5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

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  • Location: Cancun, Mexico
  • Duration:  12 hours (approx.)
Ride a raft through Ría Lagartos, a wildlife-rich biosphere reserve, and visit Ek´Balam archaeological site on this full-day tour. You’ll catch sight of flamingoes and alligators amid mangroves in the estuary and walk among monumental Mayan constructions with an expert guide. Enjoy breakfast and a boxed lunch aboard your luxury motor coach, and select dishes from a dinner buffet at La Casona de Valladolid – a colonial restaurant featuring the best cuisine of the Yucatan. Round-trip hotel transport from most area hotels is included.


  • Yucatan day trip to Ría Lagartos and Ek’Balam
  • Ride a boat through the estuary of Ría Lagartos, a renowned nature preserve
  • Tour the archeological structures of Ek´Balam and learn about the Mayan Empire
  • Enjoy breakfast, boxed lunch and a buffet dinner
  • Dine on a delicious buffet of Yucatecan favorites at La Casona in Valladolid
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off from Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

You’ll learn historical facts from an expert guide on this all-inclusive day trip to a unique archeological site.

What You Can Expect

Ek'Balam and Ría Lagartos Day Trip from Cancun

Ek'Balam and Ria Lagartos Day Trip from Cancun

Your panoramic coach will pick you up at your local hotel and transfer you to the small fishing village of Río Lagartos for a spectacular 2-hour raft ride through the protected nature reserve of Ría Lagartos. En route, eat a light gourmet breakfast that includes a baguette, natural juice, a muffin and coffee.

Characterized by abundant mangroves and varied fauna, the biosphere reserve and bird sanctuary of Ría Lagartos is a nature-lover’s paradise. During your boat tour through the pristine marsh, your guide will point out the many bird species that inhabit the estuary, including pelicans, ducks, herons, falcons and eagles.

Visit Las Salinas, a 12-mile (20-km) refuge of pinkish water where pink flamingos gather, and keep an eye out for the stealthy river alligators for which the region was named by the first Spanish conquistadors in the Yucatan. You’ll learn about the ecology of the ‘river’ – an inlet where seawater flows between the mainland and a long stretch of beach – before re-boarding your coach for Ek’Balam.

Enjoy a pastry and juice along with unlimited beverage service (including water, soda, coffee and beer) aboard the bus until you reach the imposing archaeological site. Capital of the ancient Mayan empire of Talol, Ek´Balam is an imposing city filled with squares, temples, palaces and a ball court. Surrounded by two defensive walls and linked by several sacbehs (white roads), this magnificent site includes altars, stelae, murals, hieroglyphic texts – and even a steam bath!

Embark on a 1.5-hour guided walking tour and discover numerous monuments with unique urban and architectural characteristics. After touring the 7-square-mile (12-square-km) Ek’Balam with your guide, you’ll have free time to explore the 45 structures of this ancient Mayan city on your own.

Around 5:30 pm, delight in a dinner buffet of traditional and international food at La Casona, a restaurant located in the colonial city of Valladolid. Upon arrival, walk under the building’s imposing central arch, created more than 100 years ago to allow horse-drawn carriages to pass through. Admire the restored French floors and the balconies of the main facade as you savor an exquisite selection of regional specialties, including more than 75 dishes of the best Yucatecan cuisine. If you’d like, browse the onsite gift shop for local craftwork before boarding your coach for return transport to your hotel.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2014

The excursion itself was great. Ek Balam is an amazing site with beautiful friezes and still excavated ruins. The trip to Ria Lagartos was also very pleasant. We had great guides for both of these excursions and their commentaries helped us to understand what we were seeing. finally, we had a very nice dinner at an interesting restaurant in Valiodad. It was fun to see this old city and to enjoy authentic Mayan cuisine. All in all, this was an enjoyable tour that was well worth the cost.

Our only difficulty was with regard to communications before the excursion. When we signed up for the excursion online, I asked Viator whether we could be picked up at Club Med and was told that this was possible. When we arrived at Club Med, we asked the reservation person to confirm the pickup time and place and after communicating with a person from the tour company. she told us that we would be picked up at 7 am on Wed at Club Med. When we were not picked up, we contacted the tour company ourselves and found out that they don't stop at Club Med, but at Westin - a nearby resort. They were gracious in rescheduling us to Friday and all went well from that point on.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2014

FANTASTIC!!! Would recommend this one over most of the others :-)

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Tour code: 6140EKRL


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