Tulum ruins, Snorkeling in Cenote and with Turtles

(32 customer reviews)

PRIVATE TOUR: Our bestseller private tour with a private visit of Tulum ruins, a swim in a cenote, a swim with turtles. With a delicious lunch at a Mayan restaurant in the jungle.

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Tulum ruins, Snorkeling in Cenote and with Turtles Private Tour

Tulum Private tour: If you’re looking for an all-inclusive day trip that combines the very best cultural and natural activities that the Riviera Maya has to offer, then this is definitely the tour you’re looking for!

Not only will we take you to explore the fascinating Mayan ruins in Tulum, but you’ll also have the chance to go snorkeling in two completely different, exquisitely beautiful natural settings! Best of all, our private tours are designed to make sure that you can enjoy each and every moment to the max while avoiding the crowds.

This exciting day starts with a tour to Tulum, one of the most important remaining Mayan archaeological sites in the Yucatán Peninsula.

While the Mayans used this beautiful coastal location as a trading port, today it may be best known for its stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. Your professional private tour guide will show you all of the site’s most interesting attractions, including the awe-inspiring Temple of the Frescoes, which contains ancient Mayan artwork.

Once you’ve fully explored Tulum, we’ll take you to the next activity: snorkeling in cenote.

These beautiful natural underground caves formed by erosion from rainwater can be found all over the Yucatán Peninsula. They’re the perfect place for snorkeling since there are no waves to deal with, so you can just relax and enjoy the cool waters as your certified guide shows you around.

Since you’ll have undoubtedly worked up an appetite, our next stop is a local restaurant in the jungle where you can enjoy a traditional Mexican lunch.

Finally, we’ll head to Akumal, a protected bay to go snorkeling yet again – this time with sea turtles! You will love swimming with these majestic turtles, plus your guide will be with you every step of the way if you need help.

General info

  • Duration: 8/9 hours
  • Physicality: Easy
  • Age: All ages
  • Snorkeling: Basic swimming skills required. This excursion suits everyone from novices to experts.
  • Absolute Adventure is working with a local cooperative according to the Mexican law.(Consult Akumal Swim with Turtles regulation.)
  • Which cenote will you visit? The day of your tour, you can choose one cenote between Nicte HaTaak bi Ha, or Jaguar. If you prefer to go to Dos Ojos or Pet Cemetery, we will add 15 USD per person on your balance. Your guide will be happy to help you to select the best cenote for you and your party according to your expectations and snorkeling skills.
  • Mobility: We can adapt this tour for people with disability.

This is an exclusive private tour to better meet your expectations.

Price includes

  • Pick up and drop off at your hotel with private air-conditioned transportation
  • Experienced certified private guide all day long
  • All entrance fees
  • Akumal bay cooperative fee and CONAP fee (mandatory)
  • High quality snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel, wetsuits, life jackets)
  • Cool drinks in the van (waters, soda, beer)
  • Lunch in a restaurant with one main course a la carte and one drink (water, soda or beer) per person
  • Your guide will show you where to take the best pictures and will be happy to help to take you in photo with your camera or phone!

Price excludes

  • Ruins: In case you bring a go pro camera, a video camera or a phone with a selfie stick, there is a 45 pesos (less than 3USD) per device charged at the entrance of each
    archeological site, to be paid in pesos (INAH tax) – Drones and Tripods for video/cameras are forbidden.
  • Tips


Our tours are scheduled at the best hours to avoid high traffic and heat on the sites.

07:00am: Private transportation from your hotel to Tulum
Discover the benefits of early departure to visit Tulum
08:00am – 10:00am: Visit of Tulum
10:00am – 10:30am: Transportation
10:30am – 11:30am: Snorkeling in cenote
11:30am – 12:30pm: Lunch in a restaurant
12:30pm – 01:00pm: Transportation
01:00pm – 02:00pm: Snorkeling with turtles
02:00pm – 03:00pm: Transportation to your hotel

Itinerary is based on a departure from Playa del Carmen.
Pick up time is recommended time to avoid the crowds. We can leave later if you want to.

