Natural Attractions in Riviera Maya

Photo credit: © Stuart
 

The beauty of the Riviera Maya is believed to be unmatched by millions.  From coastal property to inland forests, the terrain, flora, and fauna are so varies that you'll encounter differences within each town you visit.  From underwater cave to conservation areas, you won't want to miss the opportunity to get outside and learn about the important role Mother Nature plays in keeping this area vibrant.

Nature Preserves and Hiking

Do you want to spend time outdoors? You might be pleased to know the area has some nature preserves available.

Jungle Place is a nature preserve located in Riviera Maya. Jungle Place is located near the town of Chemuyil, between Tulum and Playa del Carmen.

Take a moment to look through the following table for information on more nature preserves.

Nature Preserves and Hiking In Riviera Maya
Name Type Location
Jungle Place Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 4.4 mi. South West of Central Akumal
Ocean Research Facility Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.3 mi. South of Central Riviera Cancun
Pez Maya Research Center Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 14.0 mi. North of Central Punta Allen

Caves

Aktun Chen Cave System

Although most vacationers are drawn by the beautiful water and coastline, those aren't the only way to experience the natural beauty of the land. Riviera Maya offers some great choices, including 4 caves.

You might want to visit Aktun Chen Cave System, which is located in Riviera Maya. The Aktum Chen Cave System can be found along the Cancun-Tulum Highway, just 2.5 miles outside of Akumal and 25 minutes from Playa del Carmen. A staff member from the natural park will pick you up from your hotel for $20(USD).

An additional available option is Cristalino Maya Cenote. It is found in the vicinity of La Gloria, in central Riviera Maya. This cave has a cenote in it that is perfect for taking a quick swim, but many cave divers love this spot as well. Features of the cenote include an overhanging ledge that is fun for jumping into the water.

The chart just below summarizes some key facts regarding caves.

Caves In Riviera Maya
Name Type Location
Aktun Chen Cave System Cave 6.2 mi. Northwest of Central Akumal
Chac Tun Cave Tour/ Paintball City Cave 3.7 mi. Northwest of Central Playa del Carmen
Cristalino Maya Cenote Cave The vicinity of La Gloria, Central Riviera Maya
Jardin Del Eden Cenote Cave The vicinity of La Gloria, Central Riviera Maya

Parks and Botanical Gardens

Selvatica

Travelers can experience one of the many parks, as well as a botanical garden in Riviera Maya.

Kantun Chi Eco Park is located in the vicinity of La Gloria, in central Riviera Maya. This park has a collection of large water-filled caves that you can snorkel, dive, swim, or kayak in.

Another attraction in this category is Selvatica. Selvatica is the most popular, and award winning, Eco-adventure facility in the Mexican Caribbean. With everything from zip-line tours to cenote swims, you can experience the great outdoors in a whole new way.

The parks and gardens worth considering are provided in the following table.

Parks and Gardens In Riviera Maya
Name Type Location
Kantun Chi Eco Park Park The vicinity of La Gloria, Central Riviera Maya
Manati Cenote Park 10.4 mi. South-Southwest of Central Akumal
Plaza 28 De Julio Park Park Downtown Playa del Carmen
Punta Allen Park Park 0.0 mi. East of Central Punta Allen
Selvaje Cenote Park 19.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Akumal
Selvatica Park 16.1 mi. North of Central Playa del Carmen
Tajmahal Cenote Park Central Riviera Maya
Vaca Ha Tortugas Cenote Park 13.6 mi. South West of Central Akumal
Xunaan Ha Cenote Park 6.5 mi. South West of Central Akumal
Yax-Che Jardin Botanico Botanical Garden 4.5 mi. South West of Central Riviera Cancun
Yaxmul Cenote Park 8.9 mi. South West of Central Akumal

Zoos and Aquariums

Crococun Zoo

If the concept of passing some time surrounded by animals tickles your fancy, consider visiting Crococun Zoo. This attractions is located just under 20 miles away from Cancun in the Maya Riviera. Take the MYAB bus line from the Cancun or Playa del Carmen bus stations for a direct ride to the zoo.

Another similar attraction is Dolphin Discovery. Get ready to be up close and personal with some friendly sea animals. Dolphin Discovery offers four main programs that are sure to be remembered.

Take a minute to read the table just below for more information about what's available.

Zoos In Riviera Maya
Name Type Location
Crococun Zoo Zoo 1.9 mi. South West of Central Riviera Cancun
Dolphin Discovery Zoo Puerto Aventuras, Central Riviera Maya
X'Cacel Turtle Conservation Area Zoo 4.7 mi. South-Southwest of Central Akumal
Xaman-Ha Aviary Zoo 1.6 mi. South West of Central Playa del Carmen

Land Formations

Another fun idea is to visit some of the more interesting area land formations. Fully natural attractions like these in Riviera Maya are summarized here:

Land Formations In Riviera Maya
Name Type Location
Aktum Cenote Pond 5.8 mi. South of Central Tulum
Aktun Ha Cenote Pond 3.1 mi. North of Central Tulum
Azul Cenote Pond The vicinity of La Gloria, Central Riviera Maya
Chikin Ha Cenote Pond The vicinity of La Gloria, Central Riviera Maya
Crocodile Swamp Swamp 3.7 mi. South of Central Riviera Cancun
Dick's Reef Reef 0.9 mi. East of Central Akumal
Dos Ojos Cenote Hot Spring 9.0 mi. Northeast of Central Tulum
El Encanto Cenote Pond 20.9 mi. South-Southwest of Central Akumal
Escondido Cenote Hot Spring 5.1 mi. West-Southwest of Central Tulum
Gran Cenote Pond 13.9 mi. South West of Central Akumal
Kaape-Ha Cenote Pond 19.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Akumal
Kaape-Ha Cenote Pond 19.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Akumal
Morgan's Reef Reef 0.8 mi. East of Central Akumal
Motorcycle Reef Reef 0.8 mi. Southeast of Central Akumal
Puerto Morelos Commercial Port Harbour Puerto Morelos, Northeastern part of Riviera Maya
Regina Cenote Hot Spring 5.8 mi. West-Southwest of Central Tulum
Tortuga Reef Reef 0.6 mi. South-Southeast of Central Akumal
Underground River Other Natural Formation 2.5 mi. Northeast of Central Puerto Morelos
Xohken Reef Reef 2.2 mi. Northeast of Central Punta Allen
Yal-Ku Lagoon Lagoon 1.1 mi. Northeast of Central Akumal

Luckily, Riviera Maya has additional attractions. To read a more detailed discussion of other attractions, follow this link.

 

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