The Introvert’s Guide to Traveling in the Riviera Maya

The Riviera Maya is a people-y place.

Honeymooners gaze into each other’s eyes and hold hands in restaurants. Families frolic on the beach in the midday sun. Friends dance the night away at beach clubs. With so many people around, how does an introvert enjoy the Riviera Maya?

Introverts are mischaracterized as not liking people. It’s not that we don’t like people; we aren’t energized by being around groups of people for sustained periods. While our energy blooms in solitude, it doesn’t mean we don’t want to meet new people with whom we share new experiences.

Solo travel is an excellent option for introverts because you can meet people (or not), sightsee, seek cultural experiences, hang out on the beach, savor the flavors of Mexico, enjoy the natural beauty, and do what you want on your timetable.

Fortunately, the Riviera Maya has everything you need to help introverts make the most of your stay.

Location Is Everything

The Riviera Maya is composed of several towns along the Mexican Caribbean coastline, each with a unique character.

While planning your vacation, imagine the setting of your vacation escape. Do you like being alone in a crowd? Do you prefer small beach communities where it’s easy to get around and meeting people is a cinch? Or do you like glamorous locales that boast boho-chic and tropical elegance?

Whatever your preference, the best bets for introverts are Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, and Tulum.

Puerto Morelos is reminiscent of a small, fishing village that time has forgotten. It’s the place to go if you like to walk on the beach or check out the market stalls and restaurants in the town square. Not a lot happens here, and that’s great if you like to rest and recharge.

Playa del Carmen has lots of action at restaurants, rooftop clubs, and bars, especially near the tourist area of Fifth Avenue. Visit Playa del Carmen if you like shopping, non-stop entertainment, and tasting the “fabulous life.”

Visit Akumal if you want to visit a place that’s homey and easy to make friends. Go snorkeling or diving on a Robinson Crusoe Tour. Eat ice cream and your favorite Mexican or American comfort food at Turtle Bay Café and Bakery. Enjoy sunset cocktails at Buena Vida. Stroll through the Akumal Pueblo and see dozens of murals created by some of the world’s best street artists.

Everyone is grooving on their own vibe in Tulum, and no one cares if you are alone. Enjoy the gorgeous beaches or make new friends at the restaurants, shops, and bars that dot the coastline. Lounge on the beach with a cocktail in hand and watch the world and the turquoise waters drift by.

Where Will You Build Your Blanket Fort?

Once you decide where to stay, it’s time to build your blanket fort.

Many solo travelers think they must stay at an all-inclusive so they won’t have to worry about anything. However, staying at a vacation rental can offer ultimate privacy, as well as freedom and flexibility, without sacrificing the comforts of home.

We have gorgeous one-bedroom condos and rentals available to suit your needs – whether you like your vacations rustic or luxurious. Do you want to stay at an oceanfront place, or do you prefer the solace, the shade of the jungle or a bit of both?

Many one-bedroom condos like those at Las Villas Akumal are in well-planned villas with wonderful amenities that will draw you in and incredible hospitality by the owners and staff.

Casa Bonita, which has a bedroom and sleeping den, is one of the few private beach houses nestled right on the powdery sands of Tulum. The palapa-topped home fuses two beautiful living spaces: an indoor living room and an outdoor beachfront terrace, separated only by a wall of glass doors. When the doors are opened one living space flows into the other, making you feel both indoors and outdoors at the same time.

Why stay in a crowded resort when you can have your own, private paradise?

Try a Tour or Class

Meeting new friends at clubs and bars may not be your scene, just like at home. That’s why we recommend joining a tour or cooking class.

Community Tours of Sian Ka’an offers visitors an opportunity to discover the Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site just minutes from Tulum. Bird-watching, kayaking, hiking, exploring archeological sites, and learning the techniques of Mayan chewing gum production are just some of the activities offered in this dynamic and interactive, eco-tourism experience.

Ojos Maya, loosely translated as “Mayan Eyes,” is a community tourism project that connects Mayan communities with travelers from around the world. Through regional food tastings, learning about local crafts, and discovering the wonder of its natural beauty, visitors get a taste of traditional Mayan culture in contemporary Mexico.

Learn about Mexico one bite at a time through cooking classes and food tours. Both experiences provide an opportunity to share authentic meals and ingredients while discovering secret, family recipes that only a local can share.

Riviera Maya Food Tours take you to markets to cantinas, cocina economicas (small places that prepare food-to-go), local kitchens in search of authentic meals and ingredients that only a local can share.

A cooking class at Lina’s Kitchen in Tulum is a food tour through Mexican gastronomy that combines traditional recipes and preparation with modern cuisine. Classes are small, up to eight people.

While you may be an introvert, you don’t have to plan your dream vacation in the Riviera Maya alone. Contact our reservations team to help you find the best location and vacation rental to suit your needs. Paulina, our concierge, is a master at pairing travelers with the perfect vacation experience. You can email her at [email protected]

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