10-day Cancun Itinerary

Riviera Maya Itinerary

Cancun’s popularity makes it an easy choice for travelers looking for a tourist-friendly vacation destination. There are so many things to see and do, making a decision can seem like an impossible task. Read our 10-days Cancun Itinerary regrouping the most popular activities in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

10-day Cancun itinerary

Cancun is an open gate to your dream vacation. It boasts state-of-the-art hotel facilities among the coolest clubs, bars, and malls only a few feet away from the most beautiful beaches in the world; it features world-class resorts, hotels, clubs, and malls. It offers something for everyone, from an all-day fun party beach to an isolated, tranquil island, soft-sand beaches, adventurous activities like snorkeling and scuba diving, great nightlife, and tasty food.

Table of Contents

Once you make your vacation activity decisions, the second challenge is to arrange your activities. There are so many different tour agencies, local guides and adventure parks, how does one choose. If we had a 10-days Cancun Itinerary to plan, in the Riviera Maya, this is how we would maximize our vacation in Mexico.

Plan a trip to Cancun

Day 1: Arrival

Once you make your booked your trip to Cancun, reserved your accommodation, make sure you also book your Cancun Airport Transportation to transfer safely and fast to your hotel. Enjoy your firt day on the beach, resting in this dream vacation destination.

Cancun Itinerary

10-days Cancun Itinerary

Day 2: Isla Mujeres

A small friendly island just 30 minutes ferry ride from Cancun. A day trip to Isla Mujeres will show you a peaceful paradise with absolutely gorgeous beaches. The diversity of its population ranges from fisherman to artists, musicians to divers, chefs, and expats, making up a community unlike any other. Some say they’re the friendliest locals in the Mexican Caribbean!

Day 3: Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is the Riviera Maya’s most bustling (and touristy) town, so you can expect large crowds, lots of English spoken, and several recognizable storefront brands. Explore the famous pedestrian-only stretch of Quinta Avenida, make your way to Playa Esmeralda, cute beach  with a cenote out of downtown and, if you have a rental car, visit the cenote Jardin del Eden.

Day 4: Xcaret

Xcaret is a Riviera Maya’s eco-park full of jungle landscapes, wildlife, and several bird species. Located just south of Playa del Carmen, it’s an oasis that feels miles away from the sandy shores you’ve already spent time on where you will be able to snorkeling, swim in undergroud rivers and assit to mayan culture performences. As an alternate to Xcaret park, you could also check out these other nearby parks: Xplor (which has more adventurous activities like ATV courses, zip lining, and swimming through underground rivers) or Xel-Ha (which features primarily water activities). 

Day 5: Snorkeling Day Trip to Akumal

Still famous for its beautiful beach and large, swimmable lagoon, Akumal (Place of the Turtles) does attract turtles. Located a quick 1-hour jaunt south from Cancun, Akumal is one of the most friendly, history-rich communities in the Riviera Maya. Go early to snorkel with turtles. Have lunch at La Buena Vida on the road towards Half Moon Moon. This quintessential beach bar is fun day or night.  Fish tacos are some of the best in town.  And snorkel Yalku Lagoon, just follow the North Akumal Bay road to the end and you will see the entrance.  It is recommended to use biodegradable sunscreen.

Day 6: Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is probably the most popular Mayan ruin site, as it’s considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This ancient Mayan city has several beautiful, well-preserved structures, including the famous El Castillo pyramid. You can book a private tour or organize the trip on your own if you have a rental car.

Day 7: Tulum

Head to Tulum with a private transfer or the ADO bus. There, to enjoy the Tulum bohemian vibes, rent a bike and ride to the beach zone. The whole stretch of beach is public, so you can sit out with your towel in the sand anywhere near the water. Also visit Tulum Ruins, the only mayan site next to the sea. Stay in Tulum overnight.

Day 8: Coba Ruins

Visit the Coba ruins and its Nohuch Mul pyramid (unfortunatly, you can not climb it anymore!) but the mayan site is lovely. Check these three cenotes near Coba: Tankach-Ha, Choo-Ha, and Multum-Ha. To get to Coba ruins, book a private transfer as taxi tend to be very tricky on prices!

Day 9: Shopping

Return to Cancun and take your last day to shop or relax on the beach enjoying your last day of your 10-days Cancun Itinerary. The best place for souvenirs is Mercado 28.

Day 10: Fly home

Travel by pre-booked private transportation from your Hotel in Cancun to the Cancun airport.

Best time to go to Cancun

The best time to visit Cancún is from December to April during the peak season. Even though the crowds are heavier, you’ll experience near-perfect weather and find some of the cheapest flight and room rates for a winter getaway at the beach.

How many days in Cancun?

Basically, 3 days in Cancun itself is more than enough. To explore the Riviera Maya, we recommend 7 to 10 days.