What to bring

  • Swimsuit and beach towel
  • Comfortable shoes and light clothes to visit the ruins
  • Flip flops or water shoes for swimming activities
  • Hat or cap and sunglasses
  • Biodegradable sunscreen
  • Biodegradable mosquito repellent
  • Camera/Underwater camera
  • Cash for souvenirs/tips

You can bring personal belongings you require during the tour (phone, camera, extra set of clothes…). While you are visiting or snorkeling you can leave the things you don’t need in the van. Our driver will always be in the van, so keeping your things safe!

32 reviews for Tulum ruins, Snorkeling in Cenote and with Turtles

  1. peggylE3890WK

    Great tour. Saw Tulum, went into a cenote, had a delicious lunch, and swam near sea turtles. Very knowledgeable and interesting guide.

  2. Camper55087

    FANTASTIC! Our guide Manuel was tri-lingual, extremely knowledgeable, interesting and has a wonderful sense of humor! We had the ruins mostly to ourselves and we spent as much time as we needed to get every picture and every question answered. The Cenote was fabulous! Clear cool water, bats in the cave and again we had the place almost all to ourselves. Lunch here in the jungle was some of the best Mexican food we have ever eaten. Then we were off to the beach to snorkel with turtles we saw 5….big ones but also one little cute young turtle. The beach was beautiful and we were exhausted from all the fun and excitement so we packed it in early and Manuel obliged and we were able to take our time coming off the beach and heading back to our resort. Pasquale our driver was an excellent chauffeur and stayed with our belongs and kept them safe. We felt privileged as he is of Mayan descent and speaks the Maya language as well as Spanish. Our guide Manuel and us learned a new fact of how Playa del Carmen was named from Pasquale and we all delighted in this new tidbit. He picked us up curb side and had refreshments at the ready! It was a spectacular day…we had planned to make this our last trip to the Yucatan but we are now planning to return and do an alternate tour with the company!

  3. PMadden

    This tour was one of our favorite things we did on our vacation. We were on a cruise that stopped in Cozumel and we decided to book a tour to see the Tulum ruins with turtle and cenote snorkeling. The company was wonderful with following up and answering all of our logistical questions. We missed the ferry we had planned to take from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen and our guides patiently waited for us to catch the next one. Our guides, Manuel and Pascual were knowledgeable, accommodating, and made it wonderfully fun for all of us. The cenotes are not to be missed!

  4. Steve C

    We booked this tour for our family f 11 (6 adults; 5 kids 3-15) based upon the Tripadvisor reviews. We were not disappointed, we were pleased in every way. Our guide Hector and the driver Rodrigo did an awesome job dealing with a large and varied group. Hector got to know each of us as best he could in a short time, he made special efforts to deal directly with each of the kids as well. Hector was extremely knowledgeable and patient. His descriptions of Tuluum were interesting and the historical references added greatly to the experience. The Cenote and zipline were a highlight for the kids…especially the 3 year old who loved flying over the trees. It was a pretty rough day at the snorkeling sight with wind and waves but again the guides made it as easy for us as they could. Even with the turbidity of the waters we were able to see Turtles, fish and rays.

    All in all it was an awesome day, with awesome guides. I would highly recommend this tour for anyone who wants a variety of experiences in one day. We would definitely use Absolute Adventures again if we come back in the future. Great company, great tour and great people….doesn’t get much better than that

  5. Sarah T

    Best Day of of Vacation!
    We started out the tour at the Tulum Ruins with our guide Manuel. He was so knowledgeable and really did a great job explaining the history. I’m glad we got there early before the crowds.
    After the ruins, we went to an underground cenote and Manuel took my boyfriend snorkeling. He absolutely loved it. I stayed behind and took pictures and dipped my toes in the water (not my thing). When we were done there, Manuel took us to the best little lunch spot. What a hidden gem!! So peaceful and clean and the food was AMAZING!! The staff there was super friendly.
    Our last stop was snorkeling with the turtles. I was a little nervous, but Manuel made me feel more at ease. The turtles we incredible to watch and we loved every second. My boyfriend even saw stingrays and a barracuda.
    It was such a neat experience and we would definitely recommend a private tour over going alone, or with a big group. Our driver Omar was also really cool. If we come back to Playa, we will definitely use this company again. Thanks, Manuel for an awesome day!

