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Playa del Carmen Birdwatching

Our most recommended Playa del Carmen Birdwatching

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

1. 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. Begin 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 light breakfast that includes sweet bread, fruit, cereal, coffee, and juice. After breakfast and check-in, 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. Then, try snorkeling with your guide before boarding the ship and heading to Contoy Island. In the event of bad weather, you will do the snorkeling activity on 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 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. Next, enjoy a lunch of Pescado Tikinxic, a broiled fish with achiote and other local species as well as broiled chicken, rice, and salad, accompanied by your favorite drink with access to an open bar. Finally, enjoy free time on the beach before boarding the boat and heading to Isla Mujeres. Visit the fishermen’s village or do some shopping, then head back to Cancun.

From Riviera Maya: Isla Contoy & Isla Mujeres Full-Day Tour

2. From Riviera Maya: Isla Contoy & Isla Mujeres Full-Day Tour

Head out to sea and visit two of the most beautiful islands off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Enjoy a 1-hour snorkel and see the vibrant underwater world of the reef. Stop at Isla Contoy, a nature reserve known for its variety of tropical bird species. Wander the colorful streets of Isla Mujeres and see its world-famous beaches. After being picked up from your hotel, transfer to the jetty in Cancún, where you will board a comfortable speedboat to travel about 40 minutes to Isla Contoy. Your first stop is a guided 1-hour reef snorkel tour where you will enjoy spotting brightly colored corals and the plentiful tropical fish. Next, visit the protected nature reserve of Contoy Island which boasts an incredible population of bird species, and clear shallow water perfect for snorkeling, swimming, or just relaxing Caribbean-style. After a delicious lunch on the beach, you will have some free time on the island before we leave for Isla Mujeres. Once at Isla Mujeres, enjoy one hour of free time on this charming Caribbean island to wander the colorful streets and see the postcard beaches. Then, take the boat back to the pier in Cancún and upon arrival on the mainland, you will be dropped back at your hotel.

Riviera Maya: Sian Kaan Boat Trip Adventure

3. Riviera Maya: Sian Kaan Boat Trip Adventure

Punta Allen is a picturesque and perfect place to park yourself on a boat tour. Here explore the local lagoons and come face to face with the incredible wildlife of this region. You'll have the chance to see beautiful birds and maybe even the opportunity to see wild dolphins and sea turtles that live in these waters. On the tour, also stop at the 2nd largest coral reef in the world, where you can jump out of the boat and enjoy a pleasant snorkel adventure (subject to sea conditions). You'll be amazed at the colors of this very healthy coral reef and the varieties of fish are absolutely stunning. The reef system is home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk, and more than 500 species of fish. Then, head to the beach, where the picture-perfect sandbar awaits. Here enjoy a delicious Caribbean lunch of fresh fish and fruit before heading back out to explore a bit more. The biodiversity of the Yucatan Peninsula is essential and the aim is to share this passion with you and teach you how you can all work to keep this great natural land safe for future generations. It became a World Heritage Site in 1987 and you'll understand why.

From Riviera Maya: Holbox Full-Day Tour with Lunch

4. From Riviera Maya: Holbox Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Wander the picturesque streets, take a swim in the clear water, and visit the YalahauCenote (lagoon) in this full-day excursion to the Island of Holbox.   The day begins with pickup from select hotels in the Riviera Maya, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen, where guests will travel in an air-conditioned van to this secluded island on the north coast. Board a small boat that will take you to the island and spend the day exploring the small streets and pristine beaches.    

Riviera Maya: Holbox Island Day Trip and Safari with Lunch

5. Riviera Maya: Holbox Island Day Trip and Safari with Lunch

Cruise to Holbox Island on this day trip with hotel pickup from select Riviera Maya locations. Uncover the rich biodiversity of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve on a boat tour with a local fisherman. Visit Isla Pasion and search for local wildlife, and enjoy a meal at a local restaurant.  Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Riviera Maya. Take in the views on the transfer in an air-conditioned van. Arrive at the port of Chiquila and board a private boat with a local fisherman.  Navigate through the Yum Balam Nature Reserve where over 300 different species of birds live freely. Look for whitehead eagles, cormorants, flamingos, and ducks as you cross a lagoon to Isla Pasion. Head to the main harbor on Holbox island and enjoy a mini tour. Fill up with some mouth-watering local fare at a restaurant. Sip on a soft drink or water with your meal. Have some free time to explore the fishing village or chill out at the beach before returning to your accommodation. 

From Riviera Maya: Day Tour to Contoy and Isla Mujeres

6. From Riviera Maya: Day Tour to Contoy and Isla Mujeres

Enjoy a day of visiting two stunning beach destinations departing from the Riviera Maya. These islands will make for great photo opportunities and a perfect Caribbean tan. First, you'll travel to Isla Contoy, a natural national park known to be a paradise and a sanctuary for migratory and native birds. Here, you’ll discover the diverse flora and fauna that calls this place home. Its dreamy beaches and the turquoise blue of the sea surround it, with a view to never forget. Afterward, you will head just a few kilometers off Isla Contoy, where you will snorkel at the tip of the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Lastly, you'll visit Isla Mujeres, an amazing island renowned for the charm of its beautiful beaches and its crafts market.

