The east coast of Mexico is lined with hotel after luxury hotel and my god are they amazing. This part of the world is the perfect place to escape for some All inclusive, adult only relaxation. Sun, sand, sea and plenty of dangerously alcoholic cocktails (but that story is for another day).
However, if like me you get restless sitting on a sun lounger all day, everyday, then you will want to explore what else this part of Mexico has to offer and you won’t be disappointed.
So here are 3 potential day trips that you should take during your visit.
So I thought I should start with the obvious one. Chichen Itza is one of the new 7 wonders of the world. I recommend using Viator to find the perfect tour for you, or many of the travel companies will also have set tours that they offer. Being an archaeologist I wanted the early tour with a guide. We were picked up from our hotel at 5:30am which won’t suit everyone, luckily I am a morning person and my Husband sleeps well on transport. It was then a 3.5 hour drive by bus through the jungle. But my god was it worth it.
We arrived just before it opened and was one of the first groups to enter, this meant we had chance to get some photos without loads of tourists. Our guide took us around all the key parts of the site and taught us about how people lived at this site. The Mayan civilisation was incredibly clever, they especially liked constructing buildings which could make sound travel in a strange way. We were then given free time to walk around but by this point it had started to get busy. Little stalls had been set up within the site to buy souvenirs from the locals.
There are clean toilets, shops and cafes at the site entrance which we made use of before starting our long journey back to the hotel. The beauty of having an early start meant we still had a large part of the afternoon to enjoy and a breakfast/lunch bag was included so we didn’t go hungry.
Now I had never heard of Coba before researching trips to take whilst in Mexico, however this is a place not to be missed. This tour started at a more acceptable hour and took only 2.5 hours to reach our destination.
The tour started with a walk through a forested area which in itself was lovely, but within it were loads of hidden Mayan ruins and roads. We then reached the star attraction of Coba, the tallest temple pyramid which can still be climbed by the public. Stood at 42 metres in height you can take the climb up the uneven steps with the help of a rope if necessary. It was a really hot day when we visited but it was worth the sweaty climb. The view from the top was incredible, vast jungle for miles with the occasional Mayan ruin peaking through the trees.
What was not enjoyable was the descent, those steps are steep, there are hundreds of people going up and/or down at the same time. We decided to go down a step at a time, on our bums, as one small trip and you would probably die. But don’t let that put you off doing the climb. Luckily included in our trip was a free ride in one of the locals rickshaws (like a bicycle with a passenger seat for two) which took us back to the site entrance.
At Coba we also had the chance to visit a Cenote, a natural underground reservoir of water. Cenotes appear all over this part of Mexico and they are stunning. It was such an incredible experience to head underground and take a swim in perfectly clear but extremely cold water. A must, if you get the chance.
Tulum is only an hours drive from Playa del Carmen and is a beautiful spot along the coast. We arrived at an area of souvenir shops and cafes before taking the long walk down to the pre-Columbian Mayan walled city located right on the coastline. This site is completely different to the others as none of the site is hidden amongst jungle.
You can not access the main buildings at Tulum but there are some interesting ones to see, such as the building with a face on it. If you have the time make sure you also take a look around Tulum and spend some time down on the beach, its such a nice place to relax.
Have you been to the east coast of Mexico? Do you have any other recommended day trips?