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What can we not miss in Tulum/Cancun

Atlanta, Georgia
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What can we not miss in Tulum/Cancun

Headed to Tulum/Cancun in 10 days. We are a family of three (two adults and 13-year old boy). Our first 5 days will be in Tulum on the beach then we move to the JW Cancun (Marriott points) for 3 nights. We orginally wanted to spend most of our time on the beach but I am realizing there is a ton to see and do. Any thoughts on what we cannot miss? So far, I'm thinking we want to:

Bike in Coba

Swim in Grand Cenote

Snorkel Akumel


Chitzen Itza

Anything else? Heard great things about Xel-Ha but I'm not sure if we want to spend the money. Is it worth it? Considering we are going to one of the world's greatest beaches I want to make sure we spend time relaxing on the beach as well. Also thinking about the Biosphere but not sure.

Staying at Cabanas La Luna.

Thanks to all!

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1. Re: What can we not miss in Tulum/Cancun

Well you wont have to goo too far too explore. Tulum beaches are very nice and peaceful. If you want a little "adventure" for the day talk to the locals there, and tell them you've heard there are some cenotes in the middle of the jungle. I know of 3 of them. The one I remember is down south, by the arches on the road, where siaan kaan starts. You can park right after the arches, and pay them like 20 to 25 pesos per person to go into the cenote. It is very neat. The locals know how to get to the other ones.

if you only do one cenote, I would recommend Dos Ojos vs El Gran Cenote. El Gran cenote is much more accesible, but Dos Ojos well worth the extra effort.

Rio Secreto is a small company with a large marketing budget, however it is my favorite commercial tour in the area

Akumal, your best bet would be to snorkel Yal Ku lagoon as early as you can, then snorkel at turtle bay about 2 hours before sunset to run into many sea turtles.

If you will be making it down to Chichen Itza, might as well include a stop at Ek Balam, and well while you are at it why not the cenotes at Dzitnup, or maybe even Balam Kanche

You would also visit a park like www.Tankah.com.mx to do some zip lines and visit a Mayan village built the traditional way

That should give you a good start ;)

Ormond Beach...
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for Vermont, Ormond Beach
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2. Re: What can we not miss in Tulum/Cancun

Big thumbs up for seeing the ruins in Tulum, and snorkeling at Yal-Ku lagoon in Akumal. Xel-Ha ecological park is excellent too.

Utrecht, The...
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3. Re: What can we not miss in Tulum/Cancun

You could do a tour with Cesiak into the biosphere. The guides are great. It would also be very nice for children I think.

Tulum, Mexico
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4. Re: What can we not miss in Tulum/Cancun

Agree about the cesiak tour in the biosphere.

Xel-ha is fun for you and your 13 year old.

Chitzen is great during the equinox you get to see the snake, alot of people though make sure you go first thing in the morning.

Great snorkeling in Akumal

If Chitzen gets to be far Coba is a great alternative.

Have fun In Tulum.

Tampa, FL
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5. Re: What can we not miss in Tulum/Cancun

I agree that if you are in Tulum, the Tulum ruins are a must-see. Don't bother with a guided tour...you can purchase a guide book outside the ruins and walk through in an hour or so. Throw in some time on their BEAUTIFUL beach, and you've gotten a lot of culture and a lot of beach in only a half day!

We visited Xcaret, which was pretty cool, but I hear that Xel Ha is a better option in value and in the activities there.

My husband and I ventured off on foot once to hit some road-side cenotes. It was a great adventure, but I personally wouldn't do it with kids. We understood little to no Spanish at that point, and it's a sheer miracle we didn't get lost in the Jungle! Hidden Worlds is supposed to have some great, safe cenotes.

As for Cancun proper, the snorkel cruises to Isla Mujeres are fun and a great bargain too.

Have fun!

chicago, il
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6. Re: What can we not miss in Tulum/Cancun

This is just a subjective opinion, but it seems like an awful lot of things to cram into 8 days and still be able to relax, even bearing in mind that a thirteen year old might want more activity than if it were adults only.

Everything mentioned is worthwile. But if things get hectic, you could eliminate some of the redundant activities.

For example, you could do either Coba (45 min. fr. Tulum) or Chichen Itza (shorter trip from Cancun?).

You could snorkel in either Yal Ku (less crowded and more natural) or Xel Ha(more variety of activities)

Cenotes: Gran is prettiest and only 5 minutes from Tulum. It will only take maybe 2 hours to snorkel and see it thoroughly and you do it on your own. Go in morning when the light is better. Dos Ojos is another good option about 20 minutes from Tulum but takes most of a day. It is a guided tour and encompasses 2 connected cenotes and you have the chace for other activities such as zip line I think. Maybe do Gran first and if you have the appetite for more, do Dos Ojos.

Tulum ruins can easily be done in 2 hours, so why not just go on your way to the beach one day. Go early to beat the crowds.

Don't miss eating in Tulum pueblo at least one night. Eat at a taco stand where you see locals. Stroll the town and get an ice cream. It is cheap, tasty and a neat cultural experience for your child. See the cheap eats page for suggestions.

7. Re: What can we not miss in Tulum/Cancun

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