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The main city of Riviera Maya is Playa del Carmen. Located in the heart of the destination, this once small fisherman’s village has now grown to a city with all amenities a tourist could ask for. Playa del Carmen, simply called ”Playa” by the locals, is a vibrant and lively city. The main street is the famous 5th Avenue, or ”La Quinta Avenida”. This avenue with a length of more than 3 km, crosses the city and is completely pedestrian. Here you will find bars, nightclubs, shops. Handcraft stores, coffee houses and restaurants from every corner of the world and for every budget whether a taco at the taco stand or a romantic candle lit dinner on the beach, options are there for everyone. Shopping is excellent and the variety is enormous. Souvenir shops and art galleries, silverstores and handcraft from the region mingle with hammocks, sombreros, tequilashops and designer stores. La Quinta starts at the outdoor shopping mall called ”Paseo del Carmen” which is located in between Playa and the hotelzone Playacar. In Playacar you will find beautiful all inclusive chain hotels in a private and elegant area. Resorts are located on the beach and surround the Playacar Golfcourse, an 18 hole golfcourse designed by Robert von Hagge and a challenge according to the golfers as the greens are quite narrow. Meals and drinks are inluded in the greenfee and the golfclub also features a spa. Amongst the all inclusive resorts you will find a small arqueological site called ”Xaman-Ha”. This was a ceremonial site where the ancient Mayas would practice purification ceremonies before they would make the crossing to the Island of Cozumel to worship Ixchel, Goddess of the moon and of fertility. During centuries the Mayas would challenge the Caribbean Sea to bring offers to Ixchel to favor fertility and to ask for blessings such as good health and abundant crops for their community. Xaman-Ha is also the name of the small bird sanctuary also located in Playacar. This is a cute little park with many species of birds from the region. The nightlife of Playa has become famous in the region and guests from all over visit to have fun and dance the night away. The bars are located mainly in 12th Street and all within walking distance one from the other. As most of them are outdoors the street at night are as busy as during the day, and options range from dancing under the stars on the beach until watching the sunrise at the after hours club.
Akumal

Akumal

About 30 km further south you find the village of Akumal. Akumal means ”the place of the turtle” in the Maya Language and it was the first settlement of what has become the Riviera Maya, funded 52 years ago. Inspite of tourist development the place has not lost it’s small village mentality and the atmosphere is laid back and friendly. Within the community you will find some hotels and guesthouses and many private villas and condominiums for rent. In the town there is a center on environmental issues created by the CEA (Centro Ecological Akumal) a nonprofit civil organization, whose primary interest is to create environmental awareness to residents and visitors and to ensure the environmental quality of the village. The main attraction of the village is Half Moon Bay, the beach area in the center of the village. As the coral reef runs very close to the shore there are very little waves and almost no current, which makes this beach area ideal for family vacations. Half Moon Bay is home to the amazingly beautiful sea turtles, an endangered species that until today comes to the shore of Riviera Maya to lay their eggs. By just swimming out for about 100 meters you will have the unique possibility to snorkel with those fabulous creatures, as well as with stingrays and other multicolored tropical fish. At the end of the village there is a beautiful inlet called Yalku. This is the outlet of an underground river that mixes with the sea, so its water is brackish (mixed fresh and salt water). Yalku is a fabulous place to go snorkeling. The place charges a small entrance fee and there is snorkel equipment and life jackets for rent. You can also rent a palapa and spend the entire day here. In Akumal you will find many different restaurants with excellent food and even better service. There are also some souvenir shops and supermarkets.

Here you will find the activities and attractions that you can not miss, once you are in this amazing destination. Enjoy your stay at the paradise Riviera Maya!
What makes the Riviera Maya a great place to vacation?: The long list of fun activities to experience and incredible eco adventure parks to visit during your stay in this marvellous destination. There is something for everybody and for every age group, from exploring the Mesoamerican Reef diving amongst colorful fishes, to hiking in the jungle or ziplining through the treetops, fun is guaranteed for all!
Throughout the year there are many special events that take place in Riviera Maya. There are festivals that range all the way from the extraordinarily Riviera Maya Jazz Festival through international movie and food festivals to complement your vacations. More tips on www.rivieramaya.com
The Mexican Cuisine is known for its varied flavours and the great variety of spices and ingredients that are used, most of which are native to the country. Many of the recipes are based on a tradition that date thousands of years back and were passed on from generation to generation. It is for that reason that the UNESCO declared the Mexican Gastronomy an intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010. Food plays an important role in the Mexican society and every meal is a feast. The preparation is a ritual by itself and it is not uncommon that half a day is spent in the kitchen to create these exquisite dishes. The Riviera Maya is a hot spot for the up and coming restaurants, the latest foodie trends and new cuisine. Playa del Carmen, the main city of the destination is a vibrant district with its own style and flavor. Serving as a hub for Riviera Maya’s nightlife, shopping and dining scene, Playa del Carmen is a cosmopolitan city with its own style and flavor. For a more low-key atmosphere, Tulum, known primarily as the site of ancient Mayan ruins, serves as an off-the-beaten path district for authentic local culinary offerings. With an array of fine dining options, experiential culinary lessons and opportunities to explore the art of wine and spirit tastings visitors are sure to find something to satisfy their palate.
Mexico produces coffee of an excellent quality as its topography, altitude, climate and soil allow growing and producing varieties that are classified amongst the best of the world. As a coffee producer, Mexico ranks fifth and is the leading producer of organic coffee. It is for that reason that you will always be able to find an excellent cup of coffee in the Riviera Maya, whether it is to wake you up in the morning or to enjoy with a slice of cake in the afternoon or after an exquisite dinner in one of the many restaurants in town. Options are many and the coffee is always hot and fresh!
Playa del Carmen comes alive again at night with vibrant bars and clubs that range from casual beach hangouts with beers on tap to swanky nightclubs serving sophisticated cocktails. Th famous Quinta Avenida in the heart of downtown Playa is lined with chic nightclubs, sports bars, exotic hookah houses, open-air beach clubs with live music, rooftop patios with picturesque vistas and lively pubs and mezcalerias, which – staying true to Mexico’s roots – feature a limitless selection of made-to-order mezcal drinks using liquor from the native agave plant.
La Quinta is bursting with shops that offer visitors marvelous opportunities for shopping. There are very upscale prestigious brand boutiques reminiscent of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. There also are stores featuring the designs and creations of local tailors and dressmakers utilizing an amazing palette of colors and cloths. Some of the shops specialize in the regional dresses that the women of the Yucatan wear, the huipil, as well as the cool guayaberas or shirt-jacs that the men use others feature regional dresses from all over Mexico. There is a plethora of jewelry stores on La Quinta, some featuring the lines of internationally renowned designers and others specializing in creations in Mexican silver and gold. It is important that you purchase such items from the reputable stores on La Quinta rather than from street vendors and others who often foist off ersatz jewelry on unsuspecting tourists. Quite often, you can bargain with the jewelry shop owners in order to get better prices on the items you wish to purchase. The same thing goes with the myriad number of shops featuring creations by local artisans, beautiful arts and crafts that will lend an air of color and sophistication to your home. Bargaining usually is a given with these shop owners. Shops are open 7 days a week generally from 10.00 am – 22.00 pm. Many shops will accept credit cards as payment but there are shops that only accept cash a a payment method.
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