Playa del Carmen Culture & history

Our most recommended Playa del Carmen Culture & history

Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

1. 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 Tulum: Mayan ruins & Sian Kaan Nature Reserve Tour

2. From Tulum: Mayan ruins & Sian Kaan Nature Reserve Tour

Explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Muyil and the Sian Kaan Nature Reserve on a half-day tour from Tulum. You will encounter a variety of birds, plants, and animals before wandering through the ruins to discover the incredible history of this ancient civilization. After being picked up from Tulum you will be transferred to the Sian Kaan Nature Reserve. Walk through this inspiring eco-preserve to the highest point in the reserve and gaze out at an unblemished jungle filled with hundreds of species of birds, plants, and animal life. Enjoy a small hike before a boat ride through the trading canals of the ancient Maya civilization and visit the Maya temple of Xlapak. You will see the detailed facades of these old ruins, located at the bottom of the river valley. Next, float back down through the canals between mangroves and gently make your way back out into the crystal-clear waters around the peninsula. Onboard, enjoy an assortment of Mexican snacks and lunch as the sun sets over this beautiful landscape. Experience the very best of this region. The food, the culture, the nature, and a bit of relaxation make this a perfect day trip from your home base in Playa del Carmen.

Cancun/Riviera Maya: Chichen Itza and Ik Kil Cenote Tour

3. Cancun/Riviera Maya: Chichen Itza and Ik Kil Cenote Tour

Explore the ruins at Chichen Itza on a guided tour from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Choose between a private or small-group tour and beat the crowds and the heat with early morning access. Learn about the history of Mexico with insightful commentary on one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Start your adventure with an early pick-up from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Beat the crowds and the heat as you arrive at the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza. Follow your guide around the once-bustling complex, learning about the rich history, religion, culture, and daily life of the Maya. Wander around the Mexican pyramids, gaze at the spectacular stone carvings, and take photos by the glorious steps of the ruins. Board an air-conditioned vehicle and leave right before the morning gets too warm and the crowds increase. Head to the charming town of Piste for a quick look around before making your way to Cenote Ik Kil. Marvel at its stunning views, take photos of the turquoise waters and lush vegetation, and maybe squeeze in a quick dip before going for lunch. After filling your belly with some local food, board the vehicle once more and make your way back to Cancun and Riviera Maya with nothing but knowledge and memories to remember your adventure by.

Quintana Roo: Tulum, Cobá, Cenote, Playa del Carmen & Buffet

4. Quintana Roo: Tulum, Cobá, Cenote, Playa del Carmen & Buffet

Discover natural and archeological treasures of Riviera Maya on this guided day trip. Choose your ideal starting point and set off to see the historical hotspots of Cobá and Tulum. See the evolution of a society as you walk the modern streets of Playa del Carmen, along the Caribbean coast. At Cobá you’ll find Nohoch Mul, the highest pyramid of the Yucatán peninsula. Race to the top or take it slow and steady, and take in the gorgeous view from the top. Learn about ancient ways of living in the region from your guide, and top it off with a dip in the tranquil waters of Choo-Ha cenote. Fill up at the buffet lunch, full of traditional and tasty foods, before heading to Tulum. With the majestic ruins and vast views of the Caribbean sea, it’s easy to picture the town’s origins as a major port. Relax with the sound of gentle waves and the feeling of the sun on your skin. Finish off the day at Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean shore. You’ll have some free time to walk the pedestrianized streets, visit its craft and designer shops, and soak up the unique atmosphere. Catch some time to rest and reminisce on your journey back.

Riviera Maya: Cobá and Chichén Itzá Tour with Cenote & Lunch

5. Riviera Maya: Cobá and Chichén Itzá Tour with Cenote & Lunch

Embark on a day trip to Cobá and Chichén Itzá and explore the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula. Relax at Cenote Saamal, soak up the views at Nohoch Mul, enjoy lunch, and beat the crowds with an early morning departure. Head to Cobá first, whose ruins date back to 100-300 B.C. Learn about the significance of the 5 nearby lakes, and appreciate the striking architecture of the vast stone structures. Trek to the top of Nohoch Mul to be rewarded with beautiful jungle views. Venture deeper into the jungle to relax at the mystical Cenote Saamal, the perfect place for a swim and some dazzling photos. Savor a delicious buffet lunch during your adventure. Save the best for last by visiting Chichén Itzá, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Feel lost in time in the lovingly-kept pyramids, and discover the genius of the city’s unique structures. Take time to rest and reminisce on your drive back home.

From Cancún: Chichén Itzá Early Access with Cenote & Lunch

6. From Cancún: Chichén Itzá Early Access with Cenote & Lunch

In this tour, your guide will give you an in-depth tour of Chichen Itza. Listen as they provide background information to help you better understand the history of this place. End the tour with lunch at a local restaurant. Beat the crowds and the heat by arriving early in the morning at the Chichen Itza Archeological Site. Be the first to enter this Wonder of the World and take amazing pictures with the place almost completely to yourself. Learn how this large city played an important role in Mayan civilization from around 600 AD to 1200 AD and remained a center of worship and pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards. The site was abandoned and its ruins were eventually hidden by the jungle. In between the tour, enjoy a typical Mexican buffet lunch at a local family-run restaurant. Swimming at the Saamal Cenote (entry included) and a visit to Valladolid are also on the itinerary.

