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5 Reasons Why Travelers Can’t Get Enough Of The Riviera Maya This Year

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One of the most reliable ways to get an idea of where is hot and where is not when planning a vacation is by occupancy rates.

While it isn’t the most romantic data point, it does give travelers a great idea of which destinations are offering enough to keep bringing guests back season after season while also showing there are no hidden negatives that shoo fellow travelers away.

In that respect, the Riviera Maya is leaving all of the competition in the dust with a truly impressive occupancy rate of over 85% in 2023 so far.

5 Reasons Why Travelers Can't Get Enough Of The Riviera Maya This Year

To put that in perspective, Cancun is the most popular beach destination in the world, and even though its popularity is still growing, it only managed a 76% occupancy rate.

The impressive popularity of the Riviera Maya is no accident; the 120-mile-long stretch of coastline and the diverse destination choices it is home to offer an immense number of reasons to visit.  

Here are 5 reasons why travelers can’t get enough of the Riviera Maya.

A beach at akumal in the Riviera Maya with small fishing boats in shot

Service Built On Past Success

The Riviera Maya has exploded in popularity over the past 20 years. Before this blossoming destination developed, Cancun was more or less the only reason travelers had to visit this tropical corner of Mexico.

While Cancun offers great service, amenities, and facilities now, it took a lot of years of development from trial and error to find the magic recipe to keep travelers coming back year after year.

In contrast, the Riviera Maya hit the road running and has improved hugely on many aspects of service seen in Cancun.

It’s no secret either that Cancun is now playing catch-up to the Riviera Maya in this respect. After a look at the reviews at some of the top resorts in Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Akumal, and Isla Cozumel, the trend becomes obvious: service is amazing here!

room service

Outstanding Beaches

This may seem like an obvious one; after all, the Mexican Caribbean as a whole is known primarily as a beach vacation destination.

But travelers who choose one of the Riviera Maya destinations over Cancun have a whole world of outrageously beautiful beaches to choose from.

What’s more, most of the Riviera Maya beaches provide something that Cancun never can, a beautiful natural backdrop.

Travelers escaping the rat race and concrete jungles back home get to leave that all behind here and instead are surrounded by mangroves, palm trees, and pristine jungle instead of crosswalks and high-rise office buildings.

Aerial view of the shore in cozumel with white sand

Unforgettable Nightlife

For travelers who haven’t said goodbye to late nights and strong cocktails just yet, the Riviera Maya is right there waiting for new memories to be made.

One of the reasons many people fall out of love with the party scene is repetition. After a while, nightclubs and bars all start to look and feel the same.

That isn’t a concern in the Riviera Maya, where the nightlife is as diverse and out of the box as you can find anywhere in the world.

Electronic dance clubs, beach bars with an authentic Mexican flair, insane musical shows, as well as traditional Mexican cantinas and cervecerias mean there’s no chance of getting bored while on the main drag at night.

A cerveceria chaputelpec franchise in playa del carmen

Endless Cultural Richness

One of the biggest plusses for the Riviera Maya is the undeniable cultural richness present here.

Contrary to what many think, the Mayan civilization is alive and thriving here. Every traveler knows of the impressive ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum, the echo of a once-powerful empire that is being lovingly preserved for all of us to experience.

But it doesn’t compare to experiencing in real-time all the beauty, color, and richness of the Mayan culture that surrounds you at every turn in the Riviera Maya.

Mayan woman ceremony

No Trade-Offs

Probably the biggest reason travelers can’t get enough of the Riviera Maya is the realization that they don’t need to accept any trade-offs to visit here versus visiting Cancun.

The argument could be made that the extra travel is an unwanted trade-off, but in just a short couple of months, the Tren Maya train network goes into action, which will make reaching Tulum from Cancun International Airport almost as fast as the coach transfer from the airport to the hotel zone.

Not to mention the new Tulum International Airport is also expected to go into operation in a few months.

Tulum Sign

With that one legitimate concern now being hit out of the park, travelers are truly left is no more reasons to put off visiting this magical area.

The beaches are beautiful and less crowded, the nightlife is varied and far from “small time”, and the service rivals even the best to be found in Cancun.

With all that in play, it’s no wonder the Riviera Maya has the highest occupancy rates in all of Mexico.

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