Although the sun and heat are dominant in the Mexican Caribbean, there may be rainy days sometimes as well, just like in many other tourist destinations. But do not despair! There are plenty of things to do in the Riviera Maya and the Cancun area, which you can try whether it rains or shines. Also, many resorts in the Riviera Maya offer guests a number of activities in case of bad weather, such as shows, games, libraries, cooking classes and other activities for the whole family.
However, for those who prefer to find their own activities outside the hotel, there are many options. You can find several of them in the Riviera Maya. And those who are visiting Cancun will also find many amazing things to do.
Best Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Cancun / Riviera Maya
The best activities for the rainy days of Cancun and Riviera Maya are: the Rio Secreto underground river, the Rock of Ages Broadway show, and of course the Xcaret Eco Park and its Mexico Espectacular experience. You can also use your rainy day for a spa treatment, for shopping, for movie-watching and to try your luck at a casino.
1. Rio Secreto: Discover the Riviera Maya Underground
If you’re on a family vacation with children, an excellent choice on rainy days is the underground river called Rio Secreto, located at the southern terminus of Playa del Carmen. Rio Secreto is a huge and fascinating system of natural caves with underground rivers that offers a unique experience for the whole family.
The ancient Mayans believed that this system of ground water was a gateway to their deities. A guide will point the way through the 1,800-foot path through this underground wonder full of rock formations. Impressive stalactites hanging and stalagmites rising from the cavern will surely impress you.
2. Rock of Ages: Get Ready to Rock!!
Stay indoors and simply rock along to the excitement of Rock of Ages in Riviera Cancun! For a limited time only, this is your chance to catch a real Broadway show full of live music and great tunes from the 1980s! Enjoy beer and soft drinks as you sing and dance along to the hits from Journey, Pat Benatar, Bon Jovi and other artists from the decade of big hair.
3. Xcaret: The Best of Mexico, Even on Rainy Days!
No Cancun / Riviera Maya vacation is complete without visiting the magnificent Xcaret Eco Park in Playa del Carmen. This incredible place is full of animal and nature exhibits, which are great to enjoy regardless of rain. Also, you can swim in its freshwater rivers without worrying about any raindrops. Above all, this is a great activity for the family to try in Playa del Carmen.
For the grandest send-off, stay into the evening to experience the magical Mexico Espectacular show. This can’t-miss spectacle features the best in song and dance from the various regions of Mexico. You can also add a dinner as you enjoy the theatrics of this indoor theater, so no need to worry about the weather outside. Additionally, you can come only to see this amazing show with the Xcaret at Night entrance ticket.
4. Spa Treatments: Forget About the Rainy Days
What better to pamper yourself at a spa and forget completely abut the (rainy) outside world? The Riviera Maya has an abundance of excellent spas; both in the big resorts and in small, holistic places in the heart of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Find about the best options with your Amstar representative in your hotel or check these options.
You can also try the Temazcal, the ultimate spa treatment as created by the ancient Mayan people. What a great way to truly connect with the ancestors of the land in which you’re vacationing.
5. Maya Museum: Embrace Local Culture
Another very interesting and pleasant option is going to Cancun’s Hotel Zone to visit the famous Maya Museum. This museum is an architectural pearl showing objects of the Mayan culture of the state of Quintana Roo. A visit to this museum increases understanding and interest after visiting any archaeological site, like Chichen Itza or Tulum.
6. Shopping: Long Live the Malls!
Even more, there are great opportunities for shopping in both Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Whether you seek trinkets, local artisan works or name-brand clothing, the Mexican Caribbean has you covered. And if you’re staying in Cancun, there’s an unforgettable shopping excursion that takes you to Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue.
This small shopping area, called Paseo del Carmen, offers select shops and cafes and, armed with an umbrella, you can discover the variety of street shops as you stroll through the Fifth Avenue and its varied entertainment options.
There are several shopping malls such as La Isla and Plaza Las Americas in Cancun. We recommend that you visit the national department store Liverpool, which is present in both of these shopping centers and features many quality goods to offer.
7. Cinema: Comfortable Entertainment
Another option for having a pleasant time in a rainy day is to go to the movies. The two mentioned shopping centers, Centro Maya and Plaza Las Americas have large theaters with many theater rooms and functions. Most movies are played in English with Spanish subtitles, and there are movies for all ages.
8. Casino: Lucky You! 🍀
For gaming fans, there are also options to help you forget the bad weather. In downtown Cancun, several big casinos offer all kinds of slot machines, bingo and other games. There are also several choices in Playa del Carmen for you to try and dance with Lady Luck.
There are frequent buses between Playa del Carmen and Cancun, or you can schedule your own much more comfortable transportation with Amstar to go to a casino. Better yet, check with your Amstar representative at your hotel or give us a call to arrange your perfect transportation on your rainy day. Finally, remember that Cancun / Riviera Maya are the perfect place for meetings, events or any other group travel, regardless of the season or the weather.
—This is an update of the original September 2013 post. Featured photo by C. Strife.