What’s New in the Mayan Riviera for 2017
The beautiful Mayan Riviera is constantly growing and evolving. Each and every year, new attractions arrive on the scene and established ones alter and adapt to draw the attention of travelers and locals alike.
One of the top tourist destinations in the world for the past several years, the Yucatan Peninsula’s sun-soaked coastline is popular due to its perpetually warm climate, natural beauty, and amazing beaches. Even still, there is so much being done to enhance the regional beauty or make it more easily accessible for visitors to enjoy.
Truly an amazing place to visit, the Riviera Maya continues to thrive. Hotels and resorts continue to be built. Residential real estate, luxury condos, and restaurants are being constructed. Much of what is being developed is either within or between the cities of Cancun and Playa del Carmen. As a result of limited space in the Cancun’s famous Hotel Zone, most of the expansion is happening further south down the peninsula. As a result, Playa del Carmen is becoming one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.
What’s in store for 2017? Here are a few new spots that have popped up or will be opening soon for you to enjoy!
Guy Fieri’s Kitchen + Bar
Photo Credit – GuyFieri.com
This well-known chef and television personality has had a restaurant in the Cancun International Airport for a little over a year now (Terminal 3). His newest location opened in November 2016 in the fun, bohemian seaside city of Playa del Carmen. Located right downtown on the corner of 5th Avenue and calle 22, it’s a hotspot for tourists looking for the perfect hamburger and other American style foodie delights.
If you’re craving something unique and special in Playa del Carmen, here is a spectacular new spot you’ll want to try. This eco-friendly café and bakery has great coffee and delicious French fare, all with a chic, retro-modern vibe. The brunch is one of the best in the city! It also boasts a recycling depot on-site and gift shop featuring handmade soaps and beauty products. We recommend the turmeric latte and quiche, followed by a chocolate strawberry tart (or two or three)!
This new family-friendly resort is located near the Princess Resort, about 10 minutes north of Playa del Carmen. The Ocean Riviera Paradise makes available 974 suites and Junior suites. Along with its modern rooming, it has 5 outdoor swimming pools (including 1 children’s pool), 10 restaurants and 12 bars, plus a Mike’s Coffee Shop and an ice cream parlor. For your entertainment there is also a theatre, nightclub, bowling alley and casino along with a shopping center. Last but not least, the resort has a spa and fitness center, with a beauty salon and hairdressing services. Less than 40 minutes from the Cancun International Airport, you have everything you need for an incredible vacation all right here!
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Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya
Andaz by Hyatt opened right around the dawn of the new year. Catering to the luxury traveler, it has 214 upscale rooms and is located within the Mayakoba resort complex. It is home to a 10,000 square foot spa where you can be pampered and indulged as much as you can stand. Three outdoor pools, four eclectic restaurants and several bars complement the relaxation! Play a round at the El Camaleon Golf Course, where the only PGA tour event in Mexico occurs every November, or enjoy leisurely gondola rides through the scenic lagoons and canals.
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Mayan Watersports Complex
Scheduled to open October 2017 is the action-packed Mayan Water Complex. This unique park is located just south of the Vidanta and Iberostar resorts along the federal highway 307, (roughly 10 min north of Playa del Carmen and 30 min south of the Cancun international Airport). Primarily a wakeboarding cable park, the Mayan watersports complex has 2 different cable systems on 2 different lagoons or lakes. Another lagoon will make available traditional boat-pulled wakeboarding, wake surfing, wake skating, jet boot systems, trampolines, diving boards, rock climbing walls and other activities to totally exhaust yourself with. A restaurant and coffee shop are being constructed also to make sure you keep your energy up and stay hydrated.
Photo Credit – L’Aquarium
If you don’t feel like throwing on a mask and jumping into the giant natural aquarium that is the Caribbean Sea, you can stay dry and walk through the new Aquarium that recently opened in Playa del Carmen. Located just off of 5th Avenue between calle 12 & 14, you can see much of what is swimming around in the Caribbean Sea just a few feet away from you. It’s a great rainy day activity for the whole family. Admission is $15 USD per person, with local discounts offered as well.
Some of you may remember Wet & Wild located a few minutes away from the Cancun International Airport, just off of the Hotel Zone. More than the name has changed here! Not merely waterslides anymore, Ventura Park now aims to be Cancun’s new Oceanfront Theme Park. What are some of the exciting new features? To go along with its roller coaster, you can zip-line, bungee jump, drive a go-kart along the seaside, swim with dolphins, play Laser tag, experience Virtual Reality or play in the arcade. Ventura Park is an all-inclusive jungle gym of sorts for kids–and adults who still want to be kids!
Opening summer 2017 in the Hard Rock resort, this highly-anticipated indoor activity park is located near Puerto Aventuras, about 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. Visitors will be able to enjoy 20,000 Sq. ft. of indoor space that is completely set up for skateboarding, BMX, dry snowboarding and skiing, and parkour. There will also be trampolines, foam pits, and a DJ booth. Guests of all skill levels can sign up for private lessons or get involved in the cheer and hip-hop dance programs.
Ichkabal Archaeological Site
For those of you who enjoy visiting Mayan ruins, you’ll be interested to know that a new archaeological site in Quintana Roo will be open to visitors in 2017. Located in the southern tip of the state near beautiful Bacalar, the site requires some travel time to reach (it’s about 3 hours south of Playa del Carmen), but promises to be well worth it. Set in a forest reserve, this ancient city is believed to have been an important political center during the Preclassic Mayan era. There are hiking trails and plenty of exotic birds for the birdwatchers out there.
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There are several other projects in the works, and different rumors being circulated about new activities and adventures that may be popping up in the near future–among them a Dream Works theme park. Stay tuned! There is no shortage of fun and exciting things to see, taste, experience and enjoy in the Riviera Maya.