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16 BEST Tours in Cancun (that you don’t want to miss!)

16 BEST Tours in Cancun (that you don’t want to miss!)

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Cancun is a buzzing resort town famed for its wonderful Caribbean beaches and exciting nightlife. It’s a true tourist playground with a ton to do, from exploring the incredible marine life and discovering beautiful cenotes to visiting nearby islands, or chowing down on delicious Mexican cuisine at one of the many amazing Cancun restaurants.

We’ve spent plenty of time here and even though this area is super touristy, we absolutely love it because of all the fun activities and sights in Cancun. You can do plenty by yourself, like lounging on the beaches and checking out the nightlife. However, other things are best done through a tour company.

Since Cancun is SO popular, there are many tours offered here – so much so that it can be hard to choose one!

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 16 best tours in Cancun. We’ve laid out all the details so you can easily find one that fits your needs and budget. So keep reading to learn about each tour and pick the best option for you!

Why book a tour in Cancun?

Bailey on a cruise in Cancun Mexico at sunset
Tours are easy, just what you need on holiday!

For starters, having a tour guide who speaks the language and knows the area is extremely beneficial. They can tell you about the history of Cancun, its culture, and all the hidden gems in the area that you would have never known existed. Plus, they can give you insider tips on the best places to eat, shop, and visit.

A tour also takes all the hassle of arranging transport out of your hands, so you don’t have to worry about getting around or navigating public transportation. Plus, many tours combine multiple activities into one day, so you can tick a lot off your Cancun bucket list in one go.

Also, you’ll need a boat to reach some of the best snorkeling spots around Cancun or visit somewhere like Isla Contoy. It’s unlikely you have your own, but tour companies can arrange this for you. They’ll take care of all the details and ensure you enjoy these more remote locations to the fullest.

If you’re traveling solo, group tours can also be a fantastic way to meet like-minded travelers and make new friends – and I really like having someone to take pictures for you rather than resorting to awkward selfies!

Our TOP Picks for Tours in Cancun

Daniel and Bailey on a golf buggy on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Exploring Isla Mujeres!

Best adventure tour:

There’s some special about a nighttime adventure that I just can’t put my finger on, which is why this fuego night tour takes the top spot for adventure on this list! My favorite part is that you’re treated like a VIP at the adventure park, plus you get to ride Mexico’s tallest zipline – now that’s a win-win.

With rave reviews and tons of fun activities to try out for yourself, tickets for this experience cost $154 USD per person but do sell out quickly, so make sure to book your spot in advance here!

Best tour for families:

Arrr ya ready for a grand adventure? Our top favorite family-friendly tour on this list has to be the Captain Hook pirate show, which is perfect for kids (and for those who are still kids at heart)! The show is so entertaining and the actors are great fun to talk to, making this one of the best ways to end a busy day.

Tickets for this dinner cruise cost $40 USD per person and should be booked in advance online here.

Best scenic tour:

This super exclusive island tour won our hearts with its commitment to eco-friendly tourism and, of course, the chance to visit the gorgeous islands of Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres! If visiting an island paradise is on your bucket list, then this is the tour for you. Tickets for this experience cost $148 USD and can be booked online here.

Best Tours in Cancun, Mexico

1. Swim with whale sharks

Whale shark swims past me with my camera off the coast of Cancun, Mexico

Cancun is known for its crystal-clear water and marine life. But people don’t realize that this is also one of the best places to go swimming with whale sharks! Although whale sharks aren’t technically sharks (they’re actually the largest fish in the world), this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t want to miss!

Unfortunately, you won’t find these beautiful creatures swimming near the touristy mainland. They’re usually found off the coast of the smaller islands near Cancun. You’ll need a boat to reach them, so a tour is the only way to see whale sharks!

We recommend this full-day whale shark tour because it’s super convenient and you’ll experience much more than just whale sharks. They pick you up at your hotel, whether you’re in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or anywhere on the Rivera Maya. When we went, our expert biologist guide was super friendly and spoke both English and Spanish. He gave us fascinating information about the marine animals and knew the best places to find them!

Although swimming with whale sharks may sound scary, it’s completely safe! These animals are friendly and harmless to humans. They’re also vegetarians, so you have nothing to worry about! 

