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Riviera Maya, Mexico

Holidays in Riviera Maya

Dive into the Riviera of the Tropics

A glorious stretch of coastline, the Riviera Maya is home to some of the best beaches – and best diving - in Mexico. From the stalagmites and stalactites of the limestone cenotes, to the perfect beaches and low-lying jungle - this region is a sight to behold.

Hotels in Riviera Maya

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Essential information for Riviera Maya

Local Time
Flag of Mexico
Mexican Peso
Official currency of Mexico
Flight information
10h 40m
Cancun (CUN)
Indirect flight
Flight schedule
Fly direct on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday with our partner airlines.
Indirect Virgin Atlantic flights are available from London Heathrow.

Do I need a visa?

No, UK passport holders don't need a visa for Mexico. You'll just need to complete a tourist card on your flight to Cancun.

However, if you are travelling via the USA, then you will need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) no less than 72 hours prior to travelling.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Getting around

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.

Tropical Paradise: Highlights of Riviera Maya Holidays

Dreamy Caribbean meets ancient culture and a cocktail (or two): welcome to Riviera Maya, Mexico.

This glorious sweep of swaying palms, dazzling sands and turquoise waters is THE place to combine a blissful beach break with something a bit more. As well as lazy, sun-soaked days by the sea, Riviera Maya holidays could see you snorkelling with sea turtles, zip-lining above bird-filled forest, cycling around Mayan ruins or diving into secret sinkholes hidden in the jungle. This is Caribbean paradise with Mexican zing: hot, hot, hot and super cool.

There’s a perfect retreat for everyone too: romantic honeymooners’ boltholes, family-friendly hotels and all-inclusive Riviera Maya resorts with their own water parks, rock-star spas and five-star restaurants.

  • Swoon at Paraiso Beach – the name of this paradisiacal stretch of sand is spot on, and it sits just south of Tulum, the most scenic Mayan ruin of all.
  • Go wild at Akumal Bay, the ‘place of the turtles’. These graceful creatures are drawn to the lagoon (see them with a snorkel) and haul up onto the beach to nest.
  • Party at Mamita’s – the beach fronting lively Playa del Carmen is the hipster’s Riviera Maya holiday spot of choice. Just inland from the sand are chic boutiques, while some of the world’s best DJs hit the decks here.
  • Chill out at Punta Bete, the laid-back alternative. Follow the jungle road here to enjoy a Riviera Maya holiday’s simple pleasures: lolling under palm trees, listening to the gentle waves and squidging snow-white sand between your toes.
  • Mingle with locals at Xpu-Ha. Uncrowded and unhurried, it’s super for swimming, snorkelling or a game of beach footy, while the beach shacks serve a mean fresh fish taco. 
  • Watch sunrise at Tulum – this former fortress city is the only Mayan site built beside the Caribbean, teetering on a bluff above the sea. Arrive to see dawn break on the azure waters then explore the site, climbing up the towering Castilo for the best views.
  • Stroll down Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue to shop for arts and crafts made in the Riviera Maya and Mexico, from bright embroidered shawls to traditional pottery. Visit on a Thursday night if you can, when the Caminarte art fair fills the streets. 
  • Cycle around Cobá, one of the Riviera Maya’s most important sites. This vast, jungle-encroached complex is best seen by bike – pedal between the different areas via the ceremonial sacbé (‘white roads’) laid by the Maya centuries ago.
  • Every December, the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival soothes and sways Playa del Carmen – three nights of world-class jazz performed on the beach, under starry skies, all for free. Nice.
  • Delve into the Riviera Maya hinterland for a cultural wallop: massive Mayan sites such as Chichen Itza are doable on day-trips from the coast. Uxmal in particular is a magical mix of carvings, temples, toucans and forest – climb the great pyramid for sweeping views.
  • Slip into a cenote – an essential element of all great holidays to Riviera Maya. The limestone Yucatan peninsula is riddled with these water-filled sinkholes and a network of caves and passageways. Head for Xel-Ha park to snorkel on some of these surreal spots.
  • Do it all at Xcaret, a marvellous eco-park/museum/theme-park mash-up where you can learn about Mayan life, swim (safely!) with sharks, walk through butterfly-flittered jungle, whizz down water shoots and more.
  • Snorkel the ‘Great Maya Reef’, just off the laid-back village of Puerto Morelos. Part of a marine park, it’s brimful of coral and underwater life – look for dolphins, turtles and gliding rays.
  • Have an Indiana Jones adventure in Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, one of the largest protected areas in Mexico and home to more than 300 species of birds, 23 known archaeological sites and a wealth of wildlife – including jaguar. Explore by taking a boat or kayak trip amid the mangroves.
  • Whizz above pristine jungle by zip-wire. There are plenty of chances to get a bird’s eye view on Riviera Maya holidays – try the Selvatica Extreme Zip Line, a two-mile course between the trees which you can experience upside down, if you dare.

Home to some of Mexico’s best beaches and diving, Riviera Maya is a tropical paradise waiting to be discovered. To plan your holiday to this idyllic region, browse our Riviera Maya resorts and hotels today.

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

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Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9646.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice

Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 31 December 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates

Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected by email. 

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

Let’s talk

If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking you can call our team on 0344 472 9646 or chat to us on SMS/Whatspp via Manage my booking.

For the latest information on Covid-19 you can check our FAQs here.

Payment flexibility

Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans

We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned

If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding

Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon

To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?

You can contact our team by emailing to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

I am currently on holiday and I need to speak to someone

The easiest way to contact us while you are away is via WhatsApp. To get the conversation started, click the link and type "hello” .

or you can get in touch with our in-resort team during local opening hours

Find contact details for your location

Outside of local resort office hours you can call us in the UK +44 (0) 344 472 9626 (option 2) or email us

If you are in the USA or Canada please email:

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