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Playa del Carmen is well known for its fantastic beaches, lively nightlife, and amazing resorts. But there is another attraction that takes you deeper into the history of the Yucatan– visiting Chichen Itza! This Seven Wonders of the World attraction is one of the best things you can do when visiting Playa del Carmen, and the easiest way to see it is by joining a guided tour.
These famous Mayan ruins are best seen with a tour as you can learn much more about the significance and history of this site. It is also easier, and honestly, less expensive to book a tour rather than figuring out transportation and tickets on your own.
I’ve been fortunate to experience Chichen Itza with a guide, and I can honestly say it is worth every penny. You learn so much more with a certified guide explaining the details and significance of the structures. That’s why I recommend every tourist traveling through Playa del Carmen book a guided tour of Chichen Itza.
There are a variety of tours out there, all offering something different and at a range of prices. Regardless of if you’re a budget traveler or looking for a totally customizable private tour, this blog has an option for you! We’ve put together the 13 best tours of Chichen Itza from Playa del Carmen so you can have a memorable experience!
About Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza is an important Mayan archeological site. With an impressive 2 million people visiting these ruins yearly, it is easily the most visited! It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so its popularity is unsurprising!
Its popularity is aided by the fact that it is so close to Playa del Carmen, which is just over a 2-hour (182 km / 113 miles) drive away. Cancun is about a 2.5-hour drive away, while Valladolid is only about 30 minutes away.
Chichen Itza was one of the largest and most significant cities in Mayan times and was built around the year 550, which was over 1,500 years ago! At its peak (600 A.D.), this Mayan city held 30,000 residents! There were modern structures such as roads, houses, and temples, not that different than our cities today. In their heyday, the Mayans ruled most of Mexico and Central America prior to the arrival of the Europeans.
No one knows exactly how Chichen Itza fell around the 12th century, but many theories exist. The most popular theory is that the Mayan elites were overthrown during a civil war. When the Spanish landed on the Yucatan Peninsula in the 16th century, Chichen Itza was a ghost town and most of the structures were overgrown by the jungle.
Chichen Itza has been painstakingly excavated and restored over the last 200 years. New discoveries are being made, even today. In recent history, scientists found a small pyramid hidden inside El Castillo, just in 2016! There are so many more clues as to how the Mayans lived so many years ago just waiting to be unearthed!
The archaeological site of Chichen Itza we see today is massive, it covers 3.2 square kilometers (2 square miles). Within the city limits, it houses temples like El Castillo, the largest structure on the premises, a Mayan ball court, and a sacred cenote.
El Castillo is probably the most recognizable structure you’ve seen from photos of Chichen Itza. This giant pyramid-like structure stands an incredible 30 meters high! The most interesting thing about El Castillo is that it’s the world’s biggest man-made calendar. Each of the temple’s 4 sides has 91 stairs each, equalling 364, and add the temple on top and you get 365– the number of days in a year! This is a great testament to the Mayans’ understanding of the Earth, other planets, and how they all work together.
Overall, Chichen Itza is an incredible part of Mexico’s rich history and is well worth a visit while staying in Playa del Carmen!
Why Book a Tour to Chichen Itza?
It is definitely possible to visit Chichen Itza without a guide and you can still enjoy the magnificent ruins. However, I feel like you would be missing out on a lot of the experience! There is so much history and culture woven into these ancient structures and to fully understand this UNESCO heritage site, booking a tour with a knowledge guide is the way to go.
These guides are a wealth of information and will explain the ancient Mayan culture and their daily lives in Chichen Itza. On a guided tour, you will also learn how the Mayans constructed the impressively large structures that are still there today, all without the help of modern construction equipment.
I’ve visited Chichen Itza on my own and also on a guided tour, and I have to admit I learned so much from my guide that whenever I go to visit any historical site now, I have to book a guide! Booking a tour of Chichen Itza is well worth the money, especially if you’re staying in the nearby tourist areas of Playa del Carmen, Tulum, or Cancun because there is a variety of tour options to fit every budget!
Note: If you don’t want to book a tour to Chichen Itza, you’re going to have to rent a car in Playa del Carmen and drive yourself there; it’s about a 2-hour drive.
How Much do Tours to Chichen Itza From Playa del Carmen Cost?
Tours from Playa del Carmen of Chichen Itza vary in price depending on a number of factors, such as if you want a group or private tour, how many other stops it includes, or if there are any other perks included in the tour.
