When you think of “Mexico,” chances are that you might not think about “golf,” but in truth, golf courses in the Riviera Maya are a destination in themselves, with a number of excellent courses in some of the world’s most beautiful locations! Stretching about 75 miles south from Cancun along Mexico’s only Caribbean coast, the Riviera Maya region is home to more than 15 golf courses and most of them are easily accessible off the main highway, Route 307, which stretches all the way from Cancun to Tulum.
“If sunny and warm is what you seek, Mexico’s biggest golf destinations will not disappoint,” wrote Golf Digest. “In short, it’s never too cold to play.
Whether you regularly hit the links, play socially or just like to get out and enjoy a round while on holiday, here are my top 5 golf courses in the Riviera Maya region:
1. El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba
Designed by Greg Norman and home to Mexico’s first PGA tour event, the OHL Mayakoba Classic, El Camaleon regularly attracts PGA tour stars like Ernie Els, Jordan Speith, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler and is widely considered the best golf courses in the Riviera Maya region. Located in the ultra-luxurious Rosewood Mayakoba resort, this course is worth your time for the views and for the challenge of playing the Par 3 15th hole, which is home to the world’s most beautiful (beach!) sand bunker.
2. Gran Coyote
Just steps from the beach, Gran Coyote Golf in Playa del Carmen was designed by three-time champion Nick Price and built with a focus on minimizing its environmental impact. Expect to see well-manicured fairways and greens that seamlessly complement the surrounding natural beauty of Mexico’s Riviera Maya region, where golfers are challenged by tricky ocean winds, strategic bunkering and seven acres of water hazards. All facilities here are top-notch and use of the clubhouse, beach club and all of the amenities is included.
3. Hard Rock Golf Club Riviera Maya
Situated in the exclusive gated community of Playacar, the Hard Rock Riviera Maya Championship Golf Course was designed by Robert von Hagge. Not a course that offers many birdie opportunities among its 18 holes, the greens are small, the fairways narrow and the sand traps large. The location is ideal for both locals and visitors, who enjoy fabulous service and an all-inclusive green fee that includes the practice range, 18 holes of golf, a golf cart, food and beverages.
4. Riviera Maya Golf Club at Bahia Principe
Situated a quick 30 minutes south of downtown Playa del Carmen, the Bahia Principe course at Riviera Maya Golf Club features an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole executive course, designed by Robert Trent Jones III. Here, the challenging Par 5 on the 4th hole features water all the way down one side and in front of the green, while the Par 3 15th hole has a carry of more than 200 yards over water to a green surround by breathtaking natural rock formations.
5. Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club
Designed by renowned golf course architect P.B. Dye, the Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club enjoys a truly incredible location surrounded by lush jungle vegetation, exotic animals and some of the world’s most famed ancient Mayan ruins. This golf course in the Riviera Maya features several starting points, so players of all skill levels can enjoy the course, which is a preferred location for the most demanding golfers. Expect to find deep bunkers, narrow fairways, undulating greens and unparalleled vistas at every turn.
Do you have questions about golfing in Mexico’s Riviera Maya? Ask us in the comments!