10 Days in Yucatan: Ultimate 10-Day Itinerary

How to visit Yucatan in 10, 11 or 12 days?

Do you want to visit the Yucatan Peninsula in 10 days?

To help you prepare for your trip, I have prepared a 10-day itinerary for you in Yucatan which will allow you to discover the unmissable places of interest of the peninsula.

Archaeological sites, colonial towns, cenotes and magnificent beaches: the program is sure to please you!

Departing from Cancun, you will first leave the coast to visit the famous Mayan city of Chichen Itzá and the yellow city of Izamal.

You will then leave for Mérida to see the site of Uxmal and observe the pink flamingos of Célestun.

Then you will return to the Riviera Maya to enjoy the magnificent beaches of Tulum, explore the Sian Ka’an reserve and swim with turtles in Akumal!

You’ll sail up the coast to Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos, then take the ferry to Cozumel Island where you’ll spend the last few days before returning to Cancun for your departure.

As always, for each stage, I have also included my advice and practical information as well as the best hotels to stay according to your budget.

So what to do and see in the Yucatan in 10,11 or 12 days?

Day 1: Cancun

Welcome to Cancún!

This Caribbean city hosts the largest airport in the region and receives many international flights from North America and Europe and elsewhere in the world every day.

It will therefore be very easy to find your flight!

As soon as you arrive at the airport, take possession of your rental car.

If you plan to do this Yucatan tour without a car instead , you can book this transfer with air conditioning  to go directly to your hotel.

Another option, slower but a little cheaper, is to take the ADO bus to the center of Cancun, then take the R-1 bus which runs along the hotel zone.

Once the luggage has been dropped off at the hotel, you can:

  • Profiter du soleil on the beaches of Cancun like Playa Tortugas, Playa Los Delfines, Playa Langosta, Playa Linda, Playa Caracol, Playa Marlin.
  • Visit the El Rey archaeological site near Playa Delfines
  • Discover Isla Blanca located on the tip of Cancun, a great kitesurfing spot…and my favorite beach in Cancun!
  • Climb to the Torre Escenica for its panoramic view at a height of 110m
  • Take a trip to Mercado 28, a large market with restaurants and souvenirs

Tips for your Yucatan itinerary:
To know everything about Cancun, with the best activities and all practical information, don’t miss my Ultimate Guide to Cancun!

In the evening, if you feel like experiencing a Mexican fiesta, I recommend Xochimilco Cancun.

For 3 hours you will ride in a typical colorful boat, with Mexican meal and open bar (tequila, beer and soft drinks), all accompanied by music, including mariachis!

Namely that it is a party open to the whole family, from 5 years old.

Buy your ticket for Xoximilco here.

Spend the night in Cancun.

Accommodation in Cancun

  • Mayan Monkey Cancun : festive hostel in the hotel zone of Cancun, very close to the beach and bars. Terrace, outdoor swimming pool, bar with happy hour, air conditioning, table tennis, good wifi. Private rooms and dormitories, from just 22 euros!
  • Bed and Breakfast Pecari : if you are looking for more comfort, I recommend Pecari without hesitation! This is a beautiful bed and breakfast located on a quiet street close to the city center and the ADO bus station, with a relaxation area by the pool, spacious rooms and a good breakfast.  From just 46 euros per night!
  • Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites : rooms, suites and villas that can accommodate from 2 to 12 people with direct access to the beach Outdoor pool, children’s pool, spa, gym, restaurant, beach bar. With breakfast included, from  200 euros
  • The Royal Sands Resort & Spa : spacious rooms and suites with sea views, in the heart of Cancun’s hotel zone. Large outdoor swimming pool, gym, spa, good restaurants, sports bar and several activities. With all-inclusive formula, from  443 euros
Yucatan itinerary
The Xoximilco party in Cancun

Day 2: Chichen Itzá and Izamal

Morning – Today, continue your Yucatan itinerary with a visit to the famous city of Chichen Itza!

