While the area is probably best known for the large city of Cancun, there is a plethora of natural offerings that go unnoticed by most visitors. National parks, caves, zoos, and many other attractions dot the area adding ecological education to those visitors interested.
For the serious adventurer, EcoColors offers multi-day trips jam-packed with outdoorsy activities and attractions. Packages can last for durations of anywhere between one day and over a week. Striving to connect nature-related education with fantastic experiences, EcoColors combines ancient cultural heritage with beautiful wildlife and native plants.
Selvatica is a self-proclaimed “adventure kingdom” located between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Sitting on more than 330 acres of wild Mexican jungle, this facility features a selection of unique activities to please visitors of all ages and lifestyles. Choose from ventures like high-rope circuits with bicycles, army truck tours to natural landmarks, horseback riding, exploring sinkholes and more.
Along with the standard attractions of kayaking and hiking, Puerta Verde offers visitors 23 different activities that can be enjoyed while soaking in Cancun’s stunning nature. Leisurely wander through the property’s butterfly sanctuary, or dare yourself to swim alongside whale sharks. Guests may stop by for one day, or book a multi-day getaway to experience everything that Puerta Verde has to offer.
It might just be more convenient to contact one of the following guides for your nature tour:
And still, there are many more natural attractions in the Mexican Caribbean just waiting to be explored. Use the following chart as a guide to help you decide what you want to do during your trip to the area.
Do you want to enjoy part of your vacation seeing the local flaura and fauna? You can experience a couple of hiking trails and some nature preserves in Yucatan Peninsula.
Garrafon Reef Park is a nature preserve Isla Mujeres, in eastern Yucatan Peninsula. Garrafon Reef Park takes advantage of the natural reefs, cliffs, and ocean by creating a haven for those who love splashing around in the water. Offering a number of water activities, a restaurant, and a bar, this is a great place to spend a day.
Those hoping to locate a another great natural attraction will enjoy exploring choices like Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The reserve is divided into four distinct, and well marked zones: the Reef, the Seagrass Beds, the Mangroves, and Shark Ray Alley. In order to full enjoy the marine park, you'll have to hire a boat operator, and signing up for a snorkeling and diving tour is a great way to experience the park as well.
Punta Laguna Spider Monkey Reserve: Somewhere between 400 and 800 Spider Monkeys and fewer Howler Monkeys populate the reserve, along with Pumas, White-tailed Deer, the Ocellates, and the Coati. But animals are not the only reason to visit Punta Laguna.
Glance through the table just below to read more about nature preserves and hiking spots.
|Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||5.7 mi. South of Central Xcalak||Belize|
|Hiking Trail||3.6 mi. Southeast of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres||Isla Mujeres|
|Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||1.2 mi. South West of Central Chetumal||Mexico|
|Chinchorro Bank Biosphere Reserve||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||25.7 mi. East-Southeast of Central Costa Maya||Mexico|
|Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||6.2 mi. East-Southeast of Central Sarteneja||Belize|
|Cozumel Reef National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||0.4 mi. West of Central downtown San Miguel||Cozumel|
|Fireburn Reserve||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||11.6 mi. East-Southeast of Central Chunox||Belize|
|Garrafon Reef Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||4.2 mi. South-Southeast of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres||Isla Mujeres|
|Hiking Trail||1.5 mi. South of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres||Isla Mujeres|
|Hol Chan Marine Reserve||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||7.9 mi. North of Central Caye Caulker||Belize|
|Holbox Ecological Preserve||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||1.1 mi. South-Southwest of Central Downtown Holbox||Holbox|
|Isla Contoy National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||18.0 mi. North of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres||Mexico|
|Jungle Place||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||4.4 mi. South West of Central Akumal||Mexico|
|Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||2.3 mi. South of Central Riviera Cancun||Mexico|
|Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||14.0 mi. North of Central Punta Allen||Mexico|
|Punta Laguna Spider Monkey Reserve||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||27.1 mi. Northwest of Central Akumal||Mexico|
|Punta Nizuc National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||4.4 mi. South of Central Cancun Beach Hotel Zone||Mexico|
|Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||2.7 mi. South of Central San Pedro||Ambergris Caye|
|Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||3.5 mi. South of Central San Pedro||Belize|
|Shipstern Nature Reserve||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||5.9 mi. South of Central Sarteneja||Belize|
|Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||11.3 mi. West-Northwest of Central Punta Allen||Mexico|
|Whale Shark Habitats||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||1.0 mi. North of Central Downtown Holbox||Holbox|
Although most people visiting the area are attracted by the beautiful water and coastline, those aren't the only way to enjoy the natural wonders available. Yucatan Peninsula offers some great choices, including 6 caves.
You might enjoy a visit to Aktun Chen Cave System, which is situated in Yucatan Peninsula. The tour of the cave system is a 656 yard walking tour that leads visitors through paths that have been made safe to walk on. Of particular note within the caves are the domes and the 39 foot deep cenote filled with water.
Another option is Blue Creek Cave. It is southern Yucatan Peninsula. Blue Creek Cave is popular amongst tourists who want the full Maya experience. Called "Hokeb Ha" by the Maya people it was once frequented by many people of this mysterious culture.
The chart right below summarizes more information about caves.
|Aktun Chen Cave System||Cave||6.2 mi. Northwest of Central Akumal||Mexico|
|Blue Creek Cave||Cave||1.3 mi. South-Southeast of Central La Union||Belize|
|Cave||0.8 mi. Southeast of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres||Isla Mujeres|
|Cave||3.7 mi. Northwest of Central Playa del Carmen||Mexico|
|Cristalino Maya Cenote||Cave||1.8 mi. West of Central Puerto Aventuras||Mexico|
|Jardin Del Eden Cenote||Cave||1.8 mi. West of Central Puerto Aventuras||Mexico|
Vacationers can enjoy one of the many parks, as well as a botanical garden in Yucatan Peninsula.