One of my favorite parts of the tour was enjoying lunch off the coast of Isla Mujeres. Water, sodas, and the delicious food were all included, and it was a great way to relax after an adventurous swim. Plus, it meant we got two awesome experiences in one day!

Whale shark season runs from mid-May to mid-September. Based on our experience, the best time to go is right in the middle of the season. During this period, whale sharks gather on the Yucatan coasts and are easier to spot. But that’s not all you can see – keep your eyes peeled for manta rays, dolphins, or turtles as well! 

The tour costs $144 USD and includes all the necessary snorkeling equipment and a life vest. You’ll need to pay a $15 USD environmental tax on the day of your tour. Also, bring extra cash if you want to buy alcohol or extra goodies along the way.

Swimming with whale sharks is one of my most memorable experiences in Cancun! However, spaces are limited and this tour does sell out, so book your tickets in advance here!

Related Read: Now that you know swimming with whale sharks is actually safe, you might want to read more about our safety advice and travel tips for Cancun!

2. Go on a sailing trip to Isla Mujeres

A catamaran cruise off the coast on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
This was easily one of the best tours we did in Mexico!

The island of Isla Mujeres is a tranquil paradise, and it’s only a 15-20 minute boat ride from Cancun. Here, you’ll find brightly colored buildings, white-sand beaches, and azure waters filled with beautiful marine life. It’s the perfect place to escape the busyness of the city and enjoy stunning views of the Caribbean.

There’s a lot to do on the island and you’ll need a boat to get here, which is why a guided catamaran cruise from Cancun is a great way to go!

We highly recommend this 7-hour catamaran sailing tour. It makes the perfect day trip from Cancun with everything you could possibly want including a buffet lunch, an open bar, snorkeling, and beach time.

Hotel pick-up in Cancun is included, and you’ll drive in an air-conditioned vehicle to the marina. From here, you’ll set sail and take in the gorgeous view before stopping at a coral reef national park. Snorkeling gear is provided, and you’ll have a full hour to jump in and check out the coral reefs and animals underwater. When we went, our guide even sprinkled fish food around us, and pretty soon, we were surrounded by loads of colorful fish!

Afterward, you’ll head to Isla Mujeres to enjoy the buffet lunch and drinks on the beach. The tour provides plenty of free time and there are lots of things to do on Isla Mujeres. You can chill on the beach, swim, stroll through town, or go shopping.

Overall, we think it’s one of the best things to do in Mexico and very affordable at only $45 USD per person for the basic tour. If you want transportation and food included, choose the all-inclusive option for $95 USD or upgrade to the premium experience for $120 USD which also includes the $15 USD port fee, so it’s a really good deal!

Although the tour is offered every day, it does sell out. So check availability and book your spot online here!

3. ATV jungle adventure with ziplines, cenote, and tequila tasting

Tasting tequila
On our Cancun ATV tour, we got a little tipsy at our tequila tasting!

Cancun is a great place to get that adrenaline pumping! There are opportunities to zipline, ride ATVs, and jump in breathtaking cenotes. With this half-day adventure tour, you can do all three AND taste some tequila when you’re done!

First, you’ll power through the jungle on an ATV. First-timers are welcome, but the tour company can have a professional be the driver if you don’t feel comfortable. You’ll head to the Extreme Adventure Eco Park where you’ll zipline down 3 courses and walk across some treetop bridges.

After these adventurous activities, you can jump into a beautiful cenote. We went on a hot day, and this was the perfect way to cool off! Cenotes are one of Mexico’s treasures, and pictures can’t quite do them justice – swimming in them is the way to go.

Last but definitely not least, you’ll finish your day with a tequila tasting (because let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be a good idea to do this before that ATV ride!). Our tour guide taught us all about the art of tequila making and sampling this local spirit.

This 4-hour tour costs $65 USD per person for two adults sharing an ATV or $74 USD if you want to drive your own. You must be 16 years or older to drive the ATV, and children 4 and up can accompany an adult. The price includes hotel pickup and drop-off in Cancun (pick-up from the Riviera Maya or Tulum is available for an additional fee). While snacks are provided, we recommend bringing extra cash as you’ll stop by some taco stands!

This tour is a great option if you want to experience Cancun’s natural beauty and get that adrenaline pumping. And the tequila tasting is a welcomed way to end the day.

