Curated Road TripsCurated Road Trips
    31 Activities

    Mexico’s Riviera Maya: Reefs, Rainforest & Mayan Rituals

    Mexico’s Riviera Maya: Reefs, Rainforest & Mayan Rituals
    Starts from

    Cancún

    Transportation

    By Car

    Guidance

    Self-Guided

    Activities

    31

    Duration

    4 days

    Length

    451 km

    Guide details

    Starts from

    Cancún

    Transportation

    By Car

    Guidance

    Self-Guided

    Duration

    4 days

    Length

    451 km

    Lifestyle Experiences
    Map preview

    Created By:

    Highlights

    • Snorkel with turtles along the Mesoamerican coral reef.
    • Explore the ancient Mayan temples at Coba and Tulum.
    • Swim in a crystal-clear freshwater cenote.
    • Enjoy a candlelit dinner in a stalactite cavern.
    • Try kitesurfing at a beautiful white-sand bay.
    Over the last 20 years, the Yucatán’s Riviera Maya has grown from a collection of small fishing towns to Mexico’s most popular resort area. With its palm-fringed white-sand beaches, sparkling turquoise waters, and coral reef teeming with marine life, this stretch of coastline is known as the Mexican Caribbean and remains one of the region’s biggest attractions.
    Inland, the peninsula is covered in dense, green rainforest, permeated by thousands of ‘cenotes’ – sinkholes created by the collapse of a cavern, revealing the underground rivers that flow across the peninsula. Here you can swim, snorkel, or dive in the freshwater pools, or even zipline above them.
    This four-day road trip is designed to introduce you to the best of the region’s coastline and interior. There are swim-stops along the Ruta de la Cenotes, a boat trip through the mangroves of Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and a chance to snorkel with turtles in Akumal Bay. If you’re a water sports fan or would like to try something new, there are surf, paddleboard, and/or kitesurfing lessons (or kit rental) built into the itinerary; or you can simply enjoy the beach.
    Although most of the luxury resorts have in-house spas, this trip includes two interesting Mayan alternatives: “jungle” spas where you will experience a traditional “temazcal” (sweat lodge), as well as a Mayan clay massage treatment.
    Of course, the Riviera Maya isn’t just about nature; it’s also home to some spectacular Mayan ruins, and visits to the ancient cities of Tulum and Coba (to climb one of the Yucatán’s highest pyramids) are also included.
    For the “foodie”, the Riviera Maya has some of the best restaurants on the peninsula. Gastronomic experiences on this trip include: dinner in an underground cavern, fresh oysters and ceviche at a beachside restaurant, a “superfoods” café, an organic “off-grid” Mexican restaurant, a Michelin dining experience, and a 21-course gastronomic feast.
    Finally, there are overnight stays at a modern boutique hotel in Playa del Carmen, as well as a renovated luxury hotel with a fascinating history in Tulum.
    Note that most of the experiences and restaurants on this trip need to be booked in advance. Details on how to make a reservation are included in the descriptions below.
    Compare different car rental companies conveniently online via the TCS car rental platform. Whether in Switzerland or abroad, whether on holiday or on business trips. With TCS, you remain mobile and flexible and benefit from the best rental car offers, including many advantages and services.
    Book Car Rental Now

