29 Best Tours, Excursions and Day Trips From Playa del Carmen
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Playa del Carmen Excursions & Tours – Our Ultimate Guide
Are you preparing for your first trip to Playa del Carmen? With so many things to do in Playa del Carmen and the surrounding Riviera Maya, it can be overwhelming to choose the right activities. Even if you’re a frequent visitor or resident, we understand the challenge. To assist you, we’ve compiled a list of our top 30 Playa del Carmen excursions for seamless planning.
Below, we have provided information on the prices, duration, discounts, and what is included in all of our most popular excursions. Please take note that some of the excursions are combo tours that combine activities such as visiting Tulum with snorkeling alongside sea turtles in Akumal Bay.
It’s only a 20-minute trip from Playa del Carmen and you can easily get there by colectivo. It’s an open cenote that has crystal-clear water, which also makes it a great spot for snorkeling.
Cenote Cristalino is known for its crystal-clear waters, and is considered one of the most beautiful cenotes near Playa del Carmen. It is less crowded compared to other popular cenotes and is easily accessible. Another noteworthy cenote is Cenote Azul, which has bright turquoise waters and is one of the largest cenotes in Mexico. It has both shallow and deep areas, making it a great spot for families.
The three cenotes are conveniently located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, making them an ideal day trip. If you love cenotes, these Playa del Carmen tours are a must-try and are guaranteed to uplift your mood.
Coba is a must-visit Mayan ruin as it is located in the jungle, making it unique. What makes it even better is that you can climb the largest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula and rent a bike to tour the ancient city. Plus, the excursion only takes up to 2.5 hours, leaving you with plenty of time to explore other attractions.
For instance, you can join the Coba Mayan Encounter and combine a visit to a Mayan village with a tour of Coba, where you can enjoy the town’s stunning lagoon, jungle paths, and cenotes.
Tour Details: The cost is $139.00 USD for each person, and the activity is expected to take around 10 hours. You will receive round-trip transportation, a professional guide, entrance into the ruins, safety equipment, lunch, and non-alcoholic drinks.
3. Tulum Ruins
Tulum Ruins is a popular archaeological destination in the region and is the second-most visited site after Chichen Itza. The walled city boasts stunning ruins that extend over a cliff, offering breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. A visit to the Mayan pyramids in Tulum doesn’t take much time, making it an ideal excursion to pair with other fun activities.
Tour Details: We suggest taking the Tulum Xtreme tour. It costs $116.00 USD per person and lasts around 10 hours. The tour includes transportation to and from the destination, a professional guide, admission to the ruins, all necessary snorkeling and safety equipment, lockers, a lunch buffet, and non-alcoholic beverages.
4. Go on a Day Trip to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen
If you’re interested in Playa del Carmen day tours, don’t miss out on Cozumel!It’s a stunning island known for its white-sand beaches and amazing diving and snorkeling opportunities. To get there, you’ll need to take the ferry from the Ferry Terminal located at Av. Benito Juárez 239, just two blocks away from 5th Avenue. The ferry trip takes around 40 minutes, and you can choose between Ultramar or Winjet ferries.
At the moment, ticket prices are 500 Pesos ($25). To access information on the schedule and how to get to the island, read my post titled “Getting from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel“. Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour. The island is quite large, so if you’re planning on exploring it solo, you’ll need to do some advance planning. You can find the top tour options below.
5. Xplor Park
The owners of popular eco-adventure water parks like Xel-Ha, Xcaret, Xoximilco, Xenotes, and Xenses also run Xplor. Xplor is an exciting park where visitors can enjoy activities like zip lining, driving all-terrain vehicles, and floating down an underwater river. This park is ideal for older children and teenagers who are ready for some adventure. The park also has a night version known as Xplor Fuego, where guests can enjoy the same thrilling activities in the dark.
Tour Details: The cost of the activity is $149.00 USD per person if transportation is included from Riviera Maya, $139.00 USD if transportation is included from Playa del Carmen, and $119.00 USD if transportation is not needed. The activity lasts approximately 6 hours and includes round-trip transportation (if chosen), access to the park, safety equipment, lockers and changing rooms, as well as unlimited food and drinks.
