The Riviera Maya is the coastal area on the east side of the Yucatan Peninsular in the state of Quintana Roo which stretches down from Puerto Morelos through to Tulum. Boasting a fantastic biodiversity of flora and fauna the Riviera Maya is home to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, the largest, natural protected area in the state of Quintana Roo and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.
The climate of the Riviera Maya is classified as tropical savanna, there are two distinct seasons, wet and dry with the dry season, between December and April being the best time to visit, there is however seasonal marine life to be considered when planning a trip to the Riviera Maya.
The Meosamerican Barrier Reef System, the second largest barrier reef in the world, lies within the Caribbean Sea and stretches south from the tip of the Yucatan Peninsular, extending through Belize, Guatemala and down into the Bay Islands of Honduras. As the reef passes through the Riviera Maya it is characterised by large gorgonians, giant barrel sponges, black corals, pillar corals and impressive elkhorn coral structures providing food and shelter for over 300 species of fish.
Reef fingers and islands of coral are set against a backdrop of clear, blue water and pure white sands sloping gently downwards. Depths vary from between 6-45m/20-148ft, gentler currents, tranquil seas and temperate waters of 28C/82F add to the appeal for divers visiting the Riviera Maya.
Visit between July and September for whale shark migration whilst December to March provides the best opportunity to catch sight of bull sharks in the cooler, more shallow waters of Playa del Carmen. Dive in Akumal, ('Place of Turtles'), from May to July and you'll swim with three of the world's seven turtle species. For the more adventurous diver there is the Mama Vina wreck in Playa del Carmen.