For example, there are cheaper group tours like this one for just $34 USD that include stops at the city of Valladolid and Cenote Saamal. While there are more expensive group tour options that include more stops. Like this tour that costs $172 USD and takes you to another famous archeological site and swimming in a cenote.
There are also some great private tours to Chichen Itza from Playa del Carmen! You can expect to pay anywhere from $368 USD for a private sunrise tour to Chichen Itza or a bit cheaper personalized private tour to the ruins, which also takes you to Hacienda Chukum and Valladolid for $296 USD!
Related Read: If you need a ride here from the airport, make sure to read our guide on the best ways to get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen!
Our TOP Chichen Itza Tour from Playa del Carmen
Short on time? No worries! Our favorite pick on this list is this full-day Chichen Itza tour including Cenote and Valladolid, and we’re not alone. Over 12,000 people have given this tour a 5-star rating, with tons of mentions on how well the tour is run and the amazing hosts! You can grab tickets for this tour here for $69 USD per person online in advance.
13 BEST Chichen Itza Playa del Carmen Tours
1. Chichen Itza, Cenote & Valladolid Tour
This full-day tour from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza is full of sightseeing, and great for the budget-friendly traveler. At only $50 USD, this 12-hour tour equals out to just over $4 an hour! This includes a guided tour of Chichen Itza, Valladolid, and Cenote Saamal, making this a great option for budget travelers staying in Playa del Carmen.
Your local guides are a great source of information as they take you all around the Yucatan. You’ll learn so much about the history and people of Chichen Itza from so many years ago! You will spend 2 hours at Chichen Itza before making your way to Cenote Saamal for a refreshing swim. Cenotes are a naturally occurring phenomenon, but this cenote is unique because there is a man-made waterfall going into it. The tour ends with a 30-minute tour of the colonial city of Valladolid, which is one of my favorite places in Mexico!
This tour includes roundtrip transportation from your Playa del Carmen hotel, as well as a lunch buffet. Keep in mind that there is a Chichen Itza access tax of $35 USD per adult and $5 per child that is not included in the tour price, but can be paid that day.
You can book this all-day and affordable tour of Chichen Itza online here!
2. Chichen Itza with Sacred Cenote Tour
Next, we have an even cheaper option at $34 USD per person! This Chichen Itza with Sacred Cenote Tour is another great option for budget travelers. It is very similar to the tour described above. The main difference is the slightly shorter 1.5-hour guided tour of Chichen Itza and a full hour at Cenote Suytun. This cenote is one of the most photogenic places in the Riveria Maya!
Cenote Saamal is a beautiful cenote that is perfect for swimming. You can jump of the cliffs and swim amongst the vines. Similar to the tour above, you’ll have 30 minutes to explore Valladolid, which has been dubbed a “pueblo magico” (magic town) because it’s so charming and cute!
Hotel pick-up and drop-off are available from most hotels in Playa del Carmen. Transportation and a lunch buffet are included in this price! However, a tax of $35 USD for adults and $5 US for children are not included and must be paid at check-in. Also, if you are planning on swimming at the cenote, you are required to rent a life jacket which costs $3 USD.
This tour runs for a full 12 hours, so it’s a really full day! I highly recommend booking in advance because it is certainly a popular tour!
3. Tour to Chichen Itza, Coba, and Cenote
This tour takes you to not only Chichen Itza, but to another significant Mayan city, and also a cenote! This 12-hour tour costs $72 USD and includes a 1.5-hour guided tour of Chichen Itza, an hour swimming stop at Cenote Samaal, and another 1.5-hour guided experience at the Coba Mayan Ruins.
Coba is a lesser-visited Mayan city and holds the tallest pyramid in the region, sharing the name of El Castillo like at Chichen Itza! We really love that this tour takes you to two significant Mayan archaeological sites. You will truly learn so much about Mayan history on this tour, and come out of it with a new appreciation for the area.
Because this tour lasts all day, breakfast and a boxed lunch are included, as well as bottled water all throughout the day. Note that the Yucatan State Tax is not included in the price. You will need to pay an additional $36 USD per person at check-in. This covers both Chichen Itza and Coba Ruins!
This tour provides hotel pick-up and drop-off in Playa del Carmen, as well as surrounding areas such as Cancun and Tulum. There are also designated meeting points in each town, so depending on what hotel you’re staying at you might need to go to the meeting point.
