Second homes: Ruins, reefs and resorts mix in Mexico’s Riviera Maya

USA Today, 11/11/2010

Few places in the world have developed as quickly as Mexico‘s Riviera Maya, an 80-mile stretch ofYucatan Peninsula coastline running from just south of Cancun to Tulum.

The reasons are simple: easy flight connections from most of the USA and attractions found nowhere else, including more than 70 miles of beaches, the world’s second-longest barrier reef, golf courses by top designers, world-class diving, adventure activities from canopy zip lines to horseback jungle tours, several eco-culture theme parks, and more than a dozen Maya ruin sites.

Much of the Riviera Maya has been transformed into vast all-inclusive resorts and gated residential developments. But there is only one major town in this corridor, Playa del Carmen, located halfway down the coast. While Playa del Carmen has grown quickly, it still offers the authentic Mexican culture and beach-bum flair that first attracted adventurous Americans before the Mexican government decided to develop the region.

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