If this adventurous tour sounds like your thing, you can pick a date and secure your spot here!

Related Read: If you enjoyed the tequila portion of this tour, you might want to consider visiting the birthplace of this drink! Read more about visiting Tequila, Jalisco here.

4. Visit the Cancun Underwater Museum

Cancun Underwater Museum
The most unique museum in the world!

Have you ever visited an underwater museum? Well, here’s your chance!

Cancun’s Underwater Museum (also called the Museo Subacuatico de Art) is one of the quirkiest sights in the area. It all began around 2009 when conservationists wanted to preserve the coral reef nearby. Over 500 sculptures were placed underwater to encourage coral reef growth and can only be seen through scuba diving or snorkeling.

Seeing the Underwater Museum is one of the best things to do in Cancun, in my opinion! If you love underwater sports and museums, this activity is the perfect fit. To see the museum, you’ll need to know exactly where it is and take a boat out there, which is why tours are a great choice.

This 4-hour snorkeling tour is excellent for both friends and families because it’s suitable for ages 8 – 65. You’ll meet your group at the marina at 7:30 am, where you’ll board a speedboat to the underwater exhibit. Your guide will give you a quick briefing and answer any questions before gearing up and jumping in the water!

The snorkeling tour costs $58 USD and is available every day except for Wednesdays and Saturdays. You’ll be required to pay a $15 port fee as well. What I loved about this tour is that the guides make you feel super safe, and it’s a straightforward, low-pressure way to see this fantastic sight.

If you’ve wanted to learn scuba diving, this 5-hour tour is a wonderful opportunity! First, you’ll learn to scuba dive in a pool with a certified PADI instructor before heading to the open water. You’ll have two open water dives and see both the Underwater Museum and the Manchones Reef.

This tour is available Sunday – Friday and leaves from Coconut Divers at 10 am. It includes the lessons, two dives, and water on board. You’ll be responsible for $14 USD park fees and can rent a wetsuit for $8. You can also pay extra for some cool underwater shots of you exploring the museum.

The Underwater Museum is a highly sought-after destination, and the number of visitors is limited to protect the reef. So if you want to visit, you must reserve your trip ahead of time!

For the snorkeling museum tour, book your trip online here. If you prefer scuba diving in Cancun, check availability and book your tour here. You can’t go wrong with either!

5. Cirque du Soleil JOYÀ

Two performers on ropes during a show at Cirque du Soleil JOYÀ in Cancun, Mexico
The show is so exciting to watch! The things they do defy gravity! Photo credit: Cirque du Soleil JOYÀ

If you’re looking for an evening activity, Cirque du Soleil JOYÀ is incredible. This company is world-famous for its professional, mind-blowing entertainment. It’s impossible to imagine what these acrobats and artists can do without seeing it firsthand.

While Cirque du Soleil has shows internationally, Cancun’s JOYÀ is the only dinner theater version production they offer. This show appeals to all the five senses so you get a rave-worthy performance along with a delicious meal!

You can book your tickets online and choose from various show and dining options starting at $106 USD per person. Ticket options include VIP, drinks only, dinner only, and both. I was hesitant to shell out the money for VIP tickets, but dinner and drinks were well worth it! When Daniel and I went, we treated ourselves to an aperitif, dinner, and champagne.

Shows run Tuesday – Saturday, and there are typically two per night (around 6 pm and 9 pm). This show takes place in the Vidanta Theater, which is only 40 minutes from Cancun. But if you don’t have a rental car, you can add roundtrip transportation from Cancun’s Hotel Zone for $30 USD per person.

If you haven’t seen a Cirque du Soleil show, you should! So click here to check availability and book your seats!

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.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • 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.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

6. Tour Tulum

A view of the Tulum Ruins above Playa Ruinas, Tulum
The Tulum Ruins!

The popular tourist town of Tulum is roughly 131 kilometers (81 miles) from Cancun, and it’s widely considered one of the most beautiful places in Mexico. We think that it’s definitely worth checking out if you have the time, especially if you’re interested in seeing ancient Mayan ruins – Tulum is home to some of the best the country has to offer!

