Guest Post on Travel to Riviera Maya in Mexico
The Riviera Maya is one of the biggest attractions in Mexico and in the entire Caribbean. A strip of sand and sun that stretches for 130 kilometres at the easternmost end of Mexico, on the coast of Quintana Roo. It ranges from lonely virgin beaches, to modern architectural complexes that include hotels, marinas, sports facilities and restaurants where you can delight in the exquisite Mexican food “world heritage”. But how to travel to Riviera Maya?
The most common is to travel through the Cancun International Airport. Once in this city, you have several options. Here are some tips for traveling to the Mayan Riviera.
Where to rent a car in Cancun?
Rent a car in Cancun is definitely the first option to consider. Why? Well, with a car at your disposal you can draw your own itinerary without having to depend on bus schedules, or queuing to buy a ticket or board the bus. The buses also have limited speed, so the journey can be slower and more tiresome. On the other hand, you will have to share the television even if you don’t like the channel.
With a car at your disposal, you can make changes in planning as well as visit the most remote regions of this tropical paradise.
There are several options to rent a car in Cancun, but without a doubt, it is best not to do it directly at the airport, since the companies located within this facility charge higher taxes and extra commissions.
The best without a doubt in renting from a local company, within the city. But even better is to make the reservation online in advance, so you can compare prices, the fleet of cars available as well as the extra costs associated with rent and insurance.
Other forms of Transportation
Public transportation in Cancun offers 24-hour service from the city to the hotel zone and vice versa. In the city, buses stop running around 11 at night. The average cost is 10 pesos.
To move in Cancun, the buses that connect the centre with the hotel zone are those marked with R1 and R2. At the front, they bring a message that says exactly: Hotel Zone.
Vans (collective transport)
This is one of the most practical and economic ways to transport yourself along the Riviera Maya. These vans make stops every certain distance, for an average price of 30 pesos. This means of transportation is used by both locals and tourists.
You will find them anywhere and they serve you to transport yourself in distances a little more remote, for example, you can take a bus from Playa del Carmen to go to Tulum, or you can take from Playa del Carmen and drop off at Akumal, Cenote Cristalino, Parque Xel- Ha, etc.
Unlike buses, buses make stops to get on and off passengers along the Federal Highway.
Cancun to Tulum Buses
The ADO company is the largest and offers quite frequent runs, reaching almost anywhere in the Riviera Maya. The price is around 70 pesos. You can buy your tickets online and find discounts on advance purchases. There are first, second and third-class buses.
When is the best season to travel to Cancun and the Riviera Maya?
To find the best prices you have to travel in low season. Both airline tickets, hotel rates and tours will be much cheaper. With this you will also avoid large concentrations of tourists.
The best periods to find cheap rates in Cancun and the Riviera Maya are:
• Mid January and all February.
• During May and mid-June
• From the beginning of September to the beginning of December.
The hottest and wettest period is from July to September; June is the rainiest month; and during the months of November to February, it is usually a little cold and very windy. But in general, Cancun and the Riviera Maya have an excellent climate to enjoy its beaches.
Buy your plane ticket in advance and during a promotion. The latter is super important, since sometimes buying the flight well in advance does not guarantee the best price. Always look for airline deals.
How to get cheap tours in Cancun and the Riviera Maya?
Avoid Large Parks
The most expensive parks are usually those that have great infrastructure but you can have equally fun excursions in slightly more austere places. You can visit the cenotes, the nature reserves and the reefs.
Some cenotes in the Riviera Maya that I recommend for its location and beauty are:
- Dos Ojos
- Siete Bocas
- Chac Mool
- Car Wash
- Jardín del Edén.
Entrance to the cenotes costs an average of 150 pesos.
Nature reserves in the Riviera Maya that you can visit with little money:
- Xcacel-Xcacelito sea turtle sanctuary (free entry)
- Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve ($ 35 pesos entrance)
Reefs in the Riviera Maya to snorkel with little money:
- Punta Nizuc (free entry)
- Puerto Morelos Reef (you can do it on your own or hire a tour)
- Bay of Paamul (free entry)
- Laguna Yal Ku ($ 200 pesos the entrance)
Where to eat cheap in the Riviera Maya?
In Cancun and the Riviera Maya life is a little more expensive than in the rest of the country. When I go to visit my family in Michoacán, I am surprised at how much food I can buy with 100 pesos. But in the Caribbean, even the tacos at the corner stand are more expensive than in the rest of the Mexican territory. But let’s not be alarmed, there is always an option to take care of our pockets.
In the hotel zone of Cancun you will find the most exclusive restaurants, but sometimes it is only enough to walk a couple of blocks from the most tourist areas to find a restaurant with affordable prices.
On 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen there are a large number of restaurants, and some for small budgets: you can find pizza, taco and quesadilla bars.
Also if you walk to 10th Avenue, you will find even more restaurants, tacos and inns. To find even more affordable prices, you have to go to the area known as the “Ejido”, which is on the other side of the federal highway.