Cancún Culture & history

Our most recommended Cancún Culture & history

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.

Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour

2. 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: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

3. 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.

Cancun: Scuba Diving for Beginners, 2 Dives

4. Cancun: Scuba Diving for Beginners, 2 Dives

Take a scuba dive lesson for one day and have the opportunity to dive in popular spots in the crystal waters of Cancun without need for a scuba certification. Learn the basic of scuba diving in a pool, then explore the underwater world with two tank dives in the ocean. After filling out a short medical form, you will take theory lessons and pool practice to learn the basics of scuba diving, then you will do two tank ocean dives. The first dive tales place at MUSA Underwater Museum and the second dive at Manchones reef.

Tulum and Coba: Full-Day Archeological Tour with Lunch

5. Tulum and Coba: Full-Day Archeological Tour with Lunch

Spend the day discovering ancient Mayan archaeological sites on this guided tour of Tulum and Coba. Swim in a sinkhole and enjoy free time for taking photos. After being picked up in the lobby of your hotel by a certified guide, start your tour and receive an introduction to Mayan culture on the way. Make your first stop at Coba, the tallest pyramid in México, where you can take in an incredible view of the area.  Swim in natural cenotes (sinkholes) and relax in the refreshing water. Finish the day at the Tulum Archaeological Zone, an impressive Mayan city built on the coastline. Enjoy a guided tour through the area and free time to explore and take pictures.

Cancun: Snorkeling Tour at MUSA The Underwater Museum

6. Cancun: Snorkeling Tour at MUSA The Underwater Museum

Board a boat that will take you to the middle of Isla Mujeres bay, located only 30 minutes away from Cancun. Once the boat has reached the Cancun Underwater Museum of Art, jump into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea to go snorkeling. Admire more than 400 life-size human figures that are brought to life by coral, algae, and other marine life. The submerged sculptures were designed by Jason de Caires. Continue to the Manchones Reef, where you will have another chance to go snorkeling. You will be able to see various types of fish, as well as sea turtles, rays.

Cancun: Jungle Tour Adventure with Speedboat and Snorkeling

7. Cancun: Jungle Tour Adventure with Speedboat and Snorkeling

Explore the colorful marine life and clear blue waters of the Cancun jungle on this guided water adventure. Get your adrenaline pumping on a speedboat ride around Nichupte Lagoon, and slow the pace down with peaceful snorkeling over the underwater statues at the Punta Nizuc coral reef. Get fitted with a lifejacket and snorkeling equipment at the marina before learning how to operate the speedboat safely. Board your two-seater speedboat to explore the Nichupté Lagoon, which is rich in mangrove vegetation. Navigate through the mangrove jungle as your guide points out the most interesting fauna and flora to ensure that you discover all this unique area has to offer. After around 35 minutes, arrive at the Mayan Coral Reef at Punta Nizuc. See some of the Musa statues that form an underwater museum, where you will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel. After 30 minutes, return your speedboat to the marina.

Cancun: Paradise Snorkel at Reef and Underwater Museum

8. Cancun: Paradise Snorkel at Reef and Underwater Museum

Board a motorboat and enjoy a ride out to Punta Nizuc reef where a floating platform is waiting for you. From here, plunge into the crystal-clear waters and discover a reef full of corals to admire the stunning underwater world. The shallow waters provide a calm sheltered snorkel site so beginners can learn the basics of snorkeling. Enjoy hopping in and out of the water at your own pace. The platform makes it easy for kids and adults to access the water. Refresh yourself with a cold drink or beer available on the platform before diving back in to explore the MUSA, Cancun Underwater Art Museum. If the weather allows it, you can see 16 statues under the water including the ‘The Garden of Hope’, ‘Timebomb’, and ‘The Last Supper'.

Cancun: Skip-the-Line Mayan Museum & San Miguelito Site

9. Cancun: Skip-the-Line Mayan Museum & San Miguelito Site

Enjoy skip-the-line access to the Mayan Museum of Cancun and explore an exhibition space dedicated to the culture and history of the Mayan people. See one of the most historically significant archaeological collections of Mayan material culture in the entire world and visit the San Miguelito Archaeological Site with this attraction ticket. Enter the museum with your skip-the-line ticket to the Cancun Mayan Museum and get ready to enjoy an artistic and historical experience. Admire the museum's entrance, decorated with sculptures of Jan Hendrix that represent the surroundings of the region on a water surface. Explore the exhibition space, composed of three halls of eight meters high. Stop in different showrooms, whose walls feature coated glass, which allows a magnificent view of the forest of San Miguelito and the Nichupte lagoon. Learn more about the museum's collection and admire various historical artifacts along the way, as Cancun Mayan Museum houses one of the most significant archaeological collections of the Mayan culture in the world. Take advantage of the included access to the San Miguelito Archaeological Site. Explore the site's various features, and see structures that once held wooden houses and palms, where families lived during the last years before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. Marvel at the material culture of the Mayan people while learning about their history with this attraction ticket perfect for all ages.

Cancun/Riviera Maya: Chichen Itza and Ik Kil Cenote Tour

10. Cancun/Riviera Maya: Chichen Itza and Ik Kil Cenote Tour

Explore the ruins at Chichen Itza on a guided tour from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Choose between a private or small-group tour and beat the crowds and the heat with early morning access. Learn about the history of Mexico with insightful commentary on one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Start your adventure with an early pick-up from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Beat the crowds and the heat as you arrive at the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza. Follow your guide around the once-bustling complex, learning about the rich history, religion, culture, and daily life of the Maya. Wander around the Mexican pyramids, gaze at the spectacular stone carvings, and take photos by the glorious steps of the ruins. Board an air-conditioned vehicle and leave right before the morning gets too warm and the crowds increase. Head to the charming town of Piste for a quick look around before making your way to Cenote Ik Kil. Marvel at its stunning views, take photos of the turquoise waters and lush vegetation, and maybe squeeze in a quick dip before going for lunch. After filling your belly with some local food, board the vehicle once more and make your way back to Cancun and Riviera Maya with nothing but knowledge and memories to remember your adventure by.

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Frequently asked questions about Cancún

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Cancún?

The best day trips and excursions from Cancún are:

Tulum

Other Sightseeing Options in Cancún

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What people are saying about Cancún

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 1,572 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!

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!

The tour guide was very enthusiastic and had a lot of interesting information about the history. Very friendly.