6. Chichen Itza
Visit the impressive Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, which include the magnificent Kukulkan Pyramid, the largest ballcourt in the Americas, and the Sacred Cenote, among other fascinating sites. Afterward, you can take a refreshing swim in one of the well-known cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, such as the Ik Kil cenote (or a similar one, depending on the crowds). Keep in mind that this tour from Playa del Carmen is quite long and tiring, lasting approximately 12 hours due to the distance.
Tour Details: If you’re interested in experiencing the incredible history of the Yucatan Maya up close, then the visit is certainly worth it. The package costs $89.00 USD per person and lasts approximately 12 hours. It includes round-trip transportation, a professional guide, entrance to the ruins and the cenote, a lunch buffet, and non-alcoholic drinks.
7. ATV & Zip Line
Join the ATV & Zip Line tour and explore the lush jungle of the Riviera Maya on a 4-wheel all-terrain vehicle. The tour includes several stops where you can zip line into the water and take a zip line course over the jungle canopy. You’ll also get to explore an incredible underwater river. Please note that you must be at least 16 years old to drive an ATV.
Tour Details: The cost is $118.00 USD per person and the activity lasts approximately 4 hours. The package includes transportation from your hotel, an expert guide, ATV rental with helmets and goggles, climbing and snorkeling equipment, lunch and non-alcoholic beverages.
8. Ek Balam
If you’re interested in culture and sightseeing, consider taking a tour of Ek Balam. Although it will take up your whole day like a trip to Chichen Itza, it’s well worth it. Unlike other popular sites, Ek Balam is less visited. However, it’s still stunningly beautiful, and you can climb the pyramid for a panoramic view of the jungle.
We suggest the Ek Balam & Cenote Maya tour which includes a refreshing visit to a nearby cenote after the tour.
Tour Details: The cost is $139.00 USD for each individual and the trip will last around 10 hours. The package includes transportation to and from the destination, a knowledgeable guide, admission fees for the ruins and cenote, safety equipment, lunch, and non-alcoholic beverages.
9. Mayan Xtreme
The Mayan Xtreme tour is a thrilling adventure that combines a ride over the jungle canopy and an underwater exploration of cenotes. You’ll have an adrenaline-filled experience in the midst of nature. Afterward, you can enjoy a delicious lunch.
Tour Details: The cost per person is $89.00 USD, and the approximate duration of the activity is 4 hours. The package includes transportation to and from the destination, a guide, entrance fees, safety equipment, lunch, and non-alcoholic drinks.
10. Explore Holbox for One Day
Imagine a peaceful and stress-free experience on a small island located just off the coast of Cancun. This island offers a slow-paced atmosphere featuring no cars or roads, white sand beaches bordered by palm trees, and a lagoon hosting flamingos. Relaxation is guaranteed as you spend your days lying in a hammock, sipping your favorite beverage.
Holbox is a beautiful hidden gem in the Riviera Maya with a peaceful environment due to a lack of crowds and touristy infrastructure. It retains its uniqueness, although it is attracting more visitors every year. I suggest visiting Holbox now and extending your stay if possible. Although it’s possible to visit it in a day, it’ll be a long day.
If you only have a day, it’s highly unlikely that you can make a trip from Playa del Carmen to Holbox on your own. However, you can join a tour like the one mentioned below for a better experience.
11. Jungle Buggy Adventure
Experience the thrill of a jungle buggy tour around Playa del Carmen’s lush jungle with the Jungle Buggy Adventure. Drive on the unpaved countryside roads and visit a private cenote to refresh yourself. You can also explore one section of an underground river. Check out the Jungle Buggy Tips before starting your adventure!
Tour Details: The cost is $80.00 USD per person, and the duration is approximately 4 hours. The tour comes with a professional guide, a 2-seater buggy with basic insurance, as well as a snack and bottled water.
12. Jungle Maya
The Jungle Maya is another really great tour that combines zip lining, rappelling, and a fascinating exploration of an underground river.
Ride along jungle trails with a 4×4 Unimog vehicles while taking breaks to cool off in the refreshing cenotes.
