A day in the Riviera Maya with turtles, cenotes, ruins and more!

Ok, you know how it is when your holiday destination has so much adventure to offer…and you want to do it all! You’re like a kid in a candy store, all eyes and excitement, but don’t know where to start. This is where Riviera Adventours comes in. You see, I am visiting the Mayan Riviera and found that there was so, so much to do – snorkeling, swimming in cenotes, checking out the Mayan ruins…I could go on. Then I came across the Extreme Tulum Expedition offered by Riviera Adventours. Well, honestly, I had a suspicion that they probably just cram a whole lot into a small space of time. I couldn’t have been more wrong. They have it all worked out perfectly – the timing, the places to visit, the transportation and keeping us refreshed through it all!

I had a blast! I loved every moment of this tour. Here, let me share some images of the places we visited just so you can have a taste of what the Extreme Expedition is all about.

Swimming with Turtles in Akumal

I love turtles, don’t you? There’s something so peaceful and beautiful about those creatures. So, that was our first stop – bright and early (7 am!) at Akumal Bay. “Akumal” means the land of turtles. Our tour guide, Elisio knew what he was talking about when he told us that was the best time to see lots of turtles. And he was right – what a beautiful experience it was! We were provided with wet suits as the water was not warm, the visibility was excellent and we got to see some turtles that were at least 6 feet in length, the biggest we’ve every seen. One other tip we got from Elisio (yes, such a storehouse of information!), was that turtles surface every five minutes, so, if you want to take pictures, you’ve got to stick around for a bit.

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It’s hard to tell, but this turtle was about 5 feet long… About as tall as I am 🙂

Swimming with Turtles in Cancun

Here I am chasing the turtle like a little kid 🙂

Yalku Lagoon

This was our next stop – Yalku Lagoon. Hidden away just a few miles away from the Bay. What’s lovely about it? The clear, warm water and the unusual formations that are home to schools of brilliantly colored tropical fish. At first glance it may seem most ordinary, but, once you put your face into the water and the whole marine panoply unfolds before you, you go – Oh yes, Mother Nature has put in a little something extra into this lovely lagoon.


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Yalku Lagoon – A hidden gem located a few miles away from Akumal Beach.




The visibility was better than what it shows on the picture… Sorry, we’re just learning how to use our underwater camera.

Cenote Sac Actun  

The trip so far was absolutely delightful, and as we headed to our next stop, what we learned from Elisio about the Cenote Sac Actun barely prepared us for its surprising beauty. Stunning stalactites and stalagmites beautifully lit up by strategically placed lights enthralled me as I jumped into the cold water. Yes, it was rather cold initially, but you get acclimatized in a few minutes and the stunning beauty of the cave completely takes up all your attention. It is amazing how nature can continue to surprise us…every single time.

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Our tour group enjoying the beauty of Cenote Sac Actun.


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Underwater view of Cenote Sac Actun.


Cenote Sac Actun exit

Lunch at Oscar & Lalo Restaurant

At this point I do want to mention that right from the time we were picked up for this tour we were kept duly refreshed with coffee and muffins as we set out and offered snacks and various beverages all through. BUT, stopping off for lunch at Oscar & Lalo’s after whetting our appetites all morning, was worth the wait! Elizio took our lunch orders earlier so that that our food was ready upon our arrival. What a wonderful restaurant it turned out to be! The traditional chicken dish we ordered did not disappoint. The appetizers, drinks and dessert were just “wow”. The ambiance was warm and inviting. The service was very efficient and the food begged to be photographed! The Jungle Garden just added to our dining experience. Ooh yes, we are coming back here for a meal before we leave Mexico!


Time to recharge our batteries with a 4 course meal in the jungle garden at Oscar & Lalo’s restaurant.

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Chicken anyone?

Tankah Park

After that delectable meal we were headed to Tankah Park. Well, replete with that wonderful meal, I really didn’t give much thought to our next stop. Yes, it included zip lining and canoeing, but my brain was only programmed to swimming in the sea or diving into cenotes….So, I wasn’t prepared for the amazing prettiness of the jungle that was part of this park. Rowing through the beautiful jungles in the bright yellow canoes was just the perfect thing to do. And it opened my eyes to a different side of Mexico. An unusual and beautiful inclusion in the Extreme Tour.

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Tankah park – pure perfection!

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Elisio, our tour guide, showing us how to use the break on the zip line.


Our new friend, Nachiket, zip lining over the cenote at Tankah Park.

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Jonah (on the left) trying to keep the canoe steady, while I was moving all around to get a picture of the cave entrance.


Jonah and I canoeing around Tankah Park.

An un-ruined finale at the Tulum ruins

To wind up this spectacular tour, the Tulum ruins were appropriately spectacular. History has it that this city was a port that was used for trading in turquoise and jade. The sea port was protected by a high limestone wall, left in ruins now. Theories abound about its inhabitants and the destruction. The ruins include a Castillo, precariously perched on a cliff and approached by mounting a steep, narrow stairway. We were given an hour to explore and photograph the Tulum ruins. In my book, a perfect ending to a perfect day.

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Tulum Ruins facing the Caribbean sea.

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Tulum Archeological Site.

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Our last stop, Tulum Beach… the perfect way to end the Extreme Tulum tour!


All the places mentioned can be visited individually. However, I would like to point out that it does require a lot of planning, time and money to do so. This small-group tour offered by Riviera Adventours is something I would highly recommend. It is beautifully organized and appeals to the adventurer in you. The service is top-notch, our comfort paramount and the quality of the tour, superlative. Their attention to detail extended to keeping the van we toured in spotless every time we returned to it all covered in sand! Want to know more about tours offered by Riviera Adventours? Check out their official website.

Riviera Adventours Information

Website : www.riviera-adventours.com
Email: customerservice@riviera-adventours.com
Tour rates begin at USD 120

DISCLAIMER: We were invited by Riviera Adventours to be part of this tour. However, my recommendation comes from the wonderful experience of having joined in.

Carmen Anderson
Hi! I'm Carmen and I'm obsessed with boutique hotels, scuba diving and yoga. When I'm not writing about my travel experiences, I hang out on social media....a little, oh, alright, a LOT! Connect with me if you like traveling, yoga or scuba diving.

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