Playa del Carmen gathers the best fun and culture of the Mexican Caribbean. Its privileged location makes it possible to visit archaeological sites that are close to the fun and beauty of vibrant sinkholes, beaches and theme parks. We prepared a list of the archaeological tours you can take from this magical city, and the thrilling activities to do around them.
Everybody knows Chichén Itzá, but few tourists know Cobá. Due to its remote location, it’s not so visited, but if you’re staying many days or you are a history lover who likes the charm of non-touristy places, this is the spot for you. Cobá means ‘Water with moss’, and was an especially important Mayan metropolis, located 90 km east of Chichén Itzá, of which it was a rival. Tours also offer a visit to a Mayan village for a close encounter with their culture.
This is the only official archaeological site in Cozumel. Although not as big as other popular ruins, it’s worth a visit, as it was the sanctuary of Ixchel, Goddess of fertility and love. Something that gives a special touch to this place is the fact it’s totally surrounded by jungle. You’ll feel connected with the atmosphere of the place; there are butterflies, iguanas and vamps in complete freedom. San Gervasio is a small beautiful place with a lot of history. The site comes with a certified guide, there are bathrooms, snack bars, souvenir stores and free parking. Just take a ferry in Playa del Carmen’s pier and enjoy your way to the island. It’s advisable to put on some mosquito repellent.
This is a small archaeological zone placed in Playacar, in the heart of the hotel zone in Playa del Carmen, behind the beach. In this zone lived a slave Jerónimo Aguilar, a shipwreck survivor who arrived in 1511, some years before the Spaniards. It’s amazing to see the blend of the contemporary and the ancient world in a popular tourist place. The ruins can be viewed in Playacar where phases one can be accessed off Avenida 10 (just south of Calle 1 sur) and two (at the end of Avenue 10). You only need to take a bus to this neighborhood or you can even go biking; you’ll the see the zone at some point of the Avenue that bears the same name.
This zone occupies 40 km of territory, conformed by four groups of monumental architecture: Dzibanché or main group, Central Complex or Lamay Group, Tutil and Kinichná. It’s amazing to see the hieroglyphic texts engraved on the monuments of the ladder of the Temple of the Captives, and the sumptuous offerings in burial chambers. These discoveries reveal that Dzibanché was involved in warlike conquests. This place is so old that the original name is unknown, its actual name was given by the archaeologist Thomas Gann in 1927, and means ‘wood writing’ (Alluding to the carved wooden lintels located in the bays of the Temple). Admiring these impressive constructions in the middle of the jungle are worth every kilometer of the long trip.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.