The diving sites that Cancun offers are among the best in the Caribbean, while the Crococun and Xcaret observation areas show birds, turtle sanctuaries, and zoos with exotic animals, and more species that inhabit the region.
There are innumerable adventure and ecotourism tours in Cancun and its surroundings. You can enjoy one of the longest zip lines in Latin America, travel by mountain bike, cross the jungle driving convertible jeeps and swim in cenotes. You can take a day tour or travel for several days through the Yucatan Peninsula.
Nowhere in the world are there as many cenotes and underground rivers as in this region. The cenotes are part of the myths and history of the Mayan culture, so the tours through a labyrinth of passages under the earth have been awarded as the best ecological expeditions in America and Central America by the World Travel Awards.
Different options of hanging bridges and zip lines have been installed in the middle of the jungle, or roads to drive four-wheel drive vehicles. There are tours to Mayan communities that have preserved their traditions, as well as excursions to the impressive archaeological sites. You can also swim with dolphins and even come face to face with sharks in complete safety.
There are different boats that sail to the beautiful islands of the Caribbean such as Isla Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Isla Cozumel and Isla Contoy where you can enjoy the fauna of the region in all its splendor.
There are several ecological parks near Cancun. They can be easily reached by car, bus or by hiring a tour.
Adventure tourism with a high adrenaline content is what the new Xavage park, of the Xcaret Group, located in the tourist destination of Cancun and integrates to the Mayan Riviera.
The fun center opened its doors on April 15, to enter fully into Holy Week, offers daytime activities, is settling on 58 hectares and has 7.5 kilometers of river channels. The park has an installed capacity to receive between 900 and 1,000 people a day and is prepared to grow up to 2,000 people in the future.
It has 300 employees certified in their positions to operate the site, which offers seven activities, which are Howler Monkey, Challenge in the heights, consisting of various obstacles of games with ropes suspended in the air.
Inside the park, there is a children's area where they will find slides and other games. Packages to the park include Kayaking Adventure, Challenge on the heights and the playground for children, but the person decides if they want to add another activity that counts.
The cost of the packages is US$ 69 with three activities, and the Ultimate package, which includes all activities, costs US$ 169 and will be open Monday through Sunday.
There are six parks and seven with Xavage, in addition to the excursions that go through archaeological sites, cenotes and others.
Xcaret is the most emblematic eco-park in the Riviera Maya and throughout Mexico, and offers more than 50 attractions in the middle of the jungle and facing the Caribbean Sea with a wide variety of activities that make it ideal for family enjoyment.
In this immense natural park, you can swim in underground rivers, relax in a cove or swim in natural pools, observe close up huge sea turtles, macaws, and deer, or take walks in the Mayan jungle and visit the Coral Reef Aquarium, the Butterfly House, and the Aviary.
The most beautiful cultural expressions of Mexico are concentrated in the Xcaret park, such as the Ritual of the Voladores de Papantla, the charrería, and the pre-Hispanic dances. At sundown, with the presentation of Xcaret México Espectacular, a trip to the history of Mexico with music and folklore, colorful costumes, live singers and more than 300 artists on stage.
In Xcaret, you will also find archaeological vestiges, since, for the ancient Mayans, Xcaret (which they called Polé) was an important commercial and ceremonial center. Other attractions are the replicas of a henequen hacienda and a typical Mexican cemetery.
A trip on a boat at full speed, a walk on the seabed or swimming with dolphins are some of the optional activities (at an additional cost) to choose from in Xcaret.
The Park also has rest areas, hammocks, showers, toilets, lockers and more than 10 restaurants of different specialties.
Xcaret is EarthCheck certified for its actions in favor of sustainability, such as the Marine Turtle Protection Program and the Red Macaw Reproduction Program. The latter received the Guinness Record in 2011, for the largest number of macaws born in the same facility in a span of twelve months.
