Best Cancun Tours for the Ultimate Vacation

Last Updated on June 17, 2022

Some people think of Cancun and immediately imagine never leaving the grounds of their all-inclusive resort with a drink in hand and toes in the sand. And for some, that may be the perfect trip! For others, however, there is much more to a vacation in Cancun beyond the grounds of your hotel. We’ve rounded up the best Cancun tours available and broken them down by interest. Whatever your passions and interests, be it water, wildlife, or adventure, we’re sure to have it covered below in our collection of the best tours in Cancun.

Underwater Sunrays at Cenote Chukum

Some may also assume that because of its reputation as the party capital of Mexico, that there aren’t any adventurous or wildlife tour opportunities. Because of this, when potential tourists are considering whether to base themselves in Cancun or Tulum, they may favor the latter. This is, however, not the case at all! There are plentiful opportunities for experiences and tours of all sorts in Cancun, including for nature lovers and adventurous types.

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Best Cancun Tours for the Ultimate Vacation

An all-inclusive vacation to Cancun sounds amazing, and can be the perfect vacation away for relaxation and partying. However, there is so much more to Cancun and the surrounding area, whether you are interested in some fun water activities, jungle adventures, day-trips, or more.

First time in Cancun? We’ve got all of the Essential Cancun Travel Tips to make the most of your trip!

Cancun Water-based Tours

Cancun has some of the most jaw-dropping ocean colors around, and so many different ways to explore and have fun in the ocean. Check out some of the best Cancun tours to get out on the water!

Snorkeling in Cancun

There is no shortage of guided Cancun tours for snorkeling because there are a number of popular places to snorkel in and around Cancun.

MUSA, Cancun’s famed underwater museum, is one of the most popular without having to venture too far. MUSA boasts over 500 underwater sculptures constructed from materials that actually promote coral reef development. They have a number of interesting constructs, such as a Volkswagen Beetle. Other popular snorkeling destinations in and around Cancun include Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos, and Akumal.

This snorkeling tour of Punta Nizuc and the MUSA Underwater Art Museum gives you a little taste of everything. You have the opportunity to snorkel one of the most beautiful reefs in the area followed by an exploration of MUSA. The water near Cancun is a pleasant temperature year-round, making snorkeling a good idea at any time.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $33 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 2 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, towel, cash, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: No

Know Before You Go: This tour explicitly says no sunscreen, we presume due to the detrimental effects of everyday sunscreen on coral reef ecology. Put on reef-safe sunscreen prior to your trip. Masks are required for COVID. The reef preservation fee of $15 USD is not included, so you have to bring this with you in cash.

Take the Best Underwater Photos: Waterproof Phone Case

Catamaran Tour Cancun

There are tons of different types of Catamaran tours in Cancun for you to enjoy depending on the time of day you’d like to go and what else you’d like included. You can take a sunset catamaran tour, a catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres, or a luxury catamaran tour, among others. One of the most popular of the best Cancun tours is to get out on the ocean on a catamaran.

This Catamaran Tour to Maroma Beach includes snorkeling, lunch and a beer (or soft drink). Get a reprieve from the heat in the crystal waters followed by lunch at the Maroma Beach Club.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $121 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 3 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, sun hat, biodegradable sunscreen, bug spray, towel, cash, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: Pickup is only available at the hotel. If you are staying at a hostel or Airbnb, there is a set hotel meeting point for you. 

Want more beach clubs? Check out some of the world famous best Tulum Beach Clubs!

Swim with Dolphins Cancun

Swimming with dolphins is a very popular bucket list item for people all over the world. One of the best Cancun tours is offered by Dolphin Discovery, and allows you the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with these friendly, aquatic mammals. You’ll take a catamaran ride to Isla Mujeres to meet your dolphin buddies, enjoy lunch and an open-bar at the beach club. On the way to Isla Mujeres, you’ll also visit the MUSA underwater museum for a quick snorkel stop.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $109 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 9 hours (though you only swim with the dolphins for 40 or 60 minutes, depending on the option you choose)

What to Bring: Swimsuit, sun hat, biodegradable sunscreen, towel, cash & credit card, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: No

Know Before You Go: There are height restrictions to swimming with the dolphins. Participants must be at least 3’9” in order to swim with dolphins. There is a $15 dock fee (per person over the age of 6) that is not included in the price.

