What are the most popular tours in Playa Del Carmen?
If you are coming to the Playa Del Carmen area or the Riviera Maya you probably have in mind a tour or two to take. Tours get you out of the hotel and on an adventure. But what tours are good to go on? There are literally hundreds of tours to take in the area. So we narrowed it down to a few of the most popular tours from Playa Del Carmen. This will not mean you will be crammed in with all the other tourist, you will just get to see some of the more visited areas and the some of the most important sights. Because these are some of the best tours, most of the locations have adequate space for the amount of people that want to go.
We will however give you tips for individual tours and how to best book them. Some popular tours do get booked for some days so it is good to book ahead. Other popular tours will give a discount if you book online ahead of time. This can sometimes save you $15-$20 USD per person on a tour, so that is worth it to book ahead.
Tours to Theme Parks/ Eco Parks
It really is hard to describe these places in Playa Del Carmen that offer a full day of adventure. These are adventure parks, some have animals to see, and they all highlight the natural world. Some of these are just outside of Playa Del Carmen and others are a short drive. What makes these parks easy places to visit is the fact that they a package and everything is set for a fun day.
Here are some of the best parks for visitors and what each one is like. Tip: Use the links on our page to book ahead! You can save up to 15% off.
Xcaret park is the granddaddy of all the parks. Not only is it the largest, it is one of the first. This park is hard to describe, but does include, shows, animals, swimming in underground rivers, and a walk through Mexican history. One of the best things is the 2 hour show at the end of the day that should not be missed. This park is for families of all ages, couples and people looking for a great day exploring.
Xel Ha is all about being outside, swimming and enjoying a beautiful inlet. Here you can swim, float, and enjoy a beautiful park all day long. This park is closer to Tulum, so it is a little farther away but worth the trip! See our video below and if this place looks good to you, then use the reserve now button to book it.
Some people have a hard time deciding between Xcaret and Xel Ha parks. We wrote an article comparing them so you can decide.
Xplor park is the adrenaline junkies fun park. There are some of the best zip lines in Mexico, underground rivers to swim in and much more! This park is great for couples, families with teens or older children and people that want an active day. See our video below for more details about this place to see if it is what you want and then use the reserve now button to purchase.
This is a half day park and good for families with younger children. Xenses is like a science museum that is interactive, but just with the fun stuff! See our video here about what it is like and then book below if this looks good to you. This is the only half day park, so if you want to get back to your resort, this might be a nice quicker place to visit.
Xenotes Park is for the nature lover that wants to see real nature and have some fun. This park is about 50 minutes north of Playa Del Carmen. You get to visit several private cenotes that are designed for visitors. This park is organized in small groups and you go through the park visiting different cenotes. Some you swim in and others you have a zip line, slide or rappel.
Tours you can take to see Mayan ruins
The most popular tours from Playa Del Carmen are the ones to Chichen Itza. This is usually the first Mayan ruins that people want to visit. Once people visit that site, there are a lot of other ones in the area to see. Here are some recommended tours to take from Playa Del carmen to visit each of the big tour sites.
Tours from Playa Del Carmen to Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza is the most popular of all the Mayan ruins in the area. Tours here last about 9-10 hours due to travel time. See our article about the best Chichen Itza tours to take from the Riviera Maya.
Tours to Tulum
Tulum is about 45 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen. Tulum ruins are very accessible (meaning close). The view of the ocean and the cliffs is spectacular. The site itself is small. Often tours to Tulum will add another stop to fill out a tour. Read the details of what is included and excluded from each of the tours offered.
For an affordable tour to Tulum that also has a cenote stop, this tour from Playa Del Carmen might be for you. If you would like a little longer tour to Tulum that includes a cenote and swimming in a reef, this tour might be for you. For those that want more time at the Tulum ruins and just a visit to the beach there, you might like this tour from Playa Del Carmen.
Visiting Coba ruins by tour
Coba is a little different because the site is located in the jungle. You have the opportunity to ride bikes between the temples and explore. The ruins are inland from Tulum and about an hour and a half from Playa Del Carmen. Here are some tours to look if you want a tour here.
If you have young kids and want to give them some culture. but also some fun, you can do this half day Xel Ha and Coba Tour. A fun way to see the ruins and learn a bit more about the Mayan communities of today is the allTOURnative tour. You can read more about this Coba tour here and see our video. For nature lovers, this tour from Playa Del Carmen will take you to Coba and a lagoon nearby where you can see nature and possibly even monkeys.
