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Riveria Maya, Mexico Family Travel Guide presented by

Winter-Spring 2013

An introduction to

Riviera Maya, Mexico Presented by

Thomas Cook Kids First Family Vacations A selection of all-inclusive family resort vacation packages designed to provide the ultimate holiday experience for parents and children.

Cover images courtesy of

Riveria Maya, Mexico Featuring Mayan Ruins, five different Eco Parks and some of the country’s most upscale hotels, the Mayan Riviera is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations. Its location on the Caribbean coast also makes it one of the most idyllic. Should you find yourself dreaming of spider monkeys and salsa dancing, here’s all that you need to know to plan the perfect family vacation in Riviera Maya.

Climate Riviera Maya experiences a subtropical climate which basically translates to year round sunshine. In summer, temperatures range from 75 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, on the other hand, you can expect to enjoy temperatures of between 70 and 81 degrees. The rainy season officially lasts from September until October but even during this time, you can expect far more sunny days than rainy ones. Showers are generally both mild and short lived. Like most of the Caribbean, hurricanes and tropical storms are a genuine threat from June until November. However, unlike most of the Caribbean, extreme conditions are incredibly rare.

When to Go The best time to visit Riviera Maya is between April and May. During this time, you can expect to avoid both the crowds of winter and the uncomfortably warm temperatures of Summer. The peak season of November through March is also very much recommended. It’s important to be aware however, that during this time you can expect to pay as much as thirty percent more for both your airfare and your accommodations.

Where to Eat Regardless of where in the Riviera Maya you find yourself, you can expect to find no shortage of dining opportunities. Here are five of the most popular restaurants in the region. • Oh Lala: Considered by many to be the best restaurant in Playa Del Carmen, Oh Lala offers a host of international dishes served in a small, homely environment. Due to its popularity, reservations are recommended at least a week in advance. • Kaxapa Factory: Another Playa Del Carmen favourite, Kaxapa is a family run restaurant that specializes in vegetarian food. Delicious fresh juices, incredibly friendly hosts and excellent value. • Los Tacos Bar n’ Grill: Authentic Mexican food, cooked to perfection and served in a choice of indoor and outdoor settings. Highlights include a wide selection of homemade sauces and some of the best tacos in town. • Ristorante Massimo: Upscale Italian restaurant in the heart of Puerto Aventuras. Fresh, homemade pasta and delicious thin crust pizzas are served in an intimate, yet family friendly, setting. • Altamar Restaurante: Probably the best restaurant in Tulum, Altamar offers a combination of fresh sea food and traditional Mexican dishes. Not the cheapest place in town but the food really does speak for itself.

Things to Do There’s a lot more to the Mayan Riviera than white sand beaches. The Mayan ruins, Mexican cenotes and the mischievous spider monkeys are all must see attractions. Here are five of the best things to do in the region. • The Jungle Place: Small spider monkey sanctuary on the edge of Playa Del Carmen. Expensive at eighty dollars per person but worth every penny. Well cared for animals that you are allowed to both interact with and feed. Certainly the highlight of your children’s holiday, probably the highlight of yours. • Labnaha Eco Park: Arguably the best eco park in Riviera Maya. Highlights include zip lines, snorkeling, underground caves and no less than three Mayan cenotes. The friendly, knowledgeable staff make the tour surprisingly educational. • Mayan Ruins of Tulum: Well preserved ancient ruins located next to a beautiful beach. Tours are widely available but completely unnecessary. To make the most of your visit, simply take a local bus, pay a small entry fee and wander around at your own pace. • Yal Ku Lagoon: Thanks to its calm waters and friendly staff, Yal Ku Lagoon is the perfect place to learn snorkelling and scuba diving. Featuring a bright colourful reef and a wide selection of indigenous fish, it’s not an experience that you’re likely to forget in a hurry. • Punta Laguna Nature Reserve: 5000 hectare nature reserve offering both stunning scenery and a wide selection of indigenous animals. Highlights include idyllic lakes, ample kayaking opportunities and plenty of zip lines. The onsite restaurant is also surprisingly good value.

Riviera Maya, Mexico - Family Vacation Guide  

An introduction to the Riviera Maya region of Mexico for those planning a family vacation, with recommedations for activities, sightseeing,...

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