    Categories

    Over the last 20 years, the Yucatán’s Riviera Maya has grown from a collection of small fishing towns to Mexico’s most popular resort area. With its palm-fringed white-sand beaches, sparkling turquoise waters, and coral reef teeming with marine life, this stretch of coastline is known as the Mexican Caribbean and remains one of the region’s biggest attractions.
    Inland, the peninsula is covered in dense, green rainforest, permeated by thousands of ‘cenotes’ – sinkholes created by the collapse of a cavern, revealing the underground rivers that flow across the peninsula. Here you can swim, snorkel, or dive in the freshwater pools, or even zipline above them.
    This four-day road trip is designed to introduce you to the best of the region’s coastline and interior. There are swim-stops along the Ruta de la Cenotes, a boat trip through the mangroves of Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and a chance to snorkel with turtles in Akumal Bay. If you’re a water sports fan or would like to try something new, there are surf, paddleboard, and/or kitesurfing lessons (or kit rental) built into the itinerary; or you can simply enjoy the beach.
    Although most of the luxury resorts have in-house spas, this trip includes two interesting Mayan alternatives: “jungle” spas where you will experience a traditional “temazcal” (sweat lodge), as well as a Mayan clay massage treatment.
    Of course, the Riviera Maya isn’t just about nature; it’s also home to some spectacular Mayan ruins, and visits to the ancient cities of Tulum and Coba (to climb one of the Yucatán’s highest pyramids) are also included.
    For the “foodie”, the Riviera Maya has some of the best restaurants on the peninsula. Gastronomic experiences on this trip include: dinner in an underground cavern, fresh oysters and ceviche at a beachside restaurant, a “superfoods” café, an organic “off-grid” Mexican restaurant, a Michelin dining experience, and a 21-course gastronomic feast.
    Finally, there are overnight stays at a modern boutique hotel in Playa del Carmen, as well as a renovated luxury hotel with a fascinating history in Tulum.
    Note that most of the experiences and restaurants on this trip need to be booked in advance. Details on how to make a reservation are included in the descriptions below.
    Compare different car rental companies conveniently online via the TCS car rental platform. Whether in Switzerland or abroad, whether on holiday or on business trips. With TCS, you remain mobile and flexible and benefit from the best rental car offers, including many advantages and services.
    Book Car Rental Now
    TCS Roadtravel

    TCS Roadtravel

    • Snorkel with turtles along the Mesoamerican coral reef.
    • Explore the ancient Mayan temples at Coba and Tulum.
    • Swim in a crystal-clear freshwater cenote.
    • Enjoy a candlelit dinner in a stalactite cavern.
    • Try kitesurfing at a beautiful white-sand bay.

    Travel itinerary

    Cenotes & Sweat Lodges
    8 Activities

    Day 1

    109 km3 km

    Cenotes & Sweat Lodges

    Today’s trip begins with a drive along the Ruta de la Cenotes, where you’ll stop for a swim at the beautiful Sol y Luna cenote, before visiting a “jungle” spa for a sweat lodge and herbal bath experience. Next is a seafood lunch at a beachside restaurant, with time to enjoy the fabulous beach at Porto Morelos before ending the day in buzzing Playa del Carmen, where you’ll have dinner in an underground cavern.
    SUPing, Surfing & Snorkelling
    10 Activities

    Day 2

    78 km3 km

    SUPing, Surfing & Snorkelling

    Today begins with some water sports – SUP, surf, or kayak – in Playa del Carmen, before driving south along the coast to the pretty village of Akumal, where you’ll have the incredible experience of snorkelling alongside turtles and other marine life. There’s a healthy lunch at a “superfoods” café before continuing south to Tulum, where you can check out the famous Ven a la Luz statue. You’ll check into the Casa Malca boutique hotel (for two nights) before heading out to an exceptional, “off-grid” restaurant for some fantastic open-fire cooking.
    Mangroves & Mayan Temples
    5 Activities

    Day 3

    26 km771 m

    Mangroves & Mayan Temples

    Today begins with a visit to the ancient Mayan city of Tulum to explore the ruins of the clifftop temples and swim in the gorgeous clear blue sea below. There’s a healthy lunch at a small café in Tulum town (with some very unusual dishes to try), before spending the afternoon exploring the lagoons and mangroves in the stunning Sian Ka’an Reserve, by boat. Back in town, dinner is at Ocumare, where the Michelin-star chef has created a range of delicious, Mexican-inspired small plates using locally grown, organic ingredients.
    Kitesurfing, Clay Massage, and Coba
    8 Activities

    Day 4

    238 km

    Kitesurfing, Clay Massage, and Coba

    It’s the final day of the trip and time to say goodbye to the beach with a kitesurfing lesson. After this, it’s a short drive into the jungle for a traditional Mayan clay massage treatment at an outdoor spa, before grabbing some lunch at a pretty roadside taquería. In the afternoon, you’ll visit the ancient Mayan city of Tulum, where you’ll get a stunning view of the surrounding jungle from the top of a pyramid, before driving back towards Cancún. There’s time for a final dinner at an incredible restaurant, with a 21-course menu, so don’t fill up too much on lunch.
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