19 Best Cancun Day Trips (2023): The Ultimate Guide
When you plan how you will spend your vacation, do not forget about the amazing Cancun day trips you can take! Cancun is home to great hotels and resorts, and after pouring reviews to find the perfect accommodation, it can be hard to think about planning a day trip.
But, there are so many interesting places to visit on day trips from Cancun. From Cancun, you have easy access to different islands, Mayan ruins, and towns along the Riviera Maya.
Living in Cancun allowed me to explore a lot and in this guide I will tell you all the options you have to learn about Cancun surroundings.
You will find the top places to visit as a day trip from Cancun either by tour or on your own, so that you can choose the most convenient way for exploring.
The best Cancun day trips
There are lots of great things to do in Cancun. But that should not stop you from checking out day trips.
When you travel a short distance out of Cancun you can find a huge variety of things to do. You can see ruins, swim in a cenote, visit islands, and so much more.
Plus, when you book a tour, you do not have to worry about logistics. The tour operator will take care of all that for you, so you can relax and enjoy.
Here are the best day trips to take from Cancun:
1. Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza is one of the most visited and famous archeological sites in Mexico. There you can walk around Mayan ruins that date back to around 800 AD.
You will get a chance to admire the famous Kulkulkan Temple and learn about this ancient civilization.
Whether you are a history buff or not, you will be amazed by this site. Chichen Itza is located in the eastern part of the state of Yucatan, a few hours’ drive from Cancun.
Cancun to Chichen Itza Tours
👉 Chichen Itza with Cenote and Valladolid
5⭐ 11,592 Reviews
Explore the Yucatan Peninsula with this tour. You will be picked up at your hotel and driven to the archeological site.
There you will have the chance to explore the ruins, including the famous Kulkulkan Temple. From there you will go cool off in refreshing cenote water at Saamal.
Your last stop on the tour is in the colonial town of Valladolid where you will eat a buffet lunch and have the chance to stroll around the main plaza.
This tour lasts 12 hours.
Great experience!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Jordan_W, Mar 2023
Highlight of my trip to Cancun! Chichen Itza was even more incredible in person than I expected, and we got to learn so much and see so many things on this tour. Cesar (guide) and Juan (driver) were excellent, the entire experience felt very safe, convenient, and fun. Highly recommend!
👉 Chichen Itza sunrise & Cenote Ik Kil
5⭐ 161 Reviews
Beat the heat and the crowds with this early morning private tour to Chichen Itza. You will spend around two hours touring the site, and your guide will teach you about the Maya civilization.
Getting there early lets you get amazing pictures before crowds arrive. After leaving Chichen Itza you will visit cenote Ik Kil.
Again, you will arrive before the crowds and can go for a swim and get amazing pictures. This is a private tour so you have the option of adding on a visit to Ek Balam, Coba, or Tulum ruins.
Breakfast is included and this tour lasts 6 to 8 hours.
Bucket List ✅⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ LaVonna_F, Jul 2022
Finally, I visited one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in comfort and style. The tour was fantastic! Gabriel was an excellent tour guide and captivated my interest throughout to excursion and peaked our earning about the important legacy of the Mayan people. I appreciate his flexibility and making our tour experience the highlight of our trip to Mexico.
👉 VIP Chichen Itza Private Tour
5⭐ 841 Reviews
This private tour gets you to Chichen Itza early, so you can enjoy the site before the crowds arrive.
You will spend a few hours touring around with your guide as they teach you about ancient civilization.
From there you will head to the San Lorenzo Oxman cenote. You can jump into the water to cool off before heading to the colonial town of Valladolid.
You will eat lunch at an authentic restaurant on the main plaza and have the chance to stroll around before heading back to your hotel.
This tour lasts 10 hours.
Excellent day out⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Jemma_T, Mar 2023
Jony was great, took loads of expert pictures for us, tailored the tour to what we wanted to do and gave us loads of tips of where to go in the local area we were staying in. He was polite, knowledgeable and friendly and would recommend a private tour.
DIY Chichen Itza day trip from Cancun
You can plan a do-it-yourself day trip to Chichen Itza if you do not want to go with a tour company.
You can use the ADO public bus system to go from the downtown Cancun bus terminal to Chichen Itza.
The bus ride will last around 3 hours. This is an affordable way to get to the archeological site, but make sure to book your tickets in advance.
This is a popular route and the buses fill up fast!
If you want complete freedom in planning your day trip to Chichen Itza, you can rent a car and drive yourself.
The roads from Cancun to Chichen Itza are in great shape and it is an easy route to travel. The drive will take around 2 and a half hours.
There is a parking lot at the entrance to the ruins that will cost you a few dollars to park in.
Tulum is 80 miles south of Cancun on the Riviera Maya. It used to be a lesser-known backpacker destination but has crazily overgrown in recent years.
It is now popular for its luxurious boutique hotels and food and healthy-living scene (If you exclude the party-like atmosphere) . Tulum has great white sandy beaches, nearby cenotes, and Mayan ruins.
Cancun to Tulum tours
Tours to Tulum will take you to visit the ruins. Located on a cliff overlooking the ocean, these ruins are unlike other Maya ruins in the area.
Many tours combine the ruins with a visit to a nearby cenote.
👉 Tulum, reef snorkeling, cenote, and caves
5⭐ 2,712 Reviews
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel and take the first stop of the day: the Tulum ruins. Here you will learn about the Maya civilization and have free time to get pictures of the dramatic ruins.
From here you will head to the beach where you will take a short boat ride to the coral reef. Your guide will hop into the water with you to show you a variety of marine animals.
Your last stop of the day will be deep in the jungle where you will have the chance to swim in a refreshing cenote.
Your tour includes all transportation and a buffet lunch. It lasts 8 hours.
Highlight of our trip⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Yasmin_L, Mar 2023
The excursion was definitely the highlights of our trip to Mexico. Aaron was an awesome guide! Not only was he patient, but very knowledgeable. I highly recommend.
👉 Tulum and Cenotes tour
4.5⭐ 2,143 Reviews
Visit the Tulum ruins and a cenote on this hassle-free tour. You will start your day at the ruins learning about this important site to the ancient Maya.
Tulum was a fortress that protected the ancient Maya and served as an important hub for trading.
After leaving the ruins you will head to the cenotes Chen-Ha and Mariposa where you will have the chance to go for a refreshing swim.
This tour lasts 9 to 10 hours.
Worth the cost!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Lawrence_R, Mar 2023
The Cenotes was very refreshing on what was a hot and humid day! The bus was very comfortable and clean! The tour guide was very knowledgeable!
👉 Day Trip to Tulum and Coba Ruins including Cenote Swim and Lunch from Cancun
4⭐ 503 Reviews
Learn about the Maya civilization with this tour that takes you to the Tulum and Coba ruins. You will start your day with a tour of the Tulum ruins with an expert guide.
From there you will head into the jungle to visit a cenote. You can go for a swim and cool off before eating a buffet lunch.
