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Cancún Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Cancún Nature & adventure

Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour

1. Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour

Travel back in time as you explore the Mayan  archeological ruins of Chichén Itzá on a guided tour. Connect with nature as you swim in the azure waters of the cenote of Saamal. Eat a mouth-watering buffet lunch and take a guided walking tour of Valladolid. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel, or a nearby meeting point, and then journey to one of the most important monuments on the Yucatán Peninsula.   Upon arrival at Chichén Itzá, look at the step pyramid of Kukulcan (El Castillo), known for the play of light from the equinox that casts shadows on each step to create an image of a serpent descending.   Go to the ancient cenote of Saamal and experience one of the sinkholes that form part of a network of underground rivers sacred to the Maya people. Enjoy a delicious buffet meal and take a stroll around the colonial city of Valladolid to complete your experience.

Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Cenote, Valladolid & Meal

2. Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Cenote, Valladolid & Meal

Dive into Mayan culture on a guided day trip with optional hotel transfers from Cancún or Riviera Maya to Chichén Itzá, named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World for being one of the world's best-preserved ancient cities. Enjoy a Mexican buffet and tequila tasting, and stop at Valladolid and a cenote. Your first stop will be at a Mayan community restaurant for breakfast with coffee and bread. Take this time to wake up and then go to stock up on souvenirs. Then, at Chichén Itzá, follow the guide while learning all about the most important buildings. From the awe-inspiring Pyramid of Kukulcan to the ruins that once housed tens of thousands of Mayans, the Pyramid of El Castillo or El Caracol, this visit is filled with rarely heard stories, incredible details, and stunning photo opportunities. Discover why the huge city played such an important role from the Late Classic period (600 AD) into the early part of the Post Classic period (1200 AD), and why it remained a huge center of pilgrimage. At this point, the fun is just getting started as no visit to the area would be complete without a stop by a cenote, a refreshing, enchanting underground sinkhole, sacred to the Mayan people. Then, enjoy a Mexican buffet lunch and a tequila-tasting experience. Before returning to your starting point, stop by the charming town of Valladolid, famed for the ornate, 16th-century Convent of San Bernardino of Siena and the baroque San Gervasio Cathedral. Enjoy a quick panoramic visit to this magical place.

Playa del Carmen: Xplor Park All-Inclusive Entry Ticket

3. Playa del Carmen: Xplor Park All-Inclusive Entry Ticket

Discover a paradise for thrill-seekers holidaying in the Riviera Maya. Book your all-inclusive Xplor Park ticket and zoom past impressive rock formations on a zip line. Take part in adrenaline-pumping activities, such as rafting and cave swimming, and enjoy a lunch buffet with unlimited drinks. Step into the heart of the jungle and live out your wildest Riviera Maya dreams. Make use of the latest safety equipment and receive instructions from the professional staff. Have access to 2 zip line circuits, 2 amphibious vehicle circuits, 2 unique river swims, and a river rafting experience. Drive for 10 kilometers aboard amphibious vehicles, admire panoramic views of nature as you glide along the zip lines, and see stunning stalagmite rock formations while swimming through the caves. Be treated to a delicious lunch buffet and unlimited drinks throughout the day.

Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

4. Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

Discover the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá on a guided tour from Playa del Carmen. Immerse yourself in the jungle at an eco-park, with some time for swimming in a cenote and a hearty buffet lunch. Start with pickup from Playa del Carmen and first travel to the jungle eco-park. Marvel at the sacred cenote as you refresh yourself with a purifying swim in crystalline waters. Dig into a delicious buffet lunch at the restaurant at the eco-park, and be ready for a flavor sensation. Try some of the famed Mexican cuisine with regional dishes from Yucatán. After your buffet, head to the world-famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá. Take a guided tour of the ceremonial site and listen to fascinating tales of the ancient Maya civilization. Learn more with your expert guides and hear entertaining stories of life at Chichen Itzá. Discover a culture that was way ahead of its time. Then, enjoy some free time to explore by yourself and walk in the footsteps of the Mayan people. Your final stop is in the colonial center of Valladolid for a quick visit to this charming “Magic Town” of Mexico. The imposing church and architecture of the town surrounding the “zocalo'' or town square are perfect photo ops and a chance to relax and enjoy the laid-back vibes of Yucatán, before heading back to Playa del Carmen.

From Cancún: Rio Lagartos & Las Coloradas Day Trip & Lunch

5. From Cancún: Rio Lagartos & Las Coloradas Day Trip & Lunch

Rio Lagartos is a small fishing village in a Nature Reserve; one of the natural treasures of the Yucatan Peninsula. Here we can enjoy a boat tour through its water canals surrounded by mangroves, where you can observe a variety of species of birds such as pink flamingos, herons, eagles, seagulls, pelicans, and cormorants. During the tour, we pass under the bridge of Las Coloradas to get to the salt deposits where we see different bodies of water involved in this process, some of which an eye-catching pink. Following, we will rejoice in the Mayan Bath, covering the body in nutrient-rich clay. Next, we’ll be heading to an unspoiled beach to remove the clay in the crystal water, where we will enjoy ourselves with the tasty local fish-and-shellfish-based food.

