Mayan Riviera History
Would you ever forget a stunning shoreline where the untamed jungle meets the crystal-blue Caribbean Sea? Well that's exactly what happened to Riviera Maya during colonial times.
Originally the Riviera Maya region was an important trade and religious hub for the ancient Mayas between 1000-1550 AD. You can still see the remnants of this prosperous era at the ruins of Tulum and the towns of Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, and Xel-Ha.
This prosperity waned after many wars and invasions before the Spaniards' arrival. After their arrival, the colonial government didn't see any economic need to develop the area. Lucky for us, the inadequate roads discouraged development of the area.
Riviera Maya slowly developed into a vacation destination with the popularity of Cozumel. Initially, people only came here to catch the ferry to the beautiful island, but they were quick to discover the natural beauty of the gateway to Cozumel.
Today, this splendid coastline of the far eastern Yucatan peninsula is a living museum to Mexico's cultural and natural heritage. Hundreds of kilometers of sugary shoreline boarder the quaint villages and vibrant reefs that make the Riviera Maya region a laid-back vacation destination. Divers are drawn to The Great Maya Reef which is the world's second largest reef system. Would-be spelunkers discover its underground river system complete with caves and cenotes. Nature lovers venture to the Biosphere Reserve. While the Indian Jones in us all explores the hundreds of magnificent archaeological sites of the Mayas.
Just venture 68 kilometers south of Riviera Maya and explore the unique character and quiet beauty spanning from Punta Brava to Punta Allen.