trip.me Payment Plus
Activities & Transport
- Meet the Locals
- Rental Car
Main travel focus
Self-Drive Exploring Riviera Maya
- Watch the beautiful pink flamingo colony at the Biosphere Reserve of Rio Lagartos.
- Enjoy nearly permanent contact with the water, as you snorkel, kayak, relax on the beach, and swim in cenotes.
- Visit the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza with an English-speaking guide.
- Discover Holbox Island, which remains isolated from mass tourism.
Mexico is a magical place. Ancient Maya and Aztec ruins hide in the thick jungle and are waiting to be explored. Cenotes, freshwater holes, and underground caves provide a natural refreshment and a breathtaking experience. Swim with turtles in Akumal, search for ancient ruins in Tulum, visit the world-famous Maya temple of Chichen Itza, and relax on tropical beaches that look like they’ve come right out of a postcard!
This trip combines all these amazing experiences into a stunning adventure package that will leave you in awe. And the best part, you can define your own pace, as you travel in your own rental car. Get up close with Mexico and experience the magic of this diverse and wonderful country!
- 11 nights accommodation in double room in 3 to 5 star hotels
- 11x breakfasts
- 12 days of rental car (includes taxes, unlimited kilometers, Dodge Attitude or equivalent with partially-included insurance)
- Boat trip (private tour, incl. snorkeling equipment on day 3)
- Guided kayak tour in Bacalar (day 6)
- Boat trip in the reserve of Rio Lagartos (day 8)
- International flight & airport taxes
- Entrance fees to archaeological sites (Tulum, Coba, Chichen Itza)
- Ferry to Holbox Island (days 9 & 12, around 20 Pesos per/person)
- Entrance fee to Cenote Sac Actun
- Snorkeling equipment in Akumal
- English-speaking guide in Chichen Itza
Example Trip to customize
Your First Day In Mexico!
Snorkeling With The Turtles
After a strengthening breakfast, head south to Akumal, where you can go snorkeling to watch the numerous turtles that come to eat the abundant sponges in the bay and also lay their eggs on this pretty beach. In the afternoon it’s time to say goodbye to the turtles and move on to Tulum, where you have the evening to yourself at your hotel.
Dicover the Mayan ruins at Tulum's beach
Today you head to Tulum’s archaeological site, which witnessed the arrival of the first colonists in 1518. Here, the Spanish conquistador Juan de Grijalva set foot on the beach under the stunned eye of Batab, the Mayan governor at the time. The ruins of Tulum are the only Mayan archeological site located beside the water. Go for a boat ride with the local fishermen on their lancha to observe the ruins from the boat. Then it’s time to hit the water and put on a snorkeling mask! The ocean floor is rich in fauna and flora, and if you're lucky you might see turtles! After this exciting excursion, return to the beach for a relaxing nap in the sand.
Bathe In A Magical Cenote
In the morning, take an excursion to the extraordinary Cenote Sac Actun. Cenotes are natural pools of fresh and crystalline water created millions of years ago by meteorites. With over 150 km of underwater galleries, Sac Actun is the largest network of underground rivers in Mexico. The Maya considered it a gateway to the underworld. This is the perfect setting for a swim.
Next, head to Coba, one of the largest Mayan cities in Mexico. Its ruins have remained essentially intact in the middle of the tropical jungle. The archeologists researching the site have brought to light a 42 meters (138 feet) high pyramid, a 9-story high palace, a ball court, and the most extended network of large calk cobbled roads ("sacbé") ever discovered. At the end of the day, return to your hotel in Tulum for the night.
The Lake Of Seven Colors
Today is a travel day. Head south along the Caribbean coast and enjoy the beautiful scenery. As you get to Bacalar, take the time to stop and admire the lake of seven colors. Drive along the magnificent lake with the sun setting over the water. Reach your hotel for the night in Rancho Encantado and take the remainder of the day to relax and prepare for tomorrow’s adventures.
Kayak Through The Mangroves
Spend the day kayaking through tranquil mangroves. Don't worry if you're a beginner - you will receive instructions and training before the tour begins. Spend an hour kayaking across the lagoon before entering the silent mangroves, where many bird species can be spotted. Keep an eye out for snakes, tapirs, or even crocodiles. After two hours through the mangrove canals, rejoin the lagoon. Rest your arms as you take a break on a small beach. If you wish, go for a swim while your guide prepares lunch. After lunch head to your hotel. Enjoy the evening respite with a garden view.
Discover Authentic Mexico
Spend the morning at your leisure in Bacalar. In the afternoon, start your drive to Valladolid, a small, authentic Mexican town that is perfect for a lovely stroll. This peaceful town was built in the sixteenth century by Francisco de Montejo. The imposing sobriety of the Franciscan convent, San Bernadino de Siena, dominates the village. Enjoy the scenery of pretty, pastel-colored houses while savoring some ice cream. Return to your hotel for your overnight stay.
Do You Like Flamingos?
After a refreshing breakfast at the hotel, head to the Biosphere Reserve of Rio Lagartos. The park is famous for its pink flamingo colony, which is considered the most spectacular in Mexico. Take a boat trip to the lagoon, and a discovery ride into the mangroves. Make sure you have your camera ready! Along the ride there will be many opportunities to photograph wildlife such as pelicans, ibis, cormorants, ospreys, egrets, and crocodiles. After your tour, travel to the famous Chichen Itza, which you will visit tomorrow. Spend the evening relaxing in your hotel or exploring the village.
Explore The Mayan Ruins
Today, visit the famous archaeological site of Chichen Itza. Climb the steep steps of the ancient pyramids, and learn about the pre-colonial people of Mexico. Chichen Itza was built by the Maya and later used by the Toltec people as well - which is why it symbolizes the unification of both religious cultures. These ruins were once the most important religious center on the peninsula, and today are the largest archaeological site on the Yucatan. After you have explored the complex, head north to Isla Holbox, via Puerto Chiquila, where you will leave your car. Take the ferry to Holbox (not included), where you can spend the rest of the day discovering the island. Relax on the beaches, which still avoid the grasp of mass tourism.
Live The Beach Life
Take the day off from exploring Mexico and indulge in the simplicity of beach life. The day is yours to do what ever your heart desires. Walk along the beach and let the water run over your feet. Or go for a ride and discover even more remote beach paradises, or how about a walk through the small sandy streets of the fishermen villages?
Another Day In Paradise
Enjoy another day on Holbox island, far away from the touristy bustle of Yucatan. The island is mostly dependent on fishing and agriculture, and although tourism is present, it is not a predominant factor. Be a beach bum for another day and relax in the sand, and sip water out of a freshly cut coconut. When you feel like it, take a swim in the warm Caribbean waters, maybe you will even spot a whale shark?
Hasta Pronto, Mexico!
It’s time to leave the island paradise of Holbox behind. Take the ferry back to Puerto Chiquila. From here, drive to Cancun in time to return your rental car and board your flight home. Hasta luego, Mexico, come back soon!