Subsee Explorer in Cancun

If you want to see Cancun from a different perspective, try the Subsee Explorer Tour. This tour is particularly well-suited to people who want to have an intimate look at the underwater world without actually getting wet! It’s perfect for non-swimmers or the like.

On this tour, the underwater glass-bottom submarine will guide you through Nichupte Lagoon and Mangrove Channels near Cancun.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $33 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 2 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, towel, cash, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: No

Know Before You Go: The $15 USD reef preservation fee is not included in the cost and is payable upon arrival.

Lagoon Kayak Tour in Cancun

If you want to experience a healthy dose of nature but aren’t looking for something as extreme as ziplining or speed boating, the kayak tour of Nichupte Lagoon may be right up your alley. This eco-friendly tour of the lagoon guides you through mangroves and crystal waters while you learn about the local biodiversity of the area. After the kayak tour, you’ll stop at Conchitas Beach to have a snack, soak up some sun, and take a dip in the sea.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $45 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 3 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, towel, sunhat change of clothes, cash for incidentals, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: No

Know Before You Go: This tour will run with no respect to the weather, so try to check out the forecast ahead of time.

Shipwreck & Reef Dive in Cancun

Channel your inner pirate as you explore the depths of a well-preserved shipwreck in the Caribbean Sea. This shipwreck and reef dive Cancun tour is perfect for semi-experienced divers who already hold a diving certification. You will have the opportunity to explore a minesweeper wreck, the General Anaya, and frolic amongst the local eagle rays that like to congregate near the wreck.

Following the wreck dive, you’ll explore another local coral reef and swim with sea turtles, tropical fish, and other critters who call the reef their home.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $95 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 5.5 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, towel, change of clothes, cash, open water diving certification, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: No

Know Before You Go: The $15 USD reef preservation fee is not included in the price and is payable upon arrival. The tour recommends that you have diving experience within the past two years. This Cancun tour is not for beginners or junior divers – you must hold a valid open water diving certification.

Cancun Adventure Tours

Looking to spend some time out of the water and have a little bit of adventure? These are some of the best Cancun tours to get your adrenaline and heart pumping. 

ATV Tours Cancun

A popular adventure activity to experience in Cancun is to take an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) ride through the jungle roads of the Yucatan. There are a number of ATV tours in Cancun, most of which combine ATVing with other adventure sports. If you’re looking for just ATVing, the ATV Jungle Trail Adventure is right for you. Following your ATV tour, you can relax a bit at the Beach Club and enjoy a snack and soft drink.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $89 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 3 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, sunscreen, towel, cash, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: Single and double ATVs are available to use. To ride a single, you must be at least 16 years old. Check the weight limitations before booking.

Cancun Zipline & Combo Tours

Ziplining is another popular adventure activity in Cancun. However, it’s usually paired with one or two other adventure sports in order to make the most of the day. Many tour operators have combined ziplining and horseback riding, ziplining and cenotes, or ziplining and ATV to give you an adrenaline-filled day of adventure. The combo options are some of the best Cancun tours for families and large groups.

This combination tour gives you the opportunity to zipline, ATV, and explore cenotes all in one day! You’ll also get to cross some hanging bridges and enjoy authentic pork tacos.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $75 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 4 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, bug spray, change of clothes, sunglasses, towel, cash, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: Cameras are not allowed. Children under the age of 4 are not permitted on the tour, and anyone under 17 must be accompanied by an adult. If you have any injuries or mobility limitations, please check with the tour operator before purchasing your tickets.

Jungle Tour Cancun

This Speedboat and Snorkel Jungle Tour in Cancun will give you a little taste of everything. Guiding you through the jungle and mangroves of Puerto Morelos and Arrecife National Park, your knowledgeable tour guide will let you take the helm of your own speedboat! It’s a great tour from Cancun for adrenaline junkies and nature lovers alike.

If weather permits, you’ll have the opportunity to do some snorkeling as well, all while learning about the local ecosystem and marine biodiversity of the area.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $50 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 2 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, bug spray, change of clothes, sunglasses, towel, cash, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: No

Know Before You Go: $15 USD dock fee and Ocean National Park tax are not included in the price and are payable upon arrival (fee is per person).

Skyrider Parasailing Cancun

If heights don’t bother you, a great way to gain a different vantage point of Cancun is to take a parasailing ride. The trip takes you over the Nichupte Lagoon and the Cancun Hotel Zone. Although this is one of the shorter tours in Cancun, it’s an adrenaline rush like no other – particularly if you are a first-timer!

Approximate Cost: Starting at $58 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 30 minutes

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, towel, change of clothes, cash, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: No

Know Before You Go: The $15 USD reef preservation fee is not included in the price and is payable in cash upon arrival. This tour is subject to weather conditions, so check the forecast before booking.

Can’t find what you are looking for? Search for more of the best Cancun tours!

Cancun Day Trip Tours

With its prime location at the tip of the Yucatan peninsula, Cancun offers a wide variety of day trip options throughout the region. Among the most popular day trips include Chichen Itza, Isla Mujeres, Tulum, Las Coloradas, and cenote exploration. These guided day trips are among the best Cancun tours available to explore the region without the burden of planning.

Chichen Itza Cancun Tour

For the truly Mayan experience, a trip to Cancun isn’t complete without taking a tour to Chichen Itza. Tour operators often combine a tour of Chichen Itza, one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, with other sites or cenotes on a Cancun tour. 

This Classic Chichen Itza Tour from Cancun includes a buffet lunch, a quick dip in Cenote Ik Kil, and a performance of traditional music and dance. Don’t miss out on this world wonder and book one of the best Cancun tours to Chichen Itza!

Couple at Chichen Itza

Approximate Cost: Starting at $70 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 11 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, change of clothes, sunglasses, towel, cash, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: State tax ($14 USD) is not included and payable upon arrival. Be sure to bring comfortable walking or hiking shoes!

Las Coloradas Pink Lakes Tour

Las Coloradas is a little further than some of the other top Cancun tours on our list, but it’s highly worth a visit. A collection of pink lakes in a fishing village of the same name, Las Coloradas is an Instagrammer’s dream. Taking a guided tour here is ideal, since you don’t have to do the driving yourself.

Las Coloradas Pink Salt Lakes Yucatan

This Day Trip to Las Coloradas from Cancun not only allows you ample time to photograph the beautiful pink lakes, but also a good amount of time exploring the mangrove forests of Rio Lagartos Biosphere and a fresh seafood lunch.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $149 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 12 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, change of clothes, sunglasses, towel, cash, waterproof shoes (suggested), mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: The $16 USD natural park entry fee is not included and is payable upon arrival (cash only).

Isla Mujeres Tour from Cancun

Isla Mujeres, the island of women, is one of the most popular day trips and tours from Cancun for visitors of all ages. You’ll find a great number of Cancun tours to Isla Mujeres, all with their own distinct spin on the day. If you’re looking for a brief respite from the heavy partying and resort life that Cancun offers, definitely spend some time on Isla Mujeres for a few hours of relaxation. It’s also one of the best destinations for scuba diving or snorkeling and has some amazing Instagram spots!

This catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres includes a buffet lunch, snorkeling, spinnaker, and some time to relax at a beach club.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $148 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 7 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, change of clothes, sunglasses, towel, cash, camera, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: No

Know Before You Go: The $15 USD dock fee is not included in the price and is payable upon arrival.

Isla Holbox Tour from Cancun

Another popular island to explore in the vicinity of Cancun is Isla Holbox. Most well-known for the ample opportunities to swim with whale sharks, Isla Holbox has plenty to offer for travelers who want to do things on shore as well. On this Holbox Island Tour from Cancun, you will start your day with a boat trip exploring the shorelines of the nearby islands Pasion and Pajaros. Here, you will have plenty of opportunities to check out some local wildlife, in particular an array of tropical birds. Bring binoculars!

Following the boat ride, you’ll make a stop to swim and snorkel to explore the underwater landscape. Lunch is next, followed by a golf buggy ride around the island and more time to discover the beauty of the local beaches.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $149 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 10 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, change of clothes, sunglasses, towel, cash, biodegradable bug spray, camera, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: No

Know Before You Go: The $13 USD conservation fee is not included in the price and is payable upon arrival.

Cenote Tour from Cancun

There are so many cenotes scattered throughout the Yucatan Peninsula and along the Riviera Maya, you’d need months to be able to fully explore them all. Thankfully, there are a number of tours from Cancun that take you on a tour of the best cenotes from Cancun.

Many of the tours to Chichen Itza will take you to Cenote Ik Kil, but if you want to explore a greater number of cenotes, we recommend taking a tour dedicated exclusively to cenotes. One of the best Cancun tours is this Various Cenotes Tour brings you to four different cenotes so that you will be able to experience a number of the region’s most beautiful natural wonders. On this tour, you can enjoy a glam picnic as well as ziplining and rappelling into the various cenotes.

Cenotes are some of the most Instagrammable Places in Tulum!

Sunrays at Cenote Suytun

Approximate Cost: Starting at $130 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 1 day

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, change of clothes, sunglasses, towel, cash, underwater phone case, passport or other form of identification, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: Don’t use makeup or chemical repellents that would affect the natural biodiversity of the cenote. Always use biodegradable sunscreen and avoid swimming in cenotes with any excess substance on your skin. Shower before swimming in the cenotes (some are available on-site).

There are so many cenotes in the Yucatan! Check out the best Tulum cenotes you can’t miss!

Tulum & Coba Archaeological Tour from Cancun

Tulum is quickly overshadowing Cancun in terms of the hottest vacation destination on the Riviera Maya. Known for its archaeological ruins, cenotes, yoga classes, and boho lifestyle, a day trip to Tulum is among the best Cancun tours to take.

Read More: Cancun vs Tulum: Which is Best for You?

The Tulum and Coba Archaeological Tour from Cancun is our choice for a guided day trip to Tulum. You’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Mayan history and culture while exploring the ancient ruins, to swim in a cenote, and enjoy a leisurely buffet lunch.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $59 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 12 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, change of clothes, sunglasses, towel, cash, camera, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: $15 USD conservation fee to access the cenote is not included in the price and is payable upon arrival.

Want to experience more of Tulum? Check out the best Tulum tours!

Unique Cancun Tours

Looking for something unique to do in Cancun? We’ve got some of the most unique tours from Cancun to have an unforgettable vacation.

Whale Shark Tour Cancun

Between the months of May and September, tourists from all over the world come to the Yucatan Peninsula for the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with whale sharks during their annual migration. Whale sharks are not actually sharks – they are the biggest fish known to man, and these gentle giants have become accustomed to swimming alongside humans in the area.

It’s important to choose an ethical whale shark tour in Cancun. You should never take a tour that guarantees sightings, since this would indicate that the tour operator is feeding the whale sharks – not an ethical practice! Whale sharks are an endangered species, and it’s crucial to their survival that we do our parts as humans and ethical tourists. Don’t go on any tour that allows you to get too close or touch the whale sharks or permits flash photography.

This whale shark tour in Cancun ticks all of the boxes. Sightings are almost guaranteed, and they do not allow you to get too close to these magnificent creatures.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $170 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 7.5 hours

What to Bring: Swimsuit, biodegradable sunscreen, change of clothes, sunglasses, towel, cash, camera, mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: Lunch (sandwich or ceviche) are included in the cost. $10 USD in natural park and harbor fees are not included and are payable upon arrival.

Cancun Taco Tour

It’s difficult (if not impossible) to imagine a trip to Cancun without tasting one of the region’s most iconic foods – tacos! Though there are plenty of other authentic Mexican eats to enjoy, one of the best Cancun tours is one that explores the art of the taco.

Best Cancun Tours for the Ultimate Vacation 1

There are a few different food tours in Cancun to choose from. This Street Food and Urban Art tour is enjoyable if you want to add another element into your food tasting. We also love this Taco and Beer Tasting Tour. You get the opportunity to sample tacos at five different locations, which really gives you a good variety and a nice means of comparison! You get four beers with your tickets.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $78 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 4 hours

What to Bring: A mask (for COVID precautions) – and of course, a healthy appetite!

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: Vegetarian options are available upon request.

Cancun Nightlife Tour

Want to discover a taste of Cancun’s epic nightlife? This VIP Nightclub Tour in Cancun allows you to experience three different clubs with open bar and VIP service. You won’t have to wait in line or worry about cover charges, as this tour includes it all.

The specific clubs you will visit vary depending on the day you select, but you can be sure to visit the hottest clubs in Cancun on this tour. If you love to party late into the night, this is one of the best Cancun tours for you!

Approximate Cost: Starting at $99 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 6 hours

What to Bring: A photo ID, cash, and a mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: The minimum age for this tour is 18. There is a dress code that must be followed in order to be admitted to the club (see link for details).

Temazcal Ceremony Cancun

Although this experience isn’t on the typical tourist radar, nor is it a typical Cancun tour, a temazcal ceremony is a magical experience that you will undoubtedly carry with you for life. During this authentic Mayan purification rite, a shaman will guide you through the ceremony in a sweat lodge.

Following the ceremony, you’ll enjoy an authentic Mayan dinner in the jungle with a community family and a quick dip in an illuminated cenote.

It’s important to note that, although this is a deeply spiritual experience, it should not be confused with the purification ceremony involved with ayahuasca. The temazcal ceremony does not involve ingesting any substances.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $115 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 6 hours

What to Bring: Walking shoes, change of clothes, swimsuit, eco-friendly bug spray, cash, and a mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: This trip is not suitable for infants as it involves time in a sweat lodge.

Private Photo Shoot Tour in Cancun

Want to capture the perfect moments of your trip without lugging around a tripod and camera equipment? Although this is one of the most expensive tours in Cancun on our list, this private photo tour is a wonderful way to ensure you have the perfect photos from your vacation.

Sun Palace Cancun Resort Review Beach

A professional photographer will take you to the best Instagram-worthy sites throughout Cancun. The best part about this is that you can request your own destinations (if you have something particular in mind) or let your expert guide bring you to some of the most breathtaking backdrops.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $435 USD per group (up to 10 people)

Length of Tour: 1 hour

What to Bring: Any props you want included in your photos, a change of clothes if you want to wear different outfits, cash, a mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: No

Know Before You Go: Any entrance fees or transportation costs between photo destinations are not included in the price.

Mezcal Tasting in Cancun

While most people associate Mexico with tequila, the country’s real prized spirit is mezcal. Mezcal is an agave-based liquor known for its smokiness and robust flavor. Tequila is actually a type of mezcal. Think of mezcal as tequila’s bigger, more sophisticated, brother.

You’ll also enjoy a few small plates to share along with your mezcal tasting – trust us, you want to have something in your belly for this Cancun tour!

Approximate Cost: Starting at $55 USD per person.

Length of Tour: 2 hours

What to Bring: A photo ID, camera, cash, and a mask (for COVID precautions).

Hotel Pick-up Available: No

Know Before You Go: Pretty much everything is included on this tour! If you want to purchase a bottle (or bottles) of Mezcal, be sure to have some cash on you.

Best Cancun Tours for the Ultimate Vacation Summary

Cancun is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for those seeking the sun and beach, as well as great tours to explore incredible natural sights, unique cultural experiences, and fun jungle adventures.

Don’t forget to pin this post to your Mexico Pinterest board to have all of the best Cancun tours ready to book before your next vacation!

Best Cancun Tours
The Best Cancun Tours for the Ultimate Vacation

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