The 10 best tours in Riviera Maya
This list of the best excursions in the Riviera Maya will help you complete a trip to one of the most famous jewels in Mexico, which we are sure you will fall in love with upon your arrival.
In this area, located on the coast of the state of Quintana Roo, you can enjoy white sand beaches and turquoise waters, cenotes, coral reefs, ruins of the ancient Mayan civilization, hotels with all the amenities in addition to one of the best cuisine in the world, making it one of the most popular destinations in the world.
Excursion to the Cenotes
The Riviera Maya has its wildest part in the cenotes, some limestone caves that are the result of erosion, where you can take a relaxing bath or even go scuba diving.
Although there are hundreds of cenotes in the Riviera Maya, you have to take into account that the ones located closer to the coast are open sky while the cenotes around Valladolid are cave-like and located in the middle of the jungle, something that in our experience, makes them more spectacular.
Many cenotes can only be accessed if you have a rental car or a taxi such as those in Samulá, X’kekén, Palomitas, Agua Dulce, Xcanahaltun, Hubiku and Suytun, but if you don’t want to drive you can visit some of them by public transport, taking advantage of the fact that they are near archaeological sites such as the fantastic Il Kil or take a tour that passes through several cenotes.
Excursion to Chichén Itzá
Visiting Chichen Itza, the most famous Mayan ruin and one of the seven wonders of the modern world, is one of the best excursions in the Mayan Riviera that you can do.
This archaeological complex has several buildings and structures such as the Pyramid of Kukulkan or the impressive Ball Game, which will take you to the era of greatest splendor of the Mayan civilization.
Being the place that receives more tourists in Mexico, it is advisable to arrive early, taking into account that they open at 8 am, to enjoy the site with more tranquility and be able to take pictures without many people.
The duration of the visit is usually between three and five hours, depending on the time you spend at the site, and can be completed with a swim in one of the most spectacular cenotes in the country, Ik Kil, which is very close to the archaeological site.
To get to Chichen Itza, if you don’t have a rental car, you can take a bus from the ADO bus station in Cancun or Playa del Carmen, which will take you directly there.
Excursion to Coba
The ruins of Coba are one of the largest Mayan sites in the Yucatan Peninsula, with several structures and pyramids scattered throughout the jungle, which can be easily visited on foot or by bicycle.
Its most outstanding place is the pyramid Nohuch Mul, the highest in the Yucatan with 42 meters high, where you can climb to the top using support ropes because of its steep slope and from where you will have magnificent views of the area.
Excursión a Tulum
In Tulum, you will find the typical Caribbean postcard where you can see the castle of an ancient Mayan city, located at the edge of a cliff, on a white sand beach and turquoise waters.
Visiting the Mayan ruins of Tulum will take you about 2 hours and in addition to protection for the hottest days, it is advisable to take your swimsuit with you to finish with a refreshing swim on the beach below the ruins, one of the most famous in the world.
If you have extra time you can walk to one of our favorite beaches in the Riviera Maya, the spectacular Playa Paraiso and eat or drink at one of the seafront restaurants.
Excursion to Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres, a beautiful island located 13 kilometers from the Yucatan Peninsula, in front of Cancun, is another of the best excursions in the Riviera Maya. Its calm waters and the incredible coral reefs on the west side are perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving. You can also rent a golf cart or a motorcycle to tour the island in search of some of its turquoise water beaches and visit the famous marine park El Garrafón.
To get to Isla Mujeres you can take a ferry from the hotel zone in Cancun or from Puerto Juarez, which will take you to the island in about 20 minutes.
Excursion to Holbox
Holbox Island is a small paradise and another of the must-see places in the Riviera Maya. Its white sand beaches, transparent waters of an intense turquoise green and sunsets are for the memory.
If you add to all this a delicious gastronomy, based on local and international food, and that it is a relatively uncrowded island, Holbox automatically becomes one of the best excursions in the Riviera Maya.
In addition, all the points of interest on the island can be reached on foot or by renting a golf cart, since in Holbox motor vehicles are not allowed, making it a very pleasant destination for relaxation.
The only way to get to Holbox is by ferry from Chiquilá.
Excursion to Xel-Há
Xel-Ha Park, a true paradise for nature lovers, is another essential excursion in the Riviera Maya.
In this great natural aquarium with transparent turquoise waters from the Xel-Ha River and the Caribbean Sea, you can do several water activities, one of the most requested being a walk on a floating tire, where the current of the river will take you to different points of interest in the park.
In this park you can also practice snorkeling in different coves, discover cenotes, jump from natural trampolines, go on a zip line or on a vine, go hiking or cycling in the jungle, among many other activities.
To get to Xel-Ha Park, located 13 kilometers from Tulum and 110 kilometers from Cancun, you can choose either the car or the ADO buses.
Excursion to Xcaret or Xplor
One of the best excursions in the Riviera Maya for all ages is the visit to Xcaret natural park and Xplor recreational park. These two parks, located in a beautiful environment of jungle and Caribbean Sea, offer a lot of fun activities outdoors and in hidden caves, where besides releasing adrenaline with its many attractions, you can see several shows that reproduce Mexican dances and traditions.
If you don’t have a car, the cheapest option to get to the park is to take a bus in Cancun or Playa del Carmen that will drop you off at the entrance.
Xcaret visiting hours: every day from 8:30h to 22:30h.
Xplor visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 9h to 17h and from 17:30h to 22:30h.
Excursion to las Coloradas
In the north of the Yucatan Peninsula, near the coastal town of Río Lagartos, you can find Las Coloradas, which has become very fashionable lately thanks to the power of social networks.
This area of singular beauty, where several artificial lakes are dyed with colors, a product of the concentration of salt and microorganisms, is another essential place to visit in Mexico.
To get to Las Coloradas, if you do not have a car, you can take a collective taxi in Rio Largatos.
Excursion to Rio Secreto
Rio Secreto, an underground nature reserve with transparent waters and rocky formations of stalactites and stalagmites, is another of the best excursions in the Riviera Maya.
Located very close to Playa del Carmen and Xcaret park, this reserve with more than 30 kilometers of shallow tunnels and galleries, offers you the possibility to swim and walk through an underground cave for about 600 meters accompanied by a specialized guide.
To get to Rio Secreto, if you don’t have a car, you can take a bus in Cancun, Tulum or Playa del Carmen and get off at Akumal.