This double-ruins tour is a full day! You can book this tour to Chichen Itza and Coba online here!
4. Chichen Itza and Ek Balam Tour
Our next tour on our list of the best Chichen Itza tours from Playa del Carmen is this full-day Chichen Itza and Ek Balam tour. We love that this tour includes two important but very different Mayan archaeological sites. The first, Chichen Itza, is well-known and a bit touristy, but the second, Ek Balam, is considered a hidden gem. This tour also includes a stop at Cenote Hubiku!
Most ruins sites don’t allow you to climb to the top of the structures. However, Ek Balam has certain structures, such as the Acropolis, open to ascend the steps! From the top, you get an absolutely incredible view of the surrounding jungle and can really feel what it might have been like to live during the Mayan days. There are lots of murals and carvings, which give a fascinating look into the lives of those who lived here.
This tour will give you a 1.5-hour guided tour of Chichen Itza, a 2-hour stop at Cenote Hubiku, which is plenty of time to go for a swim, and another 2-hour guided tour of Ek Balam. In total, this tour will last about 12 hours! We love that this tour is limited to just ten people, giving you a more personalized experience.
Hotel pickup and drop off are included from your Playa del Carmen accommodation, as well as from other towns on the Riveria Maya. Breakfast, lunch, and unlimited bottles of water are also included. This is a full day of activities and will be remembered for a long time to follow. This tour is $169 USD and can be booked online here!
Why We Book Tours with Viator
Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:
- Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
- Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
- Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
- Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.
5. Chichen Itza Classic Tour
This Chichen Itza Classic Tour is a great way to experience one of Mexico’s most popular attractions. This tour runs about 10 hours and includes visits to Cenote Saamal and Valladolid. This is slightly shorter than the other tours we’ve mentioned because there is just a 30-minute stop at Cenote Saamal and Valladolid, whereas other tours can be much longer. However, it stays true to the 2-hour guided tour of Chichen Itza, giving you plenty of time to explore the historic site.
This tour is also nice because transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle, with a toilet, is included in the price. They will pick you up and drop you off at your Playa del Carmen hotel, making your day hassle-free! Lunch and all entrance fees are also included. Keep in mind that if you want to take professional photos or use a GoPro in Chichen Itza, you must pay an additional fee on the day. This tour is $69 USD per person and can be booked online here!
Related Read: If you want a tour to explore the water instead, make sure to check out the best spots to go scuba diving around Playa del Carmen! Or if you’d rather have something more suited to beginners, there are a ton of fantastic places to go snorkeling in Playa del Carmen!
6. Private Chichen Itza Tour
While many of these tours listed are group tours, there are a lot of perks to a private tour. This personalized private tour is just for your small group! With an early start time, your guide will get you to Chichen Itza before the crowds and heat arrive. Private tours are always more flexible, making it easier to maneuver as a group. I also love private tours because I can ask the guide as many questions without bothering other travelers, and I feel like I get a more unique and intimate experience!
Your local guide will take you around Chichen Itza for a full 2 hours, giving an extensive history and stories of the ancient civilization. You then will head over to Cenote Saamal for a refreshing dip in the blue water. Your final stop will be at the colonial city of Valladolid, where you can spend some time exploring the cute shops and getting immersed in its culture. This tour is scheduled to last 8 hours, so you’ll really see a lot in one day!
All entrance fees, roundtrip transportation from Playa del Carmen, lunch, and drinks are included. This tour can be reserved online for $290 USD per person.
7. Chichen Itza including Cenote and Valladolid
This full-day tour from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza is an award-winning tour and takes you to the best spots on the Yucatan! Your tour starts with the highlight of the day: Chichen Itza. You’ll have a 2-hour guided tour, which is plenty of time to explore iconic sights like El Castillo and learn about the deep history of the people. The tours are friendly and knowledgeable, making this not only a great learning experience but a lot of fun too!
The next stop will take you to a buffet lunch to refuel after all of your exploring! You will then head to Cenote Saamal, where you will have about an hour to swim, take photos, and enjoy this remarkable sight. Keep in mind that you will need to rent a lifejacket for a fee if you wish to swim.
After Cenote Saamal, you’ll visit Valladolid. You’ll have about 30 minutes to explore this historic city on foot with your local guide. Here, you’ll visit the Plaza de Parque Francisco Canton, which is the main square in the city. You’ll also see Iglesia De San Servicio, which is a Catholic Church built in 1545.