During the year there are two special events that you can attend. In May, the Sacred Mayan Journey takes place, which recreates the crossing of Mayan canoeists to the oracle of Ixchel in Cozumel. And from October 31 to November 2, you can enjoy the Festival of Life and Death Traditions that commemorates the Day of the Dead.
The Xcaret park opens every day of the year from 8:30 a.m. at 10:30 p.m.
Xel-Ha is the favourite place for lovers of snorkelling and water activities. It is a Hidden Wonder a few minutes from Tulum. There are parts of the sky on earth, surrounded by the jungle and the cove, where the underground rivers meet the sea.
For its peaceful waters, it is a true paradise to snorkel and admire various species of fish such as snappers, bonefish, parrotfish, manta rays and sometimes sea turtles. The snorkel equipment and the lifeguard are already included in your admission so you can enjoy this experience without limit and safely. You can also enjoy a relaxing walk along the river in a floating tire, between mangroves and beautiful natural landscapes.
The new Faro Mirador gives you the opportunity to discover Xel-Há as never before, from the heights. At 40 meters (131 feet) high you can enjoy 360 ° views of the Caribbean, then descend on a slide to a natural pool.
Another way to get to know Xel-Ha is through the jungle trails on foot by train or bicycle. At your pace, you will find fun activities such as rope games on water, zip lines and even the Stone of Valor where you can take a dip jumping from five meters (16 feet) high.
For the little ones, Mundo de los Niños has slides, hanging games, a slide and a special rest area with hammocks for dads.
Swimming with dolphins, walking on the seabed or snorkelling using the diving equipment, are optional activities with extra cost that you can decide on during your visit.
If you arrive before 11:30 a.m., delight yourself with an exquisite continental breakfast buffet, and from 12:30 p.m., a delicious lunch buffet, as well as snacks and unlimited refreshing drinks throughout the day. There are also several souvenir shops distributed throughout the park.
The Xel-Ha park opens 365 days a year from 8:30 a.m. at 6:00 p.m.
Xplor is the ideal place to live adventures in the heights, the surface and the interior of the Earth.
Fly in the highest zip lines of the destination, the highest one has 45 meters (158 feet) of elevation. From there you have magnificent views of the jungle and the Caribbean Sea. If you have never been on a zip line, start with the flying hammock, which has a lower height and ends in a refreshing swim in the waters of a cenote.
Descend from the sky to the underworld to discover the Stalactite River where you can swim in its crystal clear waters while you enjoy underground landscapes between grottos, caverns, and some surprising waterfall. You can travel another Underground River aboard a raft paddling with your hands, an opportunity to share as a couple or with friends.
The fun also extends into the jungle, where you will drive an Amphibious Vehicle through jungle paths, flooded caves and suspension bridges.
Walking inside the park is quite an experience. Walk through caves full of stalactites and stalagmites formed for millions of years. The meeting centre is a big heart, whose heartbeat you will hear every time you are near.
There are two stations with fruit smoothies, coffee, chocolate, sweet bread and cookies to enjoy as many times as you want. Also, a full buffet to satisfy your hunger after the adventure and rest areas with hammocks and lounge chairs to relax.
As part of your admission, you can use a locker for two people, toilets, showers and changing rooms.
The park is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. at 5:00 p.m. and a minimum age of 5 years are recommended.
A nocturnal adventure where fire guides the way through activities that will release your adrenaline.
Located next to the Xcaret park in the Riviera Maya is the only night park in Cancun, Xplor Fuego, where the adventure is lived in the light of the moon and the stars. Here you will fly in the zip lines at night with a view of the jungle dimly lit until you cross a wide arc of fire.
The paths of the jungle are illuminated with torches to tour them aboard Amphibious Vehicles in a unique experience where you will hear the sounds of the forest at sunset. Get to know the Lava River where you can swim freely while observing the underground and take a tour of Balsas in a unique attraction where you can paddle with your own hands.
