If you want to get away to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, but don't want to sacrifice on adventure, this five-day getaway trip is for you. You'll base yourself in Tulum for daily activities: visiting ancient Mayan archeological sites, swimming in cenotes, wildlife viewing, and of course: eating all of Mexico's best food.


  • Head underground to see the Mayan world of Xibalaba
  • Go swimming in a turquoise cenote
  • Explore the Tulum archaeological site
  • Spot endemic wildlife, like spider monkeys or ocelots

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Cancun, Transfer to Tulum Tulum
Day 2 Cenotes of Chemuyil, Tulum Archeological Site Tulum
Day 3 Río Secreto: The Mayan Underworld Tulum
Day 4 Float in the Muyil Sian Ka´an Biosphere Reserve Tulum
Day 5 Tulum to Cancun, Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Cancun, Transfer to Tulum

Beaches of the Caribbean
Welcome to the Mexican Caribbean! Upon your arrival at Cancun’s airport, you'll meet your driver to be transferred to your hotel in Tulum. 

Day 2: Cenotes of Chemuyil, Tulum Archeological Site

Chemuyil Cenotes
Chemuyil Cenotes
Your adventure begins in the community of Chemuyil, a small beachfront town with plentiful white sand beaches and shallow waters. A local guide will be waiting for you to welcome you with a plate of fruit and tell you more about the different places you will visit today. You'll spend the day learning about the project, which was initiated by 5 young people from the community of Chemuyil who seek to introduce and preserve the cenotes where they used to live and play during their childhood. Their initiative allows the visitor to explore virgin forests, discover the fauna, and become one with nature. 

You will be assigned a bicycle and start cycling through the charming town of Chemuyil. There you will continue your bike tour to visit 3 different cenotes of different shapes and sizes. You will start with a cenote known locally as La Cuevita; an enclosed cenote where your guide will tell you anecdotes and stories of the place.

Next, you will go to an open cenote where, with some luck, you will be able to see some of the endemic birds of the Yucatan Peninsula. Finally, you will visit an open cenote where you can take a dip. All of these cenotes are part of a system fed by the largest underground river in the world. Once you finish this experience, you will say goodbye to the young people of the community and head back to town.

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Afterward, visit the ruins of Tulum, one of the most famous archaeological sites in Mexico and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Spend the day exploring the area with your guide, who will explain why these ruins be played a particularly important role in the area's maritime and terrestrial trade. You'll also learn about the site's function as an astronomical observatory and as a defensive system.

This old Mayan city sits in the middle of a mangrove ecosystem, on a cliff facing ​​the Caribbean Sea. You'll find spectacular views from the site of both the surrounding forest, as well as the open water. From the archaeological site, you'll have access to the Playa Ruinas (Ruins Beach). After spending some time exploring the ruins, head down to the water for some sun wand water to round out your visit. 

Day 3: Río Secreto: The Mayan Underworld

Making your way through the underground waterways
Making your way through the underground waterways

Rio Secreto is a natural reserve located a few minutes from Playa del Carmen in the heart of the Riviera Maya, where nature and human beings converge in harmony.

Today, you'll have the opportunity to explore one of the greatest wonders of the natural world: one of the largest underground river systems in the world. Here, the history of the planet is written in thousands of geological formations, and you can experience millennia of geology while swimming in the clear freshwater.

As you make your way through the caves, your guide will explain the history of the features and formations of this marvelous geological library.

Day 4: Float in the Muyil Sian Ka´an Biosphere Reserve

Floating in Sian Ka'an Reserve
Floating in Sian Ka'an Reserve
Today you will visit the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, which in Mayan means "a place where the sky is born". When you arrive at the Muyil Community Center, enjoy a light snack and join a group of travelers to start the tour. This community-based ecotourism cooperative focuses on the conservation and preservation of ecosystems by promoting unique experiences with a commitment to responsible tourism.

Your first stop will be the little-known and mysterious archaeological site of Muyil, which you will reach at the end of an interpretive trail surrounded by the thick jungle. Walk until you reach the edge of the turquoise Chunyaxche Lagoon, where you will take a small boat through a channel surrounded by mangroves to arrive at a small dock. Once there enjoy a serene dip in the water. It is a moment of reconnection with mother earth, as you float slowly through the channels you will feel the peace of your surroundings and take in the soft sounds of the local birds and other animals.

Once you are done enjoying the water, return to the community center on a short walk. You will be welcomed back with a traditional meal to complete the excursion.

Day 5: Tulum to Cancun, Departure


Today is your last morning in this paradise. This part of Mexico is famed for its spectacular sunrises, so rise early on your last day to take in the magnificent show. 

Afterward, you'll have a free morning to rest. At the scheduled time, drive to Cancun's airport to drop off your rental car and catch your flight home.


More Mexico Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Mexico? Check out these other 5-day Mexico itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.

Looking for a different duration? Check out this 6-day version of this itinerary. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.