Hotel pickup from most hotels in Playa del Carmen is provided, as well as other selected meeting points on Riveria Maya. For a full day, transportation, entrance fees, and lunch, the price of $95 USD is actually very reasonable!
Important Note– if you select “meeting point from Riveria Maya” while booking, your entrance ticket is not included in the quoted price. You will need to purchase a ticket at the entrance gate!
Be sure to book this experience online before it fills up!
8. Chichen Itza Early Access, Cenote, Tequila, and Traditional Lunch
This Chichen Itza Early Access tour gets you into the site before anyone else, so you can enjoy it nearly crowd-free! The temperatures are much cooler early in the day, which is great because there isn’t much shade at Chichen Itza.
You will have almost 3 hours at the site with your guide, who will provide extensive information about the archaeological structures, the Mayan city, and the people who lived there. They explain the meaning behind the stone carvings scattered throughout the site and provide interesting facts about the construction of the structures that make up the city, like the pyramids, ball courts, and staircases.
Once you learn all about Chichen Itza, you will head to Hotel Real del Mayab for a traditional-styled buffet lunch. Your final stop will be at Cenote Saamal for a refreshing dip at this gorgeous swimming hole. The best part of this tour is the tequila tasting included! After swimming, you will try multiple different tequilas made right there in Mexico!
Roundtrip transportation from your hotel, entrance fees, lunch, and a tequila tasting are included in the price. However, the Chichen Itza tax of $31 USD and the life jacket rental fee of $3 USD is not included in the price.
You can reserve your spot for this early access tour here for $56 USD.
9. Chichen Itza, Ik-Kil, and Valladolid
This Chichen Itza tour from Playa del Carmen takes you to visit Ik-Kil Cenote as well as Valladolid. The real unique aspect of this tour is the chance to participate in the Mayan purification ritual of Temazcal!
This tour has an early departure time of 7 am so you can get to Chichen Itza before the other tourist buses. This way you can see the site without the crowd and also enjoy the cooler weather.
You will have about 2.5 hours at Chichen Itza with your guided tour group. Some of that time you will be able to explore and enjoy this ancient city on your own. You will then head to Cenote Ik-Kil, one of the most notable cenotes near Chichen Itza, and is often acclaimed as the most beautiful cenote in the region!
You will have a full hour to enjoy this underground river system, taking in this unique beauty. Finally, you will head to the colonial city of Valladolid to spend about 30 minutes exploring the downtown area. Here is your chance to join the Temazcal purification ceremony, guided by a real shaman! This is the only tour on the list that offers this option, which is pretty special!
This tour includes roundtrip transportation from your Playa del Carmen hotel, all entrance fees, lunch, and your guide! It can be reserved online for $147 USD per person.
10. Chichen Itza Private Sunrise Tour
If you’re up for getting up early for a truly epic adventure, this private sunrise tour to Chichen Itza will be well worth it! This once-in-a-lifetime experience will take you to the archaeological site at its best– with no crowds! Watch in awe as the sun rises over these ancient structures and take in the beauty of the day in the most beautiful place possible.
You will have a full 2 hours to explore the ruins when it’s quiet. Your guide will lead your private group to the best sights and provide interesting historical facts about this ancient Mayan city.
By the time other travelers will arrive at Chichen Itza, it will be time for you to head to Cenote Ik Kil! This will be a great time for a swim, because most of the tourists will still be at Chichen Itza, giving you another peaceful tour. Because this is a private tour, you can spend as much time as you like here. You can also choose to add on a visit to other notable Mayan ruins in the area, such as Ek Balam or Coba, and even choose to visit the coastal town of Tulum. You have complete flexibility with this private tour!
This tour is truly unique, as many don’t let you customize it to your own personal itinerary. This tour is priced at $360 USD per person. Roundtrip transportation from your Playa del Carmen hotel is included, as well as breakfast, bottled water, and your wonderful tour guide.
Be sure to reserve this private tour online in advance!
Note: Even though this tour says it is from Cancun, they do offer pick-up from Playa del Carmen – just be sure to select the correct pick-up hotel when booking.
11. Chichen Itza Night Show
While this tour is the exact opposite of the sunrise tour above, it is probably just as (if not more) exciting! This Chichen Itza Night Show happens every day of the week, except for Mondays. The ancient structures we are so familiar with now become light shows, bursting with colors and patterns as special projectors display the show. You can explore most areas of Chichen Itza during this night show and see it in a completely new way.
