Best of Cancun

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Cancun
Gateway to the wonders of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun is famed for its powdery white-sand beaches, all-inclusive resorts and exuberant restaurant and bar scene. The high-rise hotels lining the seaside aren’t everyone’s idea of paradise, but there is much more to this Caribbean city than just beach lounging and nightlife. A boat tour is an excellent way to see what lies beyond the Zona Hotelera (hotel zone), particularly from July to September when you can swim with whale sharks. Cancun also makes a fine base for day trips to fabled archaeological sites like Chichen Itza

There are many ways to get off the well-worn tourist path. Previous kimkim travelers have enjoyed touring the oft-overlooked downtown of Cancun. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the Yucatan after guided visits to sites like the Mayan Museum of Cancun, which houses a trove of fascinating artifacts unearthed around the peninsula. There are also countless destinations for a rewarding day trip near Cancun, including an underground river in the heart of a Mayan community. After exploring subterranean passageways, you can learn more about the Maya on a lunchtime visit to a local family home.
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Tulum, Mexico
Map of Mayan Discovery:  Sumidero Canyon, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cancun - 11 days
Mayan Discovery: Sumidero Canyon, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cancun - 11 days

Get a full dose of sun and sea while learning about Mexico's rich Mayan history as you travel from the beaches of Tulum to the wonders of Chichén Itzá pyramid. This journey through a few regions of Mexico will give you ample time to relax while experiencing the country's mystical, handicraft, and culinary traditions, and seeing its significant architectural monuments.

Agua Azul Waterfall
Map of Family Trip to Chiapas & the Riviera Maya - 14 Days
Family Trip to Chiapas & the Riviera Maya - 14 Days

On this family-friendly two-week itinerary, you'll discover the diverse state of Chiapas, with its jungle waterfalls, colonial cities, and Mayan communities. Then you'll pick up a rental car and drive yourself around the Yucatán Peninsula, stopping to relax on the beach, swim in cenotes, and visit archaeological ruins perched high above the Caribbean Sea.

The Church of San Servacio in the city of Valladolid
Map of Mexico City & Riviera Maya - 10 Days
Mexico City & Riviera Maya - 10 Days

This off-the-beaten-track adventure kicks off in Mexico City where you'll learn the area's pre-Colombian history and visit mysterious temples built by the Aztecs and Mayans. From here, fly to the Riviera Maya to ramble in the colonial streets of Valladolid, dine on fresh cuisine, and chill out on the Caribbean Sea. Expect private guides and transportation throughout (except for your free day in Tulum).

Discover the vast Mayan city of Uxmal on the Puuc Route
Map of Highlights of Mexico: From Mexico City to the Mayan Riviera  - 14 Days
Highlights of Mexico: From Mexico City to the Mayan Riviera - 14 Days

Step back in time on this two-week itinerary featuring ancient Aztec and Mayan ruins of Morelos and the Yucatán Peninsula. Along the way, you will explore Mexico City, the colonial towns of Valladolid and Mérida, and the turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya. You will snorkel in freshwater cenotes, climb stone steps of Aztec pyramids, and meet with indigenous locals to learn about Maya history and culture firsthand.

Chichen Itza
The Archaeological Mayan Journey - 5 Days

Take a step back in time to explore ancient Mayan cities shrouded in mystery—some of which were inhabited since around 1800 BCE—on this five-day adventure. You'll visit Chichén Itzá, one of the New Wonders of the World, as well as Izamal and Mérida, which will offer insight into the transition from ancient Mayan civilization to contemporary Mayan ways of life.

Bacalar Lagoon
Nature & Mayan Life: Tulum, Bacalar, Merida, Holbox, & More - 14 Days

Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to see some of Mexico's best archaeological sites — including Chichen Itza — while also leaving plenty of time for relaxation. You'll swim in beautiful cenotes, explore the colonial city of Merida, and experience indigenous culture. End with a couple days on Holbox Island, where sand, surf, and beautiful sunshine await.

Chichen Itza Tzompantli — Wall of Skulls
Mexico Culture & Beaches: Tulum, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 10 Days

Explore ancient Maya ruins, kick back on the beach, and visit the rainforest on this ten-day trip to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Start the trip in Tulum for swims in cenotes, then head to Valladolid to see Chichen Itza and other archaeological sites. End the trip on Holbox Island, a car-free oasis of sprawling beaches and quiet cafes.

