Overview

On Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, the Caribbean Riviera Maya refers to the stretch of uninterrupted pale golden sands running south from the purpose-built resort of Cancún to Tulum, home to the celebrated cliff-top Mayan ruins. The coastline is followed by a close-to-shore barrier reef rich in undersea marine life; offshore are leisure-destination islands such as Isla Mujeres and Cozumel. Small resorts and former fishing villages cater for visitors, notably the family-friendly Playa del Carmen. There is plenty to see and do on the Riviera Maya, including outdoor activities, marine parks and diving opportunities. Within easy reach are several ruined Mayan cities buried away inland in rainforest, including the grand pyramids of Cobá.

Island excursions: Holbox

Isla Holbox is only about 75km from Cancún, but worlds away from the glitz of that burgeoning resort. If even super-chic Tulum is a bit too trendy for your liking you can head for Isla Holbox, a low flat new-agey island separated from the Mexican mainland on the tip of the Yucatan peninsula by a shallow azure lagoon which attracts migrating flamingos. With virtually no vehicles permitted on the island, the streets in the lazy village are made of sand, and you get around in golf buggies. There’s a virtually uninterrupted stretch of powder white beach on which to sunbathe, but there is scope for other activities: whale-shark viewing is some of the best in the world (Jun-Sep) and the island is popular for kite-surfing. Because it has not been readily accessible, the island’s tourist infrastructure is in its infancy but new establishments are creating possibilities for yoga retreats and spas. The island is a good choice for everyone from romantic couples to families.

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Holidays Caribbean coast: Riviera Maya and Holbox

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Where to go when - our guide to Caribbean coast: Riviera Maya and Holbox

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The weather in Caribbean coast: Riviera Maya and Holbox is wide and varied

Golden sand beaches and offshore barrier reefs stretch across the Caribbean coastline, with several ruined Mayan cities hidden in rainforests nearby. It is fairly hot and humid all year round, reaching sweltering peaks of 36°C in May, with the risk of hurricanes September - November. You can enjoy the beach here at any time of the year.

View our Caribbean coast: Riviera Maya and Holbox weather guide

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    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

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