The whole 2-hour experience is truly remarkable, with the main event being a 30-minute light and sound show at the Pyramid of Kukulkan, where you learn about the Mayan culture. The show is done in Spanish, but even if you don’t speak the language, you can still follow the story through the images displayed.
You can purchase tickets at the office before the show starts from 5 pm until 8 pm. Tickets cost 630 MXN ($32 USD), but Sundays offer a discounted price of 300 MXN ($15 USD). When you first enter the grounds, you’ll go on a guided walk of the ruins, and the rest of the time you’re free to explore on your own.
If you’re looking for a more inclusive experience, you can book this guided tour. This includes a ticket for the Chichen Itza Night Show, a sunset visit to Valladolid, a private cave tour of Nuevo Xcan, and a traditional dinner of cochinita pibil and tortillas.
This tour is truly one of the best experiences you could do in Mexico! If you have time in your schedule, I say visiting this Seventh Wonder of the World at night is completely worth it!
12. Chichen Itza Total Experience
This tour is dubbed the “Chichen Itza Total Experience” and they really do deliver. Not only is this tour highly rated, but it is also a completely private tour, giving you the flexibility to plan your itinerary. It visits Chichen Itza, Cenote Xkeken, and Valladolid, as well as a traditional agave distillery and tasting! Their goal is to “live the experience of living in Mexico as a traveler, not just a tourist.”
The first stop on this tour will be Chichen Itza. You’ll go here first to find the most peaceful time and avoid all the tourists. The local guides will be happy to take you around the historic ruins, giving in-depth descriptions of the Mayan civilization. Because this is a private tour, you can spend as much time here as you want.
Your next stop will take you to a cenote, as many of these tours do. However, you probably haven’t heard of this one, as it’s a secret gem of the Yucatan. Cenote Xkeken is a former hacienda, hidden in the jungle and is now called Cenote Oxman. You’ll have about 2 hours here, exploring the cenote and eating a delicious a la carte lunch.
Next, your private tour will head to the magic town of Valladolid. You’ll have about 40 minutes to explore the city and adorable colonial-styled shops. Your last stop will be the agave distillery where you can learn about the process of making this spirit, then get a chance to taste it!
This tour really includes a lot, such as roundtrip transportation, entrance fees, and lunch and drink! We love that it is a private tour and totally customizable. You can reserve your spot online for $341 USD per person.
13. Chichen Itza Deluxe Tour
Your final tour to Chichen Itza from Playa del Carmen really pulls out all the stops. It includes a visit to a traditional Mayan village, in addition to seeing Chichen Itza, Cenote Saamal, and Valladolid. What we really love about this tour is the way they bring travelers into ancient Mayan traditions through ceremonies, food, and shows! It is truly unlike any other tour on this list.
The first stop takes you to the Mayan village of Xocenpich to really learn about the culture. You will have a buffet of delicious traditional foods at the well-known restaurant, Yaax Kiin. The coolest part of this tour is getting to meet a shaman and seeing a folkloric ballet performance as you dine! There is also a shop with beautiful handmade crafts you can take home as a souvenir.
After this cultural experience, you will head to Chichen Itza to see how the Mayans truly lived! You will have 2.5 hours here, most of the time will be guided, but you will also have some time to explore on your own! Your day will end with an hour-long visit to Cenote Saamal and 30 minutes in Valladolid. While in Valladolid, you have the option to participate in a Mayan Shaman healing session, which is an incredible experience if you’re an energy and mysticism believer.
This tour is scheduled to last a full day. It includes roundtrip transportation from your Playa del Carmen hotel (with air conditioning), a morning snack aboard the bus, your meal and drinks at the restaurant, and all entrance fees! Not to mention the incredible value you’ll get from the traditional Mayan ceremonies and the wealth of knowledge from your local guide. We think this is one of the best value Chichen Itza tours from Playa del Carmen!
You can book this tour for $104 USD here!
Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen
When choosing a place to stay in Playa del Carmen, you have plenty of options. So many options it is almost overwhelming! There is so much to do and so many fantastic restaurants all around Playa del Carmen, you really can’t choose the wrong place to stay. Having traveled there a few times, on a range of budgets, I have found my favorite accommodations for the budget traveler all the way to those looking for luxury.
