Underwater Treasures of the Riviera Maya with Jann Wong

Your TourHero

Jann Wong | TourHero

Hi, I’m Jann! I’m an avid traveler who loves wandering off the beaten path to uncover hidden gems. I once journeyed from Singapore to London by land (yes, including via horse) and visited 28 countries across two continents in 228 days. Many of my friends know I have an unquenchable thirst for diving and I’m super excited to be heading to Mexico to dive in the incredible waters there — from the reefs to the awesome cenotes! I've created this itinerary to travel with like-minded individuals who are as keen to make an adventurous splash as I am!

Duration

9 days · 8 nights

Travel Date

Mar 31 – Apr 8, 2022

Activity Level

Strenuous

Group Size

6

Transportation

Van, boat

Tour Price

USD 1,278
/ person

Your Fellow Explorers

Age range

28+

Travel interest

Adventurous, diving, wildlife and nature

Fellow Travelers

Jia Sying
Mexico>Underwater Treasures of the Riviera Maya with Jann Wong

Brave the glistening waters of the Riviera Maya on this incredible journey that’ll see you diving the reefs and cenotes in and around beautiful Playa del Carmen. Your adventure kicks off with a three-day AIDA 2 freediving course, during which you’ll pick up the necessary skills for your certification in recreational freediving — and you’ll dive in the waters of two incredible Mexican cenotes to do this! Then, the rest of your trip unfolds with exciting dive opportunities off the coast of Playa del Carmen, where the reefs are rife with incredible sealife. Observe sea turtles, lobsters, giant barrel sponges and nurse sharks as you explore these alluring sites. You’ll experience six dives in total (two at the PDC reefs, two in the cenotes, and two off the coast of Cozumel). Finally, discover the Yucatan Peninsula’s most famous ancient sites on a grand full-day tour to Chichen Itza, Saamal, and Valladolid on your final day!

Cancellation policy

Refunds for deposits
If you cancel your trip after placing a deposit but before your card on file is charged for the full payment, you can request a full refund of your deposit up to 30 days before the tour departure.

Refunds for fully-paid trips
If you cancel your trip after making full payment, you may change or cancel your trip up to 30 days before the tour departure for a credit towards a future trip. You will receive a credit equivalent to 100% of your trip payment to be used anytime within the next 2 years from the date the credit note is issued.

A full credit will also be issued if the tour is canceled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions (see our COVID-19 guarantee on the tour itinerary page). We suggest buying your own travel insurance for coverage of cancellations within 30 days of the tour commencing for reasons other than a full tour cancellation.

Your TourHero

Jann Wong | TourHero

Hi, I’m Jann! I’m an avid traveler who loves wandering off the beaten path to uncover hidden gems. I once journeyed from Singapore to London by land (yes, including via horse) and visited 28 countries across two continents in 228 days. Many of my friends know I have an unquenchable thirst for diving and I’m super excited to be heading to Mexico to dive in the incredible waters there — from the reefs to the awesome cenotes! I've created this itinerary to travel with like-minded individuals who are as keen to make an adventurous splash as I am!

Duration

9 days · 8 nights

Travel Date

Mar 31 – Apr 8, 2022

Activity Level

Strenuous

Group Size

6

Transportation

Van, boat

Mexico>Underwater Treasures of the Riviera Maya with Jann Wong

Brave the glistening waters of the Riviera Maya on this incredible journey that’ll see you diving the reefs and cenotes in and around beautiful Playa del Carmen. Your adventure kicks off with a three-day AIDA 2 freediving course, during which you’ll pick up the necessary skills for your certification in recreational freediving — and you’ll dive in the waters of two incredible Mexican cenotes to do this! Then, the rest of your trip unfolds with exciting dive opportunities off the coast of Playa del Carmen, where the reefs are rife with incredible sealife. Observe sea turtles, lobsters, giant barrel sponges and nurse sharks as you explore these alluring sites. You’ll experience six dives in total (two at the PDC reefs, two in the cenotes, and two off the coast of Cozumel). Finally, discover the Yucatan Peninsula’s most famous ancient sites on a grand full-day tour to Chichen Itza, Saamal, and Valladolid on your final day!

