Easter or Semana Santa in Spanish, is the largest holiday in the Riviera Maya! Travel tips are essential during this time as things can get a bit crazy when lent is ending. For international travelers, Easter is a great time to travel due to the four-day weekend. For national travelers, Easter is a time to travel so you can indulge yourself and your family after 40 days of restricted activities. Mexican people fought long and hard for their religious freedom after the Mexican Revolution. The Cristeros, the army of Catholic Mexicans that beat the Federal Governments attempt to get rid of the Catholic Church in Mexico, are celebrated heroes that make religious celebrations that much more important.
If you are traveling to the Riviera Maya during Easter, something that we do recommend and advocate, take a few our tips into consideration.
1. It is not recommended to do a lot of traveling throughout the country at this time. Pick a destination and do small day trips. There is more traffic than normal during this time period due to more national travelers.
2. be ready for lots of celebrations. The end of lent means food, food, drink and food. Throw in some dancing, and you have a great Easter celebration! Families, grandparents, mothers and fathers take Easter celebrations very seriously! It is fun to join in whether you celebrate Easter of not.
3. Take in a church service to see experience the dedication and commitment that is seen throughout the Mexican culture. Services are in Spanish but they can be beautiful. Come early as churches are packed and there is a social scene associated with church participation. You can not get any more local than this.
4. If you are here before Easter starts, stock up! Grocery stores, liquor and wine stores will be busy so if you have a chance, stock up before Good Friday.
Semana Santa is a fun time to be in the Riviera Maya. The friendly and fun celebrations make your vacation more real and cultural than a regular week!
Here are a list of local churches you can visit, or visit Valladolid where the oldest Roman Catholic Church hold service for Easter. Merida is also a great place to visit for Easter cultural activities in Mexico.