Cancun or Riviera Maya – which is better?

Cancun or Riviera Maya – which is better?

Cancun or Riviera Maya – which is better?

Our expert answers the question of Cancun or Riviera Maya – which is better?

In her role as Travelmood travel expert, Claire gets asked many questions when it comes to Mexico holidays. Without a doubt the most popular question from clients is Cancun or Riviera Maya – which is better? In this blog Claire delves into this query and discusses the differences between these two colourful beachside locations.

Traveller demographics

One difference between these two locations which I always think travellers should be made aware of is the fact that Cancun attracts a younger crowd than Riviera Maya. A good percentage of visitors to Cancun go there to party for the duration of their holiday. So, if you’re looking for a quiet break away, then Riviera Maya is definitely more up your street.

It’s also advisable to avoid both resorts in March. This is ‘Spring Break’ time in America when students flock to Mexico’s beaches to let their hair down.


Cancun is packed to the rafters with high rise hotels, resorts and buildings. Every inch of space has been used and while this isn’t an issue for most travellers, some people can begin to feel slightly claustrophobic. Riviera Maya on the other hand has a lot more space and only low rise buildings.


For those that want to be entertained every night of their Mexico holiday, Cancun has it all. The hotel zone is buzzing with all sorts of pubs, clubs, nightclubs and restaurants. You really will be spoiled for choice!

If a laid back holiday is more your thing then you will feel right at home in Riviera Maya. If you do stay in Riviera Maya then you also have the option of visiting Playa Del Carmen which is home to an assortment of evening entertainment. Most resorts will offer a shuttle bus to here – or a taxi will cost you about $25.

Cancun or Riviera Maya – which is better?


If you are a self-proclaimed beach bum then you will want to take note of the fact that the beaches in these two locations are quite different. Beaches in Cancun are large and sandy with clear waters and waves. Riviera Maya beaches can be rougher, with some being rocky and the water is calmer.

Access (Cancun or Riviera Maya – which is better?)

Given that Cancun is a livelier, busier location it also means that it is easy to access most tourist sites and different types of amenities. If you are planning to stay in Riviera Maya and want to get out and about then you may want to hire a car as it is more isolated than Cancun.

If you want to experience both locations during your holiday then this is of course possible. It just takes 30 minutes to transfer between Cancun and Riviera Maya. Holidays to Cancun, flying with Virgin Atlantic, start from just €1,379pp all-inclusive. Contact one of our Travelmood travel experts today to find out more.

So what do you think? Cancun or Riviera Maya – which is better? Tweet us @Travelmood and let us know.


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September 17, 2016
in Category: Carribbean / Mexico, Mexico
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