A Year in Riviera Maya Festivals
The Riviera Maya is consistently named among the top destinations in Mexico and it's easy to see why. Every year, the Riviera Maya hosts dozens of festivals celebrating food, wine, music, sports, culture and community, and 2017 was no exception. Over the course of the year, we attended countless events; everything from world-class food and wine festivals, to international music festivals, and traditional Maya cultural events. Here are five of our favorites.
Cancun Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival
The Cancun Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival is one of the biggest culinary events of the year in the Riviera Maya. It features the very best Mexican and international chefs and sommeliers creating exquisite culinary experiences at some of the top resorts in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. The 2017 festival kicked off on March 15th with a spectacular welcome cocktail party at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun followed by four days of gala dinners and impressive wine and food events with guest chefs and sommeliers, including a conference on the future of cuisine, a golf tournament with star chefs, and three incredible “Foodies Favorites” events: a catamaran cruise to Isla Mujeres, a gourmet taco competition, and a beach BBQ with chefs from Mexico and Texas.
Sacred Mayan Journey at Xcaret
Xcaret's annual recreation of the Sacred Mayan Journey, an ancient ritual sea crossing from the shores of the Riviera Maya to the island of Cozumel to worship the goddess Ixchel, is one of the most extraordinary events you will ever witness. Each year in May, 300 canoers (both men and women) brave the hot sun and cross 20 miles of open sea to recreate this ancient Maya tradition. Their journey is the result of six months of challenging early morning training sessions and strict preparation. The dances, music, and rituals that take place before, during and after the sea crossing offer a unique glimpse into the life of the ancient Maya. It’s a beautiful and emotional experience, and just one of the many ways that Xcaret works to preserve Maya history and culture.
Mayakoba Playa Fest
Hosted at the new Andaz Mayakoba Resort, Mayakoba Playa Fest is shaping up to be one of the best beach events in the Riviera Maya. The second edition of Playa Fest took place in September over Mexican Independence Day weekend and attracted more than 250 guests, including resort guests and Riviera Maya locals alike. Playa Fest features a challenging yoga + 5K + stand up paddleboard race, as well as kite surfing, jet surfing, and aqua forza, a new type of workout that uses an inflatable board to build strength and flexibility. Following the sporting events and competitions, guests were treated to an exquisite BBQ-style lunch prepared by Executive Chef Vincent Wallez and his team, and a fabulous 5-course dinner prepared by renowned guest chefs and mixologists.
Festival of Life and Death at Xcaret
The Riviera Maya’s biggest Day of the Dead celebration takes place over four nights, from October 30th to November 2nd, at Xcaret Park. The Festival of Life and Death at Xcaret showcases Day of the Dead traditions from all over Mexico and features concerts, dances, altar exhibits, live theater, interactive workshops, parades, and traditional cuisine, like cochinita pibil and mucbipollo, a type of big tamal that's stuffed with chicken, wrapped in a banana leaf, and cooked underground. There really is no better way to experience Day of the Dead in Playa del Carmen!
Riviera Maya Jazz Festival
In 2017, the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival celebrated its special 15th anniversary edition with an incredible lineup that included ten-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin. This free outdoor music festival features internationally renowned jazz artists from across the globe, as well as talented local musicians from our area. As always, the famous Mamita’s Beach in the heart of Playa del Carmen was packed with people who came to enjoy three nights of live music and big crowds by the Caribbean Sea. The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival takes place each year in late November/early December and if you're lucky enough to be in town, it's an event you don't want to miss!
Check out our Riviera Maya Events Calendar to find out more about these and other upcoming events. Just click on the individual links to see all of the event details!