From Cancun or Riviera Maya: Isla Contoy & Mujeres Day Trip

6. From Cancun or Riviera Maya: Isla Contoy & Mujeres Day Trip

Explore Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres on a day trip from Cancun or Riviera Maya. Experience rich cultural heritage and history, have fun snorkeling, relax on beautiful beaches, and enjoy a delicious lunch. Begin with pickup from your hotel in the Cancun area, passing through Playa del Carmen, and arriving at the new private marina, located at the Punta Sam Ferry Terminal. Benefit from fast check-in and enjoy a light breakfast that includes sweet bread, fruit, cereal, coffee, and juice. After breakfast and check-in, board the boat and head toward the Ixlache Reef. The reef is located off the coast of Contoy and right at the beginning of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second-largest reef system in the world. Then, try snorkeling with your guide before boarding the ship and heading to Contoy Island. In the event of bad weather, you will do the snorkeling activity on the island in the safety of its shallow waters. Disembark on Contoy Island and have the chance to sightsee with a guide and visit the museum, observatory, and lagoon. Go to the dunes and learn about the flora and fauna species of the island. Alternatively, choose to relax on the beautiful beach or do some more snorkeling in the Caleta area. Next, enjoy a lunch of Pescado Tikinxic, a broiled fish with achiote and other local species as well as broiled chicken, rice, and salad, accompanied by your favorite drink with access to an open bar. Finally, enjoy free time on the beach before boarding the boat and heading to Isla Mujeres. Visit the fishermen’s village or do some shopping, then head back to Cancun.

Cancun/Playa del Carmen: Tickets to Rio Secreto and Lunch

7. Cancun/Playa del Carmen: Tickets to Rio Secreto and Lunch

Immerse yourself in an ancient world of stalactites and stalagmites with a visit to Rio Secret in Playa del Carmen. Roam the labyrinths of dramatic rock formations and tranquil waters in this hidden underground network of rivers and caves. Upon arriving at Rio Secreto, meet your guide and receive a wetsuit, wet shoes, a lamp, and a helmet to get ready for the adventure. Then enter the caves, where you have 1968 feet (600 meters) free to walk, swim, and enjoy the enchanting beauty of your surroundings.  After approximately 1.5 hours, you will be taken back to ground level and treated to a light lunch of delicious local food. Choose the green salsa if your taste buds like it hot. This is a chance for you to relax in the serene jungle habitat and reflect upon your experience in the caves. Next, you may wash and change before heading back to your hotel.

Cancun & Riviera Maya: Xel-Há All-Inclusive & Transportation

8. Cancun & Riviera Maya: Xel-Há All-Inclusive & Transportation

Head out on a full-day excursion to a snorkeling paradise that features a dazzling inlet and lots of fun activities. You can snorkel, take in over 20 attractions and enjoy delicious Mexican and international cuisine, unlimited drinks and an open domestic bar. Xel-Há Park is dedicated to the preservation of the region’s flora and fauna, and constantly developing environmental education programs to protect and conserve the environment. Dive into the waters of Xel-Ha, the world's most beautiful natural aquarium, and snorkel next to a variety of plants and hundreds of fish in the lovely Caribbean waters. Slide down the Salpichanga and end up in the cool, clear waters of Xel-Ha. Fly with a vine and then drop into the cool waters of the cenote. Test your balance on the Trepachanga and walk over the river between 2 loose ropes. Hammock Island is an ideal place to relax and indulge in a fabulous cocktail from the open bar. Discover historical vestiges of the Mayan culture, while enjoying the mysterious forest landscape. Take a walk along the paths of the natural reserve, and read the phrases and thoughts that are printed on signs along the route. Admire Ixchel Grotto, carved by underground rivers over thousands of years. It crosses a small, narrowed canyon, with an exit on the opposite side. See how light is refracted beneath the waters of the Grotto El Dorado. Take your kids to the Children’s Playground, a natural amusement park with swings, rails, wheels and slides. Admire the mangrove forest from the footpath to the river, and take the path to a platform where you’ll be totally surrounded by the vegetation.