Tour Details: The tour costs $119.00 USD per person and lasts around 4 hours. It covers a Mayan purification ceremony and includes round-trip transportation from your hotel, all necessary equipment, a professional guide, a buffet lunch, and non-alcoholic drinks.
13. Xcaret Park
Xcaret Eco-Park is a large and impressive park in Mexico with a variety of activities, exhibits, shows, and dining options. Visitors can explore Jaguar Island, the “Mexican cemetery,” an aviary, an Orchids Greenhouse, the House of Whispers, Paradise River, a Manatee Lagoon, and more. Plus, admission includes snorkeling and swimming in an underground river and other underwater activities.
Tour Details: These are the prices for visiting Xcaret. With transport from Riviera Maya, it’s $159.00 USD, from Playa del Carmen it’s $149.00 USD, and from Cancun it’s $159.00 USD. If you don’t need transport, you can just purchase admission for $99.00 USD. The visit will last around 8-12 hours and includes entrance, lockers, towels, and equipment for the underground rivers. You can also access the buffet restaurant once during the day and attend the evening show. The message is in English.
14. Sian Ka’an
While many tours and hotels claim to have beautiful beaches, Sian Ka’an truly delivers. It’s located within a nature reserve of the same name, which is a protected area with lush tropical forest, sprawling mangrove channels, and long stretches of pristine white sand beaches that meet the stunning azure waters of the Caribbean Sea.
The area is also home to diverse plant and animal life. The Sian Ka’an Eco Maya Adventure tour takes you to explore the impressive Muyil Mayan ruins and then venture through the fascinating mangrove channels within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere.
Tour Details: This tour costs $149.00 USD per person and lasts around 10 hours. It includes round-trip transportation in air-conditioned vehicles, the opportunity to drive your own jeep, a boat tour, a nature guide, snorkeling equipment, and the chance to swim in a natural pool. They also provide snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.
15. Rio Secreto
Discover the captivating subterranean realm of Rio Secreto in the Riviera Maya. Witness the stunning underground rivers and cenotes, revered by the ancient Maya as the threshold to the Netherworld: Xibalba. The guides at Rio Secreto are not only friendly but also well-informed about the history and geography of the area. This is an ideal excursion for anyone who has a passion for nature!
Tour Details: The cost for the activity is $109.00 USD per person which includes transportation, and $79.00 USD without transportation. The duration of the activity is approximately 4 hours. The activity includes water shoes, wetsuit, life vest, helmet with flashlight, lockers, towel, and snacks. Round-trip transportation from your hotel is optional.
16. Xel-Ha All-Inclusive Park
Xel-Ha is an inclusive park that is part of Xperiencias Xcaret group and a top attraction in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. It offers various activities suitable for individuals and groups of all ages and adventure levels, such as unlimited snorkeling, river floating with inner tubes, cliff jumping, an area for children, aquatic zip-lines, and relaxation zones with hammocks and lounge chairs. The park also provides breakfast and lunch buffets, a domestic open bar, and endless non-alcoholic beverages.
Tour Details: The cost of the tour is $129.00 USD per person, which includes transportation, or $89.00 USD without transportation. Additionally, there is a Tulum & Xel-Ha tour available for $149.00 USD. The duration of the tour is around 10 hours and includes access to the park, safety equipment, lockers, and changing rooms, as well as unlimited food and drinks. Optional round-trip transportation from your hotel is also available.
17. Snorkel Adventure
Experience snorkeling in three unique eco-systems and observe a variety of underwater plant and animal life on the Snorkel Adventure. You’ll visit an ocean inlet with coral reefs and fish, an open lagoon where freshwater and saltwater meet, and a cenote featuring stunning rock formations and crystal-clear water.
The cost is $89.00 USD per person, and the tour lasts approximately 6 hours. The package includes round-trip transportation from your hotel, a professional guide, entrance fees, snorkel equipment, lunch, and non-alcoholic drinks.
