The Mayakoba Experience
Mayakoba is truly an anomaly along the Riviera Maya. To the north is the hustle and bustle of Cancun with its famous hotel zone, high-rises and density along the beach rivaling the concentration of many major cities. To the south is Playa Del Carmen, once a quaint town now overflowing with tourists enjoying the nightlife of 5th Avenue and others embarking on the ferry to Cozumel.
Mayakoba is the hidden gem along the corridor; an area developed catering to the vacationer in search of a more upscale experience coupled with a less intense laid-back vibe. In addition to The Viceroy, Rosewood and Fairmont have outposts in Mayakoba cementing the reputation for understated deluxe and luxury resort accommodations. Granted there are a few larger all-inclusive resorts in the area however their impact is minimal.
Accessing Mayakoba: Most of the resorts offer their own in-house transportation with an average tariff of $300 USD RT. The in-house transportation is usually in an upscale SUV. For the more value-oriented I would suggest Canada Transport. They will do the meet/greet at CUN airport; escort you to your transport and all done in a professional and timely manner. Their cost approx. $100 USD RT for up to 3 persons. Of note the drive to Mayakoba is approximately 40 minutes.
Mayakoba spans both sides of the main highway. The resorts are located of course on the beach side which is quite a distance from the highway thus no traffic impacts. From discussing with other travelers most clients stay within their resorts however taxi service is plentiful if one wishes to visit Playa Del Carmen and tours can easily be arranged concerning Tulum, water parks and other activities in the area.
Beaches: Due to the laid-back atmosphere of Mayakoba in general the beaches are n the quiet-side. Rarely will you hear the poolside DJ or similar as is ubiquitous in Cancun. Walking along the beaches you will encounter various services from massages to retail stands and the occasional bodega. There is a charm to the vendors a sense of authenticity. Of note most resorts will have signage advising private property however the beach front is public property between the water and high-tide from my understanding.
The Riviera Maya truly offers options for every type of traveler and all budgets. With the ease of the Cancun airport and highway access to Tulum and points south transport is easy and quick. Mayakoba is a hidden jewel catering to a more affluent traveler desiring rest and relaxation versus non-stop partying. While Cancun and Playa Del Carmen are known for their nightlife and non-stop partying, Mayakoba is the quiet enclave chosen by the discriminating traveler.