The next stop is the Coba ruins, where you will get to visit the famous Nohoch Mull pyramid. On your way back to Cancun you will make a stop in Playa del Carmen where you will have time to stroll on 5th avenue.
This tour lasts 11 hours.
Fun time in Tulum, Coba, plus Cenote⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Jorge_D, Jan 2023
This was a fantastic tour. Our guides, Seferino and Gustavo, took very good care of our group. We learned about Maya culture, the region, and other tidbits of information. We had ample time at all the sights to explore and take photos. The stop at the cenote included a delicious buffet lunch, a bar, and swimming in the cenote. One word of caution… do bring snacks to eat throughout the day since lunch takes place much later in the day. Also, plenty of sunscreen.
DIY Day trip to Tulum from Cancun
You do not need to take a tour to visit Tulum. You can use public transportation to get from Cancun to Tulum.
From downtown Cancun, there are frequent buses that will take you to downtown Tulum. From there you can take a colectivo, which is a shared taxi, or a taxi to the ruins.
If you rent a car you can easily drive yourself from Cancun to the Tulum ruins and downtown Tulum.
Renting a car will give you the freedom to stop at a cenote, visit Tulum beach, and enjoy some of the great restaurants there.
Underneath the Yucatan Peninsula are miles and miles of underground rivers. These underground water systems connect to the surface and create freshwater pools – called cenotes.
Cenotes come in all different shapes and sizes, have crystal clear water, and often have stalagmites and stalactites.
These amazing pools are unique to the Yucatan Peninsula and something you do not want to miss seeing on your visit.
Cenote tours from Cancun
Tours to visit cenotes take the stress out of planning your day. Many cenotes are located deep in the jungle, and tours provide roundtrip transportation.
Many tours to visit cenotes include other adventure activities, such as ziplining.
👉 Chichen Itza, Tequila Cenote & Valladolid
4.5⭐ 6,860 Reviews
Spend a day exploring the Yucatan Peninsula. The first stop on your tour is Chichen Itza where your guide will teach you all about the site.
Next, you will visit cenote Chichikan where you can jump into the water and enjoy a swim. You will have a buffet lunch and tequila tasting before heading to Valladolid.
Valladolid is a colonial town where you will have time to stroll around the plaza. This tour lasts 12 hours.
Fun tour⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Samm_B, Mar 2023
Daniel the tour guide and Manuel the driver were excellent with providing great facts and history about the culture. Daniel was especially funny during the tour. My family had a good time.
👉 Tour Cenotes Oasis Maya
5⭐ 629 Reviews
Go to the Xenotes Oasis Maya adventure park to visit four different types of cenotes. The first cenote is an open pool surrounded by a jungle where you can swim or float on an inner tube.
The second cenote is an ancient cenote that you use a zipline to splash into. The third cenote has a closed, overhead environment.
You will rappel down into the cenote from a hole in its roof! The last cenote you will visit is semi-open.
You can swim and kayak to admire the rock formations in it. Your tour will finish with a jungle picnic that includes beer and wine.
Throughout the tour, your guide will teach you about how cenotes were formed and tell you ancient stories and the importance of the cenotes to the ancient Maya.
This tour lasts 9 hours.
5 star excursion!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Monica_H, Feb 2023
Our guide Cerva was the best. He even participated in activities with us. The cenotes were beautiful. Snacks and lunch were amazing. Wonderful experience all Around. Would definitely book again!
👉 Cancun Cenotes Tour
4.5⭐ 49 Reviews
Have a day of adventure on this tour to visit cenotes Nohoch Nah Chich and Sac Atun. Your day will start with a guided snorkel through a partially enclosed cenote.
You will then ride through the jungle on an all-terrain Unimog. There you will have the chance to go on ziplines and rappel into the cenote.
You will learn all about the cenotes and have the chance to participate in a traditional Maya ceremony led by the community of Rancho San Felipe.
Your tour includes transportation and lunch. It lasts 4 hours.
Amazing experience⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Richelle_M, Aug 2021
We had a wonderful experience from Mario in Tulum on our tour of the Mayan Ruins, wonderful food, and our energetic, fun, exciting trip by Jorge/Eduardo with Atv riding and swimming in a cenote ! It was a blast !
DIY cenote tour from Cancun
There are cenotes all over the Yucatan Peninsula. Some have great facilities and everything you need to snorkel, float on an inner tube, or zipline into the water.
Others are more rustic, with bathrooms and not much else. Most cenotes are on private land, and the owners charge you a fee for accessing the cenote and using their facilities.
The easiest way to get to “off the beaten path” cenotes is to rent a car for the day and drive yourself.
Some of the best cenotes are in remote areas, so you should not rely on public transportation or taxis.
4. Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is a small island about 8 miles off the coast of Cancun. It is known for having amazing beaches, coral reefs, and relaxed, island vibes.
Isla Mujeres tours from Cancun
Tours to Isla Mujeres make the crossing to the island fun. They often include a stop to go snorkeling, snacks, and free time once you arrive on the island.
👉 Private Isla Mujeres Tour from Cancun
5⭐ 311 Reviews
Enjoy a day on a 32-foot catamaran with a group of your favorite people. You can bring up to 9 people on this private tour- and you decide what you want to do!
Your captain will take you snorkeling, to visit Isla Mujeres, and to find secluded beaches- you get to decide.
You can customize the itinerary to your preference, and the tour includes snorkel equipment and unlimited drinks. The tour lasts 4 to 7 hours.
Just book it, you won’t regret it!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Brissa_O, Mar 2023
Simply WOW! This was an amazing experience, it felt like a dream. Everything about it was perfect. It was just me, my boyfriend, our amazing guides Fernando and his boat partner (I believe his name was Mikey). They made this a very, very enjoyable catamarán ride to Isla Mujeres for me and my boyfriend. Book it, you won’t regret it, just don’t forget to wear sunblock!
👉 Beach Escape: Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres
5⭐ 392 Reviews
See two beautiful islands on this tour. You will meet at the marina where you will have a light breakfast and then head out.
Your first stop will be at a shallow reef to snorkel. Your guide will be in the water with you to help you have a good time and see marine life.
Next, you will go to Isla Contoy, a protected nature reserve. Here you can enjoy pristine beaches, go for a nature hike, and try to spot the different birds that make the island home.
You will then go to Isla Mujeres, where you will have one hour to stroll around or visit the famous Isla Blanca beach before returning to Cancun.
This tour lasts about 8 hours.
Great experience⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Ank_A, Feb 2023
Totally recommend this trip. Isla Mujeres with Playa Norte is gorgeous; Isla Contoy is a paradise, just as our guide said. Xenia was great and made sure everyone is happy and cared for. She was of great help with showing me how to snorkel 🙂 it was my first time and even if the ocean was wavy, I made it and it was awesome!
👉 Half-Day Sailing Trip to Isla Mujeres
4.5⭐ 321 Reviews
Visit Isla Mujeres on a comfortable catamaran. On the way to Isla Mujeres, you will stop at a coral reef where you can get into the clear water and snorkel.
All snorkeling equipment is provided. Back onboard you can relax and enjoy the open bar and snacks as you head to Isla Mujeres.