18. Turtles & Cenotes
Experience the ultimate adventure with the Turtles & Cenotes tour, which allows you to swim with sea turtles at Akumal Bay and explore the Riviera Maya cenotes. Visit the Chikin Ha cenotes, which comprise of three incredible ancient sinkholes, characterized by stunning natural formations such as stalactites and stalagmites. The tour takes you through a closed cenote where you can admire the rock formations, an open cenote with opportunities for swimming and snorkeling, and a dry cenote. It is an experience you won’t forget!
The cost for one person to join is $79.00 USD, and the entire activity will take approximately 6 hours. The package covers transportation to and from your hotel, a tour guide, admission fees, snorkeling gear, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages. This information is provided in English for users located in the US.
19. ATV & Snorkel
Come and be a part of the thrilling ATV & Snorkel Expedition, where you will travel over 20 kilometers (15 miles) on a Can-am ATV through the jungle trails. You’ll reach a magnificent cenote that has breathtaking rock formations and crystal-clear waters. Afterwards, snorkel in the calm waters of Akumal Bay and get a chance to swim alongside enormous sea turtles.
Tour Details: The cost is $138.00 USD for single riders and $107.00 USD per person for double riders. The tour lasts approximately 6 hours and includes round-trip transportation, an experienced guide, an ATV, helmets and goggles for passengers, snorkel gear, lunch, and non-alcoholic drinks.
20. Coco Bongo
Although some people may not consider it to be culture, Coco Bongo is a cultural experience that is on some people’s Riviera Maya bucket list. It is important to note that Coco Bongo may not be for everyone. However, if you enjoy Las Vegas-style shows, an excessively loud environment, unlimited drinks, and being surrounded by people in costumes and those who may overindulge, then Coco Bongo is definitely worth experiencing.
Even if it’s just for the purpose of observing people and enjoying a spectacular performance by dancers, Michael Jackson impersonators, and drag queens.
Tour Details: The regular price for the show is $70.00 USD per person while the Gold Service costs $130.00 USD per person. On Fridays and Saturdays, the prices go up to $75.00 USD and $150.00 USD, respectively. The show’s duration is flexible, and it lasts until you are satisfied.
The package covers transportation from your hotel to the show, admission fee, and domestic beverages. If you opt for the Gold Service, you’ll enjoy perks such as express entrance, VIP area with a reserved table and seating, and unlimited premium drinks.
21. Xenotes Park
Experiencias Xcaret owns and runs Xenotes, which is a park that showcases four distinct cenotes for visitors to explore and marvel at. The park offers various activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, rappelling, zip lining, and using inner tubes to navigate within these natural wonders.
Tour Details: The cost is $119.00 USD per person and the activity lasts around 9 hours. It includes transportation back and forth, necessary equipment, non-alcoholic beverages, lunch, as well as access to restrooms and changing rooms.
22. Playa del Carmen Fishing
If you enjoy fishing as a sport and adventure then a deep-sea fishing trip in Playa del Carmen may be just what you need. You will be able to catch various species of fish such as Dorado, wahoo, marlin, and barracuda. Don’t forget to grab some cold drinks before heading out with the rods and bait.
Tour Details: The cost for a shared charter is $110.00 USD per person. For a private charter, the 4 hour option ranges from $450-625 depending on the boat; the 6 hour option ranges from $580-825 depending on the boat; and the 8 hour option ranges from $690-1050 depending on the boat. If you’d like to bring a companion, it will cost an additional $35 for a 4 hour charter. Bait, licenses, equipment, soda, and water are included, as well as a crew. The duration of the charter depends on the option you choose from the prices listed above.
23. Whale Sharks
Whale sharks are not whales, but are actually sharks, and they hold the title for the largest fish on Earth. Every year, hundreds of these enormous creatures gather off the beautiful coast of Cancun to feed on tiny marine organisms such as plankton and fish eggs. Despite their enormous mouths that can span three meters in diameter, their throats are small enough to indicate that it’s safe to swim alongside these impressive filter-feeders. You can do this every year from June through mid-September in the Riviera Maya.
Tour Details: The cost is $199.00 USD per person for a trip expected to last around 10 hours. The package covers round-trip transportation, professional guides, snorkeling equipment, lunch, and non-alcoholic drinks. The activity included in the package is snorkeling with whale sharks.
