The best excursions in the Riviera Maya


When you visit Mexico, you always consider excursions in the Riviera Maya. We talk about one of the most visited points by the Spaniards and the Americans, since it offers White sand beaches, party, gastronomy, diving and the best of Mayan culture. The peninsula of Yucatan, where the Riviera Maya is, is one of the few places in the world that offers such diversity for tourism, since we do not talk about activities or small-scale places, if not world-wide spaces and monuments.

Excursions in the Riviera Maya

In addition to the spectacular beaches of Yucatan, the Riviera Maya has places that you can not miss, since we are facing one of the most impressive places on the planet, both culturally and landscape level. Mexico has several of themost important Mayan ruins in the world as well as infarct beaches both near Cancun or El Carmen Beach as in Cozumel or Holbox.


Most of the tourists traveling to this part of the world arrive with the typical combined flight + hotel with bracelet, but what they do not know that staying at the hotel is getting bored and to enjoy what is around is to spend more money than they expected. Therefore, before moving on to see what excursions in the Riviera Maya you should do, let's see how we can save some money:

  1. The prices of excursions from the hotel They are infinitely more expensive.
  2. There are line buses that pass through the deposits, so it is convenient to purchase a ticket and buy access at the entrance.
  3. Rent a car It is a good decision if you go at least 4, since you will save a lot of money and above all time. In one day you can do up to 3 excursions.
  4. The amusement parks They have their own transportation, so prices are usually fixed, with no hotel fees.
  5. Avoid the rush hours, about when the buses arrive. It is not the same to be in Chichen Itza with 20 than with 500 people. You can take one terrible disappointment.
  6. The excursions in the Riviera Maya are a good complement to a beach day, like Tulum, since it is worth watching from there the sunset.
  7. If you decide shopping, take a taxi or a bus to Playa el Carmen, the typical summer resort.

See what Tours are in the Riviera Maya

Between the price of the tickets and the transport from the big hotel complexes it is almost better to rent a car in Playa el Carmen. If you share it better. With a rental car you will gain time and enjoy the excursions in the Riviera Maya much more

Rent a car in Mexico

An option that usually goes well is to rent a car among several for save costs, but if you are a family that almost goes out to rent one to move around the Riviera Maya. In order to rent a car in Mexico you need the international driving license. Facing the securityWithout problem, the times we have visited this area of ​​Mexico we have never had problems.

In order to find an agency we leave you a price comparator where they usually have good prices.

Compare car rental prices

Our recommendations

  1. Chichen Itza
  2. Coba
  3. Tulum
  4. The Xkekén Cenote
  5. Xcaret
  6. Xel-Ha
  7. Cozumel
  8. Bacalar Lagoon
  9. Holbox

Map with the main excursions

1 Chichen Itza

Of course it is one of the best excursions in the Riviera Maya. There is no doubt that the Chichen Itza complex is one of the best in the Mayan world. In fact, it is considered one of the wonders of the modern world, so you can not miss this visit.

Regardless of the tourism we can find, it is a destination that we must know since its state of conservation is unbeatable, in addition to housing theBall game largest in Mesoamerica.

Chichen Itza
  • Cost: from 200 pesos (foreigners)
  • Schedule: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Sunday
  • More information access our article about Chichen Itza.
  • See prices for a guided tour

advice: If you go by rental car early in the morning to park at the entrance. Try to avoid the arrival time of the tours or the buses of the hotels. Let's not forget that it is the most visited “attraction” in all of Mexico

2 Coba

Though It is not the most prominent Yes, it can be one of the funniest. In Coba you can rent a bike to tour the complex and even climb a Mayan pyramid. Everything is for tourism, even if it is due to the wear and tear of the heritage they own.

  • Cost: from 57 pesos
  • Schedule: 8 to 18h from Monday to Sunday
  • See prices for a guided tour

3 Tulum

Together with Chichen Itza is the most famous mayan site from Mexico. It is known as the wedding paradise, for being next to spectacular white sand beaches. The complex itself is not one of the prettiest, but simply with the fact of being by the sea it magnifies this ancient mayan city.

Tulum, Yucatan
  • Schedule: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Sunday
  • Hire tour to Tulum (for convenience)
  • More information Visit our article on Tulum.

4 The Xkekén Cenote

7 km from theValladolid city and on the way to Chichen Itza we have this spectacular cenote. Visiting a cenote is one of the classic excursions in the Riviera Maya, as there are few places in the world where you can bathe where a meteorite hit. In addition, together with the thick vegetation and the light that falls through the narrow cavity that formed the impact, they form an almost science fiction environment, I would say almost unreal.