There you will have free time to explore the island before heading back to Cancun. This tour lasts 5 hours.
Fantastic sailing adventure⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Ron_R, Feb 2023
We really enjoyed the sailing trip! Saw lots of cool fish while snorkeling. The crew was friendly and fun, and the drinks were awesome. The visit on the island was great for shopping and relaxing on the beach.
DIY Isla Mujeres day trip from Cancun
It is easy to take a ferry to Isla Mujeres and explore on your own. You can catch the ferry from Puerto Juarez, which is a few minutes from downtown Cancun.
There are ferry crossings all day, starting early in the morning. The crossing takes around 20 minutes.
There are also two spots in the Cancun Hotel Zone where you can catch the ferry to Isla Mujeres- Playa Caracol and Playa Tortugas.
Once you get to Isla Mujeres you can rent a golf cart to cruise around the island and explore, visit the amazing beaches, and stroll around downtown.
5. Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a town on the Riviera Maya located about 40 miles south of Cancun. It is known for great shopping, food, and people-watching along 5th avenue.
Playa del Carmen tours from Cancun
👉 Playa del Carmen Walking Food Tour
5⭐ 530 Reviews
Eat like a local on this tour of Playa del Carmen’s best food spots! Try Mexican specialties you may have never heard of before with this tour that will take you through a local market, to a fruit stand and a local favorite taqueria.
The tour will finish with a stop at a local ice cream shop where you can try locally made popsicles.
Excellent Tour Excellent Food⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stuart_L, Mar 2023
Henry was amazing and the tour, well it was worth every penny! You eat quite a bit so be prepared! History given through the walk too, which helps understand A few things we wondered. I would suggest doing this on the first few days as may really open your options!
DIY Playa del Carmen day trip from Cancun
It is easy to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun, and you do not need a tour to explore the town. From Cancun, you can take a colectivo, ADO bus, or a taxi to get to Playa del Carmen.
Once there you can take a stroll on 5th avenue, have a delicious meal, do some shopping, and check out the beach.
6. Isla Holbox
Isla Holbox is located just off the northern shore of the Yucatan Peninsula. Isla Holbox is known for having sand streets, amazing beaches, and a relaxed, island atmosphere.
Isla Holbox is a fishing village that has become popular with tourists.
Isla Holbox tours from Cancun
No bridge connects Isla Holbox to the mainland. You must take a ferry across. Tours to Isla Holbox take care of planning the transportation logistics for you – so you can relax and enjoy.
👉 Holbox Island Tour in Mexico with Lunch
4.5⭐ 7 Reviews
See the natural beauty of Isla Holbox with this tour. Your guide will pick you up and take you to the port where you will cross on a boat to Isla Holbox.
Along the way, your guide will teach you about the area and animals you may encounter on Isla Holbox and neighboring Passion Island.
In addition to amazing beaches, you will visit protected land and marine areas and have the chance to see migratory birds.
You will be served lunch and have free time to explore Isla Holbox before returning to Cancun. This tour lasts about 12 hours.
Must visit this paradise! Amazing experience⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Rachel_M, Mar 2023
What an unforgettable experience! I was so lucky to have Angel as a tour guide and the best group of people with me. Holbox Island’s turquoise waters are stunning. You must check out the Alma Bar! The boat ride can be choppy, but it’s part of the experience that made it thrilling (and wet)! Loved this, highly recommend!!!
👉 Holbox Tour
4⭐ 17 Reviews
Enjoy this tour to Yalahua Cenote, Isla Holbox, and Passion Island without having to worry about any logistics.
You will start your day with a visit to this beautiful cenote before crossing on a boat to Punta Mosquito.
There you will get a chance to see why so many people want to visit Isla Holbox- the amazing beaches!
Next, you will visit Passion Island, where your guide will help you spot migratory birds. Your tour includes lunch and free time to enjoy the relaxing island atmosphere.
The tour lasts 12 hours.
Great tour with Zayuri!!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Jamie_B, Mar 2023
I had the best time on this tour! Holbox was definitely the highlight. I really enjoyed my tour with Zayuri Zuniga, she was so so sweet and kind and fun. I travel solo and I’m always concerned I won’t get photos to remember the fun but she was always offering to take photos for me. I am so thankful and was delighted she translated everything to English for me. My whole tour was Spanish speaking but I didn’t feel left out because she did such a great job making sure I knew what was being talked about. We were provided with a bag of snacks and also a meal on the island. It was a long tour and I felt I got a lot out of it. I’d definitely recommend a tour with her!
👉 Isla Holbox All Inclusive
4⭐ 21 Reviews
Experience a piece of paradise with this tour of Isla Holbox. Isla Holbox is located in the Yum Balam Nature Reserve and this tour will take you by boat through the mangroves and Yalahua Lagoon that separates Isla Holbox from the mainland.
You will visit Isla Pajaros and Isla Pasion where your guide will help you spot some of the 140 different species of birds that can be found in this area.
On Isla Holbox, you will eat lunch and have time to tour the island of golf carts. You will have free time on the island to enjoy the beautiful beaches before heading back to Cancun.
This tour lasts 12 hours.
Wonderful trip enjoyed every moment⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Terry_T, Apr 2022
The points of interest were fantastic the stops where clean an organized . Fulfilled day. Was very good trip
DIY Isla Holbox day trip from Cancun
You can plan your day trip to visit Isla Holbox from Cancun. The ferry to Isla Holbox leaves from Chiquila, which is around 2 hours from Cancun.
You can book a private shuttle, use the ADO public buses, or rent a car and drive to Chiquila (you will leave the car parked there and take the passenger ferry).
The ferry to Isla Holbox leaves every half hour from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm. Once on Isla Holbox you can walk, or rent a golf cart, to explore the restaurants and beaches.
7. Isla Cozumel
Located off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, directly across from Playa del Carmen, Cozumel is Mexico’s largest Caribbean Island.
The downtown area is filled with shops and restaurants, and the island is famous for its clear blue waters and coral reef.
Cozumel has long been a favorite destination for scuba divers and is a popular spot to go diving and snorkeling.
Isla Cozumel tours from Cancun
Tours from Cancun to Cozumel will arrange all the transportation you need, and your island activities, so you can make the most of your day in Cozumel.
👉 Cozumel El Cielo All Inclusive Tour from Cancun
5⭐ 2 Reviews
Experience the best part of Cozumel – the coral reefs, with this tour. You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the ferry to cross to Cozumel.
From there you will get onto a snorkel boat that will take you on a tour of the best reefs in the area. You will visit Palancar reef, Colombia reef, and El Cielo.
You will have the chance to see colorful fish and reefs and have plenty of time in the water. Your tour includes lunch and free time to stroll around downtown Cozumel before getting on the ferry for your return trip.
This tour lasts 14 hours.
👉 Snorkel Adventure at Cozumel
5⭐ 1 Review
See Cozumel’s famous coral reefs with this all-day tour. Your tour includes all transportation, and once you arrive in Cozumel you will get on a snorkel boat and head into the National Marine Park.