Timeline

  • Day 1 · Cancun and Playa del Carmen
  • Arrive in Cancun International Airport
  • Head to shuttle location
  • Catch shuttle to Playa del Carmen (not included in price)
  • Check-in at Balkon Boutique Hotel
  • Free time
  • Dinner (not included in price)
  • Day 2 · Playa del Carmen
  • Breakfast (not included in price)
  • Day 1 of AIDA 2 freediving course (with lunch included)
  • AIDA class ends
  • Dinner (not included in price)
  • Day 3 · Playa del Carmen
  • Breakfast (not included in price)
  • Day 2 of AIDA 2 freediving course (with lunch included)
  • AIDA class ends
  • Dinner (not included in price)
  • Day 4 · Playa del Carmen
  • Breakfast (not included in price)
  • Day 3 of AIDA 2 freediving course (with lunch included)
  • AIDA class ends
  • Dinner (not included in price)
  • Day 5 · Playa del Carmen
  • Breakfast (not included in price)
  • 2 Playa del Carmen reef dives
  • Dinner (not included in price)
  • Day 6 · Playa del Carmen
  • Breakfast (not included in price)
  • 2 cenote dives (with option to add a third dive)
  • Free and easy
  • Dinner (not included in price)
  • Day 7 · Playa del Carmen and Cozumel
  • Breakfast (not included in price)
  • 2 Cozumel dives
  • Free and easy
  • Dinner (not included in price)
  • Day 8 · Playa del Carmen and Chichen Itza
  • Breakfast (not included in price)
  • Full-day Chichen Itza, cenote & Valladolid tour (lunch included)
  • COVID-19 test (not included in price)
  • Dinner (not included in price)
  • Day 9 · Departure
  • Breakfast (not included in price)
  • Check out of accommodation
  • Depart to Cancun International Airport
  • Journey ends

Details

Day 1

Welcome to the gorgeous Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula!

We’re excited to have you here in the beating heart of Mexico’s incredible Riviera Maya, where it’s 100% tropical sun, sand and surf all day long! This is the place to be for adventure activities, unlimited #beachlife selfies, and incredible diving opportunities off the scenic coast! Upon arriving at Cancun International Airport, catch a shuttle and make your way to your accommodation in the beachside paradise of Playa del Carmen. Once you’ve checked in, make yourself comfortable and settle into vacation mode! Check out your hotel’s best amenities, lounge by the glistening swimming pool, or wander the famous palm-tree-lined 5th Avenue shops. There are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area, so take your pick and have an incredible first night in PDC! Tomorrow, your adventure truly begins.

Day 2

It’s the first day of your AIDA 2 freediving course — pick up the skills you need!

Rise and shine! Today is the start of your three-day AIDA 2 freediving course, which will see you picking up the important foundations necessary for recreational freediving. By the end of the course, you'll be armed with the knowledge you'll needed to safely freedive with or without a guideline. Day one will see you starting in a confined space at the freediving house, located in the center of Playa del Carmen. Today, you’ll learn the basics in apnea theory, breathing technique, stretching, and static apnea in the confined pool. Even for more advanced divers, this will provide a useful refresher before we head out to the cenotes for our initiation to more advanced techniques over the next couple of days. This three-day AIDA 2 freediving course includes transportation, cenote entrance fees, certification fee, meals and snacks, as well as equipment (+ USD 10 per day for a 2-piece wetsuit). The course is tailored to your ability level.

Day 3

Splash into a beautiful cenote on the second day of your freediving course

Good morning! It’s day two of your AIDA 2 freediving course. Be sure to have a hearty breakfast before you start the day. Today, you’ll head to a proper cenote with your expert instructor. With more space to freely dive, you’ll be introduced to depth techniques today, as well as rescue techniques for apneists. Your instructor will also take the opportunity to provide an introduction to the cenotes, which are true geological marvels that are specific to the region. Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula is scattered with these incredible cenotes, all of them different in size, shape, and depth. As you float freely through the crystal-clear waters of one of these incredible cenotes, you’ll discover exactly why freediving in this area has always been a breathtaking experience to many!

Day 4

Continue to challenge yourself — it’s the third (and final) day of your AIDA 2 freediving course

Today marks the last day of your freediving course and by now, you should be well-versed in the techniques you’ve picked up over the last couple of days. You’ll head to a different cenote today to demonstrate your assimilation of the techniques you’ve learnt and have the chance to attempt your own personal records in freediving within the cenote. Your freediving instructor will be on-hand to provide assistance in theory and practice, while also ensuring your safety and that you stick to your limits. The course will end with a local meal followed by a theoretical exam on what you’ve learnt during your training. Congratulations! You have achieved your AIDA 2 certification in freediving!

Day 5

Head out into the glistening waters of the Playa the del Carmen reef for two amazing dives

The cenotes were a great introduction to the Riviera Maya’s land-locked underwater treasures but today, the open sea calls your name! You’ll be heading out on two separate dives in the reefs off the Playa del Carmen coast today for a change of scenery. With various reefs in the region to accommodate different difficulty levels, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in an underwater world brimming with colorful tropical fish, shy eels, sea turtles, curious crustaceans, and unusual corals while diving comfortably at your own pace. There are locations ranging from shallow reefs (like the mild-current Shangri-La Reef at 8 meters perfect for beginners) to deep reefs (like the strong-current Pared Verde Reef at 30 meters for advanced divers).

Day 6

Re-enter a rocky cave world filled with stalactite and stalagmite formations on two perfect cenote dives

It’s back to cenote diving today as we take to these underground river systems and water-filled caves that brim with crevices, fossils, unique rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites. Embark on two cenote dives over the course of the day and immerse yourself in this mystical world. In Mayan mythology, these cenotes were believed to be “sacred wells”, said to be entrances to a parallel underworld where gods and spirits reside. As you access these incredible cave systems, keep a lookout for the wildlife that live in the jungle wilderness that surround these underground wells!

