Top 6 Off-The-Beaten-Path Day Trips

Despite the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula being a famous tourist destination, there are  plenty of genuine gems away from the mass tourism.

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1 – Isla Blanca


Every city has its best kept secrets, for Cancun this is Isla Blanca. The isolated strip of land between the Chacmuchuc Lagoon and the Caribbean Sea is just a short drive out of Cancun. Make sure to bring your own drinks and snacks, since there are no shops, only a few fruits sellers.
What to do: relax, kite surf, spend an afternoon with friends
How to get there: Drive through Cancun and take the north out toward Punta Sam.

2 – Las Coloradas

Las Coloradas

The lagoon of this tiny fishing village on the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula seems taken out of a fairy tale with its water sparkling in the prettiest pink hue.  It sure is one of the most Instagram-worthy places on the planet. The color isn’t the product of a magic spell, though; it’s naturally emitted by the red plankton and the high quantity of brine shrimp that inhabits the lagoon. The miles of pristine, secluded beaches make Las Coloradas the perfect magic get away.
What to do: Take many, many pictures, be amazed, relax.
How to get there: By car, via Valladolid and Tizimin towards Rio Lagartos or by public bus via Valladolid.


3 – Rio Lagartos


The sleepy village just a bit West of Las Coloradas is best known for having the densest concentration of pink flamingos in Mexico. The town itself is very charming too, with its colorful fishermen’s houses and the boardwalk along the waterfront. Make sure to bring enough cash, since ATM’s haven’t arrived in this corner of the world.
What to do: Watch flamingos, take a walk through the town, visit the Granja de Cocodrilos Itzamkanac
How to get there: By car via Valladolid or by tour (usually includes Ek-Balam)


4 – Ek-Balam

ek balam structures

If you’re looking to get away from the masses Chichen Itza attracts, visit Ek Balam.This surprisingly well preserved archaeological Mayan site close to Valladolid is unlike any other, mostly because of its intricate artistic details. Only the center has been excavated, with several temples, two palaces and one large pyramid, El Torre. El Torre, one of the largest Mayan structures on the Peninsula, is both in size and architecture very impressive.
What to do: Discover ancient Mayan history and marvel at the detailed ornaments and sculptures.
How to get there: By car, public bus (via Valladolid) or with a tour.


5 – Bacalar


Picture rustic cabins instead of big tourist complexes, hammocks dangling over the Caribbean Sea, and pure tranquility. You’ve arrived in the picturesque village of Bacalar and its lagoon of 7 colors. It gets its name because of the many shades of blue of the crystal clear water, due to its sandy bottom..
What to do: Swim and relax in the lagoon and count its colors, kayak, go camping, eat fresh seafood, visit the fort and the Parroquía de San Joaquín.
How to get there: With the public bus or by car (about 3 hours drive south of Playa del Carmen, make sure to have enough fuel since the only gas station between Bacalar and Tulum is in Felipe Carillo).

6 – Isla Contoy


If you are a nature lover, you just found paradise: Isla Contoy, an absolutely breathtaking island of pristine beauty with an abundant wildlife. Daily, only a few visitors are allowed access on this secluded island north of Isla Mujeres, which makes it a very exclusive experience.
What to do: Watch animals on land and under water, snorkel in the reef, eat fresh captured seafood at the beach
How to get there: By tour.


At Playa Palms Beach Hotel we are happy to help you reserving any of the above mentioned tours. Just ask our concierge or at the front desk or send us an email.

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