Here you will visit the famous Palancar and Colombia reefs where you will have the opportunity to see turtles, rays, and lots of colorful fish and coral reefs.
You will stop at El Cielo, a shallow sandbar off the coast that is famous for stingrays, starfish, and water that is an amazing blue color.
After getting off the boat you will enjoy lunch at a beachfront restaurant where you can relax. You will finish the day with free time in downtown Cozumel to shop, stroll in the Plaza, or have a snack.
The tour lasts approximately 11 hours.
All Around Great Day!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ P_C, May 2021
This was a great trip. Seniors who wanted to snorkel Cozumel but didn’t want to hassle getting there on own from Cancun. This tour so well organized and great value for all that was included. Small van pickup in Cancun and our van of 10 met up with another van load in Playa del Carmen for remainder of day’s activities, then returned Cancun with original group.
👉 Cozumel Snorkeling Adventure full day Tour
4.5⭐ 3 Reviews
Experience the beauty of Cozumel on this tour. You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the ferry terminal to cross to Cozumel.
Once you arrive in Cozumel, you will get on a snorkel boat to head out to the reef. Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you go to the snorkel spots.
Once in the water look for fish, rays, and turtles as well as colorful corals and sponges. After snorkeling, you will go enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
This tour lasts 11 hours.
DIY Isla Cozumel day trip from Cancun
You do not need a tour to go spend a day on Cozumel. From Cancun, you can take a colectivo, the ADO public bus, or book a private shuttle to take you to the ferry terminal in Playa del Carmen.
There you can buy your ferry tickets and take the 45-minute crossing to Cozumel. The most popular activities to do in Cozumel for a day are to go on a snorkeling tour, or rent a car and drive around the island.
You can also spend time strolling around downtown Cozumel where there are lots of shops and restaurants.
Valladolid is a colonial town located in the state of Yucatan about 90 miles west of Cancun. It is known for its cobbled streets and quaint plaza.
There are lots of great restaurants and coffee shops around the plaza to explore. Valladolid is located near Chichen Itza and has countless cenotes around it to visit.
Valladolid tours from Cancun
The best day trips from Cancun to Valladolid will not only give you time to explore Valladolid but also take you to visit nearby ruins and cenotes.
These tours take care of all the transportation and logistics, so you can see several of major sites in one day.
👉 Chichen Itza with Cenote and Valladolid
4.5⭐ 542 Reviews
Learn about the rich history of the Yucatan Peninsula with this all-day tour. The first stop of the day is at Chichen Itza.
You will learn all about the importance of this site to the ancient Maya civilization and get to admire the famous Kulkulkan Pyramid.
From there you will visit the Saamal cenote. You will have many amazing vantage points to take pictures of and can climb down the stone stairs for a refreshing swim.
Your last stop of the day will be in the colonial town of Valladolid. You will eat a buffet lunch here and have time to explore the main plaza and admire the architecture before returning to Cancun.
Your tour includes all transportation and lasts 12 hours.
Recommended⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Marina_M, Mar 2023
Good experience, our tour guide Mike was knowledgeable and friendly. Could be improved by arranging pick up from all hotels, because it was a bit awkward to make our own way to a pick up point.
👉 Chichen Itza, Cenote and Valladolid All-Inclusive
5⭐ 11,592 Reviews
See Valladolid as well as the famous sites around it on the all-day tour. You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to Chichen Itza.
Your bilingual guide will teach you about the ancient Maya civilization and guide you through the archeological site.
The highlight of the visit to Chichen Itza is seeing the impressive Kulkulkan pyramid. From there you will go to the Saamal cenote where you will have the chance to refresh yourself in the water that connects to an underwater river system.
The last stop on your tour will be in Valladolid where you will eat lunch and have time to stroll around the town center.
This tour lasts 12 hours.
Comfortable & Educational⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Olivia_P, Mar 2023
I went alone and my guide was super considerate and consistently check in on me! Didn’t feel left out or uncomfortable once, super peaceful time!
👉 Chichen Itza with Cenote and Valladolid
4⭐ 210 Reviews
Travel around the Yucatan in comfort with this tour. Your bus ride will include a waiter who will keep you comfortable and bring you drinks as you move between sites.
Your first stop of the day will be Chichen Itza where you will get to learn about this ancient site that was abandoned in the 15th century and see the famous Kulkulkan pyramid.
Next, you will get to visit the colonial town of Valladolid where you will walk the cobbled streets, visit the main plaza, and see the San Servacio church.
Your tour also includes a visit to the Xcajum cenote where you can go for a refreshing swim. This tour lasts 11 hours.
DIY Valladolid day trip from Cancun
You do not need to take a day tour to visit Valladolid. The ADO public buses leave from the downtown Cancun bus station to go to Valladolid all day long.
The ride takes a little over 2 hours. You can also rent a car and drive yourself to Valladolid. The highway between Cancun and Valladolid is safe and well-maintained, although it is always a good idea to plan your driving during the day while in Mexico.
Once in Valladolid you can explore the plazas, check out restaurants and coffee shops, visit Cenote Zaci, and see the San Bernado Convent.
If you rent a car, you will have the freedom to check out surrounding cenotes and ruins.
9. Rio Secreto
Rio Secreto is an underground, partially flooded cave system located near Playa del Carmen. The caves are made of limestone that has been hollowed out from water erosion for centuries.
Rio Secreto was discovered by a farmer in 2004 and since then the caves have been studied and mapped.
The caves are filled with amazing rock formations- you can find stalagmites and stalactites. About 10% of the caves in Rio Secreto are open for ecotourism, where visitors can hike and swim through the caves.
Rio Secreto tours from Cancun
Space is limited at Rio Secreto, so booking a tour will guarantee your space and include your transportation.
👉 Admission Rio Secreto Wild Tour Wild Lunch
4.5⭐ 277 Reviews
Explore a natural wonder on this guided tour. You will be picked up from your hotel, given a complimentary breakfast, and receive a safety briefing and all the gear you will need for the day.
You will then head into the jungle. You will go on a bike ride, then hike through the dry part of the cave.
You will then suit up in your wetsuit and go for a swim in the semi-submerged section of the cave.
Your passionate guide will teach you all about the cave systems and local flora and fauna. Your tour includes lunch.
This tour is best for people who have a moderate physical fitness level because you will be moving around a lot.
The tour lasts 8 hours.
Excellent adventure⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Prasanna_E, Mar 2023
Amazing adventure tour involves biking in cave and jungle followed by cave exploration, swimming. Well organized. Our tour guide Imelda was amazing and so was our photographer Perseo.
👉 Rio Secreto Underground River Tour
4.5⭐ 506 Reviews
Experience the beauty of Rio Secreto on this customizable tour. You have the option to meet your guide at Rio Secreto, or add-on transportation.
Once at Rio Secreto you will have the opportunity to swim in underground caves. You will see amazing rock formations that have formed over millions of years in crystal-clear water.
Your tour includes a buffet lunch at the Rio Secreto restaurant. You have the option to add a visit to the Tulum ruins to your tour.
