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Sunday December 17 2017
The Riviera Maya Keeps Growing
Jeanette Rigter and the Riviera Maya Tourism Bureau, 2009

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Easily accessible from many cities in the United States, the eighty-one mile stretch known as the Riviera Maya is situated in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Starting eleven miles south of Cancun International Airport in Puerto Morelos, the Riviera Maya extends to Tulum, one of the most important archeological sites in the Mayan World.

The region features the tranquility of secluded beaches, a vast network of underground rivers, over 100 cenotes, the action of eco-adventure sports including kayaking, mountain biking, scuba diving, snorkeling, trekking, bird watching and deep sea fishing, proximity to most of Mexico’s most significant Mayan archeological sites, eco-archeological parks, golf courses, spas, shopping, gourmet dining, and a range of accommodations to suit differing lifestyles and budgets.

Today, the Riviera Maya is thriving with new developments. New hotels and resorts are opening, projects are on the horizon, and there are numerous must-see attractions. On the cultural front, year-round events and festivals keep the area’s pulse vibrating at all times.

New Investments Announced

Marriott International will nearly triple its presence in Mexico in the next five years, investing more than $1 billion. In the Riviera Maya, a luxurious 450-room JW Marriott Milla de Oro Resort & Spa and the 150-room upscale Renaissance Milla de Oro Resort are expected to open by 2011.

Recent Hotel Openings

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts: A harmonious blend of nature and luxury, the new 5-star Banyan Tree Mayakoba Hotel & Spa Resort takes luxury resort living in the city of Playa del Carmen to new heights with the first all-pool villa resort in Riviera Maya.

The epitome of luxury resort living, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts brings Asian hospitality to the beautiful development of Mayakoba, complete with villas offering premium seclusion and an expansive spa complex. Designed to complement and conserve the natural landscape of the low jungles, dunes and reefs, it offers 133 villas, a full service spa, and a variety of restaurants and bars.

In Fashion Hotel Boutique: In Fashion Boutique Hotel is an innovative concept that offers hospitality with unique personality. The elegant and exclusive atmosphere invites guests to relax and have fun with a touch of eccentricity. The hotel combines several design concepts including art deco, retro-pop and minimalist style, making it a landmark in architectural and decorative contemporary design.

Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort Riviera Maya: The luxurious Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort Riviera Maya is the newest resort hugging the pristine white sand shore of Playa del Carmen. Its amenities include a 91,547 square-foot elegant event space to hold conventions, weddings, and other special events.

Azul Sensatori by Karisma: Located along the beautiful Bahia Petempich, caters to families, wedding parties, groups, honeymooners and couples. Sensatori is aligned with Sensatori’s mantra to feed the five senses and reach a “satori,” a Buddhist term meaning “the wow moment.”

Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa: Located 20 minutes north of Tulum, Dreams Puerto Aventuras Unlimited-Luxury Resort opened last December, and has 305 suites surrounded by crystalline pools, hideaway beach spots, water sports, a golf course, and six restaurants.

Opening Soon

Azul Fives Hotel: Will offer 360 luxury-designed one, two, and three-bedroom suites (1,125 – 1,900 sq. feet), each with private marble bathrooms with rain forest showers and oversized balconies or terraces. The opening date is yet to be determined.

Capella Golf Course and Resort: This Capella Hotels & Resorts property will feature individual villas opening out directly to the Caribbean and the only private, championship 18-hole golf course by renowned architect Rees Jones in the Yucatan area. The hotel is expected to open in 2009.

Grupo Grand Coral: Backed by prestigious Spanish financial institutions including Bancaja and Banco de Valencia, Grupo Grand Coral’s newest world-renowned destination in Mexico will be Grand Coral Riviera Maya. Located only 30 minutes from the Cancun Airport and five minutes from Playa del Carmen, this $2.5 billion investment spans across 561 lush oceanfront acres. Blended with notable brands, hotels, expansive resorts, an 18-hole Nick Price golf course, entertainment and retail/restaurant outposts, Grand Coral Riviera Maya will be an unmatched grand oasis. The opening date is yet to be determined.

Adventure Sites

Xplore: An adventure that initiated 65 million years ago, Xplore is an underground world which features activities that invite you to explore and rediscover your emotions and senses in nature.

Xcaret an eco-archeological park located in Playa del Carmen, announced several new attractions for 2009:

1. Vino de Mexico is a wine cellar that opened in June; it sells only Mexican wines and its objective is to share the history of Mexican wines and explain its reach to wine lovers.

2. A sea turtle exhibition demonstrates the work Xcaret has done to save sea turtles in the last few years.

3. Swimming with mother dolphins and their calves is a unique, one-hour opportunity to learn and share the care and love dolphins have for one another.

4. Swimming with sharks and rays enables you to have a close encounter with these amazing animals, pet them, feed them, and learn about their lifestyle.

5. The Museum of Popular Mexican Arts is an extensive exhibit that celebrates the creativity and craftsmanship of Mexican Artisans.

Rio Secreto (Secret River): is an adventure company that offers half-day excursions into an underground river, where visitors explore hidden caverns, stalactites, stalagmites, corals, and other natural treasures hidden in the underground world.

Hidden Worlds Cenotes Park: offers exclusive access to the finest cenotes of the Riviera Maya and is has a new attraction called SkyCycle, which is one of a kind. By using a cable bicycle suspended at treetop level over a rainforest, visitors can pedal at a leisurely pace through the air and take in the overwhelming beauty of the jungle.

Aktunchen: just opened the Canopy Adventure, which enables visitors to travel through the jungle by flying in a 10-line canopy suspended by two bridges.

Upcoming Special Events and Festivals

The 7th Tulum Sea Turtle Festival, which will take place October 16 and 17, is organized by the Flora, Fauna and Culture of Mexico organization (FFCM) and other companies as well as the public and government organizations of Tulum and Solidaridad. The festival is a free event for the whole family and encourages participants to learn about sea turtles and the various organizations that are trying to protect them.

The 4thRiviera Maya Underground Film Festival, to be held October 15 – 19, is a competition and a show of edgy and compelling independent short films and documentaries from filmmakers around the world. This is a non-profit event and all activities are free.

The 4th Life and Death Traditions Festival From October 30 to November 2, Xcaret will be clothed in traditions, music, and altars dedicated to the dearly departed. Costing over $1 million and with the participation of more than 1,000 volunteers, 719 artists and 40 communities from Quintana Roo's Mayan zone, the Day of the Dead will be celebrated at Xcaret, where the great mixture of cultures that bind our country together will be displayed.

The Cancun-Riviera Maya Film Festival, held from November 9 – 15, will feature original productions by both new and renowned filmmakers presenting innovative works from around the globe.

The 7th Riviera Maya Jazz Festival held at Mamitas Beach from November 25 – 28, is emerging as one of the premiere jazz music events in the Americas.


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