Laguna Chunyaxche
Mexican Culture & Beaches: Tulum, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 9 Days

From peaceful jungle cenotes to the colonial streets of Valladolid, this nine-day trip covers millennia of history and culture and leaves plenty of time for relaxation. Swim in the jungle, visit Chichen Itza — one of the Seven Wonders and relax on the car-free beaches of Holbox Island. Immerse yourself into local life as you learn about local indigenous culture & customs and eat a delicious traditional meal.

Playa Ruinas
Mayan Culture & History in Tulum - 7 Days

Get away from the hustle and bustle on this adventurous weeklong trip to Tulum. You'll see the best of the Yucatan Peninsula — including the Tulum archaeological site, the Coba Maya ruins, underground caves, cenotes, and more — without compromising on the relaxation factor.

Exploring the Cenotes
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 18 Days

Take eighteen relaxing days to drive through the Yucatan Peninsula as you explore the best that Mexico has to offer: colonial cities, indigenous communities, white-sand beaches, and ancient Mayan ruins. Start the trip in Tulum for a dip into a turquoise cenote, then head to Bacalar for a sail on the lagoon. End in Valladolid and Holbox Island for sunrise at Chichen Itza and a couple days on the beach.

Swimming in the Jungle
Mayan Culture & History in Tulum - 6 Days

Spend six days exploring the best of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as you base yourself in Tulum. You'll swim in jungle cenotes, head underground to explore caves, and relax on beautiful beaches. This laid-back itinerary is perfect for those who want to get away from it all, while still leaving room for adventure.

Chemuyil Cenotes
Mayan Culture & History in Tulum - 5 Days

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.

Puerto Morelos
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 19 Days

Drive from city to beach on this nineteen-day immersive trip through the Yucatan Peninsula. From the colonial cities of Merida and Valladolid to the ancient Maya ruins of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, you'll explore the best that the region has to offer. Tour historic sites, sample local fare, relax on beaches, and more as you make your way through the jungles and roads of the area.

Traditional meal
Mexico Culture & Beaches: Tulum, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 11 Days

Swim in a hidden jungle cenote, explore the Playa Ruinas near Tulum, and more on this eleven-day exploration of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. You'll go caving underground to see ancient geologic formations, visit the archaeological site of Coba, and end the trip by relaxing on Holbox Island's beautiful sand beaches.

Yokdzonot Cenote
Nature & Mayan Life: Tulum, Bacalar, Merida, Holbox, & More - 15 Days

A fifteen-day trip to Mexico is enough time to explore major archaeological sites, while leaving room for beach relaxation. Float in the turquoise blue water of the Chemuyil Cenotes, explore ancient Mayan ruins and experience indigenous cultural traditions. You'll get to visit Chichen Itza, soak in the sun on the beaches of Holbox Island, and sample authentic tequila while taking in sunset beach views.

Scuba diving in the Yucatan
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 21 Days

Fully immerse yourself into Mexican history and culture on this comprehensive three-week trip. From the colonial cities of Merida and Valladolid to the ancient Mayan ruins of Uxmal and Chichen Itza, this trip covers millennia of history and leaves room for relaxation and food. End the trip on Holbox Island for some of Mexico's loveliest beaches and plenty of sunshine

Ancient Uxmal Ruins
Nature & Mayan Life: Tulum, Bacalar, Merida, Holbox, & More - 13 Days

Spend thirteen days exploring the best of the Yucatan Peninsula on this whirlwind itinerary. You'll explore the highlights — Tulum, Bacalar, Uxmal, and Merida — while also leaving a couple of days to soak in the sun on Holbox Island. Little moments make this trip extra special: like sunrise at the Chichen Itza ruins or visiting an indigenous community to learn about their way of life.

Enjoying the views
Nature & Mayan Life: Tulum, Bacalar, Merida, Holbox, & More - 16 Days

Explore the best of Mexico's offerings on this comprehensive 16-day trip. Swim in crystal clear cenotes and go sailing in the Bacalar Lagoon. Continue to Chunhuhub for a mystical bonfire experience, then spend a few days exploring the historical sites of Merida and Chichen Itza. End the trip on Holbox Island for several days of sun, beach, and surf.

Other popular travel destinations in Mexico
Yucatan Peninsula · Mexico City · Tulum · Oaxaca · Valladolid · Chiapas · Holbox · Merida · Puerto Morelos · Cholula · San Cristobal de las Casas · Palenque · Bacalar · Chunhuhub · Uxmal · Campeche · Calakmul · Puebla · Playa del Carmen · Guadalajara · Cabo San Lucas · San Miguel de Allende · Morelia · Pisté · Los Cabos · Guanajuato · Querétaro · La Paz