If you choose to include this, your guide will teach you about how the site was used as a trading post for the ancient Maya.
This tour lasts from 3-8 hours.
Best time ever⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ silvana_G, Mar 2023
It was an awesome time. We did stuff we never knew we could do. Everyone was so nice and friendly, our guide “Miguel” was so funny and knowledgeable of the place and history. Loved it 👍 100% recommended
👉 Rio Secreto Plus Cancun
4.5⭐ 21 Reviews
Travel into the jungle and see the amazing caves of Rio Secreto. This tour includes transportation from your hotel to Rio Secreto, where you will enjoy the Rio Secreto Plus package.
In addition to the traditional Rio Secreto route of hiking and swimming in the underground caves, you will have the chance to bike through natural paths into the jungle.
You will arrive at a spot for rappelling, where you will descend 18 meters. You will also get to watch a light and sound show inside the cave in an area called the room of peace.
Your tour includes a buffet lunch and non-alcoholic drinks. The tour lasts about 7 hours.
DIY Rio Secreto day trip from Cancun
Rio Secreto is a nature reserve, and you can only go there on an organized tour with a guide. Rio Secreto keeps the number of guests per tour small, so it is a good idea to book your tour in advance.
All tours include a hike and swim in the caves, and you can pick packages that include additional activities such as biking and rappelling.
You can book your tour with or without transportation. If you do not book transportation you can drive yourself, or take a taxi or colectivo there.
The Coba ruins are located about 45 minutes to the west of Tulum. Archeologists believe Coba was a series of small settlements that were connected with roads that lead to the Nohoch Mul – the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula!
Only a tiny section of Coba has been excavated and the ruins are surrounded by thick jungle. You can walk the site or rent a bicycle to move between the different sections faster.
Coba tours from Cancun
There are many different tours to Coba to choose from. Most tours combine the visit to the Coba ruins with a visit to another archeological site and a cenote – where you can cool off in the water after exploring in the sun!
Tours help you see the most in one day and take care of all the transportation logistics.
👉 Tulum, Coba & Cenote – full day tour
4.5⭐ 445 Reviews
Spend the day learning about the ancient Maya. Your first stop will be at the Coba ruins to explore these ruins in the jungle.
Next, you will head to Tulum to check out the ruins on the coastline. You will finish your tour with a visit to a cenote where you can go for a refreshing swim.
A buffet lunch and all transportation are included in this 12-hour tour.
A must see tour!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Benjamin_L, Feb 2023
Highlights of the trip were the vista of Tulum and bicycling through the jungle and coming upon the great pyramid of Coba as well as the great experience of swimming in a cenote. Ruth and Ramon were fabulous and we highly recommend this tour.
👉 Tour to Chichen Itza and Coba with cenote
4.5⭐ 111 Reviews
Visit the area’s most famous archeological sites. You will be picked up and served a light breakfast on your way to Chichen Itza.
There your guide takes you through the site showing the famous Kulkulkan Pyramid, the observatory, and the ancient sports arena.
From there you stop at the Saamal cenote where you can go for a swim. You will finish your tour at the Coba ruins where you can visit the tallest pyramid in the region and stroll on ancient paths surrounded by stone ruins.
This tour lasts about 12 hours.
Amazing!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Diego_A, Jan 2020
This tour was great! The guide was amazing, knowledgeable, and super friendly! I would definitely recommend this tour!
👉 Tulum and Coba all-day experience
4.5⭐ 10 Reviews
Explore two archeological sites and a cenote on this all-day tour. You will start with a guided tour of the Tulum ruins – an important trading site for the ancient Maya.
From there you will go to the Coba ruins where you can explore on a rented bike or be chauffeured on a tricycle.
Next, you will stop at the Maltum Ha cenote where you can go get into the water to cool off. The last stop of the day is Playa del Carmen’s 5th avenue where you will have some free time to explore.
This tour lasts 12-14 hours.
DIY Coba day trip from Cancun
You can plan your day trip to Coba, which will give you the freedom to spend as much time as you would like at the site.
You can use public transportation to get there. First, you will take an ADO bus from Cancun to Tulum, then buy a bus ticket to go to Coba.
The buses leave all day long, but it’s a good idea to go early in the morning to beat the crowds. You can also take a taxi from Tulum to Coba, just make sure to set the price with the driver before getting in.
If you rent a car, it is easy to drive to Coba. As you approach Tulum you will look for the signs of Coba. It is about 45 minute’s drive from Tulum to Coba.
Driving yourself will give you the freedom to stop at small towns near the ruins and try some delicious regional food!
11. Adventure parks
Cancun is home to many great adventure parks. If you want a thrilling day, check them out. You can choose between water parks, parks that focus on nature, and parks that will get your adrenaline pumping.
Several of the adventure parks in the Cancun area have swim-with-dolphin experiences. This activity is never included in the park entrance price, and we do not recommend supporting it.
New research is constantly coming out to show that dolphins suffer while living in captivity. As long as people pay to do this, companies will continue their unethical practices.
Adventure park tours from Cancun
There are adventure parks all around the Cancun area. Booking your tour which includes your entrance fee and transportation means you can sit back, relax, and focus on having a great time!
👉 Selvatica adventure park: Ziplines & cenote tour
5⭐ 263 Reviews
Get your thrills on Selvatica park’s zipline circuit. You will fly through the jungle on 10 different ziplines of varying heights and lengths.
Your tour includes the superman zipline, where you will fly face down, and the tanzania zipline coaster.
After the zip lines, you will take a safari truck ride deep into the jungle to a cenote. You can swim in this amazing freshwater sinkhole.
Your tour includes lunch and lasts 3 and a half hours.
Great day with teenagers!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Josh_N, Aug 2022
Great family outing! Incredibly safe and well-organized facilities. The staff is excelente!! Lockers for storage of your personal items and clean bathrooms with places to change wet clothing. And the lunch at the end included a delicious burrito and full bar for a perfect ending to a excellent adventure! Also, we drove ourselves and it was easy to find with smooth roads all the way to the entrance!
👉 Xplor Adventure park
4.5⭐ 383 Reviews
Get your adrenaline pumping at Xplor park. This package includes round-trip transportation and entrance to the park.
There you will have a great time on the ziplines, driving an amphibious vehicle through the jungle, rafting, and swimming through underground rivers.
Your tour includes access to the buffet. This tour lasts around 6 hours.
Fun⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Tracy_F, Mar 2023
Our family enjoyed Xplor! lots of fun had by all ! Food selection was good and we enjoyed all the different activities !
👉 Combo tour: Xcaret, Xel-ha, Xplor, and Chichen Itza
4.5⭐ 221 Reviews
This package gives you two days of fun and saves you money on park entrances. You can choose two parks, and the entrances must be used within 15 days.
Your park choices are Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor, and a visit to Chichen Itza. Xcaret is known for its natural attractions and cultural shows.
Xel-Ha is a water park that is home to a huge natural museum. Xplor is full of thrilling attractions such as ziplining and visiting underwater rivers.
Chichen Itza is a famous site of Maya ruins. Your package includes roundtrip transportation, so all you have to worry about is having fun.
Great family fun⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Edward_H, Aug 2022
My wife and I went to XCARET and XPLOR, we had a great time zip lining, riding vehicles, Exploring the underground case walking and swimming in the water very refreshing
DIY adventure park day trip from Cancun
You do not need to book a tour to visit an adventure park. You can buy your entrance and figure out your transportation to get to the parks.
You can use public transportation, a taxi, or your rental car to get to the parks. Some of the smaller adventure parks have limited daily capacity, so it is a good idea to book your tickets in advance.
Akumal is a small beach town located 100 kilometers south of Cancun between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
Akumal is famous for its white sandy beaches, and calm waters that are home to sea turtles. One of the highlights of a visit to Akumal is getting in the water and getting to snorkel with the sea turtles.
Akumal tours from Cancun
👉 Hidden cenote swim, snorkeling with sea turtles, and lunch
5⭐ 165 Reviews
Visit some of the best swimming and snorkeling spots in the area on this tour. You will start with a visit to a cenote where you can swim in the refreshing water and admire the rock formations.
Next, you will head to Akumal where your snorkel guide will show you tropical fish and Akumal’s resident sea turtles.
You will finish your day with a relaxing lunch at a beach club. This tour lasts 4-5 hours.
Plenty of turtles⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Jacques_B, Mar 2023
Many turtles, stingrays and other species to watch. Cenotes swim awesome. Finished with a nice lunch and relaxing time. I bit pricy but worth it.
👉 Tulum ruins, cenote, and swimming with turtles
4.5⭐ 177 Reviews
Visit Tulum and Akumal on this all-day tour. You will start your day learning about the ancient Maya with a visit to the Tulum ruins.
You will then head down the coast to Akumal where you will go for a guided snorkel to spot turtles in the seagrass.
Your last stop will take you into the jungle to cenote Zemway where you can go jump into the fresh water and swim.
Your tour includes a box lunch and lasts between 11 and 12 hours.
Perfecto!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Rachel_F, Feb 2023
We had an amazing experience seeing the Tulum ruins, snorkeling and swimming in the cenote (even built up the courage to jump in from the high deck-totally worth it). Michael and Francisco were wonderful guides – provided great information along with humor. The glass blowing was very interesting as well. My tip to others is to make sure you bring sunblock (even a hat), good walking shoes and towels. Overall I would highly recommend!
👉 Full-day guided snorkeling tour to Akumal
4.5⭐ 10 Reviews
Get ready to explore what is under the water with this half-day nature tour. You will start your day with a guided snorkel from Akumal beach.
There you will look for sea turtles, coral reefs, and tropical fish. Next, you will head to a cenote in the jungle.
You will swim and snorkel in the freshwater and check out the rock formations. Your tour includes snacks and drinks, and transportation, and lasts 6 hours.
Great service⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Marcela, Sep 2020
Long car ride, amazing guide. You get to see the turtles and they are adorable and the Cenote is beautiful!
DIY Akumal day trip from Cancun
You can use public transportation or a rental car to visit Akumal without a tour. The small downtown has delicious food and small shops to check out.
Once on the beach, you will find that there are lots of vendors trying to sell you snorkel tours. There are buoys in the water, and the locals will tell you certain areas are restricted to swimming in if you are not part of a tour.
You can easily book a tour on the spot, which will include snorkel gear. Or, if you have your own snorkel gear, you can enter the water and stay out of the buoyed areas.
13. Puerto Morelos
Puerto Morelos is about 40 kilometers south of Cancun. This laid-back fishing village is known for having cenotes, great beaches and coral reefs, and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
If you want a change of pace without having to go too far, this is a great spot to check out.
Puerto Morelos tours from Cancun
👉 Puerto Morelos City and Taco tour
5⭐ 43 Reviews
Check out the best local cuisine in Puerto Morelos on this taco tour. You will try three different tacos that are popular with locals and have a professional tequila tasting.
You will also have free time to stroll around Puerto Morelos and check out shops, the beach, and a flea market.
This tour lasts 4 and a half hours.
Amazing Time⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Laura_F, Feb 2023
Had an amazing time, Alberto our guide was great! We really enjoyed all the information scenery and everything that came with the booking.
👉 Puerto Morelos Catamaran reef sail and snorkel
5⭐ 74 Reviews
Visit the Puerto Morelos National Marine Park on a catamaran. You will board the catamaran and set sail for the coral reefs off the coast of Puerto Morelos.
Once there your guide will take you snorkeling where you can see a variety of colorful marine life. On board, you will have a light brunch with alcoholic beverages before sailing back to Cancun.
Take the plunge⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Julie_M, Mar 2023
Excellent experience, with a wonderful, experienced crew. We had a small group and lucked out with perfect conditions for snorkeling and sailing. Highly recommended.
👉 Half-day Puerto Morelos snorkeling experience
4.5⭐ 17 Reviews
Go snorkeling away from the crowds in Puerto Morelos. You will go snorkeling in the protected marine park to look at the colorful coral reefs.
There you can find turtles, rays, and countless colorful fish. After snorkeling you will go eat lunch and relax on the beach. You will also have free time to check out downtown.
This tour lasts 4 hours.
Great reef! Awesome guides! Fun times⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Paul_S, Jul 2022
Wonderful experience with my family of five! Freida is a great ambassador of the beautiful reef. Freida is very knowledgeable of the type of fish and coral. The tacos were delicious. Book this affordable trip and do not hesitate. This was a highlight of our vacation in Cancun
DIY Puerto Morelos day trip from Cancun
You can take the ADO bus from Cancun to Puerto Morelos, a taxi, or drive yourself in a rental car. Once in Puerto Morelos, you can stroll around the downtown, check out restaurants, stroll on the beach, or set up a snorkel tour.
14. Las Coloradas
Las Coloradas are the pink lakes you may have seen pictures of. These lakes were man-made to mine sea salt.
The bright pink color comes from a microorganism that lives in the lakes to help keep the water clean.
You will be happy to know that the company that owns these lakes works hard to incorporate environmentally friendly practices, and the lakes are home to many different bird species which are monitored carefully!
Las Coloradas tours from Cancun
👉 Excursion Las Coloradas & Rio Lagartos only from Cancun
4.5⭐ 87 Reviews
See the famous pink lakes of Las Coloradas. You will enjoy the different shades of pink on the water depending on the sun, and learn about how salt is made.
You will also visit the nearby Ria Largatos reserve where you will go on a boat ride through the mangroves to look for flamingos, pelicans, eagles, and crocodiles.
Your tour includes transportation and lunch and will last 12 hours.
Amazing⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ jeongyoon_c, Mar 2023
I really enjoyed everything Im during this trip. I loved that we got to interact with different animals. The tour guide Arturo and the other guide were fun, charismatic and really informative about the various sites.