  6. GlobeTrotting

    My boyfriend and I did a tour to the Tulum ruins, snorkeling and cave cenote in January 2020 with Hector as our guide. Hector and our driver arrived on time, 7:00 a.m,. at our hotel in Playa. Hector kept us informed as the day unfolded, everything was well organized and occurred as expected. It was great to have such a well informed guide in Tulum to explain the history and meaning behind what we were seeing. There was so much to see and learn there. Really enjoyed that part and being there before the crowds. Was wonderful to see the rays and large turtle while snorkeling and the cave cenote was a great surprise, so different than anything I had ever experienced. Hector was kind, patient, funny, professional, and just a very nice and interesting person, very grateful to have met him. We do not normally enjoy tours very much due to the crowds and very scripted itinerary. If you feel the same, this is the tour for you. Would highly recommend and will do a different one in the future if we are lucky enough to visit the area again.

  7. erutherford

    Juan was an amazing guide, knowledgeable, kind, and great with the kids. Well worth the time and money. If you have younger children I recommend the cenotes over the turtle swimming, our 6yro struggled a little bit. Ziplining and jumping at the Cenotes was the highlight of everyone’s trip. Thank You Juan and Ervin.

  8. Violet1982

    Communication prior to the trip was fast, friendly and efficient. On the day our guide Juan and our driver (sorry, I didn’t catch his name) arrived promptly in a clean and well air conditioned van. Within seconds we knew we’d made a great choice in trip, as Juan was so easy to talk to – a really interesting and funny guy.

    The day was really well planned, we were one of the first to arrive at Tulum before it got too hot and before the crowds descended. Juan was always one step ahead of the other tours which meant we got uninterrupted views and photos. We didn’t feel rushed and got to linger at the spots we found most interesting. As we were leaving the crowds were pouring in – listen to your guide when they offer an early pickup, they know their stuff and recommend it for good reason.

    Next stop was a nearby cenote. We were offered a choice of cenotes, but as we had another trip booked for Chaak Tun, we opted for an open cenote. It really was beautiful and again, Juan timed it perfectly so we had the cenote to ourselves. I was a really nervous of snorkelling after a previous bad experience but desperate to try & Juan was super patient and encouraging. I went from thinking I was never going to be able to do it, to snorkelling happily on my own. I was so, so pleased.

    We also visited Akamul beach and the trip included a snorkel guide. Juan explained to the guide Miguel that I was nervous and new to snorkelling, The guide really looked after me and made sure I had the best experience. It’s an absolutely beautiful beach and we saw several turtles plus lots of colourful fishes over the reef .

    Lunch was included on the day and totally delicious, one of the best meals we had all week. Drinks were also on hand all day from a chiller in the van. We wouldn’t hesitate to book again. We thought the tour was excellent value – it included all costs, equipment and being completely private meant we could ask as many questions as we wanted and weren’t waiting around for others.

    Ask for Juan when you book, he is a great guide – very professional but really personable and interesting too.

  9. Hickoryview

    Hector was our tour guide and Rodrigo was our driver. First, you pay a little extra for a private tour but it is no worries the entire day. You avoid crowds, you are not waiting on anyone else and your schedule is your own. It is worth paying the extra to go with this company. We were never rushed in any part of our excursion. I am sure there was a schedule to follow but it did not feel like it. If you are familiar with travel to Playa del Carmen, you can do each of these activities on your own but if this is your first time and you want no hassles, I would highly recommend. We got good history on the Mayans and their culture, we saw turtles and stingrays, and the cenote was impressive. The lunch was delicious as well and included in your package. This was a no hassle, no worry adventure. Communication with the company over email was easy. I think couples probably don’t need but if you have a family, this was definitely the way to go. It worked perfectly for us. We would use them again for excursions.

  10. Ashcolarusso

    They are the best
    Manuel and Ervin were the best so friendly and knowledgeable made us feel safe and welcomed would highly recommend them for your tour.

  11. Ronda

    Great private tour
    My sister and I chose the private tour to Tulum, cenote, lunch, and then a swim with turtles.

