The Best Activities and Excursions In The Riviera Maya, Mexico: Boat Trips, Cenotes, Ancient Ruins And More!

Mexico beach

The best tours and excursions in the Riviera Maya include exploring the ancient civilisations of the Mayan people, sailing through the bright turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea and sampling all the delicious Mexican food the region has to offer. 

Mexico’s Riviera Maya is a VERY special place for me. It’s where I got my first proper dose of wanderlust! I headed off on my first solo long haul flight, landed in Cancun, joined a tour, and spent 10 days exploring Mexico.

I’ve explored quite a few parts of the country over the last few years, but it’s the Riviera Maya that draws me back time and time again. I love the variety of things to do, the people and the views. There’s a feistiness and fun, plus while it’s an easy place to explore as a tourist, there are some wonderfully authentic spots too.

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9 AWESOME Things To Do On Your Cancun Holiday

Beach walks in Cancun, Mexico

From Caribbean beach days, to feasting on tacos, exploring the ancient Mayan ruins and partying in the city, it’s time to discover everything a Cancun holiday has to offer!

Kicking off 2018 by visiting my favourite country in the world was pretty special! Mexico is the country that started my wanderlust almost 10 years ago. I’ve returned numerous times and even spent a month there as part of my 3 and a half month adventures when I started this blog.

I was excited to return for a different kind of adventure. Our weeklong trip with Teletext Holidays was all about showing off the best of this region. We checked into 5-star, all-inclusive resort Moon Palace Cancun, and spent our days road tripping around the Yucatan Peninsular, and our evenings enjoying the resort’s restaurants, bars and facilities. What a great start to the year.

Along with some awesome videos, it’s time to show you exactly why this region of Mexico is PERFECT for a holiday, especially if, like me, you can’t sit still for long.

9 AWESOME Things To Do On Your Cancun Holiday

Check Out The Mayan Ruins Of Tulum and Chichen Itza

You can’t visit Mexico and not learn about the Mayan civilisation. Start by visiting Chichen Itza (you could book onto a tour like this one which includes transfers and lunch)– the ancient ruins dating back to the 7th Century. When I first saw the main pyramid, El Castillo, I was in awe – to think something so vast and detailed was built so long ago! It still holds plenty of secrets too, making it all the more intriguing. While I managed to snap a few photos with barely a soul in sight, don’t expect it to be like this. Hoards of tourists from all over the world arrive by coach throughout the day, but with a little patience you might catch a rare moment of calm.

Chichen Itza, Mexico
Chichen Itza, Mexico

I also loved visiting the Tulum ruins, with their stunning position perched on a cliff edge overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea. After exploring the site on foot, head down the steps and cool off with a dip in the sea.

Tulum, Mexico
Tulum, Mexico

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Reasons To Visit Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

5 Reasons I Miss Playa Del Carmen

Daily trips to the beach, delicious food, stunning resorts and plenty of amazing day trips… there are plenty of reasons to visit Playa Del Carmen.

If you’re heading to Playa del Carmen, then count yourself lucky. I’ve spent a lot of time there over the last few years. It’s a place that kicked off my wanderlust… and somewhere I hold very close to my heart.

While I’ve barely stopped travelling over the past year, there are a few things I really miss about Playa Del Carmen – places and experiences I’ve not found replicated anywhere else in the world.

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Don’t Waste Your Money at Xel-Ha, Mexico. Check Out Yal-Ku!

Yal-Ku, Akumal, Mexico

Why you should consider visiting Yal-Ku instead of Xel-Ha in Mexico.

Every now and then I come across somewhere really special, and face a dilemma: Do I keep it to myself so it stays a hidden gem… or share it with you guys so you can enjoy it too?! With Yal Ku, I felt I needed to tell the world!

In Quintana Roo, the state which runs down the Caribbean coast of Mexico, there are a few water-themed adventure parks. Xel-Ha is one of them. It’s an aquatic park built around a large lagoon with crystal clear waters, perfect for snorkelling. It’s set in a beautiful landscape of forests and cenotes (Mexican sink holes).

READ: 24 Hours In Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

I enjoyed a day there in May 2014 – I snorkelled for a few hours, travelled down the lazy river on a rubber ring and zip-lined over the water. I had a great day… but there was one part of the park that bothered me. There were numerous opportunities to ‘swim with dolphins’, ‘hold a stingray’, and have a ‘manatee encounter’. For a park with an emphasis on ecotourism and environmental awareness, something didn’t add up. It’s not cheap either. You can expect to pay $80 + for a day pass (which includes all food and drink).

Wanderlust Chloe Xel-Ha Mexico1

So when I returned to Mexico recently I was excited to find about a beautiful natural lagoon called Yal-Ku, close to the picturesque turtle beach of Akumal.

READ: An Afternoon In Akumal With The Turtles

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