DIY Las Coloradas day trip from Cancun
The easiest way to visit Las Coloradas on your own is to rent a car. This gives you the freedom to visit the salt lakes at the time of the day you want to get the best light for pictures.
If you use public buses your time will be limited based on the bus schedule. Plus, if you have a car you can visit nearby beaches and the Ria Largatos reserve.
15. Isla Blanca
Isla Blanca is a long, thin peninsula just to the north of Cancun. Isla Blanca is largely undeveloped, and there is a lagoon to one side of the peninsula and the ocean to the other.
There is a handful of parking lots and restaurants where you can pay a small fee and leave your car and go explore untouched beaches.
Isla Blanca is popular with kite surfers and from the beach restaurants, you can watch them gliding across the water.
Isla Blanca tours from Cancun
There are no organized tours to take you from Cancun to Isla Blanca. This shows you how little development there is there. You will not find any hotels or big beach clubs.
If you want to explore Isla Blanca you must do it on your own.
DIY Isla Blanca day trip from Cancun
The best way to explore Isla Blanca is to rent a car and drive yourself. You can take a taxi there, but make sure to arrange a pickup time with the taxi driver to get you back to Cancun.
Cell phone service is not reliable in Isla Blanca, and you will need to take cash to pay for parking and any food or drinks you want at a restaurant.
Driving yourself to Isla Blanca gives you the freedom to find a secluded spot on the beach and enjoy a relaxing day.
16. Lake Bacalar
Lake Bacalar is also known as the lagoon of 7 colores for the different blue and turquoise colors you see with depth changes in the water.
This long, thin lake has clear water and the town of Bacalar sits on its western shore. It is about 450 kilometers from Cancun.
There you can enjoy great food, kayaking in the lake, and a relaxed atmosphere.
Lake Bacalar tours from Cancun
It takes around 4 hours to drive from Cancun to Bacalar. Booking a tour saves you the stress of driving and lets you kick back and relax on the ride.
Tours also include stops at nearby cenotes and will include a boat tour of the lagoon.
👉 Bacalar tour from Cancun
4.5⭐ 2 Reviews
Learn the interesting, pirate-filled history of Bacalar. You will visit the San Felipe Fort, where you will have panoramic views of the lagoon.
You will also go on a boat tour of the lagoon, where you can enjoy the different colors and clear water.
You will also have free time to walk around the town and do some shopping. This tour lasts 12 hours and includes lunch.
What an amazing expierence it was going on this tour!! The tour guides were phenomenal and truly world Class. It was tons more than I expected and tons of fun!! Highly recommend it and we would do it again!! You wont be disappointed with Bacalar!! OMG!!
👉 Magical Bacalar tour with a pontoon boat ride
4.5⭐ 8 Reviews
Let your tour operator do the planning and driving when you book this tour. You will travel down the coast of the Riviera Maya to Bacalar.
You will visit cenote Azul, which is located in the jungle just outside of Bacalar. Here you can go for a refreshing swim and eat breakfast.
Next, you will visit cenote Cocalitos before boarding a boat to tour the Bacalar lagoon. Finally, you will spend time in the town, visiting the San Felipe Fort, eating lunch, and checking out the main plaza.
This tour lasts 13 to 15 hours.
Bacalar Adventure⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Erica_G, Sep 2022
This tour was a great experience. We got from and to Bacalar safely from Cancun. We enjoyed swimming in the Cenotes, the lagoon has beautiful clear colors. The views are amazing. They have great options for breakfast and lunch.
👉 1-day tour to Bacalar with cenotes and 7 color lagoon
4⭐ 6 Reviews
Enjoy this in-depth tour of the natural beauty of Bacalar. You will visit cenote Azul for a refreshing swim and breakfast surrounded by jungle.
Next, you will visit cenote Cocalitos. From there you will get to explore the lagoon on a pontoon boat, including the Pirates Canal.
From the water, you will have great views of the San Felipe Fort. Your last stop will be in the town of Bacalar to eat lunch before heading back to Cancun.
This tour lasts 13-16 hours.
Amazing tour!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Guy_W, Feb 2023
Hassle free day tour to Bacalar. It was a long day, but worth it for the beautiful sights, delicious food and great hosts and coach driver.
DIY Lake Bacalar day trip from Cancun
There are public buses that can take you from Cancun to Bacalar, but if you are trying to make it a day trip, the best option is to rent a car and drive yourself.
This will be faster than taking the bus, leaving you more time to explore. Once in Bacalar it is easy to book a boat tour of the lagoon, rent kayaks, and enjoy the town.
17. Isla Contoy
Isla Contoy is a small island a few miles off the coast of Cancun. It is a protected area and home to sea turtles and over 150 species of birds.
There is no development there and the government strictly controls how many visitors can go each day.
This is where you should go if you want to find pristine beaches and connect with nature.
Isla Contoy tours from Cancun
The only way to visit Isla Contoy is on a tour. Many tours include a stop at Isla Mujeres.
👉 Beach escape: Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres
5⭐ 329 Reviews
Meet at the marina where you will enjoy a light lunch before heading out on the boat. On the way to Isla Contoy, you will stop at a coral reef to go snorkeling.
There you will enjoy the colorful reef and fish. You will then arrive at Isla Contoy where you can enjoy a nature hike, look for different bird species, swim in the water, and enjoy the pristine beaches.
On your way back to Cancun you will stop at Isla Mujeres and have free time to enjoy downtown or check out the famous beaches.
This tour lasts 8 hours.
DO THIS EXCURSION- you won’t regret it!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Risa_D, Mar 2023
This excursion was the highlight of our trip! Our guides made the adventure amazing- we learned so much and Isla Contoy was so stunningly beautiful, we couldn’t believe it’s real! The included catered lunch was incredible, honestly the best food we had during our stay in Mexico. The food was authentic and similar to the food we got in town. The crew was knowledgeable and really accommodating.
👉 Isla Contoy Day Trip: Snorkeling at Ixlache Reef and Eco Paradise Tour
4⭐ 76 Reviews
You will start your day with a continental breakfast at the marina. You will then hop on a boat and go to Isla Mujeres.
There you will have free time to walk around downtown or go to the beach. On your way to Isla Contoy, you will stop and snorkel at Ixlache Reef.
On Isla Contoy you will go for a guided nature hike with a certified guide and have a buffet lunch. You will have time to relax on the amazing beach before heading back to Cancun.
This tour lasts 8 hours.
Memorable experience⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Haoyi_S, Oct 2021
The Isla Contoy is amazing and the crew made the whole ship a party, impressive atmosphere and truly memorable experience
👉 Private beach escape: Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres
5⭐ 17 Reviews
Discover Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres on a private tour. On your way to Isla Contoy, you will stop to snorkel at a coral reef.
Once you arrive at Isla Contoy you will be able to snorkel, go bird watching, and enjoy lunch on the beach.
On your way back to Cancun you will stop at Isla Mujeres and have an hour of free time to visit the beach, get a snack, or do some shopping.
This tour lasts 8 hours.
