Things to do in Riviera Maya

Come for the white-sand beaches, stay for the scenic ruins, awe-inspiring nature, and adrenaline activities.

Our most recommended things to do in Riviera Maya

Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Cenote, Valladolid & Meal

1. Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Cenote, Valladolid & Meal

Dive into Mayan culture on a guided day trip with optional hotel transfers from Cancún or Riviera Maya to Chichén Itzá, named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World for being one of the world's best-preserved ancient cities. Enjoy a Mexican buffet and tequila tasting, and stop at Valladolid and a cenote. Stop by the charming town of Valladolid, famed for the ornate, 16th-century Convent of San Bernardino of Siena and the baroque San Gervasio Cathedral. Wander the cobblestone streets, take photos, and find souvenirs. Once at Chichén Itzá, follow the guide while learning all about the most important buildings. From the awe-inspiring Pyramid of Kukulcan to the ruins that once housed tens of thousands of Mayans, the Pyramid of El Castillo or El Caracol, this visit is filled with rarely heard stories, incredible details, and stunning photo opportunities. Discover why the huge city played such an important role from the Late Classic period (600 AD) into the early part of the Post Classic period (1200 AD), and why it remained a huge center of pilgrimage. After your Chichén Itzá adventure, enjoy a tequila tasting and an authentic Mexican buffet lunch At this point, the fun is just getting started as no visit to the area would be complete without a stop by a cenote, a refreshing, enchanting underground sinkhole, sacred to the Mayan people before returning to your starting point.

Tulum: Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket

2. Tulum: Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket

Pre-book your entry ticket to the archaeological site of the Mayan city of Tulum and enjoy skip-the-line privileges and a tequila tasting. Discover the numerous records of the past depicted in murals and other works found in the buildings of this historic city. Start with a streamlined entry process by simply exchanging your voucher for a ticket at a designated location near the site's entrance. Then, start exploring all the wonders of Tulum at your own pace. Step into the past as you explore the Tulum city ruins. Immerse yourself in Tulum National Park’s extension of 664 hectares filled with a great variety of flora and fauna characteristic of the region. Snap photos of scenic views to remember your visit.

Xcaret Park: Plus Full-Day Admission with Night Show & Lunch

3. Xcaret Park: Plus Full-Day Admission with Night Show & Lunch

Enjoy full-day admission to Xcaret Park, a paradise theme park on the Maya Riviera, where you can enjoy more than 40 activities and attractions. Your ticket includes access to all the facilities, including showers, dressing rooms, and snorkeling equipment for your convenience. Once inside the park, choose the activities that suit. Highlights include the Coral Reef Aquarium and Marine Turtles Area. Admire the manatees of the Manatee Lagoon, or be dazzled by colorful butterflies in the Butterfly Pavilion. See howler monkeys at Spider Monkey Island, or explore how mushrooms are cultivated at the Mushroom Farm. The Living Museum of Orchids displays Mexican orchids in all their glory. Wander a jungle trail to visit the Regional Wildlife Breeding Farm. Ascend the Rotating Scenic Tower for spectacular views, and watch cultural performances of Mayan and Mexican music and dance. You can even visit a Mayan Village! Colonial history is not neglected at the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, while folk art is displayed at the Hacienda Henequenera. Watch the sky turn a rainbow of colors at the Stained-Glass Plaza, or discover a pre-Hispanic ball court to learn about the Maya sports events. Between October 30th and November 2nd, you'll be able to enjoy activities that are part of the Life and Death Festival.

Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour

4. Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour

Travel back in time as you explore the Mayan  archeological ruins of Chichén Itzá on a guided tour. Connect with nature as you swim in the azure waters of the cenote of Saamal. Eat a mouth-watering buffet lunch and take a guided walking tour of Valladolid. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel, or a nearby meeting point, and then journey to one of the most important monuments on the Yucatán Peninsula.   Upon arrival at Chichén Itzá, look at the step pyramid of Kukulcan (El Castillo), known for the play of light from the equinox that casts shadows on each step to create an image of a serpent descending.   Go to the ancient cenote of Saamal and experience one of the sinkholes that form part of a network of underground rivers sacred to the Maya people. Enjoy a delicious buffet meal and take a stroll around the colonial city of Valladolid to complete your experience.