Main tourist attraction of Yucatan, this emblem of the Mayan world is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is in the list of the 7 new wonders of the world.

You will be able to see El Castillo which is the main pyramid dedicated to the god Kukulcan, the El Caracol astronomical observatory , the Mayan pelota court, the Tzompantli where the enemy warriors were impaled, and the Temple of the Warriors and its 1000 columns.

Allow 2-3 hours to visit Chichen Itza  and I really recommend doing it early in the morning! It’s best to avoid the sun which is very strong in the middle of the day, but also to avoid the crowds since it’s a very touristic site!

You can buy your skip-the-line ticket to Chichen Itza here.

Getting to Chichen Itza from Cancun:

  • By car: 2h20 by taking the 180D. Parking 80 pesos.
  • By public transport: 3h by ADO bus, it leaves you in front of the entrance
  • By organized excursion : a very good option if you don’t have a car is to take an excursion from Cancun with pick-up at your hotel. I recommend this visit to Chichen Itza early in the morning to fully enjoy the site. Book here!

In the afternoon – Visit the small town of Izamal, which owes its nickname of “yellow town” to the pretty color of its facades.

Start with the Convent of Saint Anthony of Padua which is the symbol of the city. Its atrium, surrounded by 75 arches, is  the second largest  in the world  after St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican!

Stroll through Itzamna Park, the main square, and 5 de Mayo Park where you’ll find a cafe and craft shop.

Also not to be missed are the Itzamatul pyramid and the Kinich Kakmo pyramid, which is one of the  highest pyramids in Yucatan!

For lunch, I really recommend the Kinich, recognized as one of the best traditional cuisine restaurants in Yucatan.

If you have time, explore the San Ildefonso district,  the very traditional Los Remedios  district and the  El Gallito district.

Tips for your Yucatan itinerary:
For a fun activity to do in the evening: at 8 p.m. there is a video mapping show that presents the history of the city. There are screenings at 5 locations in Izamal, departing from Parque de los Cañones.

100 peso ticket, from Thursday to Saturday.

Spend the night in Izamal.

Getting to Izamal from Chichen Itza:

  • By car:  1 hour taking the 180D to Kantunil, then the 53 to Izamal
  • By public transport: 2h30 by first taking a bus or colectivo from Piste to Hoctun, then another to Izamal

Accommodation in Izamal

  • Departamentos X’Kanlol : very clean and well located rooms in the center near the bus station, with garden and bike rental. From only 22€ per night!
  • Hotel San Miguel Arcangel : not only is it the best budget hotel in Izamal, but it is perfectly located opposite 5 de Mayo Park! I loved its green patio and its colonial-style decor. Breakfast included, from only 40€ per night!
  • Hotel Boutique Kocai : beautiful Mayan-style ecological cabins located in the center of Izamal with swimming pool, hammocks, garden and restaurant. From €73 per night
  • Hacienda Sacnite : hacienda which has retained its authentic rural character while offering an intimate, chic and romantic side . With large gardens, lots of plants and palm trees, a beautiful swimming pool. It is one of the most charming hotels in YucatanFrom €90 per night
The famous site of Chichen Itza, Yucatan itinerary
The famous site of Chichen Itza in the state of Yucatan

Day 3-4: Merida

Day 1 – For this new stage of your 10-day Yucatan itinerary, set off to explore the Mérida region.

Morning – Discover the city of Uxmal. 

Uxmal was an important Maya city allied with Chichen Itza. It is considered an architectural jewel of the Puuc style which stands out, among other things, for the richness of its carved stone facades.

Things to see when visiting Uxmal:

  • The  Pyramid of the Diviner, the main pyramid of Uxmal which welcomes you as soon as you enter
  • La  Grande Pyramide  et son  Temple of the Macaws
  • The  Palace of the Governors
  • The Mayan Ball Court 
  • Other structures such as the  Quadrangle of the Birds, the  Quadrangle of the Nuns, the  House of Turtles

For everything you need to know about Uxmal, here is my ultimate guide to Uxmal!

