How to select the best Cancun Riviera Maya excursions

Deciding what to do in Cancun or Riviera Maya is an important part of your trip. We tell you how to select the best Cancun Riviera Maya excursions.

When you are planning your vacations to Cancun or Riviera Maya, you select your travel package, flights, airport transportation. At the end of the day, you know exactly where do you want to go. But you may wonder, how to select the best excursions, tours, and activities in that destination?

3 steps to select your excursions in Cancun Riviera Maya

The selection of your excursions may seem a bit complicated since you have a lot of questions regarding the options available, the distances, real locations, what is there to see, what is worth it, and much more. Don’t worry, we are here to help. With 18 years of experience in tourism in Cancun, we cut down to 3 easy steps about selecting your excursions and activities to have a vacation full of fun.

The number one thing to do to select your excursions

Firstly, verify your hotel location. The excursions and activities vary depending on the location of your accommodation. Will you be at a resort in Cancun or will you be staying in Riviera Maya? This is an important step because the availability on the tours and prices is usually different depending on your start point.

Next step to choose your tours

Secondly, start with tours that will show you some history and highlights of the destination you selected. In other words, it is important to know the local ambiance and the main attractions to see nearby.
Continue reading to see a list, we tell you the main thing to do in Cancun Riviera Maya that you for sure can not miss. After seeing these places, if you have time, you can add more excursions or activities to your vacation, and feel sure that you are not missing up the main spots.

Last step

Thirdly, take it easy, make sure you reserve some days to relax. Some excursions in Cancun Riviera Maya are full-day activities and to be honest, having so much fun sometimes can be tiring at the end of the day. Another option is to select a mix of half-day and full-day excursions so you have time to relax in between.
Now you know how to select your excursions, let’s see next what is worth to see in Cancun and Riviera Maya.

What to see in Cancun Riviera Maya?

The main local attractions in Cancun and Riviera Maya are based on the Mayan culture, the real ambiance of the main cities, the most popular sightseeing spots, and natural locations:

  • Mayan ruins
  • Cancun city
  • 5th avenue Playa del Carmen
  • Isla Mujeres
  • Cenotes
  • Eco-park Xcaret 

No matter if you are staying in Cancun or Riviera Maya, there are excursions available to take you to these amazing attractions. This is a good way to start planning your sightseeing activities.

Excursions to the Mayan Ruins

There are 2 main Mayan ruins worth visiting from Cancun and Riviera Maya:

  • Tulum
  • Chichen Itza

Pick Tulum if you don’t want to travel far, this Mayan site is located in Riviera Maya, and it is a very beautiful place cause it is located in front of the ocean. If you are a fan of history and archaeology take the trip to Chichen Itza because it is now one of the seven wonders of the World. Consider that Chichen Itza is located in the neighboring state of Yucatán about 3 hours away from Cancun and Riviera Maya.

tulum and playa del carmen by xightseeing xcursions

Tulum and Playa del Carmen Sunset

Is an afternoon excursion that will take you to the Tulum ruins and the 5th avenue Playa del Carmen. You will visit the 2 main attractions of Riviera Maya on this afternoon tour. Tulum ruins are a very beautiful sightseeing location cause you can learn about the Mayan culture, see real Mayan pyramids and it is a world-famous cause is located in front of the Caribbean sea offering breathtaking views. 5th avenue Playa del Carmen is considered the heart of the Riviera Maya. Located in the city of Playa del Carmen is the most visited attraction in Riviera Maya. You will catch the Caribbean sunset strolling, dining, and shopping. You can learn more about the Tulum and Playa del Carmen Sunset tour here.

Chichen Itza tour

Chichen Itza Tour

Is a full-day tour. It will take you to the most important archaeological site in the Yucatan Peninsula. One of the 7 wonders of the world and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You will bee amazed with the wonderful buildings of the site and its acoustic and visual effects. Complement the experience with a visit to the colonial city of Valladolid where you will also enjoy the refreshing waters of a Mayan cenote during the tour. Do not miss it when you visit Cancun.

Tours in Cancun City

Visiting Cancun should not be just about arriving at the airport, get to your hotel, spent time on the beach, and go out to a club at night. Despite popular belief, the city of Cancun offers more than beautiful beaches and nightlife. Whether you are staying in Cancun or Riviera Maya, touring Cancun city is one of the things you must do.

cancun city tour by xightseeing xcursions

Cancun city tour

is an excursion that will take you around the downtown area, hotel zone, hidden Mayan ruins, landmarks, and the main highlights in the city. You will learn about the history and present of Cancun. You will discover the real Cancun on this one. You can learn more about the Cancun city tour here.

cancun shopping tour by xightseeing xcursions

Shopping tour in Cancun

is another excursion very popular in Cancun. Starting from shopping in Cancun downtown where you can find souvenirs and Mexican crafts at better prices than the hotel areas. Then moving to the shopping malls where you can find Tequila, Mexican candy including chocolate of different kinds, perfumes, and luxury brands at duty-free prices. The shopping tour in Cancun will take you to Cancun's best places for shopping. You can learn more about the Cancun shopping tour here.

To Visit 5th avenue Playa del Carmen

discover playa del carmen by xightseeing xcursions

Discover Playa del Carmen

is the best way to go from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. On this tour, you will have the opportunity to explore Playa del Carmen your way. Whether you want to visit Playa del Carmen beach, 5th avenue, do some shopping or explore nearby attractions this is the best way to go. You can learn more about the Discover Playa del Carmen tour here.

tulum playa del carmen sunset el castillo

Tulum and Playa del Carmen Sunset

If you want to optimize your time take this tour mentioned above. This one visits the Mayan ruins of Tulum and the famous 5th avenue Playa del Carmen in one afternoon. You can learn more about the Tulum and Playa del Carmen Sunset tour here.

Isla Mujeres Tour

This Island is located across the water from Cancun. It is a beautiful Caribbean island surrounded by amazing crystal clear water, palm trees, and beautiful beaches. It is a place not to miss on any Caribbean vacation.

catamaran to Isla Mujeres

Catamaran to Isla Mujeres

Get ready to sail to Isla Mujeres on the turquoise Caribbean Sea with colors like you had never seen before. Seatback, have a drink and feel free to enjoy the music and Caribbean ambiance on the way. Put fins and mask on, to continue with a snorkel guided tour at one of the famous reefs of the Island, or continue chilling at the boat if you prefer. Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch at an exclusive beach club and take your time to enjoy the place, before ending the day shopping at Isla Mujeres Downtown.

Visit the cenotes

excursion a cenotes

Cenotes are an underground freshwater system that lies underneath the Riviera Maya. There are open cenotes that are like natural wells in the middle of the jungle, others are underground in caves. These are places with scenarios beyond belief. There are hundreds of options and tours to visit a cenote. For example, the Chichen Itza tour includes a visit to a cenote.

Xcaret Park

Parque Xcaret

This park has become the most visited park in Mexico. It is an ecological park that combines nature with the culture. It allows you to swim in underground rivers, snorkel in the inlets, walk around the park to see jaguars, deers, and finish the day with a spectacular show on Mexico traditions. Certanly it is a full day activity.

We are Xightseeing Xcursions, a tour agency in Cancun with 18 years of experience touring Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum. We offer public tours, private excursions, and tailor-made experiences. Contact us for any questions, information, bookings, we are happy to help.

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