Riviera Maya, Mexico

Last updated 9th July 2019

Why go? 

As well as the whilte sand beaches and lush vegetation, one of the best things about the Riviera Maya is its mix of big resorts with in-house restaurants and smaller local Mexican cafés, shops and bars that make beach holidays so pleasurable.

Who’s it good for? 

Older children and teens will love the Mayan Rivera. They’ll appreciate the magic history of the ancient kingdom and have fun exploring the landscape.


Sian Ka’an is a thrilling day out. You can speedboat across a lagoon to an ancient, limestone-lined shallow canal built by the Mayans 1,000 years ago. 

Another site that we think is worth exploring is Coba, a lost Mayan city, with parts still covered over by jungle.  Once home to 50,000 people, Coba’s treasures, temples and pyramids are best reached by bicycle or, if your not keen on cycling, a rickshaw tricycle.  

Those prepared for a fairly long day out will be captivated by an excursion to the inland Mayan site of Chichen-Itza, and a climb up its 30-metre step pyramid.  We also love Uxmal with it’s unsusual smooth round pyramid that – legend has it – was built in one.

What to eat

Don’t miss authentic Mexican delights like tacos and guacamole while in town or at the beach cafés; resorts tend to serve international food guaranteed to please all palates. For an Italian vibe try Playa del Carmen with its restaurants offering perfectly prepared pasta and risotto that’s ideal for smaller or fussy children.


The lowdown

Where to stay: Try the Fairmont Mayakoba, one of the most upmarket hotels in the region, and they will arrange a private visit to Sian Ka’an, which includes a fabulous lunch set out on white linen on the shore of the lake.

How to get there: Fly with British Airways from London Gatwick to Cancun from £650 return. Or try Virgin Atlantic from £640 return.

Travel time: 9-10 hours. 

Hotel: A seven-night stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba costs around £6,370 for two adults and two children sharing a room, including flights and breakfast.