Having just returned from visiting three prominent Maya ruins in Mexico – Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Coba – I can confirm firsthand that the buzz over 2012, which marks the end of the Maya Long Count calendar, is heating up, at least in the Riviera Maya.
As they are across the Mundo Maya, which also include the countries of Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala, tourism numbers are up at these prominent sites, each of which offers a distinct, unique feel. Still, even with bigger than normal crowds, these remarkable destinations are well worth the trip, whether you’re a Mayaphile (which I am quickly turning into) or not. And after a long day of exploring, a refreshing dip in a cenote, or natural well – the Riviera Maya is full of them – is the perfect way to cool off.
In addition, the Riviera Maya is also becoming a popular adventure travel destination, with an array of opportunities for hiking, diving, and cave exploration. One word of advice: If you’re thinking about a visit in 2012, book now.