Adventurers Guide to One Week in Quintana Roo

Drone aerial picture of Cancun Mexico

This adventure guide to Quintana Roo, Mexico will take you on a road trip from Cancun to Akumal and ending in Tulum. Quintana Roo is a Mexican state within the Yucatán Peninsula packed full of activities for all the adventurers out there. My one week adventure itinerary was created for our trip in September so you’ll have all the information you need for the perfect vacation. The itinerary covers how to get around, where to stay, what to eat, and things to do for each city.

There are tons of great reasons to visit Tulum Mexico. Especially the stunning cenotes in Tulum. These are the best cenotes that should be on the top of your list! HEre are the best cenotes in Tulum Mexico!

We spent 1 week exploring local towns such as Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, & Cancun. My favorite part? Exploring crystal clear cenotes, 13th-century Mayan archaeological sites, and National Parks.

The Adventurer’s Guide to One Week in Quintana Roo

This adventure guide to Quintana Roo, Mexico will take you on a road trip from Cancun to Akumal and ending in Tulum. Quintana Roo is a Mexican state within the Yucatán Peninsula packed full of activities for all the adventurers out there. My one week adventure itinerary was created for our trip in September so you'll have all the information you need for the perfect vacation. The itinerary covers how to get around, where to stay,  what to eat, and things to do for each city.
This adventure guide to Quintana Roo, Mexico will take you on a road trip from Cancun to Akumal and ending in Tulum. Quintana Roo is a Mexican state within the Yucatán Peninsula packed full of activities for all the adventurers out there. My one week adventure itinerary was created for our trip in September so you'll have all the information you need for the perfect vacation. The itinerary covers how to get around, where to stay,  what to eat, and things to do for each city.

Getting to Quintana Roo

Transportation: We flew round trip out of the Cancun Airport, giving us a full day to explore the Caribbean version of Las Vegas. Renting a car in Mexico can get tricky with insurance, some rental centers require high deposits up to $2,500 usd. Do your research on how car insurance works in Mexico prior to your arrival.

My recommendation for if you’re traveling during the off season is to wait until you’re at the airport to book your rental car. The rental companies at the airport will have more competitive pricing opportunities then you will find online and will negotiate with you. Have them explain the two different insurance options to you before you agree to rent with them.

35% Discount On Weeklong Car Rentals

Learn spanish in minutes with Babbel
This adventure guide to Quintana Roo, Mexico will take you on a road trip from Cancun to Akumal and ending in Tulum. Quintana Roo is a Mexican state within the Yucatán Peninsula packed full of activities for all the adventurers out there. My one week adventure itinerary was created for our trip in September so you'll have all the information you need for the perfect vacation. The itinerary covers how to get around, where to stay,  what to eat, and things to do for each city.

Spend 2 Days in Cancun

Where To Stay

Our last night in Mexico we had breathtaking Caribbean sea view. We stayed right in the center of the Hotel Zone to be close to the beach but not too far from the airport for our early flight the next day. 

This adventure guide to Quintana Roo, Mexico will take you on a road trip from Cancun to Akumal and ending in Tulum. Quintana Roo is a Mexican state within the Yucatán Peninsula packed full of activities for all the adventurers out there. My one week adventure itinerary was created for our trip in September so you'll have all the information you need for the perfect vacation. The itinerary covers how to get around, where to stay,  what to eat, and things to do for each city.

HOTEL SANTA MARIA

Budget Friendly

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Grand Oasis Palm

Adults Only All Inclusive

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Villas Cancun by Grand Park

THE VILLAS CANCUN BY GRAND PARK

Hotel Zone; Beachfront; Personal Pool

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Boat Party in Cancun Mexico
Where to Eat in Cancun
Adventurers Guide to 1 Week in Tulum -
Discover where to eat, where to stay, and adventures such as Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and more! Quintana Roo Mexico #mexico #travel #mexicopacking #wheretostay #hiddengem #vacation #travelguide #adventure #traveltips #northamerica #traveldestinations  #bestbeach #cenote #adventure

Where To Eat 

Quieres un, café? Brunch at one of the delicious local restaurants. We started our day with coffee and food after an early arrival before heading into the hotel zone. We ate at an adorable coffee shop (no longer open; updated 2020) which had a huge menu of pasteles, and traditional Mexican dishes ranging from sweet crepes to savory huevos rancheros. We had a tough time choosing, so we ordered both (plus a chilaquiles verdes con pollo).

This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas

Things to Do in Cancun

Head to the north side of the hotel zone and spend the day beach hopping down to the Caribbean side. There are 11 public beaches within the hotel zone, each beach is unique and offers visitors warm turquoise colored water along white sand.

