Posted May 8, 2013 by Kay Walten in Mexico Vacation Tips,Riviera Maya Activities,Riviera Maya Destinations,Riviera Maya events
We have some favorite things to do in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan that we would love to share! Some of these favorites are new, some of these favorites are old. No matter where you live in the world, neighbourhoods and cities have events and areas that become a local favorite and the Riviera Maya is no exception. What we do have to say is this. There is so much to do we find it hard to choose what to do. Sounds a bit crazy but there is so much to do in the Riviera Maya, we need a week’s vacation to fit it all in.
Our schedules are filled with family, work and house obligations so our time is limited during the week. We love to build the illusion that we have all this time on our hands to do what we want when we want, but sadly that is not true. So we looked at what we did on a regular basis that were our top favorite things to do in the Riviera Maya!
1. Sundays are fun days and we try to combine a few activities into one day. One place we regularly go is Playa del Carmen where there is a local market in the residential neighborhood called the Colosial. On 56th Street, local residents put up make shift market booths and sell hardware, movies, breakfast, clothing, housewares and second-hand clothes. It is quite the ordeal and though we don’t buy something every week, we like to roam the 5 blocks of this market, grab a bite to eat and just see what is up for sale. When we are done, we hi-tail it to the beach and go for a long walk, taking in the fresh breeze and just loving being outside!
2. If we need a break, or find we have a few hours, we take off to the Sian Kaan, the UNESCO biosphere just south of Tulum on the Tulum Beach road. We have found quite a few little beaches that are people-less, and quiet. We found then by ‘taking a left; of the main road and ending up on the beach. If you are lucky you may end up at a great snorkeling location, or a stretch of beach where no one is to be found. Bring water, a snack and make sure you have lots of gas in the car. There are no amenities in the Sian Kaan, part of the reason why we love it so much.
3. We have been known to hop in the car for a lunch break and take off to Valladolid for a break. Valladolid is a small colonial town in the Yucatan that has a few great restaurants, a town cenote and great little artisan shops. The restaurant at the cenote is typical Mexican fare, our favorite with some nice restaurants on the main square and a great restaurant by the Convent. You can not go wrong by just stopping at a random place and testing out their food. That is our favorite thing to do. Where ever there is a parking spot, we stop. The restaurant closest to where we parked is where we eat. If you are in the city before 1 pm, stop by the local market and have lunch there. Great local flavors that are hard to find elsewhere.
4. If we have a weekend, off to Rio Lagartos we go! We have friends that live in this small fishing village so we have a bit of an incentive, but we love this small village on the Gulf of Mexico. It is north of Valladolid and right on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. A trip to Rio Lagartos would not be complete unless we had a boat tour to see the flamingos, something we never get tired of. Each boat trip we see a new bird species, meet a new boat captain who shares just a bit more local knowledge. We are sad to go home after a weekend but we know we will be back. The trip to Rio Lagartos through the small Mayan villages is as exciting as the village itself. It comes as a package and we love it!
5. Our final favorite thing to do is to be spontaneous and check out local events held throughout the Riviera Maya. This is a luxury we have as a resident of the area, and love that we can easily plan attendance at the event. The Akumal Comedy Fest just ended in April 2013 and we had a great time. 4 days of laughing, hanging with friends and eating some great food. Other local events are the Riviera Maya Film Festival, The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival and Taste of Playa. If we can make it, we do. It is a great way to see what is happening, meet up with friends and make some new ones!
Our list could go on and on but these are our top 5 things to do as a local in the Riviera Maya. As the urge comes, we may take off to a local Mayan Ruin, travel to see friends up or down the coast, take off to see something that has been on our bucket list or participate in a seasonal activity like the Whalesharks in Isla Holbox. Enjoy our local favorites and see if you can join us at any of the events, locations or cities that we have fallen in love with. Check it all out here!
Riviera Maya Activities (215)
Mexican Art (61)
Community Organizations (27)
Mexican Culture (176)
Mexico Destinations (124)
Family vacations (97)
Food & Drink (231)
Guest Bloggers (20)
Riviera Maya Photos (304)
Riviera Maya events (78)
Riviera Maya Services (62)
Sustainable Tourism (113)
Vacation tips (57)
Destination Weddings (30)
Costa Maya (13)
Loco Adventures (42)
Mayan Ruins (37)
Riviera Maya Destinations (247)
Community Announcements (20)
Mexican Recipes (33)
Riviera Maya Restaurants (72)
Mindful Traveler (49)
Yucatan Activities (44)
Riviera Maya Vacation Tips (143)
Mexico Vacation Tips (163)
Restaurant Reviews (8)
Interview with a Local (15)
"...for your patience with me and making this process go soooo much smoother! I truly appreciate you and the staff at LocoGringo. Thanks again! I can't wait to be sitting on the beach!
Maggie in Colorado"
"She & her new Husband had a fantastic hassle free trip. This was their very first time to Mexico and her comment upon return was " Dad, 7 days is NOT enough time ! " Super job, LG."
--Bernie in Denver,
"I just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU! The trip we booked through Loco Gringo was perfect! The price was exceptionally good and the service was second to none! If you’ve never booked with Loco Gringo before, we *highly* recommend them!"
"I will be bragging about your site to any and all who will listen. Our experience was phenomenal!!!"
"Both in 2011 and this year we have booked our room through Locogringo.com. We searched and found a great rate at the resort we wanted, and then Locogringo met that price, and with their booking came their amazing customer service and the peace of mind that if we need anything while we are there we simply need to call. I always get a fast turnaround on any email I send them, and they work so hard to find us the best rates and the rooms we want. We hope to have a long relationship with them, and recommend their site to everyone we know."