Playa Del Carmen: Round-Trip Ferry Ticket to/from Cozumel

5. Playa Del Carmen: Round-Trip Ferry Ticket to/from Cozumel

Pre-book a quick round-trip ferry service between Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel. Get maximum flexibility with continuous daily departures and a 6-month ticket validation period. Enjoy added perks including a snack bar, open-air decks, live music, TVs, and electrical outlets. On the day of your chosen departure, hop on board a high-speed 157-foot JETLINE Class catamaran type ferry, constructed of aluminum and featuring 3 decks with a capacity between 150 and 800 passengers. Enjoy new generation gangways for express boarding and carry-on baggage handling. On board, take advantage of covered and open-air decks, panoramic windows, TV screens, a snack bar, electrical outlets, live music, and underwater illumination. Ride in maximum comfort with on-board air conditioning, leather seats, and restrooms. As you head to your destination, take some time to relax with plenty of legroom in high-quality ergonomic high-quality leather seats designed and constructed in Europe by the same high technology companies that work with Porsche and Ferrari. Premium Class Tickets include round-trip transportation with general ferry access. If you’re looking to add a little more to your trip, choose First Class Tickets for referred access to the ferry, reliable seats with more space, and access to a lounge area. Whatever ticket option you choose, you’ll get to experience a ferry transfer focused on passengers and making their journey something even more special. The beauty of the islands, coupled with the comfort and quickness of the boats, make this the preferred trip for visitors to this area. 

Playa del Carmen: Coco Bongo Nightclub Experience

6. Playa del Carmen: Coco Bongo Nightclub Experience

Immerse yourself in a night of non-stop action at Coco Bongo with this entry ticket. Experience flying acrobats, live music, and an unforgettable party atmosphere. Be amazed by confetti and light shows, as you sip on delicious cocktails at this Playa del Carmen spectacular. Head for the dazzling doors of Coco Bongo, a club just one block from the majestic Caribbean Sea, and prepare to have one of the most shocking and memorable nights of your life. Once inside, be amazed by flying acrobats, impressive musical tributes, and the continuous party atmosphere that has made Coco Bongo world famous. Hit the dance floor under falling glittering confetti or savor a delicious cocktail while tribute acts bring the best of Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Beyoncé. Choose from entry tickets including Drink Pack, Regular, Gold Member, Double Gold, and Front Row options. Depending on the option selected, enjoy different benefits throughout the night, such as national drinks, premium drinks, snacks, and much more. Take advantage of complimentary access to the Beach Club, whichever option you pick.

Cenote Trail: Caves Visit and Bike Tour

7. Cenote Trail: Caves Visit and Bike Tour

Head out to discover the variety of caverns and caves that fill the Mayan forest. Cenotes were considered by the ancients as portals into the underworld, allowing us entry into another realm of the earth. You will ride through a quiet forested road to explore 3 different cenotes. Explore the wonderful Grand Cenote just as it opens, avoiding the crowds of tourists, followed by a delicious brunch in the forest, located in a beautiful environment along a jungle trail. This leads us to other cenotes where you can swim, snorkel, and jump in crystal clear sinkholes and underground rivers, while learning about the prehistoric past of the Yucatan peninsula on this great bike tour from Tulum. Surrounded by lush vegetation, you will enjoy riding a quiet jungle path surrounded by the sounds and colors of nature.

Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

8. Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

Discover the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá on a guided tour from Playa del Carmen. Immerse yourself in the jungle at an eco-park, with some time for swimming in a cenote and a hearty buffet lunch. Start with pickup from Playa del Carmen and first travel to the jungle eco-park. Marvel at the sacred cenote as you refresh yourself with a purifying swim in crystalline waters. Dig into a delicious buffet lunch at the restaurant at the eco-park, and be ready for a flavor sensation. Try some of the famed Mexican cuisine with regional dishes from Yucatán. After your buffet, head to the world-famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá. Take a guided tour of the ceremonial site and listen to fascinating tales of the ancient Maya civilization. Learn more with your expert guides and hear entertaining stories of life at Chichen Itzá. Discover a culture that was way ahead of its time. Then, enjoy some free time to explore by yourself and walk in the footsteps of the Mayan people. Your final stop is in the colonial center of Valladolid for a quick visit to this charming “Magic Town” of Mexico. The imposing church and architecture of the town surrounding the “zocalo'' or town square are perfect photo ops and a chance to relax and enjoy the laid-back vibes of Yucatán, before heading back to Playa del Carmen.

