What to do in Mexico? 10 activity ideas

Arisbe, Franco-Mexican travel blogger
Arisbe, Franco-Mexican travel blogger

The Riviera Maya is famous for its beautiful beaches and natural landscapes, but this charming region is also known for the wide range of activities on offer. Trek through the jungle, unearth the magnificent colonial heritage or dive into Mayan culture by visiting some of the outstanding archaeological sites. The glorious beaches, beautiful fauna, delicious cuisine brimming with flavour and history - I challenge you not to fall in love! The more adventurous among you will be seduced by the wide range of extreme sports on offer and will not be content with more traditional activities. But whether you’re looking for adventure, culture or relaxation, Mexico has something for everyone.

  • Theme parks
    Xcaret eco-archaeological Park

    Theme parks

    Visiting the Riviera Maya theme parks is an opportunity not to be missed. Among the most well-known are the Xcaret theme park, with its status of ‘eco-archaeological’ park, where culture and nature meet, the Xenses recreational park that puts your senses to the test and the Xplor park which provides a dose of adrenaline and distraction in the heart of the jungle. Is nature more your thing? Then Xel-Ha definitely won’t let you down with its lush vegetation and crystal-clear waters, while Xenotes gives you the opportunity to visit four cenotes of extraordinary beauty while kayaking or snorkelling.

  • See animals in their natural environment

    See animals in their natural environment

    Mexico is the most biodiverse country in the world. The Riviera Maya fauna is rich and varied. Therefore, it’s not surprising to find exotic animals wherever you go: iguanas, opossums, crocodiles... At Holbox or Sian Ka'an, book a boat trip for a chance to see the endemic wildlife of Quintana Roo: dolphins, turtles, rays, birds. Live the experience of visiting a zoo or an aquarium in the cities of Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen or Akumal.

  • Swimming with whale sharks
    Swim with sharks

    Swimming with whale sharks

    There’s no doubt about it, the whale shark is a fascinating creature and the largest fish in the sea. It can reach up to 12 metres in length and weigh up to 20 tonnes! Fortunately for us snorkellers, it doesn’t eat meat! The ideal time to swim with whale sharks is during July and August and the best place to see them is in Holbox and the north coast of the Isla Mujeres.

  • Cenote diving
    Two Eyes Cenote

    Cenote diving

    It would be unforgivable to visit the Riviera Maya and not experience the wilderness of the jungle through cenote diving. Make sure you take the time to visit the Dos Ojos, Ik Kil and Azul cenotes, as well as the many others on offer. These impressive water reservoirs, contained in authentic limestone caves eroded by rain or underground currents, afford us fascinating spaces for swimming and diving. And don’t worry, you’ll always be in the safe hands of local guides and qualified personnel.

  • Yucatan cuisine

    Yucatan cuisine

    Yucatan cuisine is a fusion of ancestral cooking and Spanish ingredients. Dishes such as cochinitapibil, papadzules or panuchos are part of the gastronomic heritage left behind by the Mayas. To taste these traditional meals, you can book a gastronomic tour, go to a fonda (small restaurants offering homemade food) or even delight your taste buds by sharing a meal with a local host.

  • Visit a hacienda

    Visit a hacienda

    Haciendas are luxurious villas built in the middle of vast farms. There was a time when these Yucatec buildings were home to the most powerful landowners in the region. Lucky for us, most of them today have been transformed into hotels or restaurants which are open to the public. By way of example, why not visit the Temozon, Xcanantun or Misné haciendas which will give you a glimpse into the henequen industry (sisal used for making bags and ropes), better known as Yucatan green gold.

  • Archaeological sites
    Chichen Itzá

    Archaeological sites

    The Maya civilization, the legacy of one of the largest pre-Columbian civilizations, extends right along the coast and into the Yucatan countryside. Its famous observatories, temples and mysterious structures are the silent witnesses of time and history. The Maya peoples left behind ancestral cities such as Chichen Itza, Tulum, Uxmal and Coba. These fascinating sites are among the most visited places in southeast Mexico, go for it!

  • Extreme sports
    Buggy drive to Santiago

    Extreme sports

    The Yucatan peninsula has a number of extreme sports on offer; nothing like a bit of adrenalin to brighten up your holidays! If you’re a real thrill seeker, then you really must take advantage of one or more of the activities on offer on the Riviera. There are several leisure parks offering zip line adventures, buggy tours and scuba diving in the cenotes. Go mountain biking through the jungle or take to the skies with flyboarding in the Caribbean Sea.

  • Snorkelling


    If you love coral reefs and underwater treasures, you can’t visit the Riviera Maya without trying your hand at snorkelling. There are two ways to enjoy this activity: directly from the beach or via a boat trip. The best snorkelling spots are El Cielo (Cozumel), Garrafon (Isla Mujeres) and Akumal. You can also go snorkelling in the cenotes or in some of the leisure parks, such as Xcaret and Xel-Ha.

  • Kayaking
    Kayak in Sian Ka'an biopshere reserve


    Kayaking and canoeing is a popular activity on the Riviera. It gives you the opportunity to explore places off the beaten track, while at the same time giving your arms and abs a real workout. Whether you choose the Bacalar lagoon, the seas around Cancun or the Xcaret underground river, prepare to be amazed by the crystal-clear water, mangroves and enchanting flora and fauna.