insider Staff Picks

Want to make the most of your vacation on the Riviera Maya? Tap the Reef Resorts staff for insider tips on the hottest things to see and do. Whether you're a fan of history, outdoor adventure, sport fishing or spa days, our team has the inside scoop on the experiences that will make your stay extraordinary.

  • Celebrate Mexico's Day of the Dead

    For Halloween in Playa del Carmen, Xcaret Eco Park always steps up its game. While all the general perks of the park still apply during their special Halloween celebration, a little something extra is in store for those who visit during Playa del Carmen’s four-day celebration of the holiday.... Read more

  • A Mexican Halloween

    Count yourself lucky—Halloween in Playa del Carmen is right around the corner! Here in Mexico, the pagan holiday is combined with the Day of the Dead and Hanal Pixan, two traditionally Mayan celebrations.... Read more

  • Savor the Sea

    It would be a mistake to stay on one of the best beaches in the Caribbean and not get a taste of what the sea has to offer. During your stay at The Reef Playacar, make sure to try out one of the best seafood restaurants in Playa del Carmen: Mar de Olivos.... Read more

  • A Forgotten World

    Though many come to Playa del Carmen for the relaxing beaches and great weather, many others come to unveil the secrets of the Maya, a people the area belonged to long ago.... Read more

  • Put Put and Away

    While many believe tourists flock to Playa del Carmen simply for the toasty sun and incredible beaches, it may surprise you to learn that our little piece of paradise is just as well known for its state of the art golf courses.... Read more

  • Feast on Innovative Mexican Cuisine

    For a gourmet twist on traditional Mexican classics, try the revered restaurant Axiote, located on Calle 34 and a short ten minutes from our Coco Beach resort.... Read more

  • Turtle Time

    Playa del Carmen offers some of the best ecosystems to get to know the locals up close and personal. For turtle fans, Akumal Bay is a great place to start, and it’s only a thirty minute drive from our Playacar resort.... Read more

  • Come to Cozumel

    If you’re looking to expand your horizons while staying in the Yucatan, one of the best locations to do so near Playa del Carmen is Cozumel, a small but famous island not too far from the mainland and our Coco Beach resort.... Read more

  • Get Cultured in Three Dimensions

    If for some reason you have seen enough of the beaches, your fingers are pruned from too much beautiful snorkeling, or you’re nursing a sunburn, there are plenty of more relaxed attractions for the indoor folks visiting Playa Del Carmen.... Read more

  • Xplor Playa del Carmen

    If you’re more of a nature person, Playa Del Carmen is one of the best places to scratch that itch.... Read more

  • Go Underground with Playa del Carmen's Best Kept Secret

    In the heat of a Caribbean summer, it’s always best to find a way to cool down. Consider the spectacular underground caves of the Rio Secreto Nature Reserve, located only twenty minutes away from The Reef at Coco Beach.... Read more

  • Shop Your Heart Out

    Take a break from the beach and hit the thriving streets of Mexico by visiting Quinta Avienda, a festive and famous shopping center located in downtown Playa del Carmen.... Read more

  • Fishing on the Riviera Maya

    Whether you're a fishing novice or a pro sport fisherman and love spending your days out on the water, you'll love fishing with Captain Ivan during your Playa del Carmen vacation. Just a ten minute drive from our Playa del Carmen resort, Fishing with Ivan is the best deep sea fishing experience in the area.... Read more

  • The Fantastical Journey of Joya

    We’re willing to bet your tropical getaway at our Riviera Maya resort has included plenty of beach time and who can blame you?... Read more

  • Take a Dip in Dos Ojos

    After a few days under the hot sun of the Riviera Maya, you may be looking for a bit of a break. Instead of hiding yourself indoors, we suggest a better solution: take a refreshing dip in the beautifully clear waters of a cenote.... Read more

  • Sail Away to Isla Mujeres

    When you stay at our Playa del Carmen resort, you’re already within walking distance of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, but if you’re looking to spend a day away from the hustle and bustle, Isla Mujeres is just a short sailboat ride away.... Read more

  • More Than Just a Beach

    Playa del Carmen is more than just beautiful white sands and vast ocean. Once rich in Mayan culture, Playa del Carmen is a playground for the history and culture buff. Explore Mayan ruins with our partners, Mayaland Tours.... Read more

  • Time For Tacos

    If you’re in Mexico, there’s no better time to sample some true Mexican tacos, and the best of those can be found at Yo Amo Tacos, located less than fifteen minutes from our Playa del Carmen resort.... Read more

  • Better in the Bay

    The thriving underwater life of the Riviera Maya is no secret. In fact, it drives plenty of tourism throughout the year, and the colorful reefs get plenty of visitors each day. But for a unique snorkeling experience, we recommend checking out Akumal Bay.... Read more

  • Party Like a Rock Star

    Nightlife in Playa del Carmen has a lot to offer, and instead of having to decide on just one or two places to check out, you can see all the best of downtown with Playacrawl!... Read more

