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Top 15 Things To Do In The Mexican Caribbean

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Top 15 Things To Do In The Mexican Caribbean

Top 15 things to do in the Mexican Caribbean… What would you like to do while you’re visiting the Mexican Caribbean?

Whether you are wanting to relax on the beach in Riviera Maya or hiking the Mayan ruins in Tulum, go Scuba Diving in the calm turquoise waters off the coast of Cozumel or Zipline through the Mexican Jungle; the Mexican Caribbean has it all and much, much more.

Below I will go over quite a few options of activities for all kinds of personalities from history lovers to adrenaline junkies.

*Hint: The best way to make sure you have the best Mexico Vacation is to utilize a Travel Agent.

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Top 15 Things To Do In The Mexican Caribbean

How Do I Book Tours?

As I have mentioned in previous posts, most people that visit Mexico are often repeat tourists because there is just so much to see. Well, that’s one of many reasons anyway.

Depending on where you have chosen to rest your head will depend on which excursions, also known as tours, are closest to your resort or rental property.

Staying At An All-Inclusive Resort

If you choose an all-inclusive resort, which I would recommend, scheduling tours is very simple and up front. There will most likely be a section of the resort where you are able to sign up and pay for many excursions which typically include transportation to and from your destination.

The tour desk will also explain the rules which include cancelation procedures, dress protocol, what you need to bring with you and times to meet in the lobby for the transportation for each day or night trip you book.

Make sure you keep the receipt to show your transportation driver on the day of your adventure.

Staying at an Air B&B or Other

If you have decided on staying in a rental property for you Mexican Caribbean vacation there are a couple of ways you could go about scheduling and booking your excursions.

The first way you could book your excursions would be from a vendor in towns such as Cancun & Playa Del Carmen.  This will sometimes leave you with dialed down options.  I am not saying you are unable to find great opportunities using this rout; I just have never seen as many options as you would have in a resort.

The second way would be checking out my list below.  With this you will be able to make easy decisions and you can book them before you visit the Mexican Caribbean through your travel professional or, at least have an idea of what you are wanting to do before you arrive.  Easy Peasy.  

Is It Safe To Go On Excursions In Mexico?

  • I am only going to share the excursions I have found reputable, accommodating and above all… safe.
  • Keep in mind, resorts have specific vendors which in my experience, are quite safe.
  • If you do book excursions on your own make sure you have a quote for reliable transportation.
  • Health & Safety in Mexico

Let’s Explore….

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Top 15 Things To Do In The Mexican Caribbean

1. Experience Mayan Ruins

The top on our 15 things to do in the Mexican Caribbean list is experiencing the Mayan Ruins.

There are many Mayan Ruins located on the Yucatan Peninsula but I decided to discuss the Top 3 Mayan Ruins that are close to any resort or hotel that you may choose to stay at, near the Caribbean Sea.

This will help you decide which one you would like to visit and how much of your day you will spend at each one as well as, what add-ons you may want to include to make your Mayan Ruin adventure complete.

Whether you have heard of these Top 3 Mayan Ruins or not, I am going to describe them in depth from my first-person perspective. They are …. Drum Roll…. Check out the blue links above.

2. Discover Ancient Cenotes

The perfect add on to your Mayan Ruins experience is a cenote exploration.

Cenotes were very important in Mayan culture and a very important part of the eco-system today.  These sink holes are one of the reasons for the success of the ancient Mayan civilization being that cenotes were their only source of water. 

Which Cenotes Should I visit; you may be asking yourself.

When traveling to the Mexican Riviera, it can be hard to choose which cenotes you want to visit since there are literally thousands of them. No worries because I have broken down the most memorable Mayan Cenotes in Top 10 Cenotes in the Mexican Riviera

This will help you make a decision on which cenotes will complement your Mayan adventure.

This article would end up being over 10,000 words if I was to discuss the Mayan Ruins and Cenotes in one post so I had to separate them.  You can just click on the link below to learn more about the most beautiful cenotes.

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Top 15 Things To Do In The Mexican Caribbean

3. Fly Through The Air At Selvatica

Selvatica, meaning “Pertaining to the Jungle” is by far one of my favorites. If you like your adrenaline pumping, this is a must do adventure for you.

This is where you can do all the heart pounding activities you like. From zip-lining to cenote swimming, from 4×4 off-roading through the jungle to flying through the air like Tarzan; this place has it all.

The cost for some of the adventures can be a little pricy but the safety precautions and protocols with these activities is top notch and holding steady at 5 stars.  You won’t be disappointed.

