The Great Mayan Tour

Last Updated Sep 7, 2023

20-day stay:

Do you want to discover Mexico and the mysteries of the Mayan world? The Yucatan Peninsula is waiting for you! I’m sure that your desire can be summed up in one phrase: discover the most of this destination in a short time.
This is the perfect tour to satisfy your urge to travel. Tour the 3 states of the Yucatan Peninsula, from the Mexican Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico, passing through unmissable cultural sites, the most beautiful nature reserves, and emblematic cities. In just 20 days!

Culture, nature, history, gastronomy… A program as rich as dense!
Your itinerary:
Cancún -
Playa del Carmen - Cozumel - Tulum - Coba - Sian Ka’an - Bacalar - Xpujil - Calakmul -
Campeche - Route Puuc - Uxmal - Mérida - Celestún - Chichén Itzá - Valladolid - Ría
Lagartos - Las Coloradas -

Transportation Services

Day 1: Cancun - Transfer Airport - Hotel / Taco Tower

Morning, arrival at Cancun airport, Quintana Roo. Upon leaving the airport, your private driver will be waiting for you to go to the hotel. The private chauffeur service guarantees the availability of a driver throughout your stay. Bilingual driver. More information: Why choose the services of a private driver? Register at the hotel. Lunch of your own choice or included in your all-inclusive formula (depending on the selected stay offer). In the afternoon, free time to rest and enjoy the beaches of Cancun. 😎 At night, a culinary tour to discover tacos in different taquerias in Cancun. In the company of professionals from the local kitchen, you will go from restaurant to restaurant to discover all the flavors that make up the wide range of Mexican tacos. This introduction to Mexican gastronomy will be your dinner this evening, light and typical.

Cancun's Hotel Zone

Day 2: Cancun - City Tour / Mayan Museum

In the morning, we offer you a city tour in the company of one of our guides. To better understand the city of Cancun and the main places of interest that make it up, your guide will take you to the hippest neighborhoods. Walk through the hotel zone of Cancun to admire its white sand beaches, and observe its tourist activity and contemporary architecture. It then continues to downtown Cancun. This activity can also be done by bicycle. Lunch in the city center or in the hotel restaurant.



In the afternoon, free time to enjoy the beaches of Cancun.

To make the most of your experience on the beaches of Cancun, you can dedicate this time to rest or to more dynamic recreation; try the available activities (kayak, paddle, jet ski, etc…) and visit the best beach clubs. Do not hesitate to check our article!

Odigoo Tip
If another afternoon of leisure doesn't convince you, why not visiting the ruins of Cancun during this time? We offer you a cultural tour to discover the Mayan World Museum and the archaeological site of San Miguelito.

The Cancun Museum dedicated to the Mayan world is an ideal introduction before venturing into the exploration of the great archaeological sites of the Riviera Maya such as Chichen Itza, Coba, and Tulum. Inaugurated in 2012, this museum of very modern and avant-garde architecture brings together objects from the Mayan civilization collected in the states of Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Chiapas, and Campeche. From its terrace, it offers a magnificent view of the jungle and the Nichupté lagoon.

The lobby of the museum also hosts the entrance to San Miguelito, a small archaeological site of what used to be a thriving city in the past.

Day 3: Cancun - One-day excursion: catamaran to Isla Mujeres or wildlife watching in Isla Contoy

The islands near Cancun are one of the jewels of the Caribbean Sea. Discover one of them during a relaxing day aboard a catamaran, an ideal activity to enjoy with family or friends. 🐟 🐡 OPTION n°1: Isla Mujeres is a small island of a few square kilometers located just in front of Cancun. There you will find the charm of small Caribbean towns.

The program of this catamaran excursion includes swimming, snorkeling, and a walking tour of the island. A catering service and a self-service bar will be at your disposal throughout the journey. Loan of snorkel equipment and life jacket included.

Catamaran to Isla Mujeres

🔍 🏖️ OPTION n°2: Isla Contoy is a treasure of biodiversity that all nature fans who wish to discover the flora and fauna of the Mexican Caribbean will love.

Due to the protection measures taken to save this earthly paradise, the island can only receive 200 visitors per day. Accessible by boat only, visiting Isla Contoy is a day trip. Lunch included.

Attention! Reservations for this tour must be requested well in advance to guarantee availability.

At night, dinner on your own or included in your all-inclusive package.

Day 4: Cancun/Puerto Morelos/Ruta de los cenotes/Playa del Carmen

In the morning, depart for a new stage of your trip—Playa del Carmen. Along the way, make a stop in Puerto Morelos, a small town located between Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

Puerto Morelos

Explore it on foot to discover this charming fishing village that has preserved its authentic character with a calm and warm atmosphere. We recommend visiting the craft market that takes place in the central square. Exhibitors offer beautiful handmade objects as well as original creations by Mexican artists. The prices are attractive and cheaper than in the big seaside towns on the coast.

Lunch in a small restaurant with feet in the sand. In the afternoon, we continue towards the route of the cenotes. Located very close to Puerto Morelos, the Route of the cenotes bears its name well because of many underground wells scattered across it. These unique geological formations form a network of underground rivers and open-air pools.

Stop for a cool swim in the cenote and a refreshing break. More information about the cenotes of the Riviera Maya

Continue to Playa del Carmen, the second-largest beach city in the Riviera Maya. Much appreciated by visitors for its lively and relatively small urban center. This city will seduce you with its many advantages. Hotel registration. Dinner on your own or at the hotel’s restaurant. Free afternoon to enjoy the nightlife.

Day 5: Playa del Carmen - excursion to Cozumel Sea Tour

In the morning, go to the pier of Playa del Carmen to cross by ferry to the island of Cozumel. Once there, you will go in a small motor boat, in the direction of the coral reef of Cancun.

The coral reef, also known as the Great Mesoamerican Reef, is one of the most impressive marine ecosystems in the world. It is the second largest barrier reef after the one in Australia.

The coral reef of the Riviera Maya is home to hundreds of species of fish, sponges, mollusks, and corals, not to mention the marine mammals that can swim in these food-rich waters.

During this excursion to Cozumel, you will be offered 2-3 snorkeling opportunities along the reef.

Lunch is included in this trip.

In the afternoon, you will go to one of the most secluded and extraordinary beaches in the Riviera Maya, Playa El Cielo. This beach takes its name from the hundreds of starfish that can be admired through the crystal clear water on the white sand.

Odigoo Tip
If you don't like diving, why not visit the Eco Beach Park located in Punta Sur on the island? It is possible to organize a tour that includes the entrance fees to the park and the rental of a jeep to get there.

Return to Playa del Carmen by ferry.

Dinner on your own or at the hotel.

Day 6: Playa del Carmen / Xcaret Theme Park / Tulum

It is impossible to spend your vacation in the Riviera Maya with children and not spend a day exploring one of the theme parks in the area of Playa del Carmen.

Depending on the age and composition of your group, we can advise you on the right park for your family. The most famous theme park is of course Xcaret, whose activities are suitable for children of all ages.


You can spend the whole day there exploring the jungle, watching wild animals, swimming in the underground rivers and on the private beaches. Lunch is not included in your visit Xcaret also offers folk dance shows that will let you appreciate Mexican culture in all its diversity. If you have older kids, teens will be happy to test their energy at more energetic parks like Xenses or Xplor which have more exciting attractions for this age group.

Odigoo Tip
If you don't want to visit one of the theme parks in the Riviera Maya, opt for our Outdoor Adventure tour! A day trip full of outdoor activities with ATVs, zip lines, rock climbing, and many other sports entertainment.

On the way to Tulum, the next stage of the circuit of our Grand Tour Maya.

Hotel check-in.

Hotel check-in.

Day 7: Tulum - Excursion to Akumal and Coba Ruins

In the morning, depart for a half-day excursion. Your driver will meet you in the lobby of your hotel. Transfer by car, about 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen to discover Akumal, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Riviera Maya. It is a succession of 5 coves with shallow and crystal-clear waters. The name Akumal in Mayan means "the place of the turtles" since many sea turtles choose these beaches each year as their nesting places. 🐢 🥚 🥚


In the company of a specialized guide, you will be equipped with life jackets and snorkel gear to observe sea turtles in their natural environment.

Important: this highly structured and supervised practice involves group outings of a maximum of 6 people (guide included). 💡 Respect the regulatory distance with marine animals. It is forbidden to touch them and use sunscreen in the water 🧴 🚫

In the afternoon, continue with the visit to the city of Cobá, the mysterious Mayan city buried in the heart of Quintana Roo.

The ancient commercial city of the Mayan Riviera, Cobá, was a place of great importance for the Mayan civilization. Built between 50 and 100 AD JC, it quickly became one of the most powerful City-States in the Yucatan Peninsula. If you feel like it, you can climb the Nohoch Mul pyramid. With its 42 meters high and 120 steps, it is also the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula. At the top, enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the jungle.


Return to Tulum. Dinner and night in the place.

Day 8: Tulum - Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve - Tulum Ruins

In the morning, get up early to check out of the hotel at 5:30 am.

Head to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve for a day spent in nature.

The Sian Ka'an Reserve is one of the largest biodiversity reserves in the Yucatan Peninsula. For the ancient Mayans, this reserve was a sacred place: “the place where the sky was born”. Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, it houses a unique ecosystem.

Sian Ka'an

Once in the heart of the reserve, head to the pier to cross the lagoons by lancha, a typical flat-bottomed boat. Throughout the tour, in the company of a guide specialized in the fauna of the region, you will have the opportunity to observe birds and lake fauna (crocodiles, manatees, dolphins...).

Did you know that?
Wild animals are most easily seen very early in the morning, and that's why we make you get out of bed early.

Lunch is included in your tour.

In the afternoon, return to Tulum to visit the archaeological site.

Perched on a cliff facing the Caribbean Sea, this amazing fortified city is one of the best preserved in the entire Mayan civilization. The city of Tulum was a powerful port city and An obligatory point of passage for trade from the sea.


Its most impressive building called El Castillo also served as a beacon for ships that wanted to dock. Thanks to an ingenious system of lights that guided the boats through the channel, they were able to avoid the reef's pitfalls.

Dinner on your own and free night.

Day 9: Tulum / Bacalar / Xpujil

In the morning, depart to the south of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Quintana Roo is famous for its maritime coasts open to the Caribbean Sea but also for its freshwater lagoons. The best known of all is undoubtedly the Lagoon of 7 colors in Bacalar.

The tonalities of its waters, which range from deep blue to turquoise green, make the Bacalar lagoon look like a fairytale landscape.


During your day in Bacalar, we invite you to discover the lagoon during a catamaran excursion. A relaxing and original way to enjoy this magical place from a different point of view than the shore.

Lunch on board or in a restaurant on the coast of the lagoon.

In the afternoon, relax by the lagoon and enjoy free time swimming.

Then drive into the wild heart of the Yucatan Peninsula. The State of Campeche is located in the extreme south of the peninsula.

Arrival at the town of Xpujil. The place is the starting point for many visitors who want to discover the hidden gem of this remote region—the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve—that you will also see the next day.

Hotel registration.

Dinner and night at the hotel.

Day 10: Xpujil / Calakmul / Campeche Tour

In the morning, depart to the Calakmul reserve.

Located in the heart of the jungle of the state of Campeche, the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve is the largest protected area in the entire Yucatan Peninsula. It is home to a rare diversity of wildlife, with more than 300 species of birds nesting in its tropical forests, as well as a dozen species of felines, including the famous jaguar.

When to visit Calakmul? What to see? What ecotourism activities to practice? 👉 Discover our article! Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.


Upon arrival, visit the ruins of Calakmul, one of the largest archaeological sites in the Mayan world and the largest in the Yucatan Peninsula. From the top of the tallest temple, it is possible to see Guatemala on sunny days.

Lunch on the spot.

In the afternoon, walk in the jungle together with your guide, a specialist in the fauna and flora of this region, in search of the wild animals that inhabit the Calakmul reserve. Spider monkeys and howler monkeys are hiding everywhere in the trees, try to discover them!

At the end of the day, visit a rather special cave. An incredible experience awaits you! At dusk, you will be taken to the entrance of a cave to witness the release of several thousand bats that leave their lair to go hunting—absolutely unforgettable!

Transfer to the capital of the state of Campeche (3h30 journey).

Late arrival, hotel check-in.

Cold dinner with sandwiches and accommodation.

Day 11: Campeche – “Campeche and piracy” city tour

In the morning, free time to rest after your late arrival in Campeche.

Lunch on your own or at your hotel restaurant.

In the afternoon, a guided visit to the walled city of Campeche. Accompanied by a guide specialized in the history of the region, you will discover that the city of Campeche is surrounded by walls as protection from pirate invasions.
A story like from Pirates of the Caribbean!


Continue with a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Campeche, one of the 3 most beautiful museums on the Peninsula, dedicated to the Mayan civilization. Located a few kilometers from the city, this attractive museum with rich collections is housed in an old fort converted into a cultural venue. From the terrace, a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Mexico and its blue waters awaits you.

Odigoo suggests... If the Archaeological Museum of Campeche does not convince you, visit the private beach of Playa Bonita, located just 20 minutes from Campeche. For a small additional cost, you can spend a relaxing afternoon by the sea swinging in a hammock.

Return to Campeche at the end of the day.

Dinner on your own and a free afternoon to enjoy the city and its lively atmosphere.

Day 12: Campeche - excursion to the temples of the Campeche - Puuc Route

In the morning, depart to the Puuc Route, one of the most famous routes in the Yucatan Peninsula. For all lovers of the Mayan civilization, this itinerary is absolutely essential.

The Puuc Route is called so because of the numerous Mayan temples and archaeological sites that it is dotted with. The Puuc period corresponds to one of the first periods of Mayan settlement on the Yucatan Peninsula and its architectural style is very different from other great Mayan archaeological sites. It is particularly recognizable because of the representations of the god Chaac, god of the rain, with his curved nose

During the day we will visit the major and minor Puuc sites around Campeche: Edzna, Dzibilnocac, and Koben. Return to Campeche.

Ruta Puuc

Dinner on your own or at the hotel restaurant.

Did you know that? The Puuc style is also visible in the north of the Yucatan peninsula. Chichen Itza has a Puuc-style temple complex located in the little known part of the Chichen Viejo site.

👉 Do you want to know more about Chichen Itza? Read our article!

Day 13: Campeche / Uxmal / Hacienda Sisal / Mérida

Another day under the sign of culture with the discovery of an important Mayan site in the Yucatan Peninsula and a textile industry that contributed to the prosperity of the region and its economic development.

In the morning, early departure towards Uxmal. This archaeological site located in the state of Yucatan is one of the most impressive in the entire Mayan world. Its name, pronounced Ouchmal, means "built three times."


The city was allied with Chichén Itzá and experienced a peak period between 800 and 950 AD. The largest temple in the archaeological zone of Uxmal, the Pyramid of the Magician is one of the most beautiful on the entire peninsula.

Continue to Merida. Along the way, stop in a hacienda to learn about the sisal industry.

Lunch at the place is included in your visit.

In the afternoon, a guided tour of the hacienda in the company of a site guide. Tour of the rooms preserved in the state that will transport you to the colonial era.

Discover the henequen manufacturing process and the agave fields that surround the property.

At the end of the day, a refreshing break in a cenote. Continue to Merida and check into the hotel.

Dinner on your own or at the hotel restaurant. Night at the hotel.

Day 14: Mérida - city tour - Mayan museum

In the morning, departure on foot for a guided tour of the city of Mérida, the capital of the State of Yucatán.

This superb colonial city founded in 1542, the city of Mérida, preserves traces of its history since the Spanish conquest of the 16th century.


Stroll through the main monuments of the city: the large plaza, the Zócalo of Mérida where you will find the famous letters of the city. It’s a good moment to to take a photo for your social networks.

In this place, the main buildings of the city are concentrated, such as the Ildefonso Cathedral, the Casa de Montejo, which is the oldest house in Mérida (built in 1549), the Macay Museum, and the Passage of the Revolution.

Lunch on your own in the city center or on the way back to your hotel.

In the afternoon, free time to stroll through the quiet streets of Mérida and shop in its many craft and textile stores.

Day 15: Mérida - Celestún Reserve

In the morning, departure for the Celestún Reserve located west of Mérida on the Gulf of Mexico.

This nature reserve is home to a large concentration of plant and animal species. It is particularly famous for its large colony of pink flamingos that are abundant in spring before they migrate to the Ría Lagartos reserve in May.


Visit the reserve in a boat, observe the wildlife and discover a peculiarity of the reserve's ecosystem: the Petenes. You’ll go through the mangroves and canals maintained by the Mayans, guardians of the reserve.

Lunch in Celestun.

In the afternoon, free time to enjoy Mérida and its many places of interest.

Odigoo Tip
Set out to discover The Mayan World Museum. Appreciate its modern architecture, its permanent collections, and its magnificent temporary exhibitions.

In the evening, dinner on your own or at your hotel restaurant. Overnight stay.

Day 16: Tour Mérida / Chichén Itzá - culinary experience - cenote / Valladolid

In the morning, early departure and transfer to the site of Chichén Itzá, Yucatán.

Your private driver will be waiting for you in the lobby of your hotel. The trip takes about 3 hours by car.

The archaeological site of Chichen Itza is one of the main archaeological sites in the region.

Emblem of the Yucatan region, it has been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1988 and included as one of the Wonders of the Modern World in 2007. Witness to the coexistence of the Mayans and Toltecs, Chichen Itza offers a unique architectural synthesis. It is a must-see for visitors who wish to learn about the Mayan civilization.

Chichen Itza

Arrival at 8 am at the archaeological site. Visit the city-state of Chichen Itza in the company of a tour guide. The duration of the visit is approximately 2 hours.
On the program—the Great Pyramid of Kukulkan, the Observatory, the Sacred Cenote, the Temple of a Thousand Columns, the Temple of the Warriors, and the Great Ball Court (the largest in all of Mesoamerica).

Traditional Mayan Lunch

We propose that you participate in a culinary experience organized by a Mayan community. Discover all the flavors of the Yucatan Peninsula and take advantage of the knowledge of your hosts to learn how to prepare typical dishes of the region during a cooking class.

In the afternoon, continue to a cenote located near the site of Chichen Itza. The famous Ik Kil cenote, one of the most impressive in the Yucatan Peninsula, is an impressive open cenote.

Between noon and 2 p.m., daylight falls as if by magic, illuminating a stone platform located in the center of the waterhole.

It will be time to rest and relax with the possibility of swimming. Your guide will tell you about the sacred role of the cenotes for the Mayan people.

Transfer to Valladolid. Hotel Check-in.

Dinner on your own or at the hotel restaurant.

Day 17: Valladolid - city tour - San Bernardino convent - sound and light show

Valladolid is one of the most beautiful colonial cities in the Yucatan Peninsula and alone deserves a day's visit. Discover its architectural heritage and its history marked by the Caste War, a bloody episode that opposed the Mayan peoples to the Spanish.

In the morning, a guided tour of the heart of the city. Tour of the main buildings of this old colonial city with a rich historical past. During the visit, discover the central square and its emblematic monuments, the cathedral, and the Calzada de Los Frailes. At the end of the morning, visit the old convent of San Bernardino, a masterpiece of religious architecture in the city and an important site in the history of Valladolid.


Lunch in the city center

In the afternoon, free time to stroll through the colorful streets of this charming magical town—also known as the Pearl of the Orient.

At night, go to the gardens of the old convent of San Bernardino to attend a light and sound show that traces the history of the “Heroic City” of Valladolid.

Duration about 20 min. Screening in Spanish followed by an English version.

Dinner on your own and overnight stay.

Day 18: Valladolid /Río Lagartos /Las Coloradas /Cancún

In the morning, depart for the north of the Yucatan Peninsula to visit one of the most beautiful nature reserves in the entire region.

The Natural Reserve of Río Lagartos (also known as “Ría Lagartos”) is a perfect place to observe the fauna of the region. Ria, which means "mouth", is located at the crossroads of freshwater and saltwater.

A multitude of endemic and migratory birds come every year to nest in this reserve of waters rich in fish.

It is a protected and privileged place to observe the thousands of pink flamingos that each year choose the Río Lagartos reserve as their nesting place.

Las Coloradas

The best time to observe flamingos is in mid-May, when these majestic birds migrate from the Celestún reserve, located near Mérida, to the Río Lagartos reserve.

Lunch is included in the visit.

In the afternoon, discover a small fishing village.

Las Coloradas is one of the most iconic attractions on the north coast of Yucatan due to its salt marshes. Due to naturally occurring bacteria in the water, the salt flats are tinted pastel colors of pink and orange. Visit them with a site guide who will explain how the salt is harvested. Beautiful Instagram photos are guaranteed! Transfer to Cancun. Hotel registration. Dinner and night in the place.

Day 19: Cancun - Beach and shopping

In the morning, a special shopping activity! To end your stay in style, we suggest a shopping tour in the most beautiful malls in Cancun. Guided by our shopping expert, you will visit the stores of the main brands, the national designer boutiques, and a traditional local craft market where you can buy souvenirs to please all your loved ones back home. Lunch at the famous Mercado 28 in an authentic Mexican canteen.


In the afternoon, take advantage of your last day on the shores of the Caribbean Sea to savor the pleasures of an afternoon with your feet in the sand and your gaze fixed on the turquoise blue.

Odigoo Tip:
To make your last day as pleasant as possible, we can reserve a place for you in one of the famous Cancun beach clubs, for a relaxed and festive end of the day.

Day 20: Cancun - transfer to the airport

In the morning, meet your private driver in the hotel lobby. Transfer to Cancun airport. Assistance in unloading and transporting luggage. Departure to your country of origin. End of services.

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