Reef Shipwreck Snorkeling Tour in Cancun
Chichen Itza Tour in Cancun
Jet Skis rentals in Cancun Mexico

Our last day of the trip we stayed in Cancun & explored local restaurants, shops and accommodations. I regret not planning a water activity for that day, so I would highly recommend doing so because it looks like a blast. Next time we’re in the area we plan to rent surf boards, kayaks or paddle boards to explore the area further.  

Parasailing in Cancun Mexico
ATV Zipline Tour in Cancun Mexico
Flyboard flight in Cancun Mexico Quintana Roo
This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas

Climate Change in Mexico

Notice the “red tide” or mounds of decaying algae in my Cancun beach photos…Scientists have warned that the algae are a grave new threat to the Caribbean, not just Cancun.

Adventurers Guide to 1 Week in Tulum -
Discover where to eat, where to stay, and adventures such as Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and more! Quintana Roo Mexico #mexico #travel #mexicopacking #wheretostay #hiddengem #vacation #travelguide #adventure #traveltips #northamerica #traveldestinations  #bestbeach #cenote #adventure
The black “sand” you see along the beach shore is the old decaying algae. In the water you can see the giant clumps of seaweed being washed ashore.

In the open ocean the algae support birds and other sea life. But when washed ashore, as they start to decay they become an environmental nightmare. The decaying algae, emit hydrogen sulfide fumes that kills fish, coral and seagrass.

Akumal Beach, Mexico
Adventurers Guide to 1 Week in Tulum -
Discover where to eat, where to stay, and adventures such as Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and more! Quintana Roo Mexico #mexico #travel #mexicopacking #wheretostay #hiddengem #vacation #travelguide #adventure #traveltips #northamerica #traveldestinations  #bestbeach #cenote #adventure
Red tide in Akumal

It also causes headaches and nausea in people- especially those that must clean it each morning before the tourists arrive. When not cleared, the algae becomes piled high blocking endangered sea turtles from reaching the shore to lay their eggs.

purple star
This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas

Day Trip to Akumal 

Akumal is a small Caribbean community known for its sea turtles! Spend a day swimming with Sea Turtles in Akumal. The town is just a short drive from Playa del Carmen or Tulum making for an easy day trip. You can see the sea turtles on your own or take a guided tour.

Go Snorkling with Sea Turtles 
Adventurers Guide to 1 Week in Tulum -
Discover where to eat, where to stay, and adventures such as Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and more! Quintana Roo Mexico #mexico #travel #mexicopacking #wheretostay #hiddengem #vacation #travelguide #adventure #traveltips #northamerica #traveldestinations  #bestbeach #cenote #adventure

We decided to try our luck and explore on our own. Vendors will try and tell you that you MUST join a tour/wear a life vest to see the turtles- this is not true. There are roped off buoyed areas protecting major turtle feeding areas; if you stay inside the designated swim areas you can explore on your own as we did. 

This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas

My recommendation would be to arrive at the beach early, the visibility in the water goes down as people swim throughout the day and stir up the sand. I would recommend not going through a guided tour and arrive to the beaches early for your best chances to see some turtles.

Go Snorkling with Sea Turtles 
Adventurers Guide to 1 Week in Tulum -
Discover where to eat, where to stay, and adventures such as Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and more! Quintana Roo Mexico #mexico #travel #mexicopacking #wheretostay #hiddengem #vacation #travelguide #adventure #traveltips #northamerica #traveldestinations  #bestbeach #cenote #adventure

Make sure each person has their own mask/snorkel if you choose to search for turtles on your own. Our group had two snorkels/masks for 6 people to share, and only a few of us were able to spot some turtles. There are plenty of vendors along the town center that sell masks and snorkels for your convenience. 

This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas
There are tons of great reasons to visit Tulum Mexico. Especially the stunning cenotes in Tulum. These are the best cenotes that should be on the top of your list! HEre are the best cenotes in Tulum Mexico!

Stay 4 Days in Tulum 

Along the Caribbean coast, the town of Tulum offers seaside Mayan ruins to explore, sandy beaches for relaxing and undersea caves for diving. September is the birth month of my favorite travel partner Logan. He earned his PADI Diving Certification a couple months before his birthday so that he could dive the cenotes in Mexico.

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This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas

Where to Stay in Tulum

Are you the penthouse pool with a view type person or a walking distance to the beach, shopping type? These rentals are going to blow you away.

