9 days in Playa del Carmen, Tulum & Cancun Itinerary

9 days in Playa del Carmen, Tulum & Cancun Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Playa del Carmen, Tulum & Cancun Itinerary

Start: San Salvador
+2
Fly + Foot + Bus:  3 h 45 min
1
Playa del Carmen
— 3 nights
Bus:  1 h
2
Tulum
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h
3
Cancun
— 2 nights
Fly:  5 h 30 min
End: San Salvador

3
nights
Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen ©
The tourist hub of the popular Mayan Riviera, upscale Playa del Carmen remains the jewel of Mexico's Caribbean coastline.
Explore hidden gems such as Palancar Reef and Santa Rosa Wall. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playa del Carmen: Ek Balam (in Ek Balam Village), Cozumel (Columbia Reef & Galo Art Studio) and Chichen Itza (The Ossuary, Temple of the Bearded Man, & more). And it doesn't end there: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, explore the world behind art at 3D Museum of Wonders, and delve into the distant past at Zona Arqueologica Playa del Carmen.

For other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Playa del Carmen trip itinerary builder app .

San Salvador, El Salvador to Playa del Carmen is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of car, bus, and ferry. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from San Salvador to Playa del Carmen due to the time zone difference. While traveling from San Salvador, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Playa del Carmen, ranging from highs of 32°C to lows of 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to take a bus to Tulum.

Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Wildlife Parks Nature

Side Trips

Cozumel, Chichen Itza, Scuba & Snorkeling, Ek Balam
Highlights from your plan
Chichen Itza ©
Chichen Itza
Ek Balam
Ek Balam
Palancar Reef ©
Palancar Reef

3
nights
Tulum

Tulum ©
The only Mayan site built to overlook the ocean, Tulum remains a coastal paradise preserving the last vestiges of a pre-Hispanic civilization.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Dolphin & Whale Watching and Cenote Car Wash. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tulum: Coba (Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá & Multum Ha Cenote). There's lots more to do: delve into the distant past at Tulum Archaeological Site, meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience, and enjoy the sand and surf at Mayan Beach.

For where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our Tulum journey builder tool .

You can take a bus from Playa del Carmen to Tulum in an hour. Another option is to drive. March in Tulum sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Cancun.

Things to do in Tulum

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Coba
Highlights from your plan
Tulum Archaeological Site ©
Tulum Archaeological Site
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá ©
Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá

2
nights
Cancun

Few destinations in Mexico dazzle visitors quite like Cancun, a modern resort town filled with glitzy hotels sitting on picturesque and well-developed Caribbean beaches.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): cast your line with a fishing tour, then get outside with Outdoor Activities, and then explore the ancient world of Zona Arqueológica El Meco. Keep things going the next day: delve into the distant past at El Rey Archaeological Zone and then get close to the beloved marine mammals with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience.

To find ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read Cancun trip planner .

You can drive from Tulum to Cancun in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. March in Cancun sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cancun

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Zona Arqueológica El Meco, Fishing Charters & Tours
Highlights from your plan
Swim with Dolphins
Zona Arqueológica El Meco ©
Zona Arqueológica El Meco
El Rey Archaeological Zone ©
El Rey Archaeological Zone

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