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Two Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites To Visit When Traveling To The Riviera Maya 

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The Riviera Maya has no shortage of amazing cultural and natural sites to visit, so many that it would be impossible to visit them all during one trip to the Mexican Caribbean region.   

Aerial View of Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico

From ancient Mayan ruins to amazing nature preserves, there is far more to see than just beaches and luxury all-inclusives, which there are plenty of too.   

But we’ll tell you about two incredible UNESCO World Heritage sites to visit when traveling to the Riviera Maya so that you can get the best cultural experience during your vacation.  

Mayan Culture 

Mayan culture has a huge presence in the Riviera Maya region and a history that spans thousands of years.   

This culture and history can be seen throughout the region and plays a role in many of the historical and natural sites throughout the Yucatán peninsula.   

Everything from ancient Mayan ruins to cenotes tells the story of the fascinating Mayan culture and history in the Riviera Maya.   

@goitre Birth ritual of the #Mayan God of corn at #xcaret in #mexico. #travel #culture #indigenous #ThanksandGiving #cancun #playasdelcarmen ♬ original sound – Armaan

Chichén Itzá Archeological Site 

Chichén Itzá is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site but is also considered one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World,” and for a good reason.   

The massive ancient Mayan city, which covers almost 2 square miles, consists of multiple structures, including the main pyramid, El Castillo, which is 98 feet in height.   

Other natural and architectural sites inside Chichén Itzá include a Sacred Cenote, the Temple of the Warriors, and an ancient sports arena called the Great Ball Court.   

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@shetravelledtheworld Your guide to this magical location 📍 Chichen Itza, Mexico 🇲🇽 #chichenitza #mexico #solotravel #yucatan #traveltheworld ♬ A Moment Apart – ODESZA

Chichén Itzá Location 

Chichén Itzá is located on the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican state of Yucatán.   

It is easily accessible when visiting a number of popular Mexican Caribbean vacation destinations in the Riviera Maya.   

From Cancun it is about 3.5 hours. From Playa del Carmen it will take approximately 3 hours to get to, and the drive between Chichén Itzá and Tulum, which also has important Mayan ruins worth visiting, is only just over 2 hours.  

@fernandacortesx I mostly talked about El Castillo, but Chichén Itzá has several beautiful structures that are a must see! ❤️ #chichenitza #mexico #cancun #maya #mayan ♬ Paris – 斌杨Remix

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve 

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, only about a year after it was established.   

The reserve consists of both land and sea, covering a total area of more than 2,000 square miles, which includes more than 20 Mayan civilization archeological sites.   

Among other wildlife that can be found in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, there are more than 300 species of birds that call this captivating reserve home.   

@laurareidd Sian Ka'an 🙌🏼 #siankaan #yucatan #tulummexico #mexicotravel #biosphere #mexicoo #travelspots #worldtravel #travelmexico #travelwithme #earthpix #mex ♬ Take Me Home, Country Roads (Acoustic) – Music Travel Love

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve Location 

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is located near Tulum, which is in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.   

The state is also home to a number of other highly popular resort towns including Cancun, which is just over two hours away, and Playa del Carmen, which is just an hour from Tulum.   

Different eco tours are available for visitors to the Riviera Maya region that explore the various wonders of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. 

@opheliemln One day in Sian Ka’an, Yucatàn 🇲🇽❤️‍🔥 #travellife #travel #yucatan #yucatanmexico #mexico #siankaan #siankaanbiosphere #nature #dolphin #turtle ♬ Island In The Sun – Weezer

UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Mexico 

There are a total of 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Mexico, which is more than anywhere in the Americas and puts it at a ranking of 7 worldwide.   

Eight of these sites are located within the Yucatán Peninsula, though most are a bit far away for visitors to the Riviera Maya.   

Only a day trip is required to visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and Chichén Itzá, though, and both are certainly worth visiting. 

@_ikal._ #chichenitza #mexico #piramides #cultura #unesco ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

The Riviera Maya Region  

The Riviera Maya Region is home to hundreds of all-inclusive luxury resorts.   

The wide variety of options for couples, singles, and families makes it the ideal beach vacation destination for Americans.   

And sites like these UNESCO World Heritage sites make it the perfect place to explore culture, history, and biodiversity in the Mexican Caribbean. 

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