Cancún: Speedboat, Snorkel & Jet Ski Rental Combo Tour

9. Cancún: Speedboat, Snorkel & Jet Ski Rental Combo Tour

Enjoy a full-day adventure with this jam-packed combo tour. All in one day, you can experience the famous Jungle Tour Adventure and rent a jet ski for 30 minutes. During your Jungle Tour, you'll also get to drive your own speedboat and snorkel at Punta Nizúc. And the best part, this tour is eligible for people without any boating experience.  Ride on 13 ft speedboats and jet skis that are easy to drive, safe, stable and completely suitable for first time boaters. You will be taught how to navigate (you steer the wheel just like a car) your own speedboat and jet ski. For the speedboat portion of the day you will follow a highly-trained tour guide as they demonstrate to you the beautiful mangrove canals and Punta Nizúc bay. The snorkelling activity will be taking place at the beautiful Punta Nizúc coral reef, which is part of the second biggest coral reef barrier in the world, a site known for its incredibly clear water, coral reefs and underwater museum.

Cancun & Riviera Maya: Xplor Park All-Inclusive & Transport

10. Cancun & Riviera Maya: Xplor Park All-Inclusive & Transport

Xplor offers some of the most amazing adventures in the Riviera Maya. This full-day ticket gets you access to all of the theme park’s attractions to make your Cancun vacation extra special. Fly over treetops, drive an amphibious vehicle through jungle trails, and explore the inside of caves as you swim in underground rivers. If you love adventure, Xplor is the top attraction in Cancun. Your entry to this unique adventure includes transportation in fully equipped coaches to make it easier to reach the park. A specialized on board guide will fill you in on all the attractions that await. Kick start your adventure by exploring the impressive rock formations, sculpted by mother-nature millions of years ago. Here you can marvel at the underground rivers filled with majestic stalactites and stalagmites. The park offers 4 different activities for adrenaline junkies: zip lines, amphibious vehicles, rafts, and swimming inside underground rivers. These activities are held outdoors providing fun-filled adventure in a natural environment. Drive the 6 miles (10 kilometers) of jungle trails in unique amphibious vehicles, navigate on board thrilling rafts on circuits that stretch over crystal clear water, get a bird’s eye view over the jungle from some of the biggest zip lines found in Latin America, and swim inside ancient caves. When you are ready to eat, you can stop at the El Troglodita restaurant, where you will find the perfect mixture of fresh, high quality food, including a great choice of salads, an international buffet, luscious desserts and a soda fountain complete with fresh fruit juices, coffee, and hot chocolate, as well as oatmeal and peanut cookies.

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Frequently asked questions about Cancún

What are the best day trips and excursions from Cancún?

The best day trips and excursions from Cancún are:

Tulum

Other Sightseeing Options in Cancún

Want to discover all there is to do in Cancún? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Cancún

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 1,373 reviews

What an excellent tour! This trip was one of the highlights of my time in Mexico. Our guide Jacqui was knowledgeable and passionate about Mayan history and the Chichen Itza. Even though the pick up was very early, it was definitely worth it as we made it to the site before all the other big tourist buses. The guide gave an invaluable information about the site and helped us to see hidden details that we would have otherwise missed. The only downside was that it would of been nice to have more free time around Chichen Itza site, as half an hour seemed very rushed, especially if you want to see the cenote which is a 5 min walk (one way) from the main area. The Ikl Kil cenote was astonishing, We spent nearly an hour swimming around it and just admiring the surroundings. It is definitely worth going into the cenote first and then going for the buffet lunch. Just a minor thing-the van didn't have much leg room and some seats were broken. Would of been nice to have a better transportation.

It was good, but actually the guided tour lasts about 30 min in Tulum and then it goes to the cenotes and back home, it wouldn't be bad if they offered more information by that I mean more history of the places, since they only tell the main thing without going into depth or giving details that would make the place more interesting. What if the guide was fantastic. One bad thing is that it took us 4 hours to return from the cenote to our hotel, that was horrible, since there was a bit of a traffic jam and we had to go through all the hotels leaving different people in each one of them. I would recommend parents not to take small children's strollers or bicycles because it is not accessible and I have seen parents have a really hard time since there are stairs and the terrain is uneven. The driver was super friendly and professional.

This was the absolute best tour if you are interested in birds at all. My husband’s hobby is bird photography and this was probably his favorite part of our honeymoon. The driver, Axel, and the guide, Lope, were professional and very friendly! We ended up seeing 52 different bird species in the morning and were provided a delicious homemade breakfast. If we were back in the Cancún area I am sure we would do the tour again!

Had a great time, crew was great. Cant remember captains name but our tour guide yefte was wonderful. Switches from english to spanish so beautifully. He is truely talented at what he does. Saw amazing sea animals below the boat, beautiful ride. Clean, friendly staff from check in to check out. Nice cold drinks

Highly recommended for a family activity. Very professional guides. The boat ride is just amazing especially as it goes into the narrow water path. The snorkeling part was good but I had higher expectations as to the different types of fishes.