How to choose your tour agency?
If you’re planning to book some tours to see the amazing natural sights around Playa del Carmen, it’s important to avoid scammers and find a reputable private tour agency for your needs. While many tour companies employ experienced knowledgeable tour guides and take responsibility for visitor safety, there are others who provide false information, make unrealistic promises or cut corners due to low prices.
Here are 9 tips for choosing the best tour agency in Playa del Carmen and enjoy some breathtaking experiences.
1/ Official tour or scam artist?
Never book a tour with an intermediary. You can book a tour in a shop, on the street or online, but make sure you are dealing direct with the tour agency before you hand over any money.
2/ Recommendations and referrals
The best way to find a top tour agency in Playa del Carmen is with a friend’s recommendation. Failing that, check out reviews and feedback on TripAdvisor, Yelp or Facebook. There are always one or two people with a gripe, but if the majority of people post positive reviews about a tour, it’s a good indicator. You can also search online for recent posts or blogs that mention tours in Riviera Maya. It’s almost as good as a referral from a friend.
3/ Registered and accredited?
Check whether a tour company is registered or accredited by local government or the tourist office. Look for certifications and check they include the tour agency name.
4/ Safety first
Going on a tour usually means putting your safety in the hands of a local driver and vehicle. Ask what type of vehicle the agency will provide for the tour. Do they look new and well maintained? Are they fully equipped with seat belts? Check out the vehicles for comfort (you could be spending hours in the back seat!) and ask to see a copy of the vehicle insurance. Any reputable tour company will be happy to provide documentary evidence for your peace of mind.
5/ Smart and secure
How does the tour company accept payment? If they want the full amount in cash up-front, think again. Hacking is an international problem so check if the tour agency website has a secure trust certificate (trusted commerce) for credit card payments, or use Paypal. Any properly licensed and responsible company will have a secure online credit card payment system and will give you a receipt for your deposit/booking. Your payment can then be traced if they fail to provide the tour you expected.
6/ Check the small print
Don’t rely on what someone verbally says the tour includes – read the details in the website or get them in writing on an email. Does the tour include food, boat fees, admissions etc. or do you have to pay those as extras?
Check the terms and conditions. Will you get a refund if the tour is canceled due to bad weather, sickness or unforeseen events? You need to know.
8/ Customer service
If you’re looking for tours in Playa del Carmen, consult a few tour agencies websites. Once you have checked the tour details you may have some questions and should contact them direct. You can learn a lot about a tour agency by how promptly and accurately they answer your enquiry.
9/ Relax and enjoy!
Once you’ve done your homework and booked a guided tour, it’s smart to contact the tour agency a few days before your tour to check everything is OK.
Get ready to enjoy an unforgettable experience that will be the highlight of your Playa del Carmen vacation.