Playa del Carmen’s scenic Caribbean coastline and archaeological wonders draw travelers in search of a truly Mexican experience, and it’s a strategic starting point for exploring the Riviera Maya and the rest of the Yucatán Peninsula. Here are your options for Playa del Carmen day tours.
Chichen Itza — 177 miles (285 km) west of Playa del Carmen
Once one of the largest and most diverse Maya cities in Central America, Chichen Itza ranks among Mexico’s most popular sites. More than 1 million tourists venture to these historic ruins every year to wander the ancient pyramids and explore the crumbling temples.
Tulum — 40 miles (65 km) southwest
The Maya walled city of Tulum is stationed on a rocky cliff along the Riviera Maya and was once a major Caribbean port. Today, the remarkably preserved ruins offer dramatic ocean views and include highlights such as the Temple of the Frescoes, which was once used to track the movements of the sun.
Xel-Ha — 30 miles (48 km) southwest
Just south of Playa del Carmen, the coastal resort of Xel-Ha Park is the place to go for outdoor activities. After swimming and snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea, head out on a scuba diving excursion, take a hike in the jungle, or enjoy mountain biking along the coast.
Xplor — 6 miles (9.5 km) southwest
Just outside of Playa del Carmen, the Xplor adventure park is a unique open-air theme park where travelers can fly through spectacular natural scenery on mile-high ziplines, cruise along underground rivers, or drive an amphibious vehicle through a jungle swamp.
Coba Ruins — 68 miles (109 km) west
Another one of the Yucatan’s remarkable archaeological sites, the Coba Ruins date back to around 100 BC. The star attraction is a massive ancient pyramid and visitors can climb the 130 steps to the top for an epic view of the surrounding countryside.
Ek Balam — 97 miles (156 km) west
The Maya city of Ek Balam is one of the peninsula’s lesser-visited ruins, hidden in the heart of the jungle. Full-day tours from Playa del Carmen are often combined with a visit to the Tulum ruins, the flamingo-filled lake of Rio Lagartos, and the Gulf Coast.