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Mexico’s Riviera Maya

Exploring the Ancient History and Natural Wonders of the Yucatán Peninsula

by Sylvie Greil

Snorkeling with enormous turtles in warm, turquoise waters; scaling ancient jungle pyramids; exploring phantasmagorical sinkholes amid stalactites and stalagmites… the “Riviera Maya” feels a million worlds away. But really it’s just so close, in our neighbor country, Mexico. And it's one of the hottest travel destinations. Go now, before more mega resorts sprout up and the last Mayan monuments are off limits for hands-on exploration. The “Riviera Maya” stretches from Cancun to Tulum along the Caribbean coastline in the state of Quintana Roo. While tequila-drenched adventures are certainly to be had in Cancun, many of our favorite attractions are found south of Playa del Carmen near Tulum, and inland. Sipping mojitos on the coconut-tree-dotted beaches hugging the balmy sea is a dream, but a Riviera Maya vacation would not be complete without tracing Mayan and colonial footsteps and diving the second largest coral reef in the world.

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