Every time you wish, visit the hot drink stations to enjoy chocolate, coffee or champurrado accompanied with sweet bread and oatmeal cookies. And to close with a flourish, enjoy an exquisite buffet that will fill you with energy with its speciality of BBQ ribs. There are also options for vegetarians.
For those who want to rest, there is a special area with hammocks and chairs located around a comfortable fire pit, perfect to share your stories inside the park.
As part of your admission, you can use a locker for two people, showers, changing rooms and toilets.
All activities use modern and safe equipment, and helmet use is mandatory inside the park.
Xplor Fuego is recommended for over 5-year-olds and opens from Monday to Saturday, from 5:30 p.m. 11:00 p.m.
Xoximilco Cancun offers an original and very festive option for those who want to have fun at night in the Mexican style.
In Xoximilco the party begins with a traditional kermes, games and traditional esquites, a delicious Mexican appetizer, as well as a musical surprise to get into feeling. There you will be received by your personal host who will be accompanying you throughout your entire visit.
Then, you will tackle the trajinera (a type of boat) that will take you on a tour of the park's canals. During the trip, your host will tell you legends and anecdotes from Mexico and games will be held to enjoy some good old laughter.
Explainer: The trajinera is a type of flat bottom boat made with planks and waterproofed with a petroleum gum that in Mexico is called chapopote.
Aboard the trajinera delight yourself with a delicious variety of Mexican dishes. To accompany them, a free bar of tequila, beer, fresh water and soft drinks is offered. In the end, you will enjoy traditional desserts. There are also options for children and vegetarians.
In Xoximilco music is the special ingredient of the night. During the journey, they will approach various trajineras with the mariachi, the norteño group or the marimba among many other live music groups to sing and dance.
There is a 10-minute stop to go to the service area, take pictures or continue dancing. And at the end of the tour, you can buy handmade souvenirs in the store.
To visit Xoximilco it is recommended to book in advance since each trajinera has a maximum capacity of 20 people. Wear comfortable clothing (preferably pants or long skirt), biodegradable insect repellent and have a minimum age of 5 years. It is also suggested to purchase the transportation service or go with a designated driver.
Xoximilco Cancun opens all year round from Monday to Saturday in two schedules depending on the dates. September to March from 7:15 p.m. at 12:00 a.m. and from April to August from 7:45 p.m to 12:00 a.m.
Xenses is distinguished by being the only half-day park in Cancun with a duration of 5 hours that offers activities in more than 50 fantastic scenarios where nothing is as it seems.
The Rehilete is the meeting centre of the Park and the starting point to the two circuits of activities. Here you will find a very fun and original store, the area of snacks, toilets and changing rooms.
Circuito ConSentido crosses a fun Path of Dwarves and Giants, where you walk in total darkness different ecosystems in Xensatorium, walk through underground caverns in a Labyrinth of Underground Arteries, discover a space full of nature in El Edén and cool off in the Xítrico Garden.
In Circuito, SinSentido listen and feel a huge heart in Heartbeat, keep your balance in an original Village, slide down a slide, glide through the skies in Bird Flight, float with the current in Riolajante and cover yourself with mud from head to toe in Lodorama.
In every corner of the Park, you will find fantastic scenes for totally original photos. The minimum recommended age is 5 years. Take a towel, a change of dry clothes, and cash or card to acquire original souvenirs or savour some delicious snacks.
Xenses Park operates from Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. at 7:00 p.m.
For those who purchase the transportation service, the following schedules are handled:
Arrival between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and departure between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Arrival between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. and departure between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Visitors without transportation can enter between 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The departure time will depend on the arrival time to the park (the approximate duration of the tour is five hours).
Xenotes Oasis Maya
For those who visit Cancun and the Mayan Riviera, the cenotes are treasures of nature that more than knowing them, you have to live them.
Xenotes Oasis Maya is a tour that takes you to experience the magic of four different types of cenotes, with a different activity in each one, with the comfort and security.