The best excursion ever!!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A Tripadvisor Reviewer, May 2022
The tour was so much fun. Our guides Luisa and Ekaterina were amazing and helpful. Loved them so much!! They gave us so much information. They pointed out the animals and were very protective of the land and animals. They played music on the way back and it was the best way for my friends to end out trip.
DIY Isla Contoy day trip from Cancun
You cannot visit Isla Contoy on your own. To protect the delicate ecosystem on Isla Contoy, the government requires boats to have special permission to take visitors there, and they limit the number of visitors allowed each day.
All visitors must go on approved tours, do not trust anyone who tries to sell you a tour on a private, not approved, boat.
If you want a small group experience, consider booking a private tour of Isla Contoy.
18. Ek’ Balam
If you want to check out a less visited Mayan Ruin, Ek’ Balam is the place for you. This impressive archeological site is located to the north of Valladolid, about two hours from Cancun.
Ek’ Balam was an important political and spiritual site for the ancient Maya. When you visit you will find well-preserved archeological features, including the acropolis that is home to the tomb of the first Mayan king.
Ek’ Balam is different from other popular Mayan ruins in the Yucatan because it has decorative facades made from stucco and limestone mortar.
Ek’ Balam tours from Cancun
Do not worry about navigating roads or public transportation to get to Ek’ Balam when you book a tour.
Tours will take you to the archeological site and give you great information on the Mayan civilization.
👉 Ek Balam, Mayan Cenote From Cancun
4.5⭐ 6 Reviews
Enjoy Ek’ Balam on this small group tour. You will be picked up from your hotel and head to the archeological site.
There you can climb one of the main structures that is home to the tomb of one of the rulers of Ek’ Balam.
There you will see the stunning decorations on the tomb, and have views over the jungle of nearby Chichen Itza and Coba!
After the ruins, you will go to a beautiful cenote where you can admire the rock formations and go for a swim.
This tour lasts 8-12 hours.
Don’t miss this⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Brian_G, Jun 2021
Fantastic guide!! Beautiful cenote and delicious food after. The ride is long, but nodding off or headphones and a good playlist or book makes the time pass.
DIY Ek’ Balam day trip from Cancun
You can visit Ek’ Balam on your own. To get there you can either take a bus to Valladolid and then a taxi or collectivo to the site or drive a rental car.
Driving a rental car will give you the freedom to explore nearby cenotes, and stop for authentic Yucatecan food.
The highway from Cancun to Valladolid is in good shape and easy to navigate.
19. Sian Ka’an
Sian Ka’an is located about two hours south of Cancun and is the largest biosphere reserve in the Mexican Caribbean.
This enormous reserve includes marine, coastal, and terrestrial areas and is home to an amazing variety of different plant and animal species.
Sian Ka’an tours from Cancun
Sian Ka’an is a special place. The ancient Mayan people recognized its amazing biodiversity and developed water canals that they used to move around.
Tours will take you on boat rides through these canals. One of the best parts of going on a guided tour through Sian Ka’an is the knowledge your local guide will share with you about the history and biodiversity of the area.
👉 Sian Ka-an daily adventure tour
5⭐ 2 Reviews
Take a trip into one of Mexico’s best-preserved nature areas. Sian Ka’an is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best day trips from Cancun for nature lovers.
Your tour includes transportation and a local guide who will teach you about the species that live in Sian Ka’an including deer, jaguars, sea turtles, and countless species of fish and birds.
After leaving the nature reserve you will make a quick stop at the Tulum ruins and have lunch before returning to Cancun.
The tour lasts 7 hours.
Amazing Tour- The highlight of our Vacation!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A Tripadvisor Reviewer, Nov 2021
I’ve been wanting to visit the Sian Ka’an for a long time and Contoy Excursions (and our guide Carlos) went above and beyond my long-held expectations of a trip like this. If you are a nature-lover, a visit to the Biosphere is a must! Boat and float down ancient canals through mangroves and see an abundance of birds, fish and wildlife.
DIY Sian Ka’an day trip from Cancun
Sian Ka’an is a huge site, and there are different entry points. If you want to visit on your own, the easiest way to get there is at the access point in the Muyil ruins.
You can either drive a rental car to Muyil or take a bus from Tulum. The site is about 20 minutes south of Tulum.
Once in the ruins, you will follow the trail to access Sian Ka’an. You can hike a nature trail and walk to the lagoon where you will find boats that will take you on a tour of the lagoon.
You will be able to get into the water and snorkel.
What should I pack for a day trip from Cancun?
You will want to pack a small backpack of a few essentials on your Cancun day excursion. Even if you will be in the jungle and do not expect to spend much time in direct sunlight, packing eco-friendly sunscreen is always a good idea.
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The sun is strong and you do not want to get burned. Eco-friendly mosquito spray is also a good idea for trips into the jungle and visits to ruins.
If your tour will stop at a cenote, it is a good idea to bring a swimsuit and dry clothes to change into- you do not want to be stuck on a bus with wet clothes!
No matter what tour you choose, you will want comfortable walking shoes, a fully charged phone or camera to take pictures with, a water bottle, and some cash for small purchases and to tip your guide.
When is the best time to visit Cancun?
There is no bad time to visit Cancun! The months from November to May are the dry season. These winter months have comfortable temperatures, sunny days, and less rain.
Cancun is a tropical destination, so a passing rainshower can happen at any time, but these usually pass quickly.
The great weather in the winter attracts crowds to Cancun, and it is the high season for tourists. The months of June to October are hotter, more humid, and have a higher chance of rain.
Despite that, it is possible to have great weather during these months. If you do not mind the heat, the summer is a great time to visit Cancun because the crowds are smaller.
Is it worth visiting Cancun?
Yes! Cancun is famous for its amazing beaches, turquoise waters, great restaurants, and nightlife. Plus, as you can see, there is no shortage of great places to visit on day trips from Cancun.
Whatever you are interested in, you will find activities you will love in the Cancun area.
How do you spend a day in Cancun?
There are almost too many options for how to spend a day in Cancun. The best option will depend on what interests you.
Cancun has amazing hotels and beaches to relax on. If you want to get out of your hotel and explore, you can check out cenotes, Mayan ruins, and towns on the Riviera Maya, or head to an adventure park.
How many days do you need in Cancun?
Cancun airport has many nonstop flights from cities all over the world- making it an easy destination to visit for a long weekend, week, or extended stay.
With so many activities to do, the longer you have to visit the area the better. If you only have a long weekend or week’s stay, you can make the most of your time in Cancun.
Cancun day excursions let you see many different attractions in one day, without worrying about logistics.
Wrapping up: Cancun Day Trips
As you can see, there are tons of great places you can visit on a day trip from Cancun. The Yucatan Peninsula is filled with history, culture, and natural beauty that is unique to this area of the world.
Make the most of your time in Cancun, well planned day trips help you see several sites in one day.
Now, the hardest part will be deciding what day trip to take!
About the Author
Adrienne Banka is a Michigander and fell in love with diving at 16 years old. Now she is an island living dive instructor turned brewmaster, turned mom. When she is not in the water she enjoys riding her bike and chasing after her dog and her little girl.