Begin with pickup at your Cancun hotel, then travel to the ancient city of Coba, a 2-hour drive into the interior jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula. Spend the morning exploring the sprawling ruins, first on a guided tour, then on your own. This is the perfect place to see Maya ruins like an explorer—Coba is partially excavated, and some structures are surrounded by thick jungle vines and trees. Climb to the top of the 137-foot (42-meter) Nohoch Mul pyramid for sweeping views of the landscape, and follow Maya sacbé, or ‘white roads’ through a city that once was home to 50,000 people. If desired, bicycles are available to rent onsite (own expense).
Pause for a buffet lunch of classic Maya dishes before continuing to Tulum, a small city in a dramatic setting: steep cliffs drop to white sand beaches and Caribbean water. Take a guided tour of the site, from El Castillo to the Temple of the Frescoes and the Temple of the Descending God, which is adorned with images of Tulum’s most important god. Enjoy time on your own to snap photos and soak up the scenery before making the return trip to Cancun. This tour concludes with drop-off at your hotel.