Kantun Chi Eco Park is the vicinity of La Gloria, in eastern Yucatan Peninsula. An ecopark that delves into the world of the ancient Maya, Kantun Chi allows guests to explore mystical caverns and swim in underground lakes.
A second popular choice in this category is Selvatica. Selvatica is the most popular, and award winning , Eco-adventure facility in the Mexican Caribbean. With everything from zip-line tours to cenote swims, you can experience the great outdoors in a whole new way.
The parks and gardens available are shown in the following chart.
|Boca Del Rio Park||Park||6.9 mi. South-Southwest of Central Ambergris Caye|
|Cenote X-Canche||Park||31.6 mi. East-Northeast of Central Chichen Itza|
|Cenote Zaci||Park||24.0 mi. East of Central Chichen Itza|
|Central Plaza||Park||0.0 mi. North of Central Downtown Holbox|
|Dzitnup Cenote||Park||21.0 mi. East of Central Chichen Itza|
|Park||23.7 mi. East of Central Chichen Itza|
|Park||0.3 mi. Southeast of Central Bacalar|
|Ik Kil Cenote||Park||1.8 mi. Southeast of Central Chichen Itza|
|Kantun Chi Eco Park||Park||1.9 mi. West of Central Puerto Aventuras|
|Park||10.4 mi. South-Southwest of Central Akumal|
|Parque De Las Palapas||Park||Downtown Cancun|
|Park||0.8 mi. South West of Central Chetumal|
|Park||3.1 mi. South-Southeast of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres|
|Park||Downtown Playa del Carmen|
|Park||0.0 mi. East of Central Punta Allen|
|Park||21.1 mi. East of Central Chichen Itza|
|Park||19.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Akumal|
|Selvatica||Park||16.1 mi. North of Central Playa del Carmen|
|Tajmahal Cenote||Park||1.2 mi. Northwest of Central Xpu Ha|
|Park||13.6 mi. South West of Central Akumal|
|Xunaan Ha Cenote||Park||6.5 mi. South West of Central Akumal|
|Yax-Che Jardin Botanico||Botanical Garden||4.5 mi. South West of Central Riviera Cancun|
|Park||8.9 mi. South West of Central Akumal|
If the concept of passing some time surrounded by animals tickles your fancy, you should visit Payo Obispo Zoo. The zoo is a great place to learn about local fauna without having to venture out into the wild. Tour the zoo yourself or sign up for a guided tour.
Another related option is Crococun Zoo. For an up close experience of some of Mexico's native wildlife, Crococun is a great place to check out. This crocodile farm features a wide range of exhibits from large and fearsome crocodiles to babies that you can pet and hold.
Take some time to look through the following chart to learn more.
|Crococun Zoo||Zoo||1.9 mi. South West of Central Riviera Cancun|
|Zoo||27.7 mi. West of Central Akumal|
|Dolphin Discovery||Zoo||0.4 mi. West-Northwest of Central Puerto Aventuras|
|Interactive Aquarium Cancun||Aquarium||1.1 mi. North-Northeast of Central Cancun Beach Hotel Zone|
|Payo Obispo Zoo||Zoo||0.2 mi. Northeast of Central Chetumal|
|Zoo||6.1 mi. East-Southeast of Central Cancun|
|Zoo||4.7 mi. South-Southwest of Central Akumal|
|Xaman-Ha Aviary||Zoo||1.6 mi. South West of Central Playa del Carmen|
Another idea is to visit some of the more popular naturally occurring land formations. Other options like these in Yucatan Peninsula are summarized below.
|Hot Spring||2.6 mi. South-Southwest of Central Bacalar||Mexico|
|Chikin Ha Cenote||Pond||1.8 mi. West of Central Puerto Aventuras||Mexico|
|Lagoon||19.1 mi. North-Northwest of Central Punta Allen||Mexico|
|Crocodile Swamp||Swamp||3.7 mi. South of Central Riviera Cancun||Mexico|
|Hot Spring||9.0 mi. Northeast of Central Tulum||Mexico|
|Hot Spring||5.1 mi. West-Southwest of Central Tulum||Mexico|
|Four Mile Lagoon||Lagoon||6.7 mi. South West of Central Chetumal||Belize|
|Honey Camp Lagoon||Lagoon||13.0 mi. South of Central Caledonia||Belize|
|Laguna Makax||Lagoon||2.1 mi. South-Southeast of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres||Isla Mujeres|
|Muyil Lagoon||Lagoon||20.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Punta Allen||Mexico|
|Progresso Lagoon||Lagoon||1.6 mi. Northeast of Central Progresso||Belize|
|Harbour||Puerto Morelos, Eastern part of Yucatan Peninsula||Mexico|
|Ranchito Lagoon||Lagoon||13.1 mi. South West of Central Chetumal||Belize|
|Hot Spring||5.8 mi. West-Southwest of Central Tulum||Mexico|
|Rocky Point||Point||8.8 mi. Northeast of Central Ambergris Caye||Ambergris Caye|
|Reef||0.8 mi. East of Central San Pedro||Ambergris Caye|
|Yal-Ku Lagoon||Lagoon||1.1 mi. Northeast of Central Akumal||Mexico|
|Hot Spring||1.1 mi. South-Southwest of Central Downtown Holbox||Holbox|
If you are looking for more attractions beyond what's offered on this page, you can look beyond these choices. Anyone needing to get more information about other attractions by clicking here.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.