Chichén Itzá: Hubiku Cenote & Valladolid Tour

7. Chichén Itzá: Hubiku Cenote & Valladolid Tour

Embark on a guided tour of Yucatán on a full-day tour from Playa del Carmen. Visit the breathtaking Mayan city of Chichén Itzá and the colorful city of Valladolid. Explore the Yucatán jungles, swim in the Hubiku cenote, and enjoy a buffet lunch. Head into the dense jungles of the Yucatán and stop at the Hubiku cenote, a cavernous freshwater pool in a light-filled limestone cave and enjoy a swim. Dry off over a buffet lunch of typical Mayan dishes and then hop back on the bus for the last leg of the drive to Chichén Itzá. This dense and sprawling archaeological site features excavated ruins and well-preserved temples. The final stop is the quiet colonial city of Valladolid, where the pastel walls of shops and restaurants provide a colorful backdrop for photos.

From Playa Del Carmen: Tulum, Mayan Culture and Cenote Tour

8. From Playa Del Carmen: Tulum, Mayan Culture and Cenote Tour

Discover the Mayan ruins of Tulum on a tour from Playa del Carmen. Delve into a jungle oasis for a swim in a cenote to complete your perfect day trip. After pickup from Playa del Carmen, travel to Tulum to see some of the most well-preserved in the region. Enjoy their magnificent setting atop a cliff overlooking the sea. Explore this ancient walled city where the Mayans used to maintain control of this fascinating port town. Be escorted by your guide who will provide more information about the history of the site. Take spectacular photographs of the area. Then, enjoy a swim in a Riviera Maya cenote, which was once considered an entrance to the underworld. These limestone sinkholes are unique features of the Yucatán Peninsula, formed over the millennia and creating magical landscapes of stalactites and stalagmites in caves in the lush jungle.

From Riviera Maya: Ek Balam and Cenote Maya Full-Day Tour

9. From Riviera Maya: Ek Balam and Cenote Maya Full-Day Tour

Explore the archaeological site of Ek Balam, a top regional attraction that has been recently restored. You’ll also visit the mysterious Cenote Maya, a natural pool that features beautiful rock formations. Your full-day tour begins at the Cenote Maya Park, where you’ll descend into the region’s most impressive cenote by a large wooden staircase built using ancient Maya techniques. Experience a range of optional adventures at the park, such as swimming in the cenote, diving, rappelling, swinging on a Tarzan vine, and more. Visit a small, colorful handicraft market, where your purchases of locally made items benefit Maya artisans. See a Mayan ritual, and be part of an authentic blessing ceremony performed by a shaman. Enjoy a Mayan buffet of traditional dishes such as lime soup, chaya tamales, beans, vegetables, rice, chicken, handmade tortillas, fruits, and flavored water. Next on the itinerary is visit to the Ek Balam site. Dating from the 11th century, this is one of the most impressive ceremonial centers of the Yucatan peninsula. Admire the temples and plazas and unique high-relief sculptures.

From Cozumel: Express Tour to Tulum Mayan Ruins

10. From Cozumel: Express Tour to Tulum Mayan Ruins

Start your adventure by meeting your tour guide right in front of the swallows’ statue so that you can take the ferry ride to playa del carmen and enjoy a scenic 45 minute ride in the blue waters of the Caribbean. After that, you will take an air conditioned van/bus to the walled city of Tulum, in which you’ll explore the magnificent and restored temples rising above the Caribbean Sea. Tulum is an archeological site that offers one of the most beautiful sceneries of the world. You will be guided by a local expert through the secrets, facts, myths and wonderful legends of the ancient Mayan civilization, getting the opportunity to admire the detailed carved figures and frescoes on the walls of prominent buildings such as “El Castillo” (The Castle), The Temple of the Descending God and The House of the Columns, in which you will be able to shoot amazing photos during approximately 2 hours. After this unforgettable experience, you will return to your transportation in which you will enjoy a delicious light snack while getting back to Playa del Carmen, where you will catch the ferry just in time to be back to Cozumel.

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Frequently asked questions about Playa del Carmen

What top attractions are a must-see in Playa del Carmen?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Playa del Carmen?

The best day trips and excursions from Playa del Carmen are:

Tulum

Other Sightseeing Options in Playa del Carmen

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What people are saying about Playa del Carmen

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 312 reviews

Rodrigo was an excellent tour guide who provided a lot of detailed information on Chichén Itza. It was very informative, but also very laid back. I would definitely recommend his day trip to anyone who wants to see more of Mexico, eat good food, and jump into a cenote. Thanks for a day well spent!

Awesome day visiting tulum and coba ruins, delicious lunch, guide Ester was great and went info heaps of details, made extra effort with us, the cenote was refreshing and trip was good value for money overall

Rodrigo and Arturo made this an unbelievable trip! So much local knowledge and the friendliest people you will ever meet. My family and I truly enjoyed our tour with the best tour guides around.

The tour guide was very enthusiastic and had a lot of interesting information about the history. Very friendly.

We had the best time in Tulum. A must visit place. We saw a lot of Iguanas.