Nature Parks and Mayan Ruins
Xcaret and Xel-Ha are located in the Riviera Maya along the shore of the Yucatan Peninsula and have been quite commercialized. These eco-archeological theme parks offer great experiences including shows and special tours.
However, if you're interested in beautiful, more undisturbed nature there are better parks to visit. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and Rio Lagartos have lagoons and wetlands and are home to thousands of animals. The inlets where the parks reside are relatively shallow, and are flushed regularly by the tides. This way, the maintenance of the parks is partly taken care of by nature itself, requiring less attention from the locals. That, however, doesn't make them stop keeping the waters and the attractions clean and always looking attractive to tourists.
All these parks are excellent for taking breaks from the usual deep jungle explorations and mountain treks, which are very popular in the Yucatan Peninsula. Snorkeling you will find the fishes to be plentiful, and some swim around and with you when you go for a dip. Just avoid throwing food at them, or you'll suddenly find yourself in the middle of their feeding frenzy. Not to worry, though; sharks and piranhas are not here to join the party.
The Riviera Maya is one of the few favorite destinations of avid archeologist and historians. There are beautiful ancient ruins to visit, the most famous being Chichen Itza and, on the banks of the shore, Tulum.
Coba, located just south of the Riviera Maya, sits in between two lagoons and boasts the largest Mayan pyramid in the Riviera Maya as well as stunning nature and wildlife views.
The Mayan Riviera is the center of tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula. Tourists fly in and out every day, and you'll never find enough time to see it all.