24. Cirque Du Soleil – Joya
Last year, Cirque Du Soleil opened a theater in the Riviera Maya which was designed specifically for their show, Joya. The Canadian-based company’s performance narrates an adventure of a curious young girl and her grandfather’s dedication to an ancient book of knowledge. Like all of their shows, Joya features a great story, a beautiful set design, and impressive acrobatics.
We highly suggest purchasing the more expensive tickets to the show, as they include a delicious dinner that is just as impressive as the performance.
The cost is $82.00 USD per person, and the total duration of the experience is about 4 hours. The package covers the entry fee for the show, and you will get to sit at preferred seats. Moreover, it includes a 3-course meal and one bottle of champagne.
25. Luxury Catamaran Tour
Join a 6-hour luxury catamaran tour along the beautiful Riviera Maya coastline. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. Sip on refreshing tropical drinks and savor great food on board. Book now if you want to have a lavish sea adventure!
Tour Details: The cost is $1,500 USD for a group of up to 15 individuals, and the trip lasts for 6 hours. The package includes an open bar, snacks, snorkel & fishing equipment, towels, underwater cameras, cheeseburgers, and shrimp & fish ceviche.
26. Turtles & Tulum
The Turtles & Tulum Tour in Riviera Maya will first take you to an ancient Mayan fortress that overlooks the Caribbean Sea. Afterward, you’ll have the opportunity to swim with giant sea turtles in the peaceful waters of Akumal Bay.
Tour Details: The cost is $89.00 USD per person and the duration of the tour is around 4 hours. The package includes air-conditioned transportation for round-trip, expert guides for tours in Tulum and Akumal, entrance fee to Tulum ruins, snorkeling gear, assurance of watching sea turtles during the tour, bottled water and juice, as well as snacks.
27. Contoy Island & Isla Mujeres
Experience the best of both worlds with this tour that takes you to Contoy Island and Isla Mujeres, two of the most prized destinations in the Mexican Caribbean. Contoy Island permits only 200 visitors each day, ensuring that you can enjoy the protected island’s serene beauty and learn about its history. After relishing some mouth-watering food, you’ll head to Isla Mujeres, where you can play and explore this charming island for a few hours.
Tour Details: The cost is $129.00 USD for each person and the experience will last around 9 hours. The package includes a professional guide, round-trip transportation to and from the hotel, snorkel equipment, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks. The language of communication will be in
28. Mayan Village Tour
If you want to experience more than just typical tourist activities, consider taking the Mayan Village Tour. This will bring you to communities where the Mayan people have lived for centuries. By interacting with locals in their own environment, you’ll gain a better understanding of their way of life and history. The people are welcoming and eager to share their stories with visitors.
Tour Details: The cost of the tour is $110.00 USD per individual and it will be around 12 hours long. The tour package consists of a round-trip transportation service provided in air-conditioned vehicles, along with an expert tour guide to help you throughout the journey. A complimentary basket of coffee and sweet bread will be provided, along with a traditional lunch during the tour.
29. Xcaret at Night
Xcaret is an eco-adventure park that transforms into a folkloric show called Mexico Espectacular at night. The show features talented performers, including dancers, musicians, and costume designers, showcasing the diversity and beauty of Mexican culture. It’s a great activity for families of all ages looking for entertainment in the evening.
Tour Details: The cost is $79.00 USD per person and the experience is approximately 4 hours long. It covers the entrance to the show, preferred seating, a 3-course meal, and one bottle of champagne.
When is the best time to visit Playa del Carmen?
If you want to visit Playa del Carmen when the weather is at its best, December through April is the ideal season. Additionally, if you’d like to avoid the crowds, April is typically when there are fewer people, even during the high season.
Is the day trip from Playa del Carmen to Isla Mujeres worth it?
Yes! Isla Mujeres is a beautiful place to visit. Spending a day there is just enough time to see all it has to offer and enjoy its beautiful white-sand beaches.
How can you get from Playa del Carmen to Isla Mujeres?
How long is the ferry ride to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen?
It typically takes about 40 minutes to travel by ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel Island.
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