Akumal: Akumal Monkey Sanctuary Tour

9. Akumal: Akumal Monkey Sanctuary Tour

Enjoy a fun and educational day out to a monkey sanctuary near Playa del Carmen, the only of its kind in Mexico that is authorized to operate an educational bonding program with primates. Spend the day exploring the sanctuary and its grounds, located in a tropical jungle. In the company of an experienced guide, meet over 200 animals including monkeys, that were orphaned, injured, abused, or unwanted pets. Learn more about the needs of each animal and their personal history and get educated on the existential threats to their ecosystem and communities.

From Cancun or Riviera Maya: Isla Contoy & Mujeres Day Trip

10. From Cancun or Riviera Maya: Isla Contoy & Mujeres Day Trip

Explore Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres on a day trip from Cancun or Riviera Maya. Experience rich cultural heritage and history, have fun snorkeling, relax on beautiful beaches, and enjoy a delicious lunch. The tour begins with pickup from your hotel in the Cancun area, passing through Playa del Carmen, and arriving at the new private marina, located at the Punta Sam Ferry Terminal. Benefit from fast check-in and enjoy a continental breakfast that includes sweet bread, fruit, cereal, coffee, and juice. At 9:45 AM after breakfast and check-in, you will board the boat and head toward the Ixlache Reef. The reef is located off the coast of Contoy and right at the beginning of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second-largest reef system in the world. Snorkeling gear is included and you will be accompanied by a bilingual guide. This activity will last around 45 minutes. After snorkeling, board the ship and head to Contoy Island. In the event of bad weather, you will do the snorkeling activity at the island in the safety of its shallow waters.  Disembark on Contoy Island and have the chance to sightsee with a guide and visit the museum, observatory, and the lagoon. Go to the dunes and learn about the flora and fauna species of the island. Alternatively, choose to relax on the beautiful beach or do some more snorkeling in the Caleta area. At lunchtime enjoy Pescado Tikinxic, a broiled fish with achiote and other local species as well as broiled chicken, rice, salad, accompanied with your favorite drink. Once lunch is over, have more free time on the beach. Board the boat and head to Isla Mujeres, where there will be free time to visit the fishermen’s village or do some shopping. After Isla Mujeres, head back to Cancun, arriving at the marina at the Punta Sam Ferry Terminal around 6:00 PM.

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What people are saying about Riviera Maya

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 8,076 reviews

This tour is fantastic! First thing to say is that our guide Frank was fantastic, he provided so much information on the bus and at the stops so if you want to learn the history and the details Frank is your man. The tour itself, it’s an early start but they pack a lot into the trip. Valladolid is alright, nice town to stretch the legs on the trip. Then there is a touristy shop stop which is pretty good value compared to chichen itza itself, but you’ll have more vendor choices at chichen itza. The lunch was fine, simple but buffet although we ate at 10am so a bit early. Chichen itza is fantastic and you’ll have a different guide in your language, again incredible to see. The tequila tasting is brilliant, trying some expensive tequilas which is a treat followed by a refreshing cenote swim. Frank said chichen itza was crowded and always is but I found it easy to find spots to get photos alone. Highly recommend this trip and Amigo tours!

Wonderful experience. Surprisingly spent a good amount of time swimming with the turtles, also got to see stingrays. The cenote experience was also very memorable, we got lucky and went at a time where we had them completely to ourselves, these cenote’s are way cooler than a fully open one. The organisation was excellent and our tour guide Francisco was the best! My boyfriend developed a man crush.

Rodrigo was an excellent tour guide who provided a lot of detailed information on Chichén Itza. It was very informative, but also very laid back. I would definitely recommend his day trip to anyone who wants to see more of Mexico, eat good food, and jump into a cenote. Thanks for a day well spent!

Rodrigo and Arturo made this an unbelievable trip! So much local knowledge and the friendliest people you will ever meet. My family and I truly enjoyed our tour with the best tour guides around.

This was four first time in Cancun & this was our first booking and let’s just say it’s breathtaking!!! Our guide Vicente Padilla was great! Super informative and patient!