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Mexico's Riviera Maya: The New Caribbean Vacation Hotspo

   By: Barry deCocq


Travelers who are looking for a fantastic all-inclusive resort destination that is priced far below most tropical destinations in and around the Caribbean should look into Mexico’s Riviera Maya. This area has fast become a very popular tropical vacation getaway for travelers from around the world. The Riviera Maya is located on the Caribbean side of Mexico and encompasses the stretch of coastline ranging from about 5 miles to 60 miles south of Cancun.

Don’t be misled into thinking that because you fly into Cancun to get to the Riviera Maya that it is anything like Cancun and its spring break, party-like atmosphere…it is far from it. The Riviera Maya has been set aside by the Mexican government as a semi-protected area, and as such it cannot become the touristy, high-rise resort type of destination you find in the Cancun hotel zone. Resorts can only be built 3-stories or less in height and they have to be constructed to embrace the surrounding vegetation, wildlife, and topography. It is a much more family-friendly and romantic vacation destination.

Resorts in the Riviera Maya are primarily all-inclusive properties. Because of the remote locations of many of the properties there are very few offsite dining areas. All-inclusive resorts give the traveler the benefit of having everything paid for prior to their arrival. All meals, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), non-motorized watersports, and other amenities are included in package prices. The more upscale all-inclusive resorts of 4-star and higher quality typically have many different restaurant options ranging from buffet to world-class a la carte cuisine….all-included! Some of the more popular resort chains in the Riviera Maya include Iberostar Resorts, Palace Resorts, and Secrets Resorts & Spas. Resorts run anywhere from more family-related types of properties or resorts for the budget-minded to very upscale adults-only spa resorts.

One of the best reasons to choose the Mexico Riviera Maya for your next vacation is not just for the superb quality resorts and great value, but also for the fantastic tours and excursions that are available in around the Yucatan Peninsula region. This area is teeming with Mayan ruins and ancient architecture that are very popular with tourists. The most majestic of the local Mayan ruins are the pyramids of Chichen Itza. These incredibly preserved pyramids date back to 400AD and this awe-inspiring tour will leave with you many wonderful memories. There are many other Mayan ruins tours you can take as well. In addition to ruins you can also experience many eco-based tours that take you to game and marine preserves where you will find amazing wildlife and snorkeling that is nothing short of amazing. Another popular day-trip for those staying in the Riviera Maya region is the island of Cozumel. You can reach this quaint island by ferry from the town of Playa del Carmen located in the heart of the Riviera Maya. It is a short 45 minute ferry ride and once there you will find duty-free shopping, great dining, and some of the world’s best SCUBA diving and snorkeling.

If you have taken tropical vacations in the Caribbean or Hawaii and are looking for a new destination to go to the Riviera Maya is an excellent choice that will definitely impress and have you ready to come back to again and again.

Barry deCocq is a co-owner and managing director of Tropical Sands Vacations (http://www.tropicalSands.com), a discount Mexico and Caribbean travel brokerage specializing in all-inclusive resorts. Contact at info@tropicalsands.com.

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