Where to stay in Tulum Mexico

We spent four nights in a jungle paradise. The three bed three bath penthouse came with a private rooftop pool, penthouse roof suite, and two bed/bath on the main floor.

Where to Stay in Mexico

Check out AirBnb for other amazing places to stay, and enjoy jungle views! New to AirBnB? Click here for $55 usd towards your first trip!

This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas
Walking food tours in Tulum Mexico | Where to Eat | Best Mexican Food | Travel Mexico

Where to Eat in Tulum

Budget Friendly: Antojitos La Chiapaneca: Mexican $$

Best Ocean View: Mezzanine; Authentic Thai and casual beach menu includes a legendary Happy Hour if you’re looking for a boozey brunch on the beach, $$$$

Best Tacos: Las Antorcha Food Truck; location varies, $

Instagram WorthyKin Toh; Mayan-Mexican cuisine in a tree house venue offering guests an experience they’re sure to remember. Enter the restaurant and you will be surrounded with sounds, smells, and decor. Engaging each of your senses. Make reservations in advance, $$$$$

This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas
This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas

What to Do in Tulum

A cenote is a freshwater filled Mexican sinkhole. The word Cenote is of Mayan decent and was originally called dzonot or ts’onot, meaning well. The cenotes played a crucial role in the development of the Mayan civilization.

There are tons of great reasons to visit Tulum Mexico. Especially the stunning cenotes in Tulum. These are the best cenotes that should be on the top of your list! HEre are the best cenotes in Tulum Mexico!

If you love cenotes, check out all my favorite instagrammable cenotes in Tulum post! Details on which cenotes give you the best adventure. Find out where you can swim, scuba dive, snorkel, kayak & explore!

Discover where to eat, where to stay, and adventures such as Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and more! Quintana Roo Mexico #mexico #travel #mexicopacking #wheretostay #hiddengem #vacation #travelguide #adventure #traveltips #northamerica #traveldestinations #bestbeach #cenote #adventure
This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas

Go Scuba Diving in Cenotes

Just a few weeks before our trip to Mexico, Logan had completed his PADI dive certification! Dos Ojos was unanimously the favorite dive of the group. Noted as “The World’s Best Cavern Dives” the name Dos Ojos translates to “two eyes”. Which refers to two nearby cenotes connected by a massive underwater cave system shared between the two.

Discover Secret Cenotes Go Kayaking in Mexico's Cenotes in the Adventurers Guide to 1 Week in Tulum- 
Discover where to eat, where to stay, and adventures such as Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and more! Quintana Roo Mexico #mexico #travel #mexicopacking #wheretostay #hiddengem #vacation #travelguide #adventure #traveltips #northamerica #traveldestinations  #bestbeach #cenote #adventure

The two caverns start and end in the same area. Each dive routes are unique, giving divers different areas of the cave to explore. The first dive is 500 meters (1,600 feet) along The Barbie Line and leads divers along the opening of the second eye with plenty of daylight to see the stalactites. The dive along The Batcave Line is a much darker route. With little to no daylight entering the cave system. Divers will ascend up the cave to an open air pocket filled with bats flying everywhere!

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This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas
This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas

Kayaking at Casa Cenote

There are over 3,000 unique cenotes throughout the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. The cenotes are mostly found in the crater area that formed from the meteorite impact (the same meteorite responsible for the dinosaur extinction in this area). The cenotes are great for swimming, diving, snorkeling and more! The extensive underground river systems, make this area of Mexico the best place to experience cave diving.

This Adventure Guide will take you through the state of #Quintana Roo in #Mexico where you will #discover things to do, where to eat, and where to stay along Mexico’s #Caribbean coast in towns such as #Cancún #Playa Del Carmen #Tulum #Photography #traveldestinations #aesthetic #vacationideas #outfitsideas
The Adventurers Guide to 1 Week in Tulum - 
Discover Mayan ruines in Tulum, where to eat, where to stay, and adventures such as Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and more! Quintana Roo Mexico #mexico #travel #mexicopacking #wheretostay #hiddengem #vacation #travelguide #adventure #traveltips #northamerica #traveldestinations  #bestbeach #cenote #adventure #tulumruins

Explore Tulum Ancient Ruins

The ancient Tulum ruins date back to the 13th-century. This Mayan archaeological site is located within Tulum National Park and offers breathtaking overlooks the sea. Further inland, you’ll find the Cobá archaeological site with pyramid-shaped temples and panoramic views of the jungle.

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Adventurers Guide to One Week in Quintana Roo

40 thoughts on “Adventurers Guide to One Week in Quintana Roo

  1. You are the second person lately who has mentioned the high cost of car rental in Mexico so I think I will definitely stay clear of that!

