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Map of the Mayan Riviera
The Mayan Riviera, as the oceanfront stretch of the state of Quintana Roo along the Caribbean Sea is commonly called, is one of Latin America’s fastest growing regions and one of the most important touristic destinations in Mexico.

The area was an important commercial and religious center for the ancient Mayans, and there are many archaeological sites in the area, including Tulum and Coba. For hundreds of years, the area remained isolated from the rest of the country due to the lack of adequate roads. However, as Cancun developed, and tourists wanted an alternative to the resort area, the Mayan Riviera was discovered.

Now, the area’s wealth of natural resources, beautiful beaches, and cultural history attracts millions of tourists annually. The rapid growth of the tourism industry here has led to a population boom, massive residential development, and the highest rates of migration within Mexico, with people arriving daily from nearby states including Chiapas, Tabasco and Veracruz, primarily in search of jobs. This expansion, while providing great economic opportunities for some, has not been complemented by equivalent growth in social services and programs, and many communities and neighborhoods lack adequate healthcare, education, security, and even basic infrastructure such as drainage and street lighting.

To learn more, you can read a detailed essay on the history of the Mayan Riviera at Playa Maya News and

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