The Xenotes Tour takes you to the heart of the Ruta de los Cenotes, located a few kilometres from Cancun, heading to Playa del Carmen, at kilometre 22 of the Puerto Morelos - Leona Vicario highway.
There the Closed Cenote or Cavern awaits you, a jewel hidden under the earth. Discover it while you go down in Assisted Rappel to its beautiful turquoise waters.
The Cenote Antiguo or Cenote Viejo is an oasis that you can admire from above by sliding down a zip line.
The Open Cenote is the perfect place to go kayaking and admire its walls full of vegetation and hanging gardens.
The underwater gardens of the Semi-open Cenote, are a unique scenario that you can combine with snorkelling.
The Xenotes Oasis Maya Tour is done in small groups and at all times you will be accompanied by a specialized guide, who will tell you interesting facts about the cenotes and the legends of the little guardians of the jungle that take care of them: the Aluxes.
On the tour, there will be the fruit of the season, coffee, champurrado, non-alcoholic drinks, as well as a Glam Picnic surrounded by the jungle.
The minimum age to enjoy the tour is 6 years old. It is recommended to bring a change of dry clothes and avoid the use of cosmetics and perfumes, so as not to damage the ecosystem of the cenotes. Sunscreen and repellent must be biodegradable. The tour includes the use of snorkelling equipment and two towels.
Xenotes Oasis Maya operates from Monday to Saturday throughout the year, with pickup hours starting at 9:00 a.m. The tour lasts approximately nine hours, including the time of transfers.
The Xichén Tours of Xcaret Experiences, are the most comfortable, safe and complete experience to know the most important archaeological sites of the Yucatan Peninsula. All include round-trip transportation in comfortable buses with bathroom on board, food, specialized bilingual guides and access to the archaeological sites that are visited.
Xichén Deluxe is a Chichen Itza Tour with luxury bus transfer with two bathrooms, gourmet breakfast and drinks on board. In the archaeological zone, a novel system of hearing aids is used, so as not to lose detail of what the guide says. It includes a walk through the Magic Town of Valladolid, with buffet lunch in the Casona de Valladolid and a visit to the Zací cenote. Every day from Monday to Saturday.
Xichén Clásico takes you to Chichén Itzá on a guided tour in the archaeological zone, visit with a swim in the cenote IK'Kil and lunch at the cenote restaurant (drinks not included). This tour is available every day of the week.
Xel-Ha - Tulum combines the only archaeological site facing the Caribbean Sea in Tulum, with the Hidden Wonder that is Xel-Ha. Unlimited snorkelling and varied aquatic attractions. This tour operates every day of the year.
Xel-Há - Cobá explores the ancient Mayan capital of Cobá and takes you to snorkel in the beautiful cove of Xel-Há, the same day. This tour takes place from Monday to Saturday.
Cobá - Tulum takes you to enjoy a day surrounded by the architecture and history of the ancient Mayan civilization in two of the most representative and amazing archaeological sites of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Xenses - Tulum is a tour where you will get to know the best of nature and the history that abounds in the archaeological zone of Tulum, as well as the best of you, connecting you with your senses, in a fun and fantastic day in the Xenses park.
Fun for the whole family with a good dose of adrenaline. Enjoy 12 circuits of zip lines in this park that are considered one of the best adventure parks.
Ecological and magical reserve where you can ride a bike, swim in cenotes and get on the best zip line in the area.
Natural Reserves and Protected Areas
There are several nature reserves and protected areas that you can visit near Cancun, such as Sian Ka'an and Yum Balam. Here you can see monkeys, flamingos, whale sharks, sea turtles, crocodiles and many other creatures in their natural habitat. You can organize guided tours from one day to several days in which you can navigate by kayak, practice camping, snorkelling and diving.
TIP: All the theme parks you can visit on your own by renting a car. Get up early to observe the sunrise in Tulum, then visit an eco-park.