One of the best ways to get here is on a tour from Cancun to Tulum. Our pick is this 8-hour tour that gives you a really great overview of Tulum in just one day. It has thousands of amazing reviews and all the Tulum highlights we love! You’ll visit the Tulum Archaeological Site, a Mayan ruin perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the bright blue Caribbean Sea. It’s definitely one of – if not the – most iconic Mayan sites to visit in Mexico, and its stunning backdrop will do wonders for your Instagram feed.

Then, you’ll climb aboard a boat and head out to sea for a snorkeling tour, during which you’ll spot tons of brightly colored coral, turtles, and beautiful tropical fish. You’ll even get to snorkel inside a huge cenote in the Yucatan rainforest and check out the impressive stalagmites and stalactites. It’s such a cool experience!

One thing we love about this tour is how energetic and friendly the guides are. They really bring the history of Tulum to life. They also answer any questions you have along the way, and generally just make sure you have a fun day checking out this beautiful part of Mexico.

The tour costs $119 USD including hotel pickup from Cancun around 6 am. You’ll also get lunch and bottled water along the way, but remember to bring an extra $13 USD in cash to pay the marine reserve fee. You can also purchase professional souvenir photos at the end of the tour for an additional cost. Make sure to bring a change of clothes, a swimsuit, and sunscreen for this trip!

Tulum really is a must-see destination, so book your tour online here!

Related Read: If you plan to spend longer in Tulum, this town has a great food scene! To learn more, check out the 15 best restaurants in Tulum.

7. Cancun cenote tour

Cenotes Sac Actún near Cancun, Mexico
Cenotes Sac Actún

Cenotes are natural limestone sinkholes filled with crystal-clear water, and they’re found all over the Yucatan Peninsula. Swimming in a cenote is an absolute must while you’re in Cancun, and this 4-hour tour will take you to two incredible cenotes, where you can snorkel and explore these magical underground pools.

You’ll also visit Rancho San Felipe, a Maya community, to partake in a traditional ceremony to ask the jungle to reveal its secrets to you as a visitor. This is a really nice touch, and we think that it’s a great way to gain a deeper appreciation of the local culture and its relationship with nature.

Then, you’ll take a walk through the jungle, during which your guide will teach you about the local wildlife and plants before you go and cool off in the cenotes.

The tour also includes a ziplining adventure in the Mayan jungle, which includes an aquatic zipline, so you can zoom down right into one of the cenotes! It’s a great way to get your adrenaline pumping, and you’ll get to appreciate the landscape from a different perspective as you zoom through the trees.

The tour costs $119 USD including hotel pickup in Cancun, and you’ll also get lunch, soft drinks, and locker access. For an extra $40 USD, you can also add a visit to the Tulum Archaeological Site to check out the iconic Mayan ruin there. We also love the fact that it’s a small group tour with a maximum of 10 travelers, so you’ll get a more personalized experience and get to know your fellow participants along the way.

To snorkel, rappel, and zipline through Cancun, book your tickets online here!

8. Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid tour

A temple with El Castillo Pyramid in the background at Chichen Itza, Mexico
Can you imagine the city in its glory!

Chichen Itza is one of the famous Mayan ruins and is just outside Cancun. There are several tours heading to Chichen Itza from Cancun which can make it hard to pick one. However, I chose this specific tour because it had amazing reviews – and luckily, it lived up to the hype!

This full-day Chichen Itza tour departs bright and early with pick-up points throughout the Hotel Zone and nearby areas. You’ll get to see the amazing Chichen Itza ruins first thing (before swarms of tourists arrive). In addition, you’ll stop off at a private cenote where the group can swim before enjoying a buffet lunch (with vegetarian options available too!).

Last, you’ll visit the picturesque town of Valladolid which has been dubbed the “Magic town of Mexico.” Your expert, bilingual guide will share interesting information about this town’s architecture and history as you explore its streets.

Starting at $41 USD, this tour is an insanely good deal. It includes transportation, breakfast, a buffet lunch, and these 3 different stops. It’s well-rounded too since you get to see historical sights, another town, jump in a cenote, AND enjoy a big meal. Just note that you’ll need to pay the local tax of $35 USD when visiting Chichen Itza, which can be paid by credit card on the day of your visit.

This is a hard deal to beat so check availability and book your tickets online here!

Related Read: If you love ancient ruins and history, you may also like visiting Teotihuacan in Mexico. This city is a close runner-up to Chichen Itza and it’s easy to visit on a tour from Mexico City!