Day 7

Dive amidst the spectacular coral reefs off the coast of Cozumel Island

Your dive trip culminates in a journey to Cozumel, located 16 kilometers east of Playa del Carmen, where you’ll experience two separate dives off the coast of this perfect sanctuary. It comes as no surprise that Cozumel has developed a reputation for being a snorkeling and diving paradise as it is part of the Meso-American Reef — the second-longest barrier reef in the world that runs from Cancun all the way to Belize. From Playa del Carmen, you’ll be ferried over to Cozumel to begin your expedition. With over 20 dive sites around the island that cater to all levels, from Palancar Gardens to the Santa Rosa Wall, there's plenty to choose from. Keep your eyes peeled for eagle rays, hawksbill turtles and nurse sharks!

Day 8

Embark on a full-day tour and discover the Yucatan Peninsula through its ancient sites

The incredible Yucatan Peninsula has long been an intriguing treasure trove of history, from pre-Columbian archeological sites of the Mayans to 16th-century towns settled by the Spanish. Today, you’ll get to experience a few of these places firsthand with a full-day tour that takes you inland. We’ll take you to the ancient site of Chichen Itza (note: admission not included) and the large step-pyramid Temple of Kukulcán that dominates the center of this archeological site. Then, refresh yourself in the waters of the scenic Saamal, a beautiful cenote with a waterfall. Halfway through our tour, we’ll enjoy a delicious buffet meal, then we’ll continue onward to explore the well-preserved architecture in the colonial town of Valladolid, where the buildings and streets have endured a tumultuous past. There’s no better way to discover the Yucatan Peninsula than on this wonderful tour to round off your last 24 hours in Mexico!

Day 9

It’s time to say goodbye to Playa del Carmen and head on home

How time flies! We hope you had an incredible time in Mexico exploring the reefs, cenotes, and ancient sites of the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula. Once you’ve checked out of your accommodation, make your way to the airport in time to catch your flight back home. We hope to see you again! Until next time — safe travels!

Accommodation

  • Balkon Boutique Hotel

    Balkon Boutique Hotel is an elegant and stylish hotel located in beautiful Playa del Carmen, just a short walk from the lively shops of 5th Avenue and two blocks from the beachfront. Bright and airy, with a contemporary touch coupled with warm and friendly staff service, you are guaranteed a comfortable stay here. The exclusive rooftop, decked out in a dreamy pool and loungers, offer incredible panoramic views of the Caribbean landscape. All guests are given VIP access to the Martina Beach Club, located just 800 meters from the hotel. Luxury Queen Rooms are furnished with the ultimate comfort in mind: luxury linens, a queen-sized bed, air-conditioning, a minibar, a safe, and a private en suite bathroom. Room type: Luxury Queen Room.

Included

  • 8 nights in Balkon Boutique Hotel
  • Single occupancy in accommodation
  • All transportation for activities
  • AIDA 2 freediving course — includes cenote entrance fees, certification fee, meals/snacks, and equipment (+ extra USD 10 per day for 2-piece wetsuit)
  • 2 Playa del Carmen reef dives
  • 2 cenote dives
  • 2 Cozumel dives
  • Full-day Chichen Itza, cenote & Valladolid guided tour – includes buffet lunch and cenote entry fee
  • 24/7 guest support

Not included

  • Flights
  • All breakfasts
  • All dinners
  • All other meals not mentioned in inclusions
  • Chichen Itza entrance fee
  • Optional add-ons
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities

COVID-19 guarantee

We know many of you are yearning to travel, but also want to do it in a safe and enjoyable way.

To ensure your wellbeing, we’re working with each of our partners to ensure that exhaustive precautionary health and safety measures are in place. This includes reducing group sizes, incorporating more outdoor adventures, and closely monitoring the spread on the ground.

At the same time, we also know that this is a holiday for you and that you want to experience the best of each location, with minimal inconvenience. We’re confident that each of our trips will be both safe and enjoyable, but if we cannot keep to either of those promises, we will defer or cancel the trip if necessary and gladly issue you credit for a future tour to be used towards any tour within 2 years.

Available add-on

One extra cenote dive

Want to spend more time exploring the magical cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula? We’re not surprised — each cenote is completely different from the next and each visit is unique! Add an extra cenote to your list of dive sites on your itinerary to enhance your trip.

Price: USD 60

19 spots left

Extra cenote dive

Cancellation policy

Refunds for deposits
If you cancel your trip after placing a deposit but before your card on file is charged for the full payment, you can request a full refund of your deposit up to 30 days before the tour departure.

Refunds for fully-paid trips
If you cancel your trip after making full payment, you may change or cancel your trip up to 30 days before the tour departure for a credit towards a future trip. You will receive a credit equivalent to 100% of your trip payment to be used anytime within the next 2 years from the date the credit note is issued.

A full credit will also be issued if the tour is canceled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions (see our COVID-19 guarantee on the tour itinerary page). We suggest buying your own travel insurance for coverage of cancellations within 30 days of the tour commencing for reasons other than a full tour cancellation.

USD 1,278
Per person