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The 7 Best Tulum & Maya Ruins Tours From Cancun

Experience the history and beauty of the Tulum & Mayan Ruins with one of these tours

The Yucatan peninsula is a place that everyone should check out at least once. Whether you’re a history buff or simply want to experience something different from your regular, everyday life, this is a location that everyone seems to love.

However, because of this it’s once of the biggest tourist hot spots in the world and there are a lot of sub-par tours that simply aren’t worth it.

We’ve done the hard work for you, bringing you the top Tulum and Mayan ruins tours out there so you can spend your time having fun, learning, and adventuring!

With these tours, you can also count on air-conditioned transport and hotel pickups and drop-offs.

Best Tulum & Mayan Ruins Tours

 Coba & Tulum Mayan Ruins Discovery Combo TourQuintana Roo Exclusive Rio Secreto and Tulum TourCancun Half-Day Private Tulum and Sak Aktun Cenote Tour
editors choice
Coba & Tulum Mayan Ruins Discovery Combo Tour Quintana Roo Exclusive Rio Secreto and Tulum Tour Cancun Half-Day Private Tulum and Sak Aktun Cenote Tour
Departure Point:Hotel pickup includedHotel pickup includedHotel pickup included
Departure Time(s):Around 7 amVaries8am
Tour Duration:11 hours6 hours6 hours
Includes:Transportation with A/C, refreshments, water and beer, bilingual guide, entrance fees, bicycle in the archaeological zone, buffet lunchPrivate transportation in A/C vehicle, train service from the parking lot to archeological site, entrance fees, lunch box, experienced guide, buffet and drinksEntrance fees, private guide, round-trip private transfer, transport by air-conditioned vehicle

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Tulum & Maya Ruins Tours From Cancun

  1. Coba & Tulum Mayan Ruins Discovery Combo Tour
  2. Quintana Roo Exclusive Rio Secreto and Tulum Tour
  3. Cancun Half-Day Private Tulum and Sak Aktun Cenote Tour
  4. From Cancún Tulum and Tankah Cenotes Eco-Adventure Tour
  5. Tulum Early Bird Experience Ruins, Cenote, Lagoon, & Lunch
  6. Cancun/Riviera Maya Tulum Ruins, Sea Turtle Swim & Cenotes
  7. Tulum Discovery Tour From Cancun or Playa del Carmen

Be sure to see our reviews on Cancun snorkeling tours and Chichén Itzá and the Cenotes tours.


Tulum Tour Reviews

1. Coba & Tulum Mayan Ruins Discovery Combo Tour

Coba & Tulum Mayan Ruins Discovery Combo Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 11 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup included
  • Departure Time: Around 7 am
  • Includes: Transportation with air conditioning, refreshments, water and beer on board the bus, bilingual guide, entrance fees, bicycle in the archaeological zone, buffet lunch, taxes and insurance

Tulum is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world, no matter the age or background of the person. We agree that it’s an incredible place, but so is the fascinating town of Coba. Explore both with the Coba & Tulum Mayan Ruins Discovery Combo Tour.

This 11-hour tour starts by picking you up at your hotel, and you’ll travel in an air-conditioned vehicle so you’re riding in comfort the entire time. The first stop of this tour is in Coba, which is home to one of the most significant Mayan ruins in North and Central America.

Most notably, it holds the tallest Mayan pyramid at the entire peninsula, which is “Nohock Muul”. At 137 feet tall, its name appropriately means “great mound”. There’s also an optional bicycle rental service, so you can see more, quicker.

Coba is great for walking around and checking out all kinds of gems at this archaeological site, which means you’re likely to work up an appetite!

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Head over to enjoy a delicious lunch consisting of Mayan “platos tipicos”, including incredible guacamole, handmade tortillas de maiz, and more.

After filling your stomach, you’ll get back on the road to Tulum, located on the Caribbean coastline. On board, refreshments, water, and beer is included so you will remain well-hydrated throughout the trip.

Known for its white sand beaches and very well-preserved Mayan ruins, Tulum is a place you simply can’t miss if you travel to the Yucatan. The ruins on their own are very impressive, but add in the turquoise sea in the background, and it’s simply unreal!

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


2. Quintana Roo Exclusive Rio Secreto and Tulum Tour

Quintana Roo Exclusive Rio Secreto and Tulum Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup included
  • Departure Time: Varies
  • Includes: Private transportation in air-conditioned vehicle, train service from the parking lot to archeological site, entrance fees, lunch box, experienced guide, necessary gear, buffet and non-alcoholic drinks

If you’re looking for a comprehensive tour that isn’t an all-day option, check out the Quintana Roo Exclusive Rio Secreto and Tulum Tour! Just as the name suggests, this tour will take you through the Tulum ruins, and then the Rio Secreto.

Both are some of the most beautiful, interesting places in the country and at just 6 hours, you will still have time to do other things with your day!

We have to start out by saying this is one of the most well-organized tours in all of Quintana Roo. The staff is highly experienced and friendly, making sure that you’re entertained the entire time.

All necessary gear, included life jackets, wetsuits, lockers, towels, umbrellas, and a helmet with lamp is included. Not only that, but the air-conditioned vehicle is comfortable to ride around in.

To start things off, you’ll arrive at the Tulum ruins, where the guide will offer a tour of about 40 minutes regarding the history of the area. After this, you’ll get to enjoy about 1 hour of free time to explore Tulum.

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This time allows you to check out any part you found particularly interesting, while also taking photos of the turquoise waters below.

After this, you’ll head over to Rio Secreto where you’ll begin at the reception to watch a welcome video. This video offers a brief history and what you can expect, where you’ll then be transported over to the reserve. Rio Secreto is essentially a museum of crystals and all kinds of other geological formations, complete with crystalline water.

Here, you’ll also be provided with a safety helmet with lamp, wetsuit, and life jacket to keep you safe and comfortable. As this is underground, all of this gear is important to wear and use properly. You’ll be able to walk approximately half a mile through the crystals, which takes about 1.5 hours.

After you come back “above ground”, you’ll return your gear and then make a toast with Xtabentun. Xtabentun is an anise liqueur which is typical to the region, and made of fermented honey.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


3. Cancun Half-Day Private Tulum and Sak Aktun Cenote Tour

Cancun Half-Day Private Tulum and Sak Aktun Cenote Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup included
  • Departure Time: 8am
  • Includes: Entrance fees, private guide, round-trip private transfer, transport by air-conditioned vehicle

If you’re on the hunt for a tour that teaches you a lot about Mayan history, but don’t want to be out all day, this is an excellent choice.

The Cancun Half-Day Private Tulum and Sak Aktun Cenote Tour lasts just 6 hours, so you’ll have time to rest back at the hotel or partake in other activities in the area. Combining history and adventure, you can count on entertainment for sure!

While it is a shorter tour, it still starts off with a hotel pickup early in the morning, so you may even be back before lunch! You’ll start off by boarding your private minivan, which includes AC the entire time.

If you’ve been to the Caribbean before, you’ll know that this is a must to travel comfortably due to the humidity and heat!

The first stop on the tour is Tulum, which was founded back in the 13th century. Needless to say, there’s a lot of history and culture behind “the walled city”.

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The port overlooks a turquoise sea, which makes it easy to see why the Mayas chose this area. It remains one of the best-preserved Maya sites, which actually lasted around 70 years after the Spaniards arrived.

Along with your professional historian guide, you’ll get to learn how the ruins served as a fort and watchtower and see the Temple of the God of Wind, the Temple of Frescoes, and El Castillo.

Next up, you have Sak Aktun, which means “white cave” due to the limestone and white stalactites which surround the crystal-clear waters! As the second-longest underwater cave in the world, this is a place that is great for swimming and diving into!

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


4. From Cancún Tulum and Tankah Cenotes Eco-Adventure Tour

Tulum and Tankah Cenotes Eco-Adventure Tour From Cancún

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup included
  • Departure Time: Between 7-8am
  • Includes: Round-trip hotel transfers from the main hotels in Cancun and the Mayan Riviera, park admission fees, buffet lunch, bilingual guide

If you’re into adventuring outdoors and learning about ecological conservation, this tour is the one for you. The Tulum and Tankah Cenotes Eco-Adventure Tour will take you through the thick vegetation of the area to see archaeological zones, and learn about the local plants and wildlife.

This 10-hour tour is a longer one, but will cover much more than if you were to take shorter, individual ones.

You’ll be picked up at your hotel lobby between 7 at 8 am in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, so you don’t have to worry about heading to a meet up spot this early in the morning.

The tour starts by going over to Tulum, where your guide will teach you all about the ancient Mayan civilization. The archaeological site features all kinds of fortresses, lookout sites, sacred structures, and much more.

The guides are bilingual and very knowledgeable in the culture and area. However, after your guided tour, you’ll have some time to look around on your own. We recommend checking out the ocean views over the cliffs!

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Once you’ve seen Tulum, you’ll drive over to Tankah park, which is known for its 4 different cenotes. You’ll enjoy some fresh, in-season fruits which are honestly some of the most flavorful we’d ever tried.

After, head into Cenote Cueva, which features a diving platform and zipline! However, don’t exhaust yourself just on the first one, because there are 2 more cenotes to see, too!

After all of this, you’ll enjoy a well-deserved buffet full of all kinds of local food: chicken Pibil, tortillas de maiz, and many other dishes. Before boarding the transport again, you’ll take some time to check out the Tankah village where local Mayas still live.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


5. Tulum Early Bird Experience Ruins, Cenote, Lagoon, & Lunch

Tulum Early Bird Experience Ruins, Cenote, Lagoon, & Lunch

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup included
  • Departure Time: 8am
  • Includes: Round-trip hotel transfers from the main hotels in Cancun and the Mayan Riviera, park admission fees, buffet lunch, bilingual guide

You’ve surely heard the saying “the early bird gets the worm”, right? Well, on the Tulum Early Bird Experience Ruins, Cenote, Lagoon, and Lunch, you may not get a worm but you will get to check out legendary spots and yummy traditional food!

This 10-hour tour packs a big punch, but it’s one of those options that offers so much more than you’re paying!

The experience will start with a hotel pickup at 8am to avoid the hottest parts of the day. You’ll head straight to the Tulum archaeological site with your certified guide who knows all about the history of the area.

At this time, there is hardly anyone there so you have the place basically all to yourself. Located right on the Caribbean sea, you’ll only hear the waves crashing on the white sand beaches.

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Afterward, you’ll go to a jewel-green cenote and be able to jump in for a refreshing dip! You definitely don’t have to go in the water, but with the notorious heat of the Caribbean, it is definitely appealing!

Next up, you’ll head over to a laguna that’s the perfect spot for taking photos, or just taking in the experience. Again, if you’d like you can go into the warm waters should you like! After all this adventuring, you’ll go to a traditional Mexican restaurant, along with some exploring around downtown Tulum.

Downtown Tulum is perfect if you’re looking for some unique souvenirs for those who weren’t able to accompany you on the tour.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


6. Cancun/Riviera Maya Tulum Ruins, Sea Turtle Swim & Cenotes

Cancun/Riviera Maya: Tulum Ruins, Sea Turtle Swim & Cenotes

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 8-10 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup included
  • Departure Time: Early morning
  • Includes: Hotel pickup and drop-off, transportation, professional archaeological INAH-certified tour guide, tolls, gasoline and parking fees, cold water and sodas, admission tickets

If you’re looking to not only explore historic ruins, but also see some sea turtles, this is quite possibly the best tour. The Tulum Ruins, Sea Turtle Swim, and Cenotes tour combines it all to make sure you don’t even have time to think about being bored!

Lasting around 8 hours, make sure you come prepared with a sense of adventure and appropriate clothes and shoes!

Start the tour off right by heading to the ruins of Tulum. Once you arrive to the Walled City, you’ll meet up with your professional archaeologist guide who knows just about everything we could possibly know about the Mayas.

Afterward, you’ll have some time to check out the site at your own pace and revisit the parts that really called out to you.

Once on the air-conditioned coach with your group, you’ll head over to the Xtun cenote. Located in the heart of the jungle, there isn’t exactly a paved road to get there, so a bit of bumpy off-roading is involved for an Indiana Jones-esque adventure.

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Once you arrive, you’ll get to enjoy a wonderful Mexican buffet-style lunch. Try the local dish “Cochinita Pibil” which is some of the best barbeque in the world and is marinated in lime and spices. Vegetarian options are available if you give advanced notice, so keep this in mind!

Next up, you’ll see 2 different types of cenotes: stage 1 and 2. The dry stage 2 cenote consists of unreal stalactite and stalagmite formations (one comes down from the cenote while the other comes up from the ground). Afterward, you’ll go to the “wet” stage 1 cenote where you can snorkel (equipment is included).

If you’d like to warm up, you can also drink their “café de olla” which is an interestingly sweet coffee made with piloncillo (a dark, raw sugar) in a pot or “olla”.

Travel to Akumal Bay, where you’ll get to snorkel once again but this time with tropical sea turtles! The instructor will teach you how to properly use your equipment and all about the turtles and their conservation efforts.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


7. Tulum Discovery Tour From Cancun or Playa del Carmen

Tulum Discovery Tour From Cancun or Playa del Carmen:

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup included
  • Departure Time: Around 7 am
  • Includes: Hotel pick-up in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Riviera Maya, air-conditioned transportation, 2-hour visit of the Tulum archaeological site, entrance fees

Next, we bring you the Cancun or Playa del Carmen: Tulum Discovery Tour. This 6-hour tour is great if you’re looking for something to fill your morning with but aren’t looking to go on an all-day exploration. In fact, 2 of these hours will be spent in an air-conditioned coach and 4 hours on your actual excursion.

First, you’ll be picked up in the morning in your hotel lobby, so long as it’s in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or the Riviera Maya. During your time in the coach, you’ll get to look out of the wide windows to the jungle and even catch site of some jungle critters!

Once you arrive in Tulum, you’ll get to partake in a 1-hour guided tour with an expert guide who has a lot of experience in Mayan culture and history. They’ll show you around the ruins and tell you all about how significant it was to the Mayas.

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Sitting above the Caribbean sea, it also offers some incredible ocean views! There are tons of different structures to check out, so plan wisely. Following the guided tour, you’ll have some time on your own or with a partner to check it all out at your own pace.

Once you have seen everything you want, you’ll head back to your coach transfer and be dropped off at your hotel around 2pm. This is a great tour if you have evening plans, or will be with children who won’t do well on all-day tours.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


Travel Guide to Cancun

best mayan ruins tour in cancun

Going to Cancun, even if you can only go for a long holiday weekend, should be something on everyone’s bucket list. There’s beaches to walk at sunset, attractions to visit, and even if you want to spend a whole day of relaxation at your all-inclusive hotel there will be plenty to do in the form of spa treatments and even a 9am tee time.

Oh, and don’t forget to book your snorkeling tour!

However, there are some things you should know about vacationing in Cancun before you book your trip, such as when to go, what you should be packing, and how you will be getting around the area. Let’s explore a bit of Cancun before you book your trip, shall we?

When to Visit Cancun

If you are looking to spend less on your trip to Cancun, you could always plan to go in the off-season. However, you risk the chance of the weather becoming a problem. It’s the off-season for a reason. Mid-December to March typically has the best weather, as well as the highest costs.

If you want to avoid the biggest crowds and the biggest bill, avoid Spring break season when college students flood the area. From May to December, you will run into the highest temps as well as unpredictable rains. Early December and the whole month of April are usually good compromises for both cost and weather.

Getting Around Cancun

Public transportation is actually very good in Cancun. It’s clean. It usually runs on time as long as the weather isn’t a problem and the crowds aren’t heavy like during Spring break.

And, you will find that it will usually be able to take you to all of the local area attractions that you will want to visit without any issues. If you are looking to cut costs, this is definitely one place you can do it.

Don’t spend the extra money on a rental car and worry more about packing as much fun into every day you are there as possible.

Staying Safe in Cancun

Like at any beach, currents and undertows can be dangerous. If you don’t know what to watch for with the tides or how to get yourself out of a sticky situation in the water, it’s best to stay out of deeper waters.

Also, you should learn what the flags by the lifeguard towers mean. If you don’t know, be sure to ask a lifeguard to teach you beach safety. Many hotels will also have brochures about how to stay safe on the beaches.

If you go out at night – to restaurants, bars, or especially nightclubs – it is important to keep your wits about you. This is important while traveling to any tourist destination. Keep the flashy jewelry and cameras at the hotel room. Always have identification on you. And don’t drink so much that you can’t safely get back to your hotel.

What to Pack for Your Trip

You will be getting wet quite often, whether at the beach or on your snorkeling tour, and you might end up having to bring back wet clothes. Pack a few plastic bags that can tie or zip closed so that your other clothes or your suitcase doesn’t get wet.

Customs isn’t going to like seeing a suitcase that is leaking! While walking around shopping or going to the beach, you will want a tote bag, either canvas or mesh, to carry sunscreen, sandals, etc. so don’t forget to bring a beach bag.

While walking around Mayan ruins or doing some souvenir shopping, you will want walking shoes and if you aren’t traveling in them, make sure to pack them along with sandals fit for the beach. Also, be sure to pack a carry-on that will make it through both the US airport as well as the Mexican airport in Cancun. You will be going both ways.

If you plan on doing much shopping, you might want to pack an extra duffel for the extras that you will be purchasing to bring home with you. Plus, it’s inevitable that not everything fits back into the suitcase the way you packed it in the first time, so extra space might be handy.

It’s Time to Plan Your Trip!

Now that you have the low down on vacationing in Cancun and you know which snorkeling tour you’d like to take with the family, it’s time to book your flights, arrange your snorkeling adventure and start packing!


I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best Tulum and Mayan ruins tours to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a tour I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

Remember; be safe, and stay within your limits and most of all enjoy your time in Cancun!

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The Coba & Tulum Mayan Ruins Discovery Combo Tour is our Editor's Choice for the best tour.

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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