9. ATV, ziplines, and cenote tour at Extreme Adventure Eco Park Cancun

Bailey smiles at the camera while Ziplining in Cancun, Mexico
So much fun!

This Extreme Adventure Eco Park Tour is a great option for anyone looking for an adrenaline-filled day out in nature!

You’ll take a 50-minute drive through the jungle on an ATV, zoom along the zipline circuit, and finally cool off in a cenote. You can even choose to cliff jump or zipline into the cenote (although you can just take the stairs if you’ve had enough adrenaline for one day!).

When we went on this tour, it was hard to take photos with all the activities. But luckily, you can buy pictures from the tour company (like the one above), which was a great way to capture this memory.

Anyone 4 or older can participate, so this is a great day out for adventure-loving families. You do need to be 18 to ride solo. However, you can be 16 or above if accompanied by an adult, and younger kids can ride with their parents. It costs $75 USD per adult when you choose a shared ATV or $92 USD to go solo, and tickets are $55 USD for kids aged 4-12.

You get round-trip hotel transfers, tacos to snack on (and who doesn’t love Cancun tours that include tacos?!), and a guide to take you around the adventure park and lead you on your ATV adventure. Tours leave daily around 1:30 pm so you have your morning free to chill on the beach!

If you want to head into the jungle for an adventure-filled day, book your tickets online here!

10. Tour to Isla Contoy

A beautiful beach on Isla Contoy, near Cancun, Mexico
The waters on Isla Contoy are crystal clear!

Isla Contoy is an amazing, protected island home to pristine beaches and the second-largest reef in the world. To say that it’s an untouched natural paradise would almost be an understatement! It’s hard to imagine anywhere more beautiful than this.

You have to visit Isla Contoy on a guided tour, as it’s a national park and nature reserve. Only 200 visitors are allowed to visit per day to protect the island’s ecosystem and ensure that this natural gem doesn’t get spoiled by over-tourism.

This full-day tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off in Cancun, and will also take you to Isla Mujeres. Isla Mujeres is another postcard-perfect Caribbean Island and it has a very laid-back vibe, although, unlike the uninhabited Isla Contoy, you can actually stay overnight here.

You’ll also go snorkeling on the Ixlache Reef and see the amazing variety of tropical fish that inhabit Isla Contoy’s crystal clear waters, and enjoy a local-style lunch, too. We also love that the guides on this tour are so knowledgeable and can tell you a lot about the island’s ecosystem and the importance of preserving it.

The tour costs $148 USD, but you’ll need to bring an extra $15 USD in cash to pay the dock tax on the day of your tour. It’s one of the pricier tours on this list, but if you can swing it, it’s worth visiting this unspoiled Caribbean paradise!

Tours are the only way to visit this stunning, remote island so check availability and book your ticket here!

11. Nichupte Lagoon wildlife tour

One of the canals at Nichupte Lagoon, Cancun, Mexico
I was very surprised at how well-preserved the lagoon is!

Really, what’s better than heading out on a boat at sunset to spot some incredible wildlife?

This tour of the Nichupte Lagoon will allow you to explore this giant natural reserve, which actually covers over 3,000 hectares (7,413 acres). You’ll cruise through mangrove forests where you can spot crocodiles and then enjoy a beautiful sunset over the water. You’ll also spot lots of interesting birds, especially around the mangroves, and learn a ton about the lagoon’s different ecosystems from an interesting and passionate guide.

We really think that this tour is a must for nature lovers. There’s a maximum of 8 participants per boat, so you get a really intimate experience and loads of chances to chat and ask questions. You also get soft drinks and snacks along the way, and the guides are happy to snap photos of you enjoying the cruise.

The tour costs $89 USD per person, including pick up from hotels inside Cancun’s hotel zone, and we think that it’s so worth doing because it really shows you another side to Cancun, away from the bars, restaurants, and beach clubs. Because this tour starts at 5 pm, you could combine it with a morning tour to see even more.

To escape the city and enjoy a beautiful sunset in nature, book this Nichupte Lagoon tour online here!

12. Cancun taco tour

al pastor tacos
Delicious tacos are just the tip of the iceberg on a food tour in Cancun!

If you love food as much as we do, then this Cancun food and beer tour is such a fun way to spend an evening in Cancun.