Also 20 min from Uxmal is Kabah, another Puuc-style site .

It’s almost non-touristy and much smaller than Uxmal, but its main building called ‘Codz Poop’ or ‘Palace of Masks’ is a must see.

Getting to Uxmal from Mérida :

  • By car : 1h15 taking the Carretera Federal 261 towards Santa Elena to Uxmal. Parking costs 80 pesos. Kabah is further on the same road, 20min from Uxmal.
  • By bus: departure at 9:05 from the TAME terminal, return at 3:00 p.m. 2h trip, 84 pesos one way.
  • On an organized excursion : this is the ideal option so you don’t have to worry about transport! The excursion from Mérida includes transport by air-conditioned van, the guided tour of Uxmal and free time, as well as the visit to Kabah.

Easy to book here.

In the afternoon – Return to Mérida, to discover the pretty capital of the State of Yucatan.

You can walk in its historic center: start with the Plaza Grande with the cathedral, the Casa de Montejo which is the oldest house in the city and the Macay Museum, a museum of contemporary art. All free!

Take Calle 64 to see its houses with colorful facades, then go for a walk on the Paseo de Montejo, a large avenue inspired by the  Champs Élysées in Paris.

In the evening, take a walk in Santa Lucia Park lined with restaurants with terraces and where you can listen to music.

Tips for your Yucatan itinerary:
Another interesting activity to get an overview of the city is to take the tourist bus.

I did this during my visit because it was too hot, and I loved it!

It’s a journey of 1h30-2h, in a small bus called “guagua” which looks like a tram. The visit, commented by a guide, takes us to see the main monuments, but also neighborhoods outside the historic center.

Spend the night in Merida

Getting to Mérida from Izamal:

  • En voiture : 1h of route en prenant la route YUC 11 puis Carretera Costera del Golfo/ Valladolid – Merida/Mexico 180 W
  • By bus : 1h30 with Autobuses del Centro
Yucatan itinerary
The Canton Palace south of the Paseo de Montejo in Mérida

Day 2 –  Spend the day in Célestun, a must-see destination in Yucatan, known primarily for being the best place to see flamingos in Mexico!

You must first go to the fishing village of Célestun and board a small boat that will take you to the Ria Célestun Biosphere Reserve.

This reserve is the refuge of some 300 species of birds, including a large colony of flamingos, which can be seen mainly from November to April.

You can take the boat tour from the Parador Turístico Celestún (1h30 tour) or from the beach (2h30 tour).

Another option is to take a day trip from Mérida with pick up at your hotel, the boat trip to see the flamingos, swimming in a clear water spring surrounded by nature, free time and lunch on the beach.

Book here.

After visiting the reserve, you can also:

  • Stroll through the small village of Celestun and see its main square, discover its crafts
  • Ecotourism in Jaltun Park with its hiking trails, botanical garden, kayak tours
  • See the pink water lake of Célestun. The extraction of salt in this basin dates back to the time of the ancient Mayans! To get there, you have to go to the Ex-hacienda Real de Salinas
  • Relax on Célestun beach, with calm water and far fewer tourists than on the Riviera Maya!

There are also several nice bars and restaurants along the beach of Célestun to have a good time.

Tips for your Yucatan itinerary:
If you go to Célestun by car, you can take the opportunity to stop at the villages of HunucmaKinchil and Tetiz which are on the road from Mérida.

