This private tour has an ideal 50/50 mix of culture and relaxation. First, you'll explore the Maya ruins of Tulum, their only city by the sea, then while away the remaining hours at the Nopalitos lagoon, which only recently opened to the public. Gustavo, one of our local guides, says, ‘Just when you think the Riviera Maya has no surprises left up its sleeve, you discover Nopalitos. Its flat water, with virtually every shade of blue imaginable, changes before your eyes as the clouds drift above the lagoon.'
You'll kick off with a guided tour of the archaeological site of the Maya city of Tulum – the only one they built on the coast. As you admire monuments such as the Temple of the God of Wind and El Castillo pyramid, you'll be treated to views over the Caribbean. Afterwards, you'll have some free time to either hit the beach – famed for its turtles – there or take a few more photos. Gustavo says, ‘Tulum is that perfect balance between culture and nature. You see all these iguanas lazing around the ruins of the city and turtles ambling along the beach.'
Then, it's on to Nopalitos. This freshwater lagoon gets its name from its similarity to the pads of the nopal cactus, also known as the prickly pear. It's darker in the middle because there's a deep cenote there. It's ideal for relaxing or trying out some paddleboarding and kayaking. After a barbecue lunch, you hit the hammocks or dangle your feet over the water from the wooden jetty.