Immerse yourself in Mexico’s Mayan side by exploring ancient sites beyond Tulum, seeking out adventures in Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and sampling traditional recipes.
White-sand beaches dotted with all-inclusive resorts have made Mexico’s Riviera Maya famous as a place to play and indulge. But the region is also rich in natural and manmade wonders that will entice travelers interested in having their creature comforts and a dose of culture, too.
The most remarkable are Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve—a UNESCO World Heritage site that protects the area’s incredible biological diversity—and Tulum, the only Mayan site overlooking the ocean. Tulum’s 60-something culturally significant structures, including temples and castles, made up a thriving commercial center and were occupied until the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.
Consider Tulum’s El Castillo your point of departure for a full exploration of and immersion in Mayan culture, which, while ancient, is also very much alive in modern Mexico. As you road trip through the fascinating coastal area, you’ll be tempted to take off-the-beaten path detours (literally) that lead to sacred spots and adrenaline-inducing adventures.