For budget travelers, Che Playa Hostel and Bar are one of the best options. The hostel is conveniently located in the heart of downtown and has a rooftop bar and pool, a social vibe, clean facilities, and accommodating staff. You don’t always get those perks at hostels, but this one is a great find. The rooms are affordable and can be booked at Hostelworld or Booking.com.
If I’m traveling on a moderate budget and want something a bit nicer and private than a hostel, but not a resort, I love staying at the Soho Playa Hotel. It has a great location, a pool, a free breakfast, a restaurant, and a sleek and modern design. This place is a hidden gem for the price it’s offering. If you’re looking for a little more luxury, The Palm at Playa has a similar price range.
For the luxurious travelers, El Taj Oceanfront and Beachside Condo Hotel has a great central location that is still secluded from the hustle and bustle. The hotel sits on the ocean, has a pool, and is in the heart of town. They offer a variety of rooms, including, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments! It will be hard to leave this beautiful place.
Other Activities to do while in Playa del Carmen
- Day trip to Tulum. If you’re looking for even more Mayan Ruins to add to your trip, I highly recommend going on a day trip to Tulum! Tulum is under an hour from Playa del Carmen, it is a cute bohemian town and has some of the best beaches on the Yucatan! It isn’t as built up as Playa del Carmen or Cancun, making it feel less touristy and crowded. While here, you have to check out Paradise Beach, which is my favorite beach in Mexico. There are plenty of cenotes to visit, such as Dos Ojos, which is the most popular cenote in the area. But the big draw to Tulum is the Tulum Ruins! The ruins sit right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the beach, providing a spectacular view mixed with this ancient history. Booking a tour can get you from your accommodation in Playa del Carmen to Tulum easily, and will give you a chance to see this quaint town and the ruins.
- Have dinner at Alux Cave Restaurant. This is one of the most unique restaurants in all of Playa del Carmen. Alux Cave Restaurant is actually located inside a cave! They serve traditional Mexican dishes with a modern spin, making it a classy and tasty experience. They also have a wide selection of international wines available. Some of the most popular dishes at Alux Cave Restaurant are the Surf n Turf and salmon tartare. There are so many good restaurants in Playa del Carmen, but this one might be the best!
- Go on a food tour. If you enjoy tours and food, this walking street food tour is a must! This is a great way to learn about the many different types of food offered in Mexico, all unique and delicious. Tacos are a staple, but you can also try other authentic dishes like tamales and elote. This tour will give you an insiders look at the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen and learn about the different ingredients and methods used in Mexican cuisine. Eat, indulge in culture, and see the city, what a great way to spend an evening!
- Swim with whale sharks. The Yucatan Peninsula is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with whale sharks, so this is a must-do activity when you’re visiting Playa del Carmen! Whale sharks aren’t actually sharks, they are just the biggest fish in the world and they survive off of plankton, so they won’t nibble on your toes! To reach these remarkable creatures you have to take a boat further into the ocean. Booking a tour, such as this full-day whale shark tour, is the easiest way to tackle this adventure. The tours include an expert biologist who teaches you about these large fish, provides transportation, and all necessary equipment. That way you can enjoy the experience and not have to worry about the details of the day.
- Visit the best beaches in Playa del Carmen. A trip to Playa del Carmen isn’t complete without a beach day (or two)! With a full schedule of exploring, sometimes it’s nice to have a lazy day laying on the beach. Luckily, Playa del Carmen has some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, so you have plenty of options. Mamaitas Beach will give you a taste of the local scene. It’s definitely not the most relaxing beach, but if you’re looking for a fun day out in the sun, you’ll find it here. Another popular spot is Calle 10, which is lined with beach clubs that have pools, private restaurants, and bars! This makes a beach day luxurious, as you don’t have to try and find a spot or pack your own food, simply show up and relax! With so many other great beach options in Playa del Carmen, you really can’t go wrong.
Renting a Car in Mexico
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car.
I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Cancun in 2023, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically.
I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they sometimes can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend.
The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too.
Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit.
Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your rental will be much cheaper!
Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!
We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.
They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!
Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)
Thanks for reading!
As you now know, visiting Chichen Itza is really a must-do for anybody staying in Playa del Carmen, and with the right planning, you’re sure to have an excellent time!
If you found this blog helpful, be sure to check out our other blogs about Mexico including a few related reads below: