You want a vacation in the Mexican Caribbean, but you don’t want to be in crowded tourist areas or all-inclusive resorts. Here you will see the other side of the Mexican Caribbean. This trip is an adventure full of natural spaces between jungles and beaches. You will discover a deeper Mexico and those people and guardians of the jungles, rivers, forests, and traditions during your trip.
Unique corners bathed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea hide incredible landscapes, natural and cultural treasures that you can visit during this trip. A safe bet for those travelers looking for adventure and unique experiences, sunny and relaxing destinations. Be absorbed by the cultural charm, the traditional knowledge of its people, and of course, its gastronomy.
Discover with Rutopia a different Mexico and the hidden treasures of the Mexican Caribbean! Request your trip now!
|Day 1||Arrival in Cancun, transfer to Tulum||Tulum|
|Day 2||Flood in the Muyil Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve||Tulum|
|Day 3||Visit to Nuevo Durango||Nuevo Durango|
|Day 4||Visit Nuevo Xcan and swim in Xibalbá||Valladolid|
|Day 5||Natural and cultural immersion at Yalcobá and Ek Balam||Valladolid|
|Day 6||Learn all about the corn harvest and dive into the tranquil cenote of Yokdzonot.||Yaxunah|
|Day 7||Venture into the jungle and be surprised by the gum tree in Chunhuhub / Return to Mexico City||Chunhuhub|
Day 1- Arrival in Cancun, transfer to Tulum
Welcome to the Mexican Caribbean! Your adventure begins by arriving in Cancun. From here, you will head to Tulum, a two-hour drive from the airport. To relax after your flight and trip, I recommend you explore downtown Tulum. If you arrive in Tulum during the morning or afternoon, I recommend renting a bike and exploring the town. If you arrive in the evening, there is a street food market you can go to for authentic Mexican food or head to the touristy streets where you will find bars.
Day 2- Float in the Biosphere Reserve of Muyil Sian Ka’an
Today you will visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, located south of Tulum. “The area has been declared a Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to rich biodiversity and genuinely breathtaking landscapes. When you arrive at the Muyil community center, you will have a light snack and join a group of travelers to begin the excursion. This community-based ecotourism cooperative works for the conservation and preservation of ecosystems through unique experiences of responsible tourism.
You will walk along an ancient Mayan trail in the jungle while learning about local species and their use. At the end of the route, you will reach your first stop, the little-known and mysterious archaeological site of Muyil. Afterward, you will arrive at the shore of the Chunyaxché lagoon and its wonderful turquoise blue tones, where you will take a small boat that will navigate through crystal clear waters until you reach a small dock. From there, the best part of the day will begin: you will be able to float in the river channels while enjoying the view, a relaxing experience in contact with nature! You will be able to reconnect with mother earth. As you float, you will feel the peace of your surroundings. You will also hear the soft sounds of the birds and the water that will make you live a unique moment. On the way back, you will walk over a wooden bridge through the mangroves and wetlands. Finally, you will arrive at the community center, where you will eat a traditional meal to complete the excursion.
Day 3: Visit to Nuevo Durango
This morning we will head to Nuevo Durango with Enrique, your local guide. He will show you the small ecotourism and organic food production community where he lives. You will participate in a hammock weaving workshop and visit the organic garden.
Afterward, you will enjoy a tasting of traditional dishes and meet Don Manuel and his family. Don Manuel is a community member who manages an Environmental Management Unit (UMA), a beautiful conservation project for the region’s endangered animals. While you learn about Don Manuel’s work, you will be able to observe several species endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Day 4: Visit Nuevo Xcan and swim in Xibalbá
After breakfast, you will leave for the community of Nuevo Xcan to swim in an underground river called Xibalba. The community of Nuevo Xcan, created a community school and are guardians of 22,000 hectares of the nature reserve. You will start with a Mayan purification ritual, guided by the local H´MEN of the community. This ritual is part of the community’s cultural heritage, which consists of asking the god’s protectors of the jungle and cenotes to enter the cavern of Xibalba (the Mayan underworld) and have a pleasant experience being inside it. Once the ceremony is over, you will go several meters underground and swim in the underground river of Xibalba. During the tour, you will be able to explore and enjoy the real natural jewels through an underground circuit of tunnels. You will learn about Mother Nature’s creation and be amazed by her majesty. During your tour, you will enjoy three vaults full of channels, crystalline underground rivers where you can relax, refresh yourself and enjoy a meditation differently, a unique experience!
After lunch, you will go to Yalcobá, in Valladolid.
Day 5: Natural and cultural immersion in Yalcobá and Ek Balam.
You will enjoy a day of cultural immersion in the community of Yalcobá located in the municipality of Valladolid in Yucatán, near the archaeological site of Chichén Itzá. A Mayan community opens its doors and heart to welcome you and offer you unique experiences. You will be able to taste regional food that will leave you speechless, and you will be able to get to know the handicraft workshops of the women of the community.
Later the trip continues with a stop at Ek Balam, which means black jaguar. Its size and majesty reveal its importance. This site was at its peak as a city during the Late Classic period (600-900 A.D.). When the Maya abandoned the area, the dense lowland jungle of the Yucatan engulfed it. The archaeologists and adventurers spotted a group of hills where trees and undergrowth were growing. Digging into the mounds, they found treasure troves of buildings and artifacts hidden for hundreds of years.
After this exciting visit, you will take your bikes (or a taxi, whichever you choose) and ride a 1.5-mile Sacbé (Sacbé means “White Road” in the Mayan language) to reach the Xcanché cenote. In the area, you will have some options for regional food (not included). Once at the cenote, you can cool off and take a dip to cope with the local heat. You can also practice rappel, zip line, or rest in one of the hammocks.
Day 6: Learn all about the corn harvest and immerse yourself in the tranquil cenote of Yokdzonot.
A guide from the Yaxunah community will introduce himself to you and accompany you on this experience.
Yaxunah in Mayan, which means “the first house,” is surrounded by cornfields and dense vegetation. It seems that this situation already existed in ancient Maya times since Yaxunah was an essential center for corn cultivation (the sacred food of the gods). For the Mayas, the milpa was like their home since they had to ask permission to enter.
Your guide, along with the community’s inhabitants, will show you the production process of this critical ingredient in a couple of hours. Here you will learn about the tasks of cleaning, planting, and harvesting, in addition to tasting the beverages prepared with corn, such as potzols, pinoles, nixtamal, and atoles.
In 2005, a group of women from Yokdzonot, Yucatan, organized to transform their village’s Mayan cenote into a unique ecotourism site.
Feel how the earth beats in turquoise waters as you connect your mind, body, and soul as you swim. Take a deep breath inside the cenote and discover the underwater world as you swim. Cenotes were also considered symbolic scenarios and spaces for rain, life, death, rebirth, and fertility rituals. That is why they were so sacred to this culture. This cenote is relatively unknown, so it is not as crowded as others, and its waters have a cool temperature to mitigate the heat outside.
Day 7- Venture into the jungle and be amazed by the big gum tree in Chunhuhub.
You will start this day through the lush jungle with the grandfather and local guide from the community of Chunhuhub.
Did you know that the Mayas discovered the chicle (tzicli)? The chicle season coincides with the rainy season, so, weather permitting, today we will get up very early, have a small snack and head out into the forest. Little by little you will immerse yourself in the dense jungle and discover how the ancestors found their food, water, and shelter. In the end, you will reach an area of tall, leafy chicozapote trees over 50 years old, the tree from which “chicle” is extracted. At this point, you will learn about the process of obtaining the “chicle” from the tree. First, the chicleros make cracks (that do not damage the tree) in a kind of zig-zag, then the sap runs down the trunk into a container. Next, this mixture is put on the fire to generate a gum left to dry. Finally, the extraction is done during the rainy season to demonstrate the activity in the dry season. In both cases, you will learn how the Mayas used the tools given to them by Mother Earth to carry out all these processes in their daily lives.
You will have the opportunity to taste the ecological gum produced by the grandparents of the community.
Our adventure has ended, taking home an experience on a spectacular trip to Mexico on the Riviera Maya. Next, we will head to the airport to drop off our rental car until our next adventure!
Transfer from your hotel to Cancun International Airport
We hope you enjoyed your trip and liked the activities. The Mexican Caribbean has many places to visit, fill yourself with its culture, and connect with nature.
This itinerary is designed to give you another look at the Mexican Caribbean. If you are intrigued by a trip like this and would like to know what other activities the Mexican Caribbean has to offer. Tell us your travel idea here and we will design a custom trip for you.
Extra days – Jícaras engraving workshop at Mun Há and Uxmal
You will visit a beautiful project of local communities that combines nature conservation and traditional Mayan culture. Here, the members of this community will invite you to participate in a workshop on jicara engraving. This fruit was grown in the Yucatan Peninsula and stored food or water in ancient times. You will be amazed to see the different types of crafts made with natural fruit. In addition, at sunset, your local guide will be waiting for you in Uxmal for a guided tour that will allow you to discover this emblematic archaeological site and one of the most important vestiges of the Mayan civilization.
Not ready to go? An experienced expert can help you organize your trip to extend your adventure.