Day trips from Cancun in Mexico

Cancun is full of fun and beautiful beaches, but if you’re staying one or two weeks, you should definitely go on some day trips from Cancun. Here’s a list with some of the best destinations that you can easily travel back and forth to in a single day. 

It’s also possible to stay overnight at many of these places to get an even better experience and the chance to see more. If you’re heading for the beaches, it might be a good idea to check the current seaweed conditions in Cancun and along the Riviera.

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is the crown of the Yucatan peninsula, and one of the most famous historical sites in Mexico. Chichen Itza is even listed as one of the new seven wonders of the world.

If you’re visiting Cancun for more than a couple of days, it’s recommended to join a guided tour to Chichen Itza. Or you can drive there on your own in the early morning with a rental car. 

Chichen Itza
Photo: Shutterstock

Cenote ik Kil

Nearby Chichen Itza, you can visit this spectacular cenote known as Cenote Ik Kil. It’s basically a natural pool inside a cave where you can go for a swim and get a cool travel experience. 

It’s without a doubt one of the best day trips from Cancun, and many Chichen Itza tours will include a stop here. But there is also parking available if you come with your own car. 

There are many beautiful cenotes in Riviera Maya that you can reach quite easily on a day trip from Cancun. 

Cenote Ik Kil
Photo: Shutterstock

Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox has many similarities to the islands in Southeast Asia and is known for its relaxed vibes, delicious foods, and beaches. You can take the bus from Cancun to Isla Holbox and then the boat. Or you could drive to the small pier with a rental car and park your car. 

Either way, Isla Holbox is one of the best places to visit in Mexico. And the best thing you can do on the island is to rent a bicycle and just bike around. It’s also a wonderful place to enjoy some drinks in Mexico and just relax. 

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is the closest island from Cancun, and you can easily go here on a day trip from Cancun with the ferry, which has departures several times a day.

When you arrive on Isla Mujeres, make sure to rent a golf car to get around the island as public transportation is rather limited. 

Isla Mujeres
Photo: Shutterstock

Rio Lagartos 

If you want to see wild birds and even crocodiles, you should visit the fishing town of Rio Lagartos in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula. 

Las Coloradas

Ever wanted to see a pink lake? Las Coloradas is located near Rio Lagartos and is just a few hours away. If you don’t have a rental car, you could always join a guided 1-day tour to the pink lakes.

But you could also rent your own car in Mexico and get there on your own via the highway. 

Las Coloradas
Photo: Shutterstock

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a resort town and bigger city on the Yucatan peninsula by itself. And there is lots of shopping in Playa del Carmen along with restaurants and beaches.

It’s always fun in Playa del Carmen, and you can choose to visit some more local neighborhoods or stroll the tourist street known as the fifth avenue. You can easily get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun on a day trip via local buses. 


Xcaret is a theme park which is famous for its attractions which are inspired by the Mayan culture. There are also some real Mayan Ruins and it’s well-known for its underground rivers as well.

Xcaret also has a replica of a Mayan village and visitors can see traditional dance performances. They can also go for a swim and snorkel.


This is one of the longer day trips, and it’s generally recommended to stay overnight. Merida is another city on the Yucatan peninsula, and home to many locals. It’s an old colonial city with beautiful architecture and delicious Mexican food. 

See the best things to do in Merida as a tourist.

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