    Juan was an absolute blast and a great guide. Juan was very knowledgeable about the ruins and very personal. He made us feel very comfortable and relaxed. Pasquale (driver) looked after our belongings and made us feel very safe.

    A private tour is the way to go when doing an excursion as it can be exactly what you want it to be. We would definitely book again with Absolute Adventure.

  12. Marla

    Highly recommend this tour and this tour company

    This was a fabulous company to work with. Manuel was our guide and Ervin was our driver. We loved getting to Tulum before all the crowds. The cenote was perfect for our group and the lunch was amazing. We loved snorkeling at Akumal. We were able to see five sea turtles. Manuel was great as a guide and we loved having Ervin stay with our belongings in the van. When we return to this area, we would definitely use them again. We loved being the only ones in our group. Definitely worth the money!

  13. Jonathan Elterstein

    The easiest way to learn culture, nature and food. It was very nice to book this trip and going there with friend. Best tour we had in Playa del Carmen

  14. Tania

    We did this tour with my husband. We had a blast and can’t recommend enough this company and Juan our guide!

  15. Alberta72

    All are very nice, accommodating and very responsive to all of my queries.
    They took excellent care of my families .We re very satisfied with their services and will recommend them to all who are planning for a tour in Playa del Carmen.

  16. Jaycee

    We spent the whole day with Manuel (our tour guide), who is also AMAZING, visiting the Tulum Ruins, Cenote and Akumal Bay where we swam with the sea turtles.
    This private tour was nothing short of perfection, all three locations we visited were just breathtaking. Manuel, we will see you next year! We can’t wait!! – Jaycee & Rob

  17. Paul1962

    Haven’t been traveling for quite a while… Lucky to have chosen this tour. It is very good value for money and we avoided all tourist crowds.

  18. Daniel

    We did our booking after reading comments on tripadvirsor and went to the Tulum, snorkel in a Cenote and with sea turtles. On the day, we met Arthuro and Misael at our hotel lobby. They were incredibly patient and fun! Arturo helped us learn and feel comfortable with snorkeling. He was knowledgeable and made this day amazingly interesting. Misael took care of the van and made sure our bags were safe while we were enjoying activities. Thank you for this unforgettable day. I am glad to share the word and recommend this agency.

  19. Angela

    We booked an awesome day trip with Claire where we went on private guided tour of the Tulum ruins and snorkeled in a cenote and with turtles! We were a group of 4 adults visiting Mexico for the first time with no snorkeling experience. Claire was incredible patient and super prepared with all the gear (wetsuits too!), even brought along umbrellas which were helpful when it started to rain during the ruins. We were one of the first people entering into Tulum which allowed for us to take some awesome pictures. During the snorkeling, my mother had some issues snorkeling but Claire was patient and incredibly accommodating in assisting her so that she was able to enjoy the cenote and see turtles. She also took us to an delicious lunch at a Mayan restaurant and was super informative about the people/places we visited. Overall my family and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and will be looking to book our next excursion with Absolute Adventure when we return to Playa next year.

  20. Jennifer

    One of the best tours I have ever done. They picked us up right on time with a clean, air-conditioned van that was fully equipped with drinks (including beer!) and various varieties of chips. Marcel, our tour guide, was very friendly and knowledgeable. Also, the food at the restaurant we went to was AMAZING!! Probably better than the food at our 5 star all inclusive resort! The took us to Tulum first so we could beat the heat and the crowds. As we finished the tour, there was a huge line to get in so going there first was great! Then we went to the cenote which was beautiful.

  21. Eli

    This excursion was amazing & our guide Marcel was great. We got to see a cenote with underwater caves, snorkle with sea turtles, and see the amazing Tulum ruins. All of which exceeded what I expected. Also, to top in all off we had an authentic mexican/mayan lunch which was delicious, better than anything we had at the “upscale” all inclusive resort we were staying at.

  22. Peter

    My wife and I had the pleasure to spend an entire day of our June honeymoon with Chris from Absolute Adventure. We had a private, guided visit to the ruins at Tulum, a wonderful snorkling trip in a cenote, and close encounters with turtles and other sea life in the ocean, all in one tour! Chris was extemely competent, helpful and entertaining, and I’d highly recommend that anyone looking for some fun and adventure in the Yucatan should give him a call!