--Tim A and Teri A, Salem, UT
"We usually need reservations for 2 to 4 people but for 2 years we needed reservations for 7 to 9 people, adults and kids and they have always done a flawless job in getting the resort we wanted and at the best price too!!"
"Loco Gringo has an AWESOME website with great info, it is lots of fun to visit, be sure to join their forums. The forums hold more information and trip reports than you can 'shake a stick at'!"
"Go to the home page or check the forum."
"And their amazing website is one of the main reasons we started going regularly to the Riviera Maya and especially Akumal. No other place around the Caribbean has nearly as good a web presence as LG has given this area."
--Dan, St. Louis MO,
"So here is a GREAT BIG TEXAS THANK YOU TO LOCO GRINGO for all the awesome, fantastic vacations in Paradise."
"You always recommend amazing accommodations and we are always comfortable and feel safe. Your staff does a fantastic job at making our vacation each year a ” hassle free ” experience ! All we have to do is ” show up ” and the rest is already taken care of. We will continue in future to use LocoGringo and also continue as we have done already, to highly recommend your company to anyone we know that is planning a vacation."
--Nancy & Bill, Toronto, Canada
"and for the past five years we have used Loco Gringo for every reservation, I'm sorry that we did not find them sooner.
I have been searching Loco Gringo for all these years and one thing I have not yet found ........... someone who is not fabulous to work with. Great people, great owners and a great way to run a business."
--K & DB, Outer Banks, NC,
"All our Riviera Maya trips have been booked using LocoGringo. We love their service."
"Not sure if we will be returning next summer, but will definitely let you know if we are, as Loco Gringo is the ONLY way to go for us!"
--Lesley P., Texas
"Now is a great time to tell you how wonderful you and your staff are at making it so easy to find and book the best vacations, THANK YOU !"
--Joyce & Hugh,
"We spent a lot of our time sitting on the second floor porch with our feet propped on the railing just staring at the water. Coming home was hard this year..Staying for two weeks still wasn't long enough."
"People who “live the area” will want to make sure you enjoy your vacation and come back again!"
"I had contacted you before I left for my first trip to Mexico and all of your recommendations were spot on. I started in Playa Del Carmen and worked my way to Tulum. I had only expected to stay 2 nights there and instead wound up staying for a week-and that still was not nearly enough time. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks! I will be checking in with you guys as I am tring to plan a trip to Holbox next. That place looks amazing!"
--Louis Skip Gonzalez, Unidos Magazine
"quick and informative replies from Bart ( thanks Bart) , easy booking procedure plus online management of your booking . I am highly impressed."
--Theressa - Middlesex U.K.,
"Loco Gringos is the VERY BEST booking site I have ever worked with. They respond to emails promptly, work hard to honor special requests, answer questions etc. They ALWAYS take great care of their customers and are conscientious and professional at all times. We have booked 8 trips with this company and NEVER hesitate to use them or recommend them when traveling to the Riviera Maya."
"Thanks for everything you have done with Locogringo… the site is great and your staff has been nothing short of incredible when it comes to helping us plan our trips. Maybe we’ll run into you on one of your walks some day."
"A company made up mostly of American Expats living in the Riviera Maya with a booking list of many hundreds of properties. Big enough to know each property intimately and small enough to know each customer personally. A level of service simply impossible for the giant companies to provide.
--Jim T., Colorado
"We have been Booking our Riviera Maya vacations from Loco Gringo since 2005. Always Great communication, helpful tips and quick responses to our questions. They were especially helpful when Hurricane Wilma hit and put a stop to our Vacation plans. They made sure we knew about the weather situation and did all the work with re-booking our vacation in Paradise!"
"It is like having a friend make your reservations for you .... we always feel comfortable knowing LG will be in charge of our arrangements because they know the area first hand, they live there ..... you ask a question and they answer it with good humor and great knowledge of what they speak. I will always recommend Loco Gringo in a heart beat!"
""I was soooo delighted with the Loco Gringo services. Everything was trouble free and all my questions were always answered promptly. Thanks for a GREAT trouble free vacation!""
"I have booked most of my Mayan Riviera trips through Loco Gringo and can only say I wouldn't even consider using anyone else to handle my bookings for stays in that area.
Their booking process is simple, fast and friendly, and they will answer your questions and queries until you are completely satisfied that every single detail has been taken care of.
Who else would know the area better than folks who live and work right there? Try to get that level of expertise and knowledge with a booking agent who lives and works several hundred, or even thousands of miles away.
Not only that, but they are genuinely nice people as well, who really care for their customers and the community and area that they call home
Keep up the great work Loco Gringo!!"
"It's a great comfort to visit the Riviera Maya and know that Loco Gringo is there to help, if needed. "
--Bryan in IN,
"LocoGringo.com books total trip packages and I recommend LG to all my friends and even to strangers I hear talking about going to Mexico!!"
"I would recommend Locogringo to everyone I know. It is such a great service that they provide from researching and booking the perfect place to stay to finding all the needs you could possibly want during your stay. Thanks Locogringo."
"What an amazing company Locogringo is. Every silly question I have.... they answer , If something comes up like a travel day change, adding more people, or whatever it might be... you get a response from a real person ... who seems to love what they do . That is hard to find these days and I really appreciate that."
"When we use LG to book a trip we get immediate help with all of our questions in a very timely way by people who know what they are talking about and are extremely helpful, patient, knowledgeable, and congenial. They really get how to do customer service.
Once we book through LG we never have to worry about any of it again. We are always amazed at how smooth and trouble free our bookings through LG have been."
--K.B., Fort Worth, TX
* Denotes A Required Field
How much are you thinking about spending?