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What to do over the Holidays in the Riviera Maya


Well, you made the right choice. You have booked your upcoming Christmas and New Years holidays in the Riviera Maya! No matter which city or town you have booked for your vacation, there is lots to do and more to experience. This is your Christmas present to yourself and your family so make the best of it! Wehave put together our favorite things to do over the holidays in the Rivera Maya and want you to enjoy the same activities and holiday rituals we love to do each and every year.

5 things to do over the holidays in the Riviera Maya

1. Participate in a local charity giving event – there are lots of community-organized charity Christmas gift drives that local residents run each year. Buy Playa has a new charity drive Kicks 4 Kids Holiday Shoe drive where young childrens shoes (slightly used or new) can be donated to area children. Christmas Dreams is a longtime charity drive for children’s toys delivered by our local Santa ‘Roger’, a Santa look-alike who has been delivering toys to small villages throughout the Riviera Maya for many years. The Rotary Club Seaside is in constant need for school supplies that are distributed to local village schools and offer tutoring to young children. If pets are where you like to put your charitable time or donations, Coco’s Cat Rescue and SOS El Arca both take care of the feral dogs and cats in the Riviera Maya. Volunteer while you are here, Bring down much needed supplies, or make a cash donation. All of these organizations work year round to make our community the best it can be!

2. Join in Community Holiday dinners – Local beach bars and restaurants hold holiday meals December 24th and December 25th. New Year’s Eve is a buzz and really requires a differnt post with further information, but Christmas Day will not be short of turkey, roast ham or BBQ Pork dinners. It is early to announce all of the participating restaurants but historically Turtle Bay offers a Take Out Christmas dinner in Akumal, Wah Wah Beach bar and Mom’s Bar in Playa del Carmen offer home made Christmas meals, fingers crossed that The Little Mexican Cooking School or John Gray’s Kitchen in Puerto Morelos announce a Christmas dinner soon! This is a great way to meet the local community andhave your holiday dinner prepared for you…instead of having to prepare it yourself.

3. Spend the day on the beach and in the ocean – This is the real reason why we love Christmas on the beach. The day is spent on a SUP board, scuba diving, snorkeling, or just floating. Read your book, build a sand castle, snack on guacamole. The day really is yours. With no fires to stoke in the fireplace, or heavy coats to deal with, or snow to shovel, the day is simple with a bathing suit, your family (or friends or partner) and a margarita. There is pure simple joy in this lifestyle that is there for you to discover.

4. Hire a Chef – This is our favorite part of the holidays. On Christmas Eve we go out for dinner and join in community celebrations. On Christams day we hire a chef to prepare our late lunch at 3 pm. Local chefs will plan, shop, prepare and clean up! You can choose from their menu suggestions so that you get a little taste of Mexico, or you can plan some of your family favorites with the chef. If you are traveling with a large group, this is the only way to go. Make it easy on yourself. Let the experts do it!

5. Catch your own fish on Christmas Eve – If you prefer to have your seafood dinner on Christmas Eve and a large turkey or pork dinner on Christmas Day, book a fishing trip early on Christmas Eve and catch your own fish for your holiday meal. Imagine the memories you will create. Christams Eve morning you head out for a fishing trip with the sole purpose of catching the evenings meal. Arrive back on land and cook up your fish in celebration of Christmas Eve. Guaranteed this will be the best meal of the year and memories to follow for a lifetime.

There are unique traditions that you can start when you decide to have a family Christmas away from home. Find new traditions for your Riviera Maya Christmas and New Years holiday that will have you coming back for more. These are just a few suggestions for your holiday fun and we welcome everyone to share their favorite holiday traditions while vacationing on the beach. Check out our directory to find the local businesses who deliver all of these services over the holidays.


Paulina is a crazy animal lover who has been living in the Riviera Maya for over 9 years. Her expertise is designing unique vacations for travelers and visitors. This comes from her desire to share her area knowledge, local restaurant secrets, and cool cultural experiences that have been a large part of her life on the coast. Paulina never sits still on her day off as she feels there is always something to see, a new beach to check out or a new restaurant to try. She loves answering questions and helping you plan your next vacation. [email protected]

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