Spend the night in Merida

Getting to Celestun from Mérida:

  • By car : 1h15 by the Carretera 281.
  • By public transport  : 2h30 from Terminal Noreste, bus 70 pesos – departures every hour from 6am. Or by colectivo near the terminal, 40 pesos – less frequent departures.
  • As a day trip : as mentioned above, this is the easiest option with pick-up from your hotel in Mérida, the boat tour in the reserve, free time and lunch on the beach. A really nice and complete excursion!
The Celestun Reserve, Yucatan itinerary
The Celestun Reserve

Accommodation in Merida

Here are my accommodation suggestions in Mérida :

  • Nomadas it is the largest hostel in Mérida, but above all the one with the friendliest atmosphere in the city. There is a swimming pool surrounded by hammocks and plants, courses (yoga, cooking, etc.) and all well located, in the center of Mérida. Bed in dormitory,  from only 16 euros per night!
  • El Gran Hotel: perfectly located in the center of Mérida, right next to the cathedral, this is a hotel with a certain charm, where time seems to have stood still with its colonial look and its pretty woodwork. There is a restaurant on site, the rooms are spacious and the wifi works well. Good value for money at only 54 euros a night!
  • Hotel Hacienda Merida VIP: this small luxury hotel is the ideal place to spend a  romantic stay in Mérida. Located in the heart of the historic center, it is an address that looks like a chic hacienda, illuminated by candlelight when night falls. Here you will find a nice swimming pool, very comfortable rooms, as well as an on-site restaurant and bar. From 150 euros per night
  • Hotel Boutique Mérida Santiago: This is a small, cozy hotel with a colorful hacienda look, both modern and with a traditional Mexican touch. Swimming pool with deckchairs and parasols, a very good homemade breakfast, spacious rooms, this is the ideal hotel if you are looking for good comfort without falling into luxury. From 180 euros per night

Day 5-7: Tulum

For this new leg of your 10-day Yucatan itinerary, hit the road again towards the Riviera Maya where you will spend a few days in Tulum, a tropical paradise of white sand!

Day 1- Today visit the city of Tulum and its most beautiful attractions

Start with the archaeological site of Tulum located facing the Caribbean Sea.

In 1h-1h30, you can visit the wall, the Castillo which is the main structure, the Temple of the Frescoes, the temple of the Descending God, and several other structures.

After the visit, cool off in a cenote. Cenotes are natural water wells that were considered sacred by the Mayans!

Today several Yucatan cenotes are open to the public for swimming, snorkeling or diving.

If you are traveling with family, you can go to the side of the Gran Cenote, the cenote Dos Ojos, the cenote Zacil-Ha.

For a wilder cenote, there are the Nicte-Ha, Taak Bi Ha,  Cristal or Escondido cenotes.

In the afternoon, take a stroll along Tulum’s Beach Strip in the Hotel Zone, where there are several cute shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. It is therefore the ideal place for lunch.

As the road runs along the beach, you will already be close to kilometers of fine sand! You can then land at Playa Paraiso or Playa Las Palmas.

In the evening, there are several bars in Tulum with a good atmosphere such as Casa Jaguar, Gitano, Papaya Playa Project

Getting to Tulum from Merida:

  • By car : 3h15, taking the 180 towards Kantunil, then follow the 180D to Valladolid and the 180 towards Chemax-Coba. Follow Chemax-Coba and the 109 to Tulum.
  • By bus : 4 hours with the ADO bus from the CAME terminal . I suggest taking the first departure at 6:40 a.m. so as not to waste too much time on the day! The Mayab company also makes the trip, but beware it is longer (5h-5h30).
The archaeological site of Tulum facing the sea, Yucatan itinerary
The archaeological site of Tulum facing the sea

Day 2 – The Sian Ka’an Reserve

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is a must-see during a 10-12 day tour in the Yucatan because it is a great paradise of biodiversity.

There are more than 300 species of birds, 100 species of animals and 1000 species of plants, between the sea and the tropical forest.

There are two accesses to Sian Ka’an, to choose according to the time you have and your desires:

1. A day in Punta Allen allows you to see the beach, salt water lakes, watch dolphins, snorkel in coral reefs.

It is really the destination that offers a more complete discovery of Sian Kaan!

The problem is that you have to have a 4×4 car to get there, or take an excursion from Tulum.

You can book the Punta Allen excursion with pick-up from your hotel, which also includes lunch.

  1. A half day in Muyil offers the opportunity to see the jungle of Sian Ka’an, with its marshes, freshwater lagoons and the Mayan ruins of Muyil.

It’s a much shorter tour that I only recommend if you have a short time.

The advantage of Muyil is its ease of access (20 min from Tulum) by car or by ADO bus, in the direction of Chunyaxché.

You can book this excursion to Muyil from Tulum, with visit to Sian Ka’an and lunch.

Around the Sian Ka’an Reserve, you can also visit:

  • Boca Paila : a magnificent beach located at the entrance to the reserve, between the Caribbean Sea and the  Muyil Lagoon, towards Punta Allen
  • Kaan Luum : a lake located in the middle of the jungle, at the gates of Sian Ka’an, which encloses a cenote 82m deep!
  • Nopalitos Lagoon

Spend the night in Tulum.

Yucatan itinerary
The Sian Kaan reserve in the Yucatan

Day 3 –  Morning departure to Akumal, the best place to swim with turtles in the Yucatan!

Here, as the turtles are protected, the activity must be accompanied by a guide who ensures that certain measures are respected so as not to stress them.

When diving, you can see 3 types of turtles, many fish and corals.

It is now mandatory to take an excursion to swim with the turtles in Akumal.

You can find several agencies on the beach, or take this more complete excursion with pick-up at your hotel.

It includes diving with turtles in Akumal Bay, but also swimming in a cenote and visiting a cave!

To book here.

In addition to diving, you can discover enjoying the beaches, going to Half Moon Bay and Laguna Yal-Ku.

Coming back to Tulum, I recommend that you stop at the beaches of Xcacel and Chemuyil  which are only 10 minutes from Akumal.

They are two virgin beaches of white sand and transparent water, not touristy.

Important to know : there is nothing on site (no facilities, no restaurant) so if you go, remember to bring the essentials such as your towel, snacks, water and ideally an umbrella. And you have to leave at 5:30 p.m.!

Spend the night in Tulum.

Getting to Akumal from Tulum

  • By car : 25 min taking highway 307 towards Cancun
  • By public transport : take a colectivo from the main street towards Playa del Carmen
Yucatan itinerary
A turtle in Akumal

Accommodation in Tulum

  • Mayan Monkey Tulum: this hostel offers excellent value for money! Beautiful modern decoration and good atmosphere, swimming pool, bar, garden, fast wifi, access to the kitchen, yoga classes, coworking, bike and motorbike rental. Dormitories and private rooms,  from only 22€ per night!
  • Casa Almendro: for a little more comfort, here is a  small budget hotel in the center of Tulum. It’s a green oasis with a nice big roof terrace with chairs and hammocks. Perfectly located, close to shops, restaurants, the ADO bus station. King bed and breakfast included, from  just €45 a night!
  • Diamante K: it offers  top-of-the-range comfort  at a very reasonable price, which is  exceptional in Tulum. Especially for a  hotel with  direct access to the beach  in the hotel zone! Bohemian chic atmosphere, restaurant, hammocks and beds on the private beach, massage service. Bungalow from 190 € per night!
  • Habitas Tulum: this small ecological hotel  with a chic design is ideal for a romantic stay in Tulum. It is a true haven of peace hidden between the palm trees, with a magnificent swimming pool and a private beach. With the added bonus of several on-site activities, such as yoga classes on the terrace facing the sunset. From 340€ per night!
  • Kanan Tulum – Adults Only: here is finally the  best choice for a luxury stay in TulumThis is an adults-only  eco-friendly hotel located on a beautiful private beach with hammocks and beds. Beautiful roof terrace with a bar, a very good restaurant on site, spacious rooms and a very friendly welcome. From €520 per night!

Day 8: Playa del Carmen

Leave Tulum, drive along the coast of the Riviera Maya and continue to  Playa del Carmen.

As your short stay in Yucatan forces you to maximize your time, and there is so much to do in Playa del Carmen, you will have to make choices depending on how much time you have left.

Here are my suggestions:

Option 1 – Exploring the caves of Rio Secreto (half day)

Rio Secreto is one of my favorite activities in Yucatan.

We explore 600m of an underground river located in a nature reserve, which is part of a large network of caves of 40km.

The guided tour  alternates walking and swimming in crystal clear water, surrounded by a multitude of stalactites and stalagmites.

And since the visits are in small groups, with reservations required, you can really enjoy nature!

Don’t forget your bathing suit!

You can easily book the entrance to Rio Secreto which includes lunch with local products.

You will then have plenty of time to stroll around Playa del Carmen.

Otherwise, you can also head to Xpu-Ha beach, one of the prettiest beaches in the Riviera Maya, and take the opportunity to go to Cenote Azul located just opposite.

  • Rio Secreto is just 12 minutes from Playa del Carmen. You just have to go in the direction of Tulum, by car (Carretera 307), by ADO bus or by colectivo.

Spend the night in Playa del Carmen

Yucatan itinerary
Rio Secreto

Option 2- Full day at Xcaret Park  (1 day)

Xcaret is a must do in Yucatan! It is a large park of 80 hectares with an ecotourism and cultural theme located between the jungle and the Caribbean Sea.

And, precisely, since it is located in the heart of nature, expect to see a multitude of animals such as crocodiles, tapirs, flamingos, iguanas and monkeys.

Better to arrive early because there is so much to do and see in Xcaret. Besides, I’ve never managed to do everything in one day, so the choice is yours:

  • The large aquarium with some 5000 marine organisms including many corals
  • The Mayan ruins of Polé which date back more than 1000 years
  • The underground rivers Río Azul, Río Maya and Río Manati. It is better to choose only one because it takes 40 min-1 hour to swim and float (life jacket compulsory!) in each of them.
  • The hiking trail in the jungle to discover the sacred trees of the Mayans, and the museum of orchids and bromeliads
  • Take a boat trip on the Rio Paraiso
  • Enjoy Xcaret beach, natural pools and the lagoon
  • The play area reserved for children with water slides, a network of tunnels, suspension bridges, obstacles and a labyrinth.
  • The panoramic tower which offers a 360° view, 80m high
  • An immersion in Mexican culture with: a colorful Mexican cemetery, a traditional Yucatan hacienda, the Mexican Folk Art Museum, chapels, an ancient Mayan village with pre-Hispanic dances

And finally, do not miss México Espectacular!

It’s a spectacular 2-hour show with 300 artists that presents the history, culture and traditions of Mexico.

Here you can buy your tickets for Xcaret which includes the México Espectacular show and pick-up from your hotel.

If you prefer to go to Xcaret on your own, by car it takes 15 minutes by taking highway 307 towards Tulum; otherwise by bus from the ADO terminal on Quinta Avenida, or by colectivo towards Tulum departing at the corner of Calle 1 Sur and Avenida 45 norte

You can purchase your tickets to Xcaret with the México Espectacular show, but without hotel pickup here.

Spend the night in Playa del Carmen

Tips for your Yucatan itinerary:
The best way to enjoy the parks is to stay at Hotel Xcaret

In addition to meals, you will have full and free access to all the parks! (Xcaret, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xenses, Xoximilco, Xel-Ha and Xenote)

Yucatan itinerary
X-Caret Park

Option 3 – Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos (1 day)

In the morning, depart for Puerto Morelos.

As it is only 400m from the second largest coral reef, it offers superb diving spots, in addition to its pretty beaches.

And yet she managed to escape mass tourism. Better enjoy it now!

Puerto Morelos is also the starting point of the famous Cenotes Route, a 35km route that passes through many cenotes.

If you like adrenaline, I suggest you go to Selvatica Park which has been recognized as the best adventure park in Latin America and one of the 35 best adventures in the world  by Travel+Leisure magazine  !

This is a 5 hour activity with pick up from your hotel and lunch.

It includes a network of 10 zip lines, swimming in a cenote and access to Tarzania, which is halfway between a zip line and a roller coaster.

Book directly here.

After Puerto Morelos, you can return to Playa del Carmen to explore the town:

  • Profitez des plages de Playa del Carmen such as Playa Mamitas, Playacar, Playa Tukan, Playa Paraíso, Playa Paamul
  • Go all the way to Punta Esmeralda, with a free beach and cenote. Very quiet during the week!
  • Walk on Quinta Avenida, the busy long main avenue, with restaurants, shops, bars, street entertainment
  • Go in search of the most beautiful street art murals (there are plenty!)
  • Watch the Volador Dance and the Aztec Dance at Parque de los Fundadores, both free
  • Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum

Tips for your Yucatan itinerary:
I also suggest you read: Playa del Carmen: Top 30 things to do and see!

Spend the night in Playa del Carmen.

  • To get to Puerto Morelos from Playa del Carmen, it takes 30 minutes by car on the 307 towards Cancun ; or take a colectivo towards Cancun to Puerto Morelos then a taxi or another colectivo to Puerto Morelos beach.
Yucatan itinerary
Puerto Morelos

Accommodation in Playa del Carmen?

  • Che Playa Hostel & Bar Adults Only: ideal hostel for meeting other travelers and partying, roof terrace with bar and small swimming pool, several activities offered. Clean, good wifi and great welcome. From only €9 for the dormitory or €35 for the private room!
  • Hotel Lunata: charming hotel with hacienda-style decoration, which is hidden on Quinta Avenida, very close to the beach. Quiet, with garden, rooms with balcony, very friendly service. From just €66 a night!
  • Porto Playa Condo Beach Club: here is a spacious apartment ideal for a family close to Quinta Avenida with fully equipped kitchen, living room and terrace. On site there is a large swimming pool, gym and restaurant. From €160 per night!
  • The Reef 28- Adults Only: all-inclusive hotel in the center of Playa del Carmen, spacious rooms, superb roof terrace with sea view, swimming pool and jacuzzi. Gym, spa, excellent buffet breakfast. From €225 with all-inclusive formula
  • Hotel Xcaret Mexico All Parks All Fun Inclusive: this is definitely the best hotel in Playa del Carmen! Ideal for couples and families with children because this luxury hotel offers an exceptional formula that includes meals and access to its parks (Xcaret, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xenses, Xoximilco, Xel-Ha and Xenote). From €626 per night all inclusive

Day 9-11: Cozumel

Welcome to Cozumel, the last stage of your 10-day Yucatan itinerary!

Many travelers do the one-day round trip from Playa del Carmen, but since it’s one of Mexico’s largest islands and there’s so much to do, stay at least 2-3 days in Cozumel. to visit it well!

Here is the program I suggest:

Day 1 – Start by discovering the best diving spots in Cozumel.

You should know that the island is considered one of the best destinations in the world for diving and snorkeling, so expect to be amazed!

Explore, for example, the reefs of PalancarColumbia, Paraiso, Punta Tunich, Chankanaab, Santa Rosa, the Garganta del Diablo (an underwater cave) and the Felipe Xicoténcatl wreck.

And above all, don’t miss El Cielo, which owes its name “the sky” to the starfish that lie at the bottom of its transparent and shallow water.

To protect El Cielo and its starfish, the place is only accessible by boat, with an organized excursion that lasts 4 hours.

You can book here the excursion to El Cielo with hotel pick-up, which also includes a snorkeling stop at Palancar Reef, beer and margaritas.

Spend the night in Cozumel.

Getting to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen:

You have to take the ferry for 45 min-1h.

Yucatan itinerary
Heaven, Cozumel

Day 2 – Spend the day in Punta Sur

With its 1000 hectares of white sand beaches, lakes, jungle and palm trees, Punta Sur is the largest ecological reserve in Cozumel.

There is a great biodiversity there, in addition to the El Caracol archaeological site and the Celerain lighthouse which offers a magnificent panoramic view, provided you climb its 133 steps.

To visit Punta Sur, you can take this jeep excursion that takes you to the lighthouse, snorkeling, with free time on the beach which is one of the most beautiful in Cozumel!

It also includes lunch in a beach club and tequila tasting.

You can book the small group tour here. Or on a private tour here.

Yucatan itinerary
The Punta Sur Reserve in Cozumel

Day 3 – Relax at the beach or Chankanaab Park

There is so much to do in Cozumel that you will have to make a choice according to your desires.

And choose well! Because it’s your last day of travel in Yucatan and tomorrow you will have to take the road to Cancun airport.

You can for example:

  • Explore the best beaches in Cozumel like Isla de la PasionChen rioPlaya San Francisco or Playa Encantada.
  • Go to the Sky Reef or Palancar  beach clubs for more comfort.
  • If you are traveling to Yucatan with your family, I suggest Chankanaab Park instead , where it is possible to do several activities in the same place (beach, snorkeling, games, zip line, etc.)

Get admission to the park here.

Yucatan itinerary
Chen Rio Beach in Cozumel

Accommodation in Cozumel

  • Hacienda Boutique Mi Casa tu Casa B&B: a hacienda-style house with  authentic Mexican charm, colorful, with outdoor swimming pool and jacuzzi. Very good traditional breakfast and an excellent welcome from the hosts. From just 60 euros per night!
  • Villas El Encanto Cozumel: for  more comfort, here is a hotel that offers  air-conditioned apartments and bungalows  with a small kitchen and terrace. Nice garden, swimming pool, hammocks and deck chairs. At only  80 euros per night, it offers  excellent value for money!
  • Allegro Cozumel All-Inclusive: here is an  all-inclusive hotel in Cozumel  ideal for  families! Located on  San Francisco beach, you can do many activities (Beach volleyball, yoga, diving, kayaking, etc.). It also offers a  playground and a children’s club, in addition to 3 swimming pools, one of which has  slidesFrom 110 euros per night  for 2 adults and 1 child.
  • Melia Cozumel All Inclusive for more  tranquility, here is an  all-inclusive hotel  with a  magnificent private beach large rooms, complete spa, two swimming pools, one of which  is reserved for adults  with a bar. I recommend the ocean view room,  from 160 euros per night!

Day 12: Departure from Cancun

It’s already the end of this 10-day Yucatan itinerary and you will have to return to Cancun to catch your return flight.

From Cozumel, take the ferry back to Playa del Carmen (1h) then the road or the ADO bus (1h) to Cancun.

Have a good flight home!

Yucatan Public Transport

The advantage of the Yucatan Peninsula is that it is rather easy to get around by public transport, with its dual system of buses and colectivo (van of 8-10 people)

My tips for doing this 10-day Yucatan itinerary without a car:

  • The advantage of the colectivo is that it can stop almost anywhere on its route (by warning the driver in advance)
  • The advantage of the bus is that you can get on it without any problem with your suitcase (or backpack) because there is more space and the schedules are fixed in advance.
  • The ADO bus company is very reliable in terms of schedules. Take a look at the ADO web page to check the schedules and buy your tickets: it’s often cheaper to buy them online by taking advantage of promotions rather than at the terminal!
  • Depending on the city, there may be more than one bus terminal. Check the departure point of your bus carefully!

Getting to Yucatan by plane

Cancun Airport receives many international flights from Europe and North America. The city of Mérida also receives several domestic flights.

Are you going to Mexico? Read also

All our articles on Mexico are here:  Find all our guides on Mexico!

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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