0436, or 998/883-0413; www.aquariumcancun.com.mx), with dolphin swims and the chance to feed a shark while immersed in the water in an acrylic cage. Guides inside the main tank use underwater microphones to point out the sea life, and even answer your questions. Open exhibition tanks enable visitors to touch a variety of marine life, including sea stars and manta rays. The educational dolphin program is $55, while the dolphin swim is $115. The entrance fee to the aquarium is $6 for adults, $4 for children, and it&#39;s open from 9am to 7pm, daily.<br />
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