Travel around Riviera Maya in a solo Travel
When we talk about traveling alone, Europe, the United States, or even more exotic destinations like Japan come to mind. The beach is not usually on the lone traveler’s radar. Today I am going to share with you my experience of traveling alone to the Riviera Maya for a week on my own.
First, let me clarify something for you. If you think that the Riviera Maya is all about beaches, you are very much mistaken. But first:
What is the Riviera Maya?
This is the name of the entire tourist area along the Mexican Caribbean Sea. Obviously the name is because of the presence of the Mayan people and culture, which dominated the region several centuries ago. The level of advancement and knowledge they had is incredible, but that is another story.
Travel to the Riviera Maya for a week
Let’s go back, what can we find besides paradisiacal beaches? Ruins, natural cenotes, very friendly people, an incredible culture and gastronomy, and of course warm crystalline water in white sand beaches.
How to get from Cancun airport to the Riviera Maya?
From the airport you can take the ADO bus to the terminal downtown. Right there you take the R1 bus, which is the one that goes to the hotel zone and will take you everywhere.
There are many options like the private transfer service from Cancun to Tulum, which will take you comfortably from the Cancun airport to your favorite hotel or destination in Tulum, Playa del Carmen or any destination in the Riviera Maya.
Recognition of the place. You can go to the beach in front of the hostel (Chac Mool), which is very nice, but with lots of waves. Walk along the street of the bowling alleys (Coco Bongo!) there is a fair where they sell souvenirs, next to it is the Mall. At night you can go for a drink in this area, which can be walked from the hostel. Coco Bongo looks interesting, but the entrance fee is on average 100 dollars. In my opinion, too expensive.
To take the ferry, you must go to Puerto Juarez. You can walk around the island during the day. If you have time, you can spend a night. What I do NOT recommend at all is to take the boatmen’s tour. Unfortunately, I fell into the trap of two Peruvian youtubers who recommended it, but the tour is very bad and you don’t get to walk around at all.
As I was saying, they take the ferry and in a few minutes they arrive to the center of the island. There they can walk around, rent golf carts, but they are expensive and not necessary. They can have lunch in the center and walk to the Playa Norte, which is incredible. I recommend spending the afternoon and watching the sunset there. Even take a snorkel and see a lot of little fish of all colors swimming around.
Cenote Azul and Tulum
Then we continue on our way and take a bus to Tulum.
Once in Tulum, we can choose to do only the beach, or also ruins, which is what I recommend. The visit in the ruins takes no more than one hour and it is worth it. The most beautiful thing about this tour is that the ruins are attached to the beach and the view is incredible, ideal for taking pictures.
Then we visit Paraiso Beach, close to the ruins and one of the most famous. The beach is very nice and has a good vibe.
The beaches are of white sand, warm and crystalline water. To get there, you must first go to the port of Chiquilá, which is an hour and a half from Playa del Carmen.
To begin with, I recommend you go to the sandbank beach. You should arrive before 2 or 3 in the afternoon, when the tide comes in. On this beach, you can cross the water to the sandbanks and observe the beach from there. You can relax in the public hammocks and take the best pictures. Here you will not find any inns or vendors, so I suggest you bring food and drink to spend the afternoon.
Tips to enjoy the Riviera Maya
How much time do we need?
It will depend on the objective of each one. There are many places to go and we would need several weeks to know everything in depth. If you are short on time and are adventurous like me, then an intense week is enough for you.
Where to stay?
It also depends on what kind of trip you are thinking about. If your idea is to go and do nothing and more, then an all inclusive is what you are looking for. Now, if you are reading this because you are a lonely traveler and you love meeting people, the answer is obvious – a hostel is ideal!
Is the Riviera Maya a dangerous destination to travel alone?
As in all destinations, there are safe areas and others not so safe. We should always ask where we can go, and if the locals do not recommend a place because it is not safe, then we should always listen to them.
In my personal experience of traveling alone in the Riviera Maya, I always felt safe. There is a lot of tourism, a lot of movement, and even public transportation seemed safe to me. I met several girls who were traveling alone and they also confirmed that they felt safe.