  • Dinner and a Show

    The unique and amazing acrobatic Cirque du Soleil shows are amazing visual delights that have to be seen to be believed, and while there are plenty of other places you can see a Cirque show, this is a special one that can only be experienced at Playa del Carmen.... Read more

  • Give Thanks

    If you’re in Mexico for Thanksgiving and feeling a little homesick, worry not! You may be surprised to learn that just as holidays like Cinco De Mayo have taken root in the States, Thanksgiving has become a holiday celebrated south of the border.... Read more

  • All That Jazz

    Jazz might not be the first thing you’d associate musically with Mexico, but there’s a significant jazz following and in Playa del Carmen the annual Riviera Maya Jazz Festival has been going strong for over a decade!... Read more

  • Underwater Adventure

    You’re feeling brave and up for an adventure, then you've got to check out Cenote Chaak Tun. (Geography refresher: a cenote is a natural limestone pit that reveals groundwater trapped below, leading to a system of underground caves.... Read more

  • We Don't Need Roads

    If you want a beak from the beach and are ready for something different, (crazy, I know), go on an off-roading adventure with the help of Rent-Buggy Playa del Carmen.... Read more

  • Put the "Fun" in Fundadores

    If you’re looking for an interesting place to people-watch and relax, the Parque Los Fundadores or "Founding Fathers Park" offers that and much more!... Read more

  • Go Ride a Kite

    If you’ve gotten bored with regular surfing, why not try something more adventurous, like kitesurfing? Not knowing how is no excuse at Kitesurf Vacation Mexico.... Read more

  • Put Pedal to Playa

    If you're ready for a break from the water (hey, it happens), and are up for something a little more intense, check out the Punta Venado Bike Park, the first specific park for mountain biking in the Yucatan Peninsula.... Read more

  • Dine Caveside

    You may have explored some of Playa del Carmen's amazing cenotes and caves, but odds are you probably haven't had a fancy dinner inside one.... Read more

  • Swim With the (Whale) Sharks

    While swimming with sharks may sound like an activity only for the very brave, swimming with whale sharks is an altogether more enjoyable experience. Though they are the largest known fish species, whale sharks are filter feeders, meaning they eat plankton, not people.... Read more

  • Swim, Bike, Zip

    If you're done laying on the beach and soaking up the sun, and are looking for a day crammed with fun activities, then it's time to check out Xel-Ha, a sustainable tourism development.... Read more

  • Dive Into Mystery

    If you consider yourself an adventurous traveler then you've got to check out Cenote Chaak Tun. Chaak Tun is relatively unknown, a hidden gem less than twenty minutes from our Playa del Carmen hotel.... Read more

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth

    All right, you're not really going to the center of the earth, but when you enter the Sistema Sac Actun, an underground river that passes through a system of caves, you couldn't be blamed for thinking you were.... Read more

  • Gaga Over Guelaguetza Gallery

    If you're got your heart set on bringing home some colorful, authentic Mexican artwork, look no further than Guelaguetza Gallery, just a short hop from your Playa del Carmen hotel.... Read more

  • Let's Monkey Around

    If you've ever dreamed of getting up close and personal with a troop of spider monkeys, here's your chance. The Jungle Place is a sanctuary for the endangered species and offers private tours that give you the opportunity to interact with the small, but seriously fascinating primates.... Read more

  • Destination: Coba

    You'll find every imaginable modern-day amenity and service in Riviera Maya hotels but the spirit of the ancient Maya is always ever-present.... Read more

  • Experience Be Maya

    Get to know the Maya - then and now - in an immersive experience offered by our friends at Mayaland Tours.... Read more

  • Tub Time for Two

    Ready for something supremely restful after a busy day beach combing in Playa Del Carmen? Make a date at The Reef Spa at The Reef Playacar for Cleopatra's Beach, a soothing and luxurious couple's bath treatment infused with milk and marine collagen.... Read more

  • Never Better Nightlife

    Chances are, you've heard of Coco Bongo, the crazy, packed-to-capacity Playa del Carmen nightclub that pulsates with performances, music and shows that "put Las Vegas to shame," says CNN.... Read more

  • Make Time for a Mayan Adventure

    Even if you come to the Riviera Maya simply for our magnificent beaches and incredible scuba diving, be sure to set aside a little time to learn about the Mayan civilization.... Read more

  • Take a Swim With a Sailfish

    If you've ever wanted to swim alongside one of the ocean's scariest looking sea-dwellers, here's your chance. Settle down, though, although the sailfish looks mighty fierce with that razor-sharp dorsal fin, he's likely more invested in a nibbling on a school of sardines.... Read more

  • Take a Break From the Beach

    Most people come to a Mayan Riviera resort to enjoy the area's magnificent beaches and amazing scuba diving. But we think it would be a shame to leave the area without learning a little about the Mayan civilization and venturing out into the mysterious Yucatán jungle.... Read more