Okay, so we’ve all had tacos before, and we love the Mexican food in Cancun. But this tour impressed us because it takes you to five different taco joints to sample the most authentic and delicious tacos Cancun has to offer. The tour guide is a savvy local who loves to share only the best places – and your group will get to skip any lines.

This is easily one of the best taco tours in Cancun as it takes you on a culinary journey to learn about (and eat!) all different kinds of tacos, from Pibil-style pulled pork tacos to juicy steak ones. And if you’ve got any room left afterward, you’ll also head to a local park to finish your tour with a delicious churro.

What’s fun about this tour is that you get a free beer at each stop! Daily tours begin at 5 pm and last 4.5 hours. So if you’re gearing up to head out for the night, this is a great way to get going. There’s a maximum of 15 people on each tour, so you can get to know your fellow travelers along the way and then head out partying together after if you’re in the mood!

The tour costs $85 USD, including pickup and drop off from the Cancun Hotel Zone. All of your tacos, beers, and your dessert churro are included. And no worries if you’re vegetarian – you can request plant-based options instead.

Start your Cancun evening off right! Choose your date and book this tour online here.

13. Las Coloradas and Rio Lagartos

Las Coloradas pink lake, Mexico
How cool is the color?!

There are many gorgeous sights in the Yucatan Peninsula and this is one of my favorites!

Las Coloradas, also known as the pink beach, is a lagoon with a beautiful pink hue. It owes its unique color to the high concentration of salt in the water and the millions of tiny microorganisms that live in it.

This lagoon belongs to the Río Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, a protected natural region in Mexico. Because it’s so well preserved, the scenery is absolutely incredible. The contrast between the pink water and the blue sky makes for some impressive pictures too!

To visit this pink beach, we took this full-day guided tour from Cancun. For $118 USD, you’ll get roundtrip transportation from Cancun’s Hotel Zone and a seafood lunch made by locals. You’ll stop at the Rio Lagartos Biosphere Reserve to check out the flamingos along with many other bird species native to this area. You’ll also have plenty of time to spend at the pink beach, snapping photos and taking in the beauty.

Since the lagoon is 3 hours from Cancun, we were happy to take a tour rather than complete the 6-hour of driving ourselves. Even though this 12-hour tour starts at 6:30 am, it felt relaxing and the scenery was invigorating!

If you’re a photographer, bird-watcher, or just love unique natural sights, sign up for this tour online here!

Related Read: If you’re visiting other parts of the Yucatan Peninsula, check out the best tours that leave from this region.

14. Captain Hook dinner cruise and show

Dancers perform on a Captain Cook cruise Cancun show
The show is very entertaining and the drinks were flowing!

For a lighthearted and novel experience, I’d recommend this Captain Hook Dinner Cruise and Show. This 3-hour themed dinner cruise offers a meal, an open bar, dancing, contests, and pirate shows. Plus, you’ll have a beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea as it doubles as a sunset cruise from Cancun.

You can choose to sit in the air-conditioned indoors or on the outdoor deck. As you enjoy the food and bottomless drinks, a lively cast will act out the story of Captain Hook. When we booked our tour, we chose to upgrade to the VIP experience, which includes a bottle and seat on the upper part of the ship (with better views!).

What I love about the dinner cruise is that it’s fun for absolutely everyone. We saw families with kids that seemed to be having a fantastic time. Plus, you’re never too old to enjoy pirates; even couples said it was one of their favorite experiences here. We’re sure the open bar doesn’t hurt either.

To board the ship, you should arrive at the meeting point at 6:30 pm for a 7 pm departure. Hotel pick-up isn’t included but can be arranged for an extra fee. The tour costs between $38-$110 USD depending on the meal you choose, and passengers must also pay an additional surcharge of $15 per adult and $10 per child (2 – 11 years).

To enjoy this fun, pirate-themed dinner cruise, check availability and book your tour here!

15. Private 46-foot yacht rental in Cancun Bay

If you’re looking for a bougie experience, then nothing says luxury quite like this private yacht tour in Cancun. You can rent an enormous 46-foot (14-meter) yacht with captain and crew for either 2, 4, or 6 hours. Your yacht will head out on the Caribbean Sea as you sunbathe on deck, play music, and soak in the beautiful views.