Tours to Ek Balam Mayan ruins
Ek Balam ruins less visited because it gets outshined by how big Chichen Itza is and how beautiful the beach is at Tulum. These ruins can be nice to visit for two main reasons. You can climb the main temple and there is a nearby cenote to visit. Often tours visit another place to make for a full tour day.
One nice tour to take from Playa Del Carmen area is the Ek Balam and Cenote Maya tour. This tour will show you the ruins with good guides and then explore on of the largest cenotes in the Yucatan. You will try local food and can experience some of the fun activities of the cenote.
If you want a longer tour to take in some of the marvels of the Yucatan, this tour might hit a lot of the spots you have on your list including Ek Balam. It is more expensive, but you do get to go to some of the less visited spots that are hard to get to without a tour.
Get in the water with a snorkel tour
The reef in Puerto Morelos
Located between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen is the small fishing village of Puerto Morelos. Just off the coast you can find the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Explore the breathtaking underwater world of the Caribbean Sea at the second largest coral reef on earth. These snorkeling tours are popular because it is very accessible to most of the Riviera Maya and a year round activity. You can also sometimes see sea turtles here.
We have snorkeled this reef and enjoyed it. It is not too far off the coast and not in very deep water. Most areas range from 5-15 feet deep.
Here are two tours that you can do in Puerto Morelos to go snorkeling.
- Tour one will take you to two spots in the Puerto Morelos National Reef Park. Transportation from your hotel is included, plus a meal and drinks.
- Tour 2 is a little less expensive but will still offer two spots for snorkeling and hotel transportation.
Cozumel Island is world famous for its diving and snorkeling. Here is one snorkeling tour you can join to see this beautiful underwater world. Visit the National Marine Park of Cozumel with this tour and be amazed at the variety of fish you will see. Transportation is included in this tour from Playa Del Carmen.
Here is a second popular snorkeling tour in Cozumel. This tour also offers a lunch and transportation from most hotels in the Playa Del Carmen and Riviera Maya areas.
Tip: Snorkeling tours to Cozumel will make for a longer day due to transportation times. This also makes them a little more expensive, but the snorkeling is very good.
Get out on the water with a boat tour
The Riviera Maya is all about the water and getting in and going out on it. If you like fishing, sailing, diving, snorkeling or just taking a sunset cruise, we have you covered.
Here is some basic information that will help you pick the best boat tour for you
- Playa Del Carmen does not have a port. This means that even though there is a pier for the Cozumel Ferry, no boat tours leave from Playa. Only very small catamaran tours off the beach and small fishing tours are available.
- The closest large port to Playa is Puerto Aventuras. This is about 20 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen toward Tulum.
- Maroma is about a 25 minute drive north of Playa Del Carmen. Here there are a few catamaran tours since there is a pier.
- Cancun has many catamaran tours to Isla Mujeres and back. To get to the port in Cancun it is about a one hour drive from Playa Del Carmen.
- Cozumel has boat tours including catamaran, submarine, glass bottom and tours to El Cielo.
Catamaran tours, where to go and what you see with each one
The most popular tours from Playa Del Carmen are in Puerto Aventuras. These is just south of Playa in a gated community. These catamaran tours sail up the coast and take you to a great snorkel spot. On both of these tours you can take sun, relax, drink, dance and do just about anything you want. After a bit of snorkel time you can eat and relax on the trip back down the coast. See our video below to see what the Catamaya tour is like.
Fat Cat Catamaran tour
This tour picks you up from your hotel and takes you to the port. You set sail and go up the coast to a great snorkel spot. See our article and video here about Fat Cat Catamaran tour. If you are interested in booking this tour, you can do so here.
Catamaya Catamaran tour
This is another good catamaran tour that sails up the coast. They take you to a great snorkel spot and afterward, you are treated to an onboard BBQ. We give this tour high ratings for quality and great staff. See more about Catamaya here, plus our discount booking code for this tour.
Fishing tours from Playa Del Carmen
Here are two options for going fishing while in Playa Del Carmen. One leaves from Playa Del Carmen itself and the other from the port just south of Playa Del Carmen.
Fishing with La Reina
Entire private boat for group
If you want a whole boat for up to eight people, this tour from Playa Del Carmen leaves from Puerto Aventuras just south of Playa. You will have approximately 4 hours of fishing time on this tour.
Thank you for reading our article on tours from Playa Del Carmen. Let us know if you have any questions or comments below. We would love to hear from you.