Enjoy this getaway to the Riviera Maya with its mix of culture and relaxing on the beach. Base yourself in lively Playa del Carmen as you explore Mayan ruins, swim in picturesque cenotes, snorkel in family-friendly water parks, and enjoy the sun, sand, and sea along the white sandy coastline of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Highlights

  • Enjoy shopping and nightlife in Playa del Carmen
  • Explore the ruins of Chichén Itzá
  • Snorkel along an underground river at Xcaret
  • Kayak and ride a zipline through the forest in Bacalar

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to the Riviera Maya Playa del Carmen
Day 2 Chichén Itzá to Playa del Carmen Playa del Carmen
Day 3 Akumal, Mayan coast & the jungle Playa del Carmen
Day 4 Tulum & Mayan traditions Playa del Carmen
Day 5 Adventure in Bacalar Bacalar
Day 6 Xcaret Park Playa del Carmen
Day 7 Paradise in the Caribbean Playa del Carmen
Day 8 Departure from Mexico  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to the Riviera Maya

The turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya

Arrive at Cancun International Airport and transfer to your hotel in Playa del Carmen. Rest and get ready to begin your Mayan adventure. You have the afternoon and evening free to walk along the beach, relax by the hotel pool, have a Mexican-style meal, and get acclimated.  

Day 2: Chichén Itzá to Playa del Carmen

Chichen Itza, Mexico
The ruins of Chichén Itzá, Mexico

Today's excursion takes you to Chichén Itzá, an archaeological site considered one of the New Wonders of the World. After a visit to learn about its history—its main draw is the step Pyramid of Kukulkán (El Castillo), though there are many significant Mayan and Toltec buildings, sculptures, and reliefs of interest—you'll go to Ik Kil cenote, a stunning example of the 6,000-plus sinkholes in the Yucatán region, which were sometimes used by ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings. Soak up the beauty of the tropical plants and trees that surround it, which are also perfect habitats for exotic birds.

Day 3: Akumal, Mayan coast & the jungle

Akumal is known for its clear, warm water

On day three, day-trip to the resort town of Akumal, noted for its white sands, coral reef, clear water, and marine life, especially turtles. Choose from activities like snorkeling, visiting the Yal Ku lagoon, or riding bikes along the beach.

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Day 4: Tulum & Mayan traditions

Tulum, Mexico
Seaside ruins in Tulum, Mexico

Discover the archaeological site of Tulum, one of the most important sites of the Mayan culture, located on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. The city has five different access points and two observation towers that the Mayans used. You'll learn all about it on a guided tour. 

Later, enjoy a short visit to Cobá, an archaeological site filled with pyramids. Renting bikes is one way of getting around the large area. On the way back to Playa del Carmen, go for a dip in a cenote.

Day 5: Adventure in Bacalar

Welcome to Bacalar, Mexico

Go on an adventure in Bacalar, one of the most beautiful places in Riviera Maya. Go kayaking in the lagoon, then move onto to the region's zipline circuits. You'll ride five ziplines and have gorgeous views over the lagoon. You'll stay in Bacalar overnight.

Day 6: Xcaret Park

The natural setting of Xcaret

Spend the day in Xcaret Park among underground rivers, jungle pathways, and, of course, the Caribbean Sea. In addition to snorkeling and swimming, you'll dine on fresh seafood and get to know Mexico through its food, music, and dance during the Xcaret México Espectacular presentation, featuring more than 300 artists on stage.

Day 7: Paradise in the Caribbean

A beach in Playa del Carmen
A beach in Playa del Carmen

Enjoy a free day to explore Playa del Carmen in the heart of the Riviera Maya. Go for street tacos, relax on the beach, side-trip to nearby cenotes, or hang around the hotel pool. In the evening, go for a stroll on the busy pedestrian promenade, lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. 

Day 8: Departure from Mexico

A slice of paradise on the Riviera Maya

It's time to say goodbye. After breakfast, you'll be transferred to Cancun International Airport for your flight out of Mexico. Safe travels!