The southeastern part of Mexico, a region known as the Yucatan Peninsula, boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and pristine waters in the world. The east coast of the peninsula, from Cancun to Belize, is known as the Mayan Riviera.
On a cruise to ports along this idyllic stretch of coastline, passengers can look forward to laid-back beach towns, fascinating archaeological sites and crystal-clear waters for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. The climate is more humid here than on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, and the vegetation more lush.
Ships bound for the Riviera Maya leave from the Florida ports of Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Port Canaveral and Tampa, as well as the Gulf Coast cities of Galveston, Mobile and New Orleans. You can choose an itinerary that stays exclusively in the Yucatan Peninsula, or opt for one that combines Mexican ports with destinations in Central America (typically in Honduras and Belize) or the Western Caribbean.
Riviera Maya ports include Progreso, the gateway to Merida. Merida was one of Mexico’s most prosperous cities in the late 19th century and offers visitors a taste of Old World architecture. Cancun grew from a quiet fishing village into a popular vacation destination, with beautiful beaches, plentiful shopping and lively nightlife.
To the south lies the island of Cozumel, fringed by reefs that are among the world’s finest for snorkeling and diving. More opportunities for underwater exploration await at Costa Maya. This beach retreat close to the Belize border also is a jumping-off point for trips to Mayan ruins and nature preserves.