  • Dolphin Dreams

    When you close your eyes and imagine the Mayan Riviera, it's easy to dream up images of white sandy beaches and beautiful turquoise water teaming with playful dolphins.... Read more

  • Ready for an Adrenaline Rush

    Sure, it may be tempting to stroll through our rainforest or lounge on our beautiful white sand beach for hours on end, soaking up the warm Mexican sun and occasionally taking a dip in the crystal-clear Caribbean waters but there's a world of adventure waiting for you just moments away.... Read more

  • Peace be With You

    When life feels a little too hectic, here's the best way to let it all go...slip through the doors of Ya'ax Spa, Reef Coco Beach's beautiful spa.... Read more

  • Be Maya for a Day

    Getting to know modern-day Mayans is effortless when you join our friends at Mayaland Tours. You'll learn just want life was like for the ancient Maya people as you enjoy real-life experiences in Mayan cuisine, language, spirituality and more.... Read more

  • Island Getaway

    When we want to get away from it all, we set sail for nearby Isla Mujeres, the tiny Caribbean island about eight miles north of Cancun.... Read more

  • Priming for the Perfect Tan

    There's more to achieving the perfect tan than slipping into your favorite string bikini (or swim shorts) and baking on a white sand beach. Duck into The Reef Spa for the "Perfect Tan Primer".... Read more

  • The Eco-Wonders of Xcaret

    There is almost no end to the wonders of Xcaret, the eco-archeological park that opened in 1990 and has since become one of the Riviera Maya's most sought-after attractions.... Read more

  • Capture the Coco Bongo Spirit

    "Like Las Vegas, only better"...that about sums up the Coco Bongo experience. Even a New York Times review notes "you have to experience it to believe it." So what's all the fuss?... Read more

  • Take a Dip With the Dolphins

    We may be partial to our picturesque playas, but we think the Caribbean's friendliest dolphins call the Riviera Maya home. Don't waste a minute getting to know them during the Dolphin Royal Swim at Puerto Aventuras.... Read more

  • Snorkel With the Locals

    And by locals, we mean the 500+ species of marine life that call the Great Maya Reef home. Parrot fish, sea turtles, manta rays, moray eels, dolphins and whale sharks...all swimming along the largest coral reef system in the Northern Hemisphere.... Read more

  • Chart a Romantic Course

    Leave it to our friends at Mayaland Tours to offer the region's most romantic voyage. Whether you're a newlywed or you're celebrating years of wedded bliss, an excursion aboard the Columbus, a breathtakingly beautiful Spanish galleon, adds all the requisite romance to your Riviera Maya vacation.... Read more

  • Mysteries of The Maya

    Ever since John Lloyd Stephens published Incidents of Travel in Yucatan nearly 175 years ago, the ancient city of Chichen Itza has captured the imagination of travelers.... Read more

  • Sea Turtle Sanctuary

    If logging time with a Loggerhead tops your to-do list, a visit to Tortugranja (the Turtle Farm) on nearby Isla Mujeres is a must. A public-private partnership, this sanctuary for endangered sea turtles is open daily year-round but summertime visits are perhaps the most rewarding... Read more

  • Underwater Wonders

    Snorkelers and scuba divers: Prepare for something out of (and under) this world. Located off the coast of nearby Isla Mujeres, the Cancun Underwater Museum is mind-blowing.... Read more

  • Get Together With a Gentle Giant

    May through September is whale shark season on the Riviera Maya, when the biggest fish in the world - the huge but harmless whale shark – wanders into our waters for a summer-long stay.... Read more

  • Experience Maya

    Ever wonder what life was like for the ancient Maya people or what everyday life is like for a modern-day Mayan? Now you can channel your inner Maya on a tour based on real-life experiences in Mayan spirituality, cuisine, language and more.... Read more

  • Come to Coba

    Although the modern Riviera Maya offers every imaginable amenity and service, the spirit of the ancient Maya is ever-present. A favorite place to delve into the mysteries of this storied culture is nearby Cobá.... Read more

  • Mexican Gems

    If clothes are a mere blank canvas onto which you reveal your keen eye for cutting-edge jewelry design, head to Rodriguez Naranjo, the 5th Avenue studio of brilliant Mexican designers Fernando Rodriguez and Alfonso Naranjo.... Read more

  • Kites in Flight

    We know, we know – you don’t go on vacation to go to school but, we promise, this is different. And didn’t you make a New Year’s resolution to learn something new in 2014?... Read more

  • Snorkel with Sailfish

    Don’t let their elongated bill or razor-sharp dorsal fin fool you – sailfish aren’t after you, they’re interested in stalking the schools of sardines that migrate through our warm waters now through March.... Read more

  • Chew on This

    Everyone knows the ancient Maya cultivated corn but did you know they also cultivated chewing gum? It’s true and, incredibly, the process has changed little in the 4,000 years since.... Read more

  • Meet the Mayans

    If you’re looking for a change of pace during your stay, head south down the beach highway to the ruins of the Mayan city of Tulum.... Read more