By far one of the best trained staff and operators I have witnessed on an excursion which you defiantly appreciate since at times you’re dangling high over the jungle canopy. With a 10 ziplines circuit, Super Flight, where it’s a zipline but you’re flying through the air strapped in so you lay flat, and Tarzana, still a zipline just different in a small way, you are connected to a thick wire cord as you climb.

A staff member is at every platform and will disconnect and reconnect you to different lines as needed.

4. Day Trip To One Of Mexico's Eco Parks

If adventure is what you are looking for; Mexico’s Eco Parks aka Adventure Parks aka Water Parks are where it is at.

Mexico has multiple eco-parks which anywhere you stay there will be one close enough for you to explore. These parks are a fun and safe way to get acquainted with the animals and marine life in and around the Mexican Riviera.

I have personally been able to visit 4 of these parks to be able to bring them to you, my readers. After reading, you will be able make an informed decision on which park is best for you based on personality, age range you will be adventuring with and location of your resort.

Mexico’s Eco Parks

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Top 15 Things To Do In The Mexican Caribbean

5. Swim With The Whale Sharks

This is an awesome experience that you will be able to sign up for during the Whale Shark’s migration which takes place between late May through September.

You’ll find yourself both scared and curious. Kind of like that little red button all of us have been told not to push. We know we may get in trouble if we push it but we are enticed and can’t help but doing just that.

Yep, you know. It’s that feeling.

6. Horseback Riding

Get your equine therapy while visiting the Mexican Caribbean. Ride through the jungle, mangroves and beach, depending on the tour operator. If you have never ridden a horse before, that’s ok because they’ll help you.

This is a group activity so if you are an experienced rider and prefer running your horse compared to walking; you may want to skip this one.

7. Swim With Dolphins

Number 7 on our top 15 thing to do in the Mexican Caribbean is Swimming with the Dolphins.

You will be happy you tried this excursion. Swimming with the Dolphins is not only an exhilarating adventure but it is also a great learning experience.

Below I have outlined what you can expect from the average Swimming with the Dolphins excursions.

Some vendors have interactions with manatees and sea monkeys.  If that is something you think you’d like as well, make sure you check for this when booking.

There are usually 3 different tiers of “Swimming with the Dolphins” you can choose from which I have outlined below for you.  Please keep in mind that these are only circumstances that I have witnessed and every place may have different instruction and water time.

Dolphin Encounter

  • 10-minute briefing
  • About 25-30 minutes in water with dolphins
  • Hug, Kiss and Handshake

Dolphin Adventure

    • 15-minute briefing
    • About 40 minutes in water with dolphins
    • Hug, Kiss and Handshake
    • Belly Ride

Dolphin Adventure Plus

  • 15-minute briefing
  • About 50 minutes in the water with the dolphins
  • Hug, Kiss and Handshake
  • Belly Ride
  • Boogie Board Foot Push

Which ever adventure you decide on, everyone will be in the water at the same time.  The added briefing time is for the added experience such as belly ride and boogie board foot push.

Know Before You Go:

Children are all unique in their own way.  Some are fearless, jumping into any adventure without a worry in the world while others are more cautious.

One is not better than the other by any means and you know your child better than anyone.  Being a parent myself and having a daredevil as well as a super cautious child, we really don’t know how they’ll react being introduced to an animal they have only seen in cartoon.

When we participated in this tour, a child about 8 or 9yrs old really just got terrified.  I say this only to prepare you because the company won’t reimburse you if this happens.

  • Pricing usually ranges from $70.00USD to $135.00USD
  • With pictures $130.00USD to $180.00USD (you will want these)
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Top 15 Things To Do In The Mexican Caribbean

8. Boat Tours

There are so many different types of boat tours you can book. I mean, we are talking about the Caribbean, after all.

From a Sunset Cruises to Speed Boats to a private island, from Booze Cruises to a Private Yacht experience.

Choosing from all of these different types of boat tours can be overwhelming so I decided to write an in-depth piece, way too much to add to this article, just on outlining the boat tour options in Top 10 Boat Tours in the Mexican Caribbean.

9. Deep Sea Fishing

For all the fisherman/fisher women out there can I get an Amen?

Booking a Deep-Sea Fishing Trip can be expensive but so fun and quite the workout. I like to think that you are also paying for a personal training workout session with this tour.

The pricing you can expect for a Deep-Sea Fishing Trip is anywhere from $250.00 USD to Upwards of $650.00/$700.00 USD. Keep in mind, the higher the price usually coincides with better boats and equipment.

10. Snorkeling

Bring your mask and fins, or utilize the ones provided with most tours, and jump in. There are a multitude of snorkeling tours to choose from on the Mexican Caribbean coast.