In this cenote in addition to taking stunning photographs you can both swim like snorkeling.

Excursions in the Riviera Maya
  • Cost: from 40 pesos each cenote
  • Schedule: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Sunday
  • Transport: Take an ADO bus from the terminal Cancun and then a taxi from Valladolid for 50 pesos round trip.

Next to the Xkekén cento is the cenote of Samulá. It is just 100m walk and worth your visit

5 Xcaret

Xcaret is one of the two parks preferred by tourists. It is surely one of the best known excursions in the Riviera Maya next to the visit of the Mayan archeological zones. In this case it is an ecological park located in a ancient mayan settlement called Polé. In it I can visit from the first butterfly farm in Mexico and a spectacular coral reef aquarium. Although it is a ecological and cultural dye park, It is still a great theme park in the jungle.

Xcaret Map

6 Xel-Há

Unlike XcaretXel-Há, besides being an ecological park, it is a large water park. It is a park where the swimsuit is the protagonist, since much of the activities are in the water. Snorkeling, jumps, small cenotes, multiple activities for the family. For us, it's much more fun than Xcaret, although the price is also a bit high.

Xel-Ha Map

7 Cozumel Island

One of the most original excursions in the Riviera Maya is to take the ferry that leaves fromEl Carmen Beach to the island of Cozumel. This island is a paradise of discos and restaurants, especially on the west coast, but it can also be an excellent point for diving. We dive in the strait that separates the island of Yucatan, where we did a dive in an old mexican navy ship, One last.

Cozumel diving

8 The Bacalar Lagoon

To the south of Playa el Carmen, in the direction of Belize, we have the Bacalar lagoon. The lagoon, much more isolated and with less tourism, is a really amazing place. In Mexico they call it the 7 color lagoon, for the variation that exists throughout its 42km. For us it is one of the most beautiful excursions in the Riviera Maya, although it takes at least 2 days to fully enjoy it

If you have nowhere to stay, choose this place, you will be amazed.

Bacalar Lagoon

9 Snorkeling with whale sharks in Holbox

Few places in the world give you the opportunity to do snorkeling with whale sharks, a completely safe activity and that rarely in your life can you do unless you live in the Yucatan Peninsula.

To be able to do this excursion look for any diving club in Cancun or at your resort. Although Holbox is to the north, they will take you by car or by boat.

Whale sharks in Holbox

Remember that in addition to the Mayan area of ​​Mexico and excursions in the Riviera Maya there are other areas that are worthwhile on a trip beyond Yucatan, such as Guanajuato, Chiapas or Jalisco.

Practical data

Tickets to Xcaret and Xel-Ha

We leave several discounts that we have been collecting for both Xcaret and Xel-Ha.


Buy tickets to Xcaret with a 15% discount To go

Buy tickets to Xcaret with a 25% discount (only for Mexicans and residents) To go

15% coupon to Xcaret in water activities To go

Buy tickets to Xel-Ha with a 15% discount To go

Recommended hotels in the Riviera Maya

Here is a selection of charming hotels, for quality / price, in the area of El Carmen Beach.

  • Hotel la Galeria, with an amazing terrace and a fabulous pool. From € 35
  • Anah Suites, as if you were in the jungle from € 50
  • Posada Mariposa Boutique Hotel, with that Mexican touch from € 60
  • Hotel Kimbe, a mix between ethical and modern from € 70
  • Banyan tree Mayacoba, luxury hotel ideal for couples or boyfriend trips
  • Magic Blue, boutique hotel selected as the best quality / price according to Booking users. From € 120

Tours in the Riviera Maya

If you want to book excursions before traveling to a price more than adjusted, go to the following link.

See prices of Tours in the Riviera Maya

Travel insurance to Mexico

Do not hesitate, before leaving for Mexico, take out travel insurance. The healing is expensive and prohibitive in Mexico, so it is advisable to take out insurance before leaving. We leave you a discount de Seguros Iati, the one chosen by many travelers.

Travel insurance

For a trip like this it is best to take out insurance. Iati offers us a offer for followers Travel for free. Traveling does not exempt you from having an accident, needing a doctor, a transfer or medication. Do not play it. Check the travel insurance by clicking on the banner and you will have a 5% in your insurance for being a reader of Travel for free. If you want more information click here.

Excursions in the Riviera Maya
Chichen Itza 9.5
Tulum 8
Coba 7
Xkekén Cenote 8
Xcaret 6
Xel-Há 8
Cozumel 6
Bacanal Lagoon 9
SummaryThese are the valuations of the different excursions that you can take in the Riviera Maya 7.7
Your Rating User Rating: 3.6 (16 votes)