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Riviera Maya: a tropical escape into history

Browse our photo gallery and discover some of the temptations awaiting visitors to the Mayan Riviera, one of Mexico's most popular tourist destinations, which this month plays host to a prestigious Wine and Food Festival.

Imagine a Caribbean beach paradise, just south of the Tropic of Cancer where the clear sea is perfect for swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, jet ski... Imagine a flat land carpeted with low tropical forest and dotted with ancient ruins. If this isn't enough to tempt you to visit, the Mayan Riviera is also host to one of the world's major culinary events, the Wine & Food Festival. From March 15th to 18th, the world-renowned gastronomic guru Ferran Adria will be special guest at the festival which celebrates star chefs of the Americas and honours Mexican cuisine.

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Tulum, Riviera Maya, Mexico
A ruin with a view: Tulum, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, is home to the only Mayan ruins located right alongside the sea / © Riviera Maya Tourism 

Riviera Maya, Mexico
The name Riviera Maya was adopted in 1999 and reflects the importance of the Mayan legacy to the area, with the two main archaeological sites being Tulum and Coba / © Riviera Maya Touri 

Riviera Maya, Mexico
Whether you want to lie on the beach and relax or to enjoy activities such as scuba diving, bird watching, horse riding or exploring the archaeological ruins, the area has something for everyone / © Riviera Maya Tourism 

Riviera Maya, Mexico
Mayan ruins are dotted throughout the region, but the carefully preserved ancient buildings at Tulum and Coba cannot fail to surprise and impress / © Riviera Maya Tourism 

Las Palapas hotel, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Set on a beach of pale sand, where palm trees sway in the gentle sea breeze, Las Palapas Hotel offers a relaxing haven overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean / © Riviera Maya Tourism 

Riviera Maya, Mexico
Natural jacuzzis form where the Caribbean Sea washes over the reefs and into inlets and rock pools along the coast / © Riviera Maya Tourism 

Riviera Maya, Mexico
Originally called the Cancun-Tulum corridor, the Riviera Maya coastline stretches for over 120 kilometres along the idyllic shores of the Caribbean with little coves and bays separated by rocky headlands / © Riviera Maya Tourism 

Riviera Maya, Mexico
One of the 'high' points of a visit to the area is at Coba, where the tallest pyramid in the Mexican Caribbean stands witness to the skill and knowledge of the ancient Mayan civilisation / © Riviera Maya Tourism 

Riviera Maya, Mexico
In recent years, 'Taste of Playa' has been celebrated at Playa del Carmen, offering a tribute to cultural diversity, to the culinary traditions of the Mayan Riviera and to the Mexican heritage of the region / © Riviera Maya Tourism 

Xcaret Riviera Maya, Mexico
The Xcaret 'eco-archaeological' theme park and resort is one of the area's most popular visits for tourists due to attractions such as the Xcaret archaeological site, sink-holes - cenotes - and underground rivers, coral reef aquarium and other ecological, sports and cultural facilities / © Riviera Maya Tourism 

Xcaret, Riviera Maya, Mexico
The rivers of Xcaret are part of a great underground water system: exploring  this mysterious world is usually limited to those who can dive, but at Xcaret snorkelling is a popular family activity  / © Riviera Maya Tourism