Yaxchilan, Chiapas, Mexico. It certainly is not on an itinerary for the Riviera Maya since it's a full day drive away, but Chiapas is a diverse state with pasture lands, mountain jungles, rivers, waterfalls, canyons, colonial cities, and the Maya who have lived here for centuries.
Here on the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, an hour from Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya, sits the only Mayan archaeological site overlooking the Caribbean’s turquoise waters. The city of Tulum was constructed by the Maya around 1200 AD and thrived until shortly after the Spanish conquest a couple of centuries later.
Mayapan, meaning Banner of the Mayas, is considered the last great Maya capital, dating back to the beginning of the common Era and reaching its golden age in the Postclassic period. It is believed that this city once had a population of 12,000 inhabitants.