By Chloe McAllaster
Mexico’s Caribbean region is home to some of the country’s most sought-after beach destinations, including Cancun, Tulum, Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen. While a visit to the area’s picturesque beaches is a must while staying in Quintana Roo, there is so much more to see and do before you pack up your suitcase.
“The Mexican Caribbean is much more than its beautiful beaches, offering unexpected features for every kind of traveler, from solo travelers and adventurers to families,” said Dario Flota Ocampo, director of Quintana Roo Tourism Board. “Visitors are beginning to expect and enjoy a different side to the Mexican Caribbean, and we are happy to continue surpassing that expectation with adventure, gastronomy, and of course our strong Mayan culture.”
First on the list of cultural experiences is Cobá, one of the largest Mayan pyramids. Located two hours from Cancun, the archeological site features 120 steps to stunning treetop views. If you can’t get enough of ancient Mayan civilization, explore the region’s cenotes, which are considered sacred spaces in their culture. Alltournative excursions offer the chance to learn how Mayans have lived for centuries, as well as the opportunity for thrill-seekers to swim in hidden caves and zipline through lush canopies. A trek to the protected region of Maya Ka’an offers a truly off the grid adventure through independent, community-run tours.
Next, bring the outdoors to you at Woodward—a 29,000 square foot athlete’s paradise at Hard Rock Riviera Maya. The space boasts a pump track, indoor skate park, dryland skiing, obstacle course and more. The most daring travelers will find a worthy adventure at Group Xcaret’s latest activity park Xavage. Activities range in difficulty from tame to challenging with ziplines, whitewater rafting and off-roading.
Finally, Mexico Lindo Cooking School caters to the interests of foodies with hands-on cooking classes, workshops and farm-to-table tours that provide a taste of Mexico’s rich culinary culture. The Traveler’s Table offers another opportunity to explore the vast influences of Mexican cuisine, spanning Spain to the Middle East. The communal setting offers a five-course meal that incorporates flavors and techniques from the Mayan empire to the modern era and includes paired wines, mezcals and tequilas.