  23. Lindsay

    We booked the Tulum, Cenote and Turtle swim tour with this company based on Tripadvisor recommendations, so thanks to those who took time to write up their experiences. Claire was patient with us as snorkelling novices, and thanks to her knowledge, we were able to see 5 or 6 lovely turtles. Then followed what for me was the highlight of the trip- swimming in the Cenote. For most of the time, we were the only people there, and I can say that this was a very special privilege, to appreciate the tranquility and beauty of this place which is sacred to the Mayans. It was something we would never have experienced otherwise and Claire was experienced in leading us through the silent, clear water in a way which allowed us to enjoy the beauty of the place while respecting its fragility and without worrying about getting lost! In fact you cannot visit this Cenote without a guide. As other reviewers have said, the meal in the jungle and Tulum were also great. I enjoyed learning a bit about Mexico and the history of the Mayans over lunch from Claire, who is a great source of knowedge and takes her tour guiding very seriously. All in all, highly recommended to anyone who appreciates something special and thanks to Claire for making it a memorable day for myself and two grown up children.

  24. Sam

    We went to Tulum, Akumal and a cenotes. Visiting Tulum in the morning a must do! We arrived at the opening and it was awesome as we got the ruins for ourselves. No one was on site, we have great pictures! Then both cenote and turtle snorkeling were amazing. Our group had a very pleasant day, it was so worth it!

  25. Rufus

    We went to Tulum, cenotes and Akumal with Absolute Adventure Mexico. Visiting Tulum in the morning is a must do, we were there before large groups and had a amazing lightning to take pictures! Swimming in the cave was spectacular and our guide Claire explained us everything about the cenote. Finally we went to Akumal to snorkel with sea turtles. We saw 6 of them from very close, it was fantastic! Thanks Claire for this day.

  26. Fred

    My wife Sharon and I book an adventure with Absolute Adventures Mexico. We opted for the Telum, cenotes and turtles.I can say enough about Chris’s professionalism and dedication to o making sure our day was perfect . From the start to then end it was a fantastic day!!!

  27. Guy

    We had a wonderful private tour including Tulum, snorkelling with turtles and in a quiet cenote. Our guide Arturo was fantastic. We would highly recommend Absolute Adventure Mexico. Top notch service, and great value.

  28. Kelly

    The tour was absolutely wonderful! It couldn’t have been better. I really appreciated arriving at the ruins at the opening of the site. We had the place for oursleves and our guide was so knowledgeble ! The snorkeling experience went super well too, with the guide giving lots of information and advices. I felt safe with the driver, he took care of our belonging in the van while we were away. I would highly recommend this small but incredible travel agency!

  29. Amanda

    We had such a great time touring the Tulum ruins and snorkelling in a cenote and also with turtles. We all loved it. Marcel and Ervin were wonderful. They took us to the best meal we had while we were in Cancun at a Mayan restaurant in the jungle. It was a very full day but so worth it. I would recommend this to anyone travelling to Mexico. It’s so nice not to be on a bus full of people just your group and we saw the ruins before the crowds got there. Absolutely amazing time!!

  30. Linda

    We did the Tulum, cenote and turtle tour with Arturo. Both our guide and driver were patient and fun. Arturo took care of everything and gave us confidence to snorkel as it was our first time. Our driver Miseal stayed with our bags in the van when we were snorkeling. The overall experience felt very nice and safe!

  31. Betty

    Today we completed our amazing private tour. We had snorkeling stops at sea turtles and cenote followed by an amazing lunch and then a private tour of the Maya ruins at Tulum. Our guide Claire was very knowledgeable and knew when and what time was the best to avoid the crowds at each stop. Juan Manuel was always there to pick us up so we never had to stand in the hot sun like other tours. We always had fresh cold drinks when we got into the van.

  32. Peggy

    Chris was a wonderful guide yesterday on our trip to Tulum, cenote and snorkeling with the turtles. He made sure we were comfortable with the equipment and had lots of patience with me since I was a bit tentative. The scenery was beautiful, this was one of the highlights of our trip and Chris handled all the details very well

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