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Playa del Carmen Safaris & wildlife activities

Our most recommended Playa del Carmen Safaris & wildlife activities

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.

Playa del Carmen: Riviera Maya Buggy Tour with Cenote Swim

2. Playa del Carmen: Riviera Maya Buggy Tour with Cenote Swim

Get a friendly welcome from your guide on arrival, and gear up with all the necessary equipment and goggles to protect you from the dust. Drive into the heart of the jungle at the wheel of one of the amazing 4WD vehicles. Feel the breeze on your face as you zip along 18 miles (29 kilometers) of pristine jungle trails in the rugged terrain of the beautiful Riviera Maya. Take a moment to admire the stunning surroundings with a stop at a traditional ranch. Then, cool down with a refreshing swim at one of the sacred sinkholes of the Maya people. Dive into the crystal-clear waters of an underground cenote and marvel at the rock formations of a buried river in the middle of the jungle.

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

3. 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

4. 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.

Cancun & Riviera Maya: Xcaret Plus with Buffet & Transport

5. Cancun & Riviera Maya: Xcaret Plus with Buffet & Transport

Visit a natural park that cradles the best of the traditions and cultures of Mexico. With this special tour package, enjoy a food buffet and take a round trip tour to Xcaret Park, the most popular attraction in Cancun and the Maya Riviera region. There's fun for the whole family at a paradise that combines the natural beauty and cultural wealth of the region. Experience more than 40 different exciting activities, from the Underground River Journey to exploring the coral reef aquarium. Try visiting an authentic Mayan Village or remnants of the Spanish colonial past at the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel. Or meander down to the water to row past Spider Monkey Island, or simply kick back, put your feet up, and relax on the beach.

Riviera Maya: Horseback Ride, Zipline, and ATV Adventure

6. Riviera Maya: Horseback Ride, Zipline, and ATV Adventure

Ride through the Mayan wilderness on horseback. Take a four-wheeling adventure deep into the jungle. Zipline through the treetops and finish the day off with a swim at a freshwater Mayan cenote. Set off to El Rey Polo Club to explore the verdant area on horseback, trotting your way through the forest on quiet dusty roads. The experience is ideal for both experienced and novice riders, making it a great way to try horse riding for the first time. Continue with a fun-packed ATV ride on a powerful Honda at Extreme Adventure Park. Watch out for monkeys swinging through the trees and toucans flying past as you race over rugged dirt trails. Keep your adrenaline pumping as you zip through the trees and challenge your balance on 5 zip lines and 3 interactive bridges. Relax on the refreshing waters of a natural Mayan cenote.

Riviera Maya: Turtles and Cenote Snorkeling Tour

7. Riviera Maya: Turtles and Cenote Snorkeling Tour

Enjoy a unique experience on a snorkeling tour dedicated to exploring the natural wonders found in the underwater world of the Riviera Maya. Spot sea turtles and swim through a jungle cenote as you explore several highlights of the Yucatan Peninsula. Start your tour by making your way to Akumal Bay. Get ready with your snorkeling gear and explore a Mesoamerican reef. Swim with sea turtles in their natural habitat and visit a cenote jungle pool. Explore the underground cave, a place known for its ancient formations of stalactites and stalagmites. The combined rays of light filtered through the small orifices of the cave make for an impressive sight.

Playa del Carmen/Cancún: Rio Lagartos & Las Coloradas Tour

8. Playa del Carmen/Cancún: Rio Lagartos & Las Coloradas Tour

Enjoy a guided tour of Rio Lagartos and Las Coloradas on a day trip from Playa del Carmen or Cancún. Keep an eye out for crocodiles and see them up close at a crocodile sanctuary. Marvel at the pink shades of the lagoons of Las Coloradas and watch the flamingos fly by. Travel in comfort by air-conditioned vehicle to the neighboring state of Yucatán and the famous pink lakes of Las Coloradas. This is an area of untouched nature that will knock you out, the stunning views of Las Coloradas Yucatán have to be seen to be believed. Your expert guide will explain the facts and folklore of the region. They will also help you get the best Instagram-worthy photos of this marvelous area of stunning natural beauty. Take a boat ride through the mangroves of a magnificent protected area. Keep a lookout for the crocodiles and the huge array of bird species, including cormorants, ospreys, herons, and pelicans. Rio Lagartos Yucatan is a bird watcher's paradise. Finally, stop for lunch of salad, soft drinks, and the main course of your choice. Choose between fresh fish, chicken, or a vegetarian dish. The food is fresh and delicious and a great way to refuel after all your adventures. Once you've had your fill, head back to your hotel after an incredible day trip in the Yucatán Peninsula.

Cancún: Swim with Whale Sharks

9. Cancún: Swim with Whale Sharks

Snorkel with whale sharks on this day trip from Cancun (from May to September). Take a boat out whale shark reserve in the waters surrounding Isla Contoy follow your naturalist or marine biologist guide for once-in-a-lifetime experience. Savor a delicious lunch and drinks on the boat. Be picked up early in the morning from your hotel in Cancun and hop aboard a comfortable van for the drive to Puerto Juarez (Marina Hacienda del Mar). Listen to an informative briefing to help you understand whale sharks and the area's ecosystems. Depart from Marina Hacienda del Mar on a boat and head towards the whale shark reserve in the waters surrounding Isla Contoy. Use high-quality snorkel gear to see whale sharks. Feel confident snorkeling with the help of your guide. Sit down to a filling lunch on the boat with stunning views of the coast of Isla Mujeres. Afterwards, cool off with a swim in the clear turquoise waters. Travel back to Marina Hacienda del Mar and transfer by van back to your accommodation.

Cancun or Riviera Maya: Whale Shark Tour & Playa Norte Beach

10. Cancun or Riviera Maya: Whale Shark Tour & Playa Norte Beach

Swim with the largest concentration of whale sharks in the world, just north of Isla Contoy, on this cruise from Cancun or Riviera Maya. Enjoy up to three snorkel or swim immersions with sharks and even spot manta rays and dolphins. Finish with a visit to Playa Norte Beach in Isla Mujeres. Start your tour with early morning pickup from any hotel or Airbnb in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum. Head towards the all-new private marina located at the Punta Sam Ferry Terminal in Cancun for a quick check-in. Before boarding, enjoy pastries with coffee while listening to the instructions and safety briefing.  Once in the boat, get kitted out with mandatory life vests and full snorkeling gear. All boats depart at 8 AM and navigate for approximately 45 minutes to the whale shark area north of Contoy. Once you have found the sharks, begin the swimming and snorkeling. Enjoy 2 to 3 immersions per person always with 2 people and 1 guide in the water. Spend a full 2.5 hours in total with the Whale Sharks, also observing Manta Rays, Dolphins, and Turtles.  After swimming with the sharks, make a final stop in beautiful Playa Norte beach in Isla Mujeres, considered one of the 20 most beautiful beaches in the world. Here, the boats will remain for about 1 hour for you to relax on the beach or do some more snorkeling. Return to Cancun at around 1 PM where the transportation will take you back to your hotel or Airbnb.

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What people are saying about Playa del Carmen

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 244 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!

Fabulous action packed day with a great guide, only downside was the commute took longer than anticipated with multiple pick ups and heavy traffic so expect to be in the mini bus for a minimum of 1.5 hours each way

An amazing experience with the best guides fernando and Alexia. - first heat through the jungle with the ATV and then cool off in a wonderful cenote and experience the natural spectacle. Gladly again!

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!

Our guide Martin was awesome! We only had a short amount of time and this tour lasted from 8am-1pm which was perfect.