Nearly 1.3 million travelers are expected to visit the Riviera Maya this year during the Semana Santa holiday, April 13-28.
Easter Week is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year in the Mexican Caribbean. The projected number of visitors to the area represents a 3.8 percent increase over last year. While we are excited to welcome new and returning guests, it can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Here are our top tips to help you make the most of your Semana Santa in the Riviera Maya:
Make reservations or book tours in advance. More people means busier restaurants, attractions, tours, etc. Most tours and attractions in the area deliver the best experiences in smaller numbers. This way you can get more individualized attention and a greater understanding of the experience.
Go to the ATM earlier in the week. Many visitors bring a small amount of cash/pesos into the Riviera Maya when they first arrive and then go to the ATM as the week wears on. Many places in Mexico still work on a cash-only basis. Even sites with a credit card machine face intermittent power or WIFI outages that make processing cards challenging. Either bring more money with you or go to the ATM earlier in the week to ensure you have enough cash on you.
Take your time. North Americans, especially, come from busy cultures where we are always rushing from one activity to the next. As soon as the tour to the Tulum ruins is over, for example, we’re scrambling to meet our reservation at a new restaurant in the Pueblo. More visitors means it may take longer to get a taxi or get from one place to another. Take your time and give yourself plenty of time between activities.
Try off-the-beaten-path adventures. The beaches and beach clubs will likely be overrun by visitors lured to the Riviera Maya by its turquoise waters and powdery-sand. We love the beach, yet there is so much more to do. Try a community tour or a cooking class to gain a deeper understanding of Mexican culture. Explore the area’s natural beauty while learning about Mayan culture by visiting Xplor or one of the other eco-parks along the coast. Gain a new, 360 perspective while scaling Tulum Tower or go horseback riding in the jungle.
Know that everything costs more. The holiday season is the time during which services and businesses dependent on the tourist economy make the most money. That’s why you might see a difference between what a taxi costs during Semana Santa vs. in September to get to the same location.
Relax. You’re on vacation after all. Everything will still be there when you get there. Waiting in line, as most locals know, is also part of the “Mexican experience.” Take the time to enjoy the view and count your blessings.
Contact Paulina, our concierge, if you’re a guest in one of our vacation rentals and need help making reservations or booking a tour. Want to start planning your vacation getaway for next year? Let our reservations team help.