This 30-kilometre slice of the Yucatan Peninsula from Playa del Carmen to Punta Allen, offers up a seemingly endless coastline of stunning white sand beaches and an absurdly blue sea, ancient temples and exceptional diving opportunities. The sands are backed by low-lying jungle to give you that tropical feel as the palms sway gently in the breeze, with the emphasis on the simple pleasure of kicking back and relaxing.
Famed for scuba-diving and snorkelling due to the spectacular Great Mayan Barrier Reef, there are amazing coral formations and tropical sponges, to be seen with the reef a natural refuge for a multitude of marine creatures. But the fun doesn't end here! There is no area in the world with as many underwater caves or cenotes, as the Mayan Riviera. Cenotes, are natural sinkholes found only in this part of the world, and are freshwater pools with access to vast underground cave systems.
Travel to Tulum with it’s sugar white sands making it one of the best beaches in Mexico, but also make sure you take in its dramatic and mysterious cliff-edge Mayan temple. Go and gawp at the amazing ruins of the stepped pyramid of Chichen Itza. The most famous and best restored of the Yucatán Maya sites, Chichén Itza will impress even the most jaded visitor. Try and also squeeze in a visit to Xcaret and Xel-Ha Eco Parks, to swim in underground rivers, see butterfly pavilions and archaeological sites. Where else in the world can you get all this?
Eats & drinks
The national dish is mole (pronounced mo-lay), which can be made with either chicken or turkey, but on the coast, seafood such as red snapper and tuna are delicious. Good dishes to watch out for include Pollo Pibil - a Yucatan speciality consisting of chicken marinated in orange and spices then barbecued in banana leaves. Tamales are cornmeal and chicken paste wrapped in corn or banana husks, then steamed. Then the old favourite, Enchiladas, are tortillas coated in a tomato and chilli sauce, stuffed with vegetables, chicken or pork then folded and baked and topped with sour cream.
With roads in this region relatively new, it’s easy to hire a car and explore all that the area has to offer. The bus system in the peninsula is reliable and inexpensive to carry you comfortably between all the towns and sights. To travel further afield, catch the regular ferry from Playa del Carmen over to Cozumel for the day.
Time zone offset: GMT -6 Hours
Currency: Mexican Peso
Different destinations have different magic touches so make sure to check them out to see what makes your holiday with us so special.
Fly non-stop from London Gatwick on Virgin Atlantic's award-winning service to Cancun. Flight time: 10 hours 40 mins.
Very Important Information.
Mexico Entry Requirement - travelling with children.
It's been brought to our attention that the Mexican Migration Act stipulates that to enter and exit the country children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by either of the parents or those with parental responsibility/guardianship over them.
There's no requirement for authorisation from the absent parent, for example in the case of single parents or those divorced/separated unless you appear not to be the child's parent - e.g. if you have a different surname to your child.
You'll be asked to provide notarized written authorisation signed by the parent who is not travelling with the child or by both parents where neither is travelling with the child.
If you're not able to provide this you'll need to be able to show evidence of your relationship to the child and/or the reason why they are travelling with you e.g. a birth or adoption certificate, divorce or marriage certificates or Parental Responsibility Order. This will minimise the risk of problems when entering or leaving Mexico.
Children under 18 years old travelling alone or accompanied by an adult who is not the parent or a legal guardian must present to the immigration officer in Mexico a valid passport and notarized written authorisation from the parent(s) granting their permission for the child to enter/exit the country. This must also be translated into Spanish.
Take a look at the site here for further information Travel Advice