Riviera Maya: Puerto Morelos 4-Hour Bird Watching Tour

7. Riviera Maya: Puerto Morelos 4-Hour Bird Watching Tour

Enjoy an amazing bird watching experience in the Mayan jungle, and observe a wide variety of bird species at the Botanical Gardens of Puerto Morelos. Following a pick-up from your hotel in Cancun or Playa del Carmen at 06:00 (07:00 for hotels in Tulum), transfer by air-conditioned vehicle to Puerto Morelos to observe unique birds on a hike through the jungle. Certified naturalist guides will provide interesting information about the Yucatan Peninsula's different bird species, as well as the area's ecosystems along the way. Migratory birds can be found in Mexico twice a year. As they escape the cold winters of the north, they cross the Gulf of Mexico on a journey of some 800-1,000 kilometers. The Yucatan Peninsula is the first stop on their journey to Central America, providing a unique opportunity to see them at rest in and around Puerto Morelos. A portion of the profits from this tour is donated to projects that protect the Mayan culture, and promote sustainable and responsible eco tourism.

Cancun: Private Birdwatching Tour

8. Cancun: Private Birdwatching Tour

Every year thousands of migratory birds arrive to the Yucatan Peninsula and in addition to the marvelous endemic species of the area, this tour will not disappoint you. Your private guide will show you the best spots to catch a glimpse of these birds close to Cancun at Ruta de los Cenotes Biosphere Reserve, as well as give explanations about the jungle and its unique flora and fauna. At 5 am you will be picked up at your hotel in Cancun (5:45am in Playa del Carmen or 6:30am Tulum). At 6:40am start hiking through the Mayan jungle to observe the amazing Yucatan birds. Your certified guide will provide you with interesting information about the Peninsula’s different bird species and the area’s ecosystems. At 9:30am have a snack before you are taken back to your hotel at 10:00am. You will arrive your hotel at 10:40am in Tulum (11am in Playa del Carmen, 12pm in Cancun).  This is a short list of 90 potential birds you can see in this tour (depends on the season):  Orange Oriole / Icterus auratus Endemic Rose-throated Tanager / Piranga roseogularis / Endemic Yucatan Jay / Cyanocorax yucatanicus Endemic Yellow-lored Parrot / Amazona xantholora Endemic White-bellied Emerald / Amazilia candida Ruddy Ground-Dove / Columbina talpacoti Vaux's Swift / Chaetura vauxi Cinnamon Hummingbird / Amazilia rutile White-fronted Parrot / Amazona albifrons Greenish Elaenia / Myiopagis viridicata Couch's Kingbird / Tyrannus couchii Green Jay / Cyanocorax yncas Tropical Gnatcatcher / Polioptila plumbea Clay-colored Thrush / Turdus grayi Summer Tanager / Piranga rubra Painted Bunting / Passerina ciris Hooded Oriole / Icterus cucullatus

Playa del Carmen: Private Morning Birdwatching Tour

9. Playa del Carmen: Private Morning Birdwatching Tour

Away from the resorts and beaches of The Riviera Maya lays the Ruta de los Cenotes, a top birding Site recognized as home to over 300 species of birds. Journey into this rich natural habitat and spot unique bird species in the heart of the Mayan jungle. Start the day early with 6:00 AM pickup from your hotel and head into the jungle. Accompanied by a knowledgeable birding guide, spot colorful tropical birds and learn about their natural habitat. At the end of the tour, hotel drop-off will be provided.

Río Lagartos: Biosphere Reserve and Las Coloradas Pink Lakes

10. Río Lagartos: Biosphere Reserve and Las Coloradas Pink Lakes

See the beauty of Rio Lagartos, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve home to a rich diversity of landscapes and ecosystems such as mangroves, forests, lagoons, and more. Admire the pink lakes at Las Coloradas on this full-day tour too. Begin with an early pickup from accommodation in Cancun or Playa del Carmen. From there, you’ll make your way to the busy town of Valladolid for a cup of coffee and a snack. Head to Rio Lagartos after a brief pit stop, and upon arrival, skip the crowds and board a private boat to enjoy the scenery of the reserve. Cruise around the reserve with a friendly guide pointing out the numerous local flora and fauna, potentially catching glimpses of flamingos, pelicans, sea turtles, and crocodiles. Stop by the beautiful pink lakes at Las Coloradas (the color of the water depends on weather and chemical conditions) and snap a few photos. After, enjoy a stop for lunch before heading back to your accommodation.

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What people are saying about Playa del Carmen

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 65 reviews

We had an incredible day.. the staff is super nice, always very caring with a real Mexican atmosphere! Ilsa contoy is an incredible island I recommend it 100%. Ilsa mujeres we only stayed there for an hour so we don't have a lot of time but it's nice too! What positives! The only small negative point is that the toilets of the boat were extremely dirty but really very dirty. Otherwise we had a great day!

Very successful trip, the journey from Playa del Carmen takes about 2 hours but the Isla Pasion and the Isla Holbox make up for it. Great speedboat ride from Cincilla Port and truly pristine lagoons and beaches. Carlos, our guide was always ready and friendly. All in all a great experience and I really recommend it

Amazing tour, had a wonderful day. Very nice tour guide that told us a lot about the fauna. Also the captain of the boat could find a lot of animals in de mangroves so we could see a lot!

Holbox is a gorgeous island that I highly recommend visiting. The tour was really fun. Our guide Carlos was very personable.

A great experience with mega moments and great/unforgettable moments.