Top 5 Tours in Playa del Carmen

The Yucatan Peninsula offers many excursion options, both naturally occurring and constructed with tourists in mind. With so many activities and tours available, and vacation time scarce it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when planning to go on a trip or two. Trying to decide the best use of your time? Continue reading to find the […] ... Continue Reading »
By: The KKIS Project  
on: April 01, 2022
Top 5 Tours in Playa del Carmen

The Yucatan Peninsula offers many excursion options, both naturally occurring and constructed with tourists in mind. With so many activities and tours available, and vacation time scarce it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when planning to go on a trip or two.

Trying to decide the best use of your time? Continue reading to find the best day trips and excursions from Playa Del Carmen. 

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is one of the New 7 Modern Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for these reasons alone it’s a necessary excursion. It’s a cultural experience set in the jungle outside of Valladolid with an abundance of wildlife and temples to enjoy. 

This ancient Mayan settlement is an active archaeological site, with discoveries currently being unearthed and uncovering more insight into this Mayan civilization.

More than 2 million tourists flock to Chichen Itza annually. The busiest time is to visit during the equinox in the spring and fall when the late afternoon sun creates the illusion of a snake slithering slowly down the north staircase of the pyramid dedicated to Kulkulcán. 

If you prefer a self-guided tour, we recommend arriving 10 minutes before opening so you can enjoy this wonder without being surrounded by hordes of tourists. It’s also recommended to hire a guide outside the gate as you can learn so much more from listening to their tours.

Cenotes

Set amongst the jungle between Valladolid, Puerto Morelos and Tulum is the most concentrated collection of cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula. Cenotes hold cultural significance to the Mayans as they were seen as entrances to the underworld. Therefore, they were significant for religious ceremonies and as places where the Mayans offered sacrifices to their gods. They also were the freshwater source for Mayan civilizations.

Cenotes are natural sinkholes that expose underground rivers by way of parts of limestone caves collapsing. Depending on how the limestone collapses these cenotes can be mostly cavernous with just a few rays of sunlight peeking through to areas with complete sunshine that resemble lakes. 

Cenotes contain crystal clear water, and many cenotes are filled with stalactites and stalagmites making them a scuba diver’s dream. Our recommendation is not to pass over a cenote tour, as they are constantly evolving based on limestone erosion and construction in the jungle. 

This unforgettable excursion can be added to your Chichen Itza day trip, or you could spend days visiting just the cenotes themselves. If you happen to visit the Rivera Maya during an abundance of seaweed, also known as sargasso, the cenotes are an excellent alternative to beat the heat and still be able to enjoy some time in the water. 

Catamaran Cruise 

Depending on where you are staying there is numerous catamaran day trip available in Quintana Roo. Our favorite catamaran excursions depart from Cancun and make their way to Isla Mujeres, the Island of Women.

These day tours generally include a water activity such as snorkeling near the island or the underwater statues off the coast of Cancun. Other highlights include a stop at a beach club to relax in the sun and enjoy an included buffet lunch, another stop in town to visit Playa Norte which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with its crystal-clear water, and some time to explore the main city on the island.

On the way back to Cancun enjoy a spectacular sunset while sipping cocktails on the boat and reminiscing about the picture-perfect day on this beautiful island. A trip to the Yucatan is incomplete without an excursion to one of the best islands in the region.

Xcaret Group Parks

Grupo Xcaret is a group of adventure parks located in the Riviera Maya. This group includes Xoximilco, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xcaret, Xelha, Xavage, and Xenses theme parks. Each park has been catered toward specific age groups but also offers fun for all ages. Xcaret, the signature park, has something for all of the family to enjoy. Our other favorites are Xoximilco and the lesser discussed and more active, Xavage.

Xoximilco park is a recreation of the natural canals located south of Mexico City in a town that shares the same name. Known to be a cultural party event in both locations, board colorful Mexican gondolas and cruise the waterways while being serenaded by mariachis and enjoying tequila and beer. This excursion can be enjoyed by the whole family (but those 18 and older enjoy it the most!)

Xavage is an adventure park offering six different activities. Our favorite activities include the only whitewater rafting available in the area, a ropes course set high over the jungle, and a zipline laying horizontal giving you the feeling of flying. Alternative options the park offers include kayaking, a jet boat, and an ATV adventure in the jungle.

Sian Ka’an

Sian Ka’an is one of Mexico’s largest protected sites with a fragile ecosystem that they painstakingly preserve. Sian Ka’an, meaning “Origin of the Sky’ boasts tropical forests, palm savannahs, lagoons, sandy beaches, dunes, and mangroves. 

Located just south of Cancun, we recommend taking the boat tour where you can spot crocodiles, numerous birds, and manatees. The sunset boat tour is one of the most spectacular sites the region has to offer. If boat rides aren’t your cup of tea, then we recommend taking a tour to Punta Allen which feels like a private beach getaway.

Love the area and don’t want to leave? In Punta Allen, there are campsites available and hotels depending on your preference for accommodations. Sian Ka’an is often overlooked but it truly is a breathtaking experience in nature making it one of the best day trips from Playa Del Carmen.

Help to Keep Kids in School 

When visiting these natural wonders and historical sites you might notice the level of poverty in the surrounding pueblos or towns. A lot of travelers see the disparity between their own lives and the lives of the local population and want to help but aren’t sure of the best way. As tourists and travelers, you can make a huge impact in Playa Del Carmen and its surrounding areas that won’t be of many costs to you. 

The Keeping Kids in School Project is a nonprofit organization based in Playa Del Carmen that believes that education is a human right. Did you know that high school is not free in Mexico? 

Many families in Mexico struggle to find the extra money to pay for schooling, supplies, and uniforms. There are many ways you can help including donating your time or spending less than $2 per day to sponsor a student. 

Click here to see the different ways you can support the community and impact local students lives.

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