  2. Such a good list for Quintana Roo! I went a few years ago and did a lot of the things on your list. Highly recommend!

  3. What a thorough guide! I love that you included recommendations for food places as well as notes on the climate change. I appreciate you bringing attention to this important issue.

  4. $2,500 for a car deposit sounds like a scam. Thanks for the info about the car rental there. Sad to hear about the red algae and the animals affected by it.

  5. It has been far too long since we last visited the Quintana Roo area of Mexico. Sad to read about the red tide since scuba diving is one of the great reasons we visited. Although we would definitely head back to the cenotes again. I could sure use a break in the penthouse relaxing in the sun right now!

    1. Oh my goodness, Linda. It was perhaps one of the coolest places I’ve ever stayed in. There was also a master suite that was directly connected to the pool, plus two bed/two bath downstairs. I found it on AirBNB if you are ever in the area again!

  6. Well this brought back so many memories. Being Canadian, going to Mexico is a easy and very cheap trip. I think I’ve been five times. Cancun, Playa del Carma, Tulum – and all the day trips too. I agree the cenote and ruins are a must visit. I love the Airbnb you stayed in, just my kind of place.

    1. Are you in Ontario? I’m in Detroit, and flights from here are also extremely cheap, usually we can get there for around $150 usd round trip! I am really really looking forward to post – covid. It’s officially been 1 year since our last trip 🙁

    1. Yucatan is next on our list! I adore Mexico – especially all the delicious food 🤤 thanks for the article, I’ll check it out! Feel free to backlink my post to yours! 💜

  7. Mexico is a divers paradise! I am so looking forward to visiting. Seeing some mayan ruins is also a big plus 🙂

  8. That jungle penthouse looks absolutely incredible, what a dream. And swimming in cenotes is way up there on my bucket list! I’ve always wanted to visit Quintana Roo, so thank you for this detailed guide.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! The cenotes had been on my bucket list too, there are just SO MANY. We plan on visiting again post covid up in the Yucatan area to see more 🙂

  9. I’ve been hearing so much about Tulum especially lately. Would love to visit someday. The cenotes sound intriguing, but I’d probably need to get my PADI license before I go. Sad to hear about the algae though.

  10. I was sad to hear about the issue with the seaweed in Cancun. You see so many beautiful beach photos with white sand, I had no idea that someone had to clean it every day. I am glad they are clearing it though, for people to enjoy the beach, but especially so that the sea turtles can access the beach to lay their eggs. Thanks for bringing the issue to my attention.

    1. When I saw it I asked our scuba instructor, and he was the one that told me about it 🙁 it was on all the coastline beaches we visited. I felt so bad to watching them clean the beaches while I sat there lounging in the sun.

  11. Looks absolutely wonderful! I would love to swim with the turtles and that is a really good tip about arriving early before the sand gets stirred up. Wondered how safe it is to swim if the algae and “red tide” you mention are around? The cenotes look fabulous too. I could see myself kayaking here!

    1. We only swam at the Caleta Tankah beach & Akumal turtle beach due to the red tide.. the cenotes were all crystal clear freshwater beautifulness – so I would recommend swimming in those instead if it is red tide season 🙂

  12. Mexico is my happy place! I’ve been there 27x but have never done a road trip! You’ve inspired me to do that next time!

  13. How beautiful!! I love these photos and ideas. I have only been to Puerto Vallarta to a resort so I obviously need to expand that!

  14. This is such a good guide! I haven’t been to Quintana Roo in years and was thinking about doing a couple days there this year so this is a great guide for that.

  15. This place looks absolutely beautiful. I would love to visit Mexico in the future 🙂 Thank you for sharing this 1 week itinerary.

  16. I loved reading this. Mexico is moving higher up my list of priorities when I see posts about it. I spent a couple of weeks travelling in Mexico many years ago but by the time we got to Cancun, just wanted to laze by the pool & enjoy the beach. There is so much more to the area & I’m now keen to go back. Loving the idea of the Scuba in the cenotes – very intriguing. Swimming with turtles is always a treat too but concerning about the algae. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Ok that Airbnb is just incredible! I LOVE Mexico (we got married there!) and go every year – we usually do a resort but I’m thinking next time we go we’ll rent a place off-resort for a few days and experience some great food and other adventures! This post has me longing to go back!!!

  18. Wow..what an adventure. I have never heard of Quintana before. The sea is so beautiful here. Love the colors.

  19. Snorkelling in the ