What’s on Where? Events in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Yucatan, May-June 2016

Are you traveling to Cancun or the Riviera Maya soon, take a look at our listing of upcoming events in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Valladolid and Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatan for May and June 2016.

Festival de los Oceanos, Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, May 14 – June 11

One of the annual events in Cancun of most interest to sea lovers. For the fourth year running, the Festival de los Oceanos comes to Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos with a month of events celebrating the beauty of our blue planet. Events will showcase the diversity of marine life in the Mexican Caribbean, the threats the oceans are facing and what we can do to protect the underwater world.

The festival program features events in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Activities include urban mural painting in Cancun, a sailing workshop and regatta in Cancun (May 28) and a photography exhibition in Playa del Carmen. Volunteers can participate in beach and mangrove forest cleaning in Contoy (May 21) and Puerto Morelos (May 22). There will be a Lionfish Inter-College culinary challenge in Playa del Carmen on June 1, conferences on marine life and conservation in Cancun on June 8 and the event draws to close with a concert in the main square in Puerto Morelos on June 11.

Sacred Mayan Journey or Travesía Sagrada Maya, Xcaret and Cozumel, May 20 – 21

One of the most important events in the Riviera Maya calendar, the Travesia Sagrada Maya or Sacred Mayan Journey is the reenactment of an ancient Mayan pilgrimage. Oarsmen set sail from the port of Pole (now Xcaret) in wooden canoes bound for the island of Cozumel where they will worship at the shrine of Ixchel, the Maya goddess of the moon and fertility. Four hundred oarsmen and women will begin their voyage of faith at dawn on May 20 bound for the island of Cozumel. After ceremonies at the shrine of Ixchel, they return to the mainland the morning of May 21.

Noche Blanca, Merida May 21

Merida is the cultural center of the Yucatan and is always worth a visit, but even more so for the Noche Blanca on May 21. The Noche Blanca or White Night is Mérida’s late-night culture fest and this year, in addition to the chance to visit nine museums and 28 galleries for free, it promises visitors and local people six hours of street art, live music, dance, theater, fashion, exhibitions, cuisine and traditions.

During the Noche Blanca there will be at least 170 cultural events in different parts of the city and museums and galleries will be open until 2 a.m. If you are planning a trip to Merida soon, this is a good time to go.

First Cancun Bird Festival, Cancun, May 27-28, Cancun Planetarium

Looking for events in Cancun? Bird lovers gather in Cancun in late May to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the Yucatan Peninsula’s winged inhabitants. The First Festival de Aves at the Cancun Planetarium features a photography exhibition, conferences, workshops and children’s activities. Attendees will learn to identify the species that are found in the Cancun area and listen to seminars about the birds of Cozumel and Rio Lagartos. They can also book a bird watching trip to the Toh Reserve on the Ruta de Cenotes in the Puerto Morelos area (cost 250 pesos per person, breakfast and commemorative t-shirt included).

The Bird Festival is being organized by Green Jay Mayan Birding, with the participation of Amigos de Sian Ka’an, A.C., Amigos de Contoy, A.C., The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and other conservation organizations.

Oasis Jazz U Festival, Cancun, May 27-28

Music lovers looking for events in Cancun may want to check out the Oasis Jazz U Festival. The line up of artists for this annual Festival in May includes Los Musicos de Jose, Tower of Power and Chaka Khan.

Anniversary of the Foundation of Valladolid, May 28

The colonial town of Valladolid in Yucatan celebrates the anniversary of its founding in 1543 with masses, serenades, traditional dances and a candlelit procession to the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena. Valladolid is one of Yucatan’s two Pueblos Magicos, a title given by the Mexican Tourism Board to communities that have their own air of magic and are rich in traditions, history and natural attractions. Izamal is the other Pueblo Magico in Yucatan. Valladolid is an easy one-and-a-half-hour drive from Cancun.

Masters of Food, Wine & Golf, Mayakoba, June 2

An amateur golf tournament that is the perfect combination of sporting fun, fine cuisine and wine at MayaKoba in the Riviera Maya on June 2. For more information visit ww.mayakobamfwg.com

Commemorating La Chispa in Valladolid, June 3-4

The population of Valladolid turns out on the night of June 3 to witness La Chispa, the theatrical representation of a rebellion against injustice in 1910 that was the first spark or chispa of the Mexican Revolution.

More than 800 actors take part in La Chispa. Dressed in authentic turn-of-the-century garb, they play the parts of the rebels, the police and soldiers sent to arrest them and the local aristocrats who condemned them.

Riviera Maya Film Festival, June 24-30

Film buffs turn out in June for a popular annual Mexican Caribbean event, the Riviera Maya Film festival. Movie screenings in Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Tulum.

Merida Salsa Fest, Merida, July 2

Groups from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama and Mexico gather for this festival of Latin rhythms, salsa, cumbia, merengue and batacha. Merida Convention Center.

Want to know about more events in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Yucatan during the year? Visit our Cancun Destination Guide