Look below the waves and snorkel ship wrecks in Cancun or swim with turtles, sting rays and colorful fish is Akumal, even snorkel your heart out in cenotes.

If you take a snorkel only excursion, expect it to be a half day trip but many of these tours include an additional 1 or 2 excursions along with snorkeling, making it a 3-adventure tour, for an all-day activity.

You name it, they more than likely have it.

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Top 15 Things To Do In The Mexican Caribbean

11. Scuba Diving

Scuba diving in the Mexican Caribbean must be done in a tour for 2 reasons…

  1. I doubt you’re bringing your tanks and gear with you.
  2. You will need permission to scuba in cenotes and other government regulated areas.

People travel from all over to scuba dive and snorkel Cozumel’s waters and the Great Mayan Barrier Reef.  Diving the cenotes is very popular and you can also scuba with sharks, if you are into that kind of thing. Yikes!

If you aren’t certified, you can get scuba certified while you are here.  Most resorts offer scuba certification. You won’t be able to dive deeper than 40 ft. though.

12. Shopping

With tons of shops littering Playa Del Carmen’s 5th Avenue and much of Cancun,  you are in the right place for some retail therapy.  Wander around and come home with some goodies. 

If you’re wanting genuine Mexican souvenirs look before you buy or better yet, head to a small art and crafts boutique or a candle and bath shop for home made goods.  One year we found a shop where the lady made light fixtures from coconuts that she artistically perforated designs in.  I was thrilled with the find.

There is no shortage of places to pic up souvenirs, I mean you could just pick one up at your resort store.  You don’t want to do that though because they are overpriced plus, you won’t find much of an assortment to choose from. 

So, there are 2 main locations for shopping which you could probably guess but I will go ahead and tell you.

Cancun & Playa Del Carmen which anywhere you are staying, one of them will be a short cab ride away.  Some resorts will even have a tour that will take you to the downtown areas and back to your resort.

Shopping In Cancun

Plaza La Isla also referred to as “La Isla” is, in my opinion, the best shopping experience in Cancun’s Hotel Zone.

This is an outdoor shopping mall located on the lagoon.  La Isla has numerous shops and multiple restaurant options with fabulous views.

The most recent add on to this mall includes many high-end, luxury shops such as Gucci and Louis Viton.

Shopping In Playa Del Carmen

For more of an experience, I recommend Playa Del Carmen, if you are close enough.  Playa Del Carmen’s infamous 5th Avenue is shut off from traffic, pedestrian only Avenue.  This creates a unique shopping experience.  With a crazy number of shops and restaurants to choose from; you cannot go wrong.

They have added an indoor, airconditioned mall to this once slower paced shopping attraction, if you prefer that.

Check out our article, Kick the Sand Up in Playa Del Carmen to read more on  Playa Del Carmen’s famed 5th Avenue.

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Top 15 Things To Do In The Mexican Caribbean

13. Festivals

There are quite a few festivals and parades that take place in the Mexican Caribbean throughout the year. Special dates that many in the states celebrate for a single day such as Cinco De Maya, Easter and Day of the Dead, just to name a few, are a week long affair in Mexico.

If you would like to read more about these festivals and special dates to see what will be going on during your travels or to plan your visit to include these dates or plan around them; I cover them in depth in another article, Festivals of the Mexican Caribbean.

14. Golf

Happy day for the Golfers. 

Numerous Golf courses dot the Mexican Riviera with Pros traveling from all over to play some of the toughest courses.

Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club hosted the World Amateur Team Championships in 2016 and El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Club has bragging rights for being the first PGA Tour event to be debated outside of the United States or Canada.

Other beautiful and challenging courses are the Riviera Maya Golf Club and Gran Coyote Golf Club.

All courses have different fees and inclusions which you would want to call the courses themselves for more information or contact your travel agent.

15. Turtle Release

Last but, by no means, least on our top 15 things to do in the Mexican Caribbean list is the turtle release.

The Yucatan Peninsula is home to so much wildlife which thankfully, locals try hard to preserve.

Every May thousands of endangered sea turtles return to the Yucatan to lay their eggs.  Resorts, up and down the Mexican Caribbean coast, participate in a protection program.

Before sunrise every morning, conservationists search out turtle nests and safely transport the eggs to a nursery on the property. Once they begin to hatch, the baby turtles are released into the ocean.

If you are lucky enough to be around during the release, some resorts will allow you to engage in this process.

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Top 15 Things To Do In The Mexican Caribbean

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Never utilized a travel agent before? Check out How Utilizing A Travel Agent Equals A Better Vacation.



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