If you choose the 2-hour option you’ll stay near Cancun Bay, or if you choose one of the longer durations then you can even go from Cancun to visit Isla Mujeres to do some snorkeling and chill on Playa Norte Beach. It’s a private excursion that can accommodate up to 15 of your closest friends, so the itinerary is up to you!

The tour costs $560 USD for 2 hours, $1,100 USD for 4 hours, and $1,590 USD for 6 hours – but of course, you could be splitting this between up to 15 people at once. Soft drinks and snorkeling equipment are included, but there is an extra dock fee of $13 USD per person to pay at the marina before setting sail. It starts and ends at the Sunset Marina, which is at the north end of the Hotel Zone.

If you’ve got room in your budget and enough people to bring the cost down, this yacht rental is worth it. It’s an amazing way to experience Cancun and its stunning surroundings from the comfort of a luxury yacht. We think that it’s perfect to celebrate a special occasion – or just to party on a boat!

To have the time of your life on this luxury yacht in Cancun, check availability and book your tour here.

16. Xplor Fuego night adventure with transportation

Xplor Fuego Ziplines
The zipline at Xplor Fuego Ziplines. Photo credit: Xplor Cancun

Xplor Adventure Park is a huge jungle theme park about an hour south of Cancun. At the park, you can zipline, raft, swim underground, and drive an amphibious vehicle through the jungle and caves – and with this special nighttime tour, you can do it all after dark!

You’ll get priority access to the park and your ticket includes a BBQ buffet with unlimited soft drinks, so you can recharge between activities. My favorite part of this park is the zipline circuit, which features the tallest zipline in Mexico! And there’s also the hammock splash zipline, where you sit in a hammock and soar through the jungle before plunging into a cenote at the end!

We think that going to Xplor Adventure Park after dark really does make the experience that much more exciting – and it feels like a novel and exclusive event. You’ll spend about 5.5 hours in the park, so you get plenty of time to try all of the fantastic activities.

This is a great tour for couples, groups of friends, and even families (as long as the kids are aged 5 and over). It costs $140 USD for adults and $105 USD for kids (ages 5-11), including round-trip transportation from your hotel in Cancun. Tours are offered every day but Sunday and last 6 hours. You can expect to arrive at Xplor around 5 pm, where you’ll change into your swimsuit and leave any valuables in the lockers.

To sign up for this unique nighttime experience, pick a date and book your tour online here!

Where to Stay in Cancun

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
Photo credit: Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun

Cancun is the land of hotels and there certainly is no shortage of fantastic places to stay. I myself have stayed at a huge variety of hotels both in the Hotel Zone and in downtown Cancun. To be honest, I prefer the Hotel Zone for a beach holiday! Plus, many tours include transportation to and from the Hotel Zone, which makes things easy!

For budget travelers, the Selina Cancun Laguna Hotel Zone is a great choice. It doesn’t have the greatest reviews, but I really enjoyed my stay and for the price and fun atmosphere, you can’t go wrong! You can book this hostel on Hostelword or

If you prefer something a little nicer, I love the JW Marriott Cancun Resort. It’s not all-inclusive, which I enjoy because there are so many delicious restaurants in Cancun! The hotel is located right on the beach and has a huge pool. Rooms are typically $300-$500 USD depending on the time of year.

Of course, we all love a luxury all-inclusive stay and for that, I always book either the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun or the Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun Adults Only. Both are not cheap but are equally as luxurious with fantastic oceanfront locations, delicious food, quality alcohol, and more.

Renting a Car in Mexico

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie while driving around Mexico
A rental car means freedom to go to the beach whenever you want!

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! 

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie on an ATV in Puerto Vallarta
Thanks for reading!

There is so much to do in Cancun, and some activities are just better on tours. They remove the stress of planning and transportation so you can enjoy yourself fully. However, it can be hard to narrow down your tour options. That’s why we hope you’ve found a couple you like on this list of the best tours in Cancun!

If you found this list helpful, check out my other blogs about Mexico. We’ve spent loads of time traveling here and love sharing what we’ve learned. To get you started, here are three more articles about this area:

The Chichen Itza Night Show

33 FUN Things to do in the Riviera Maya, Mexico

21 BEST Things to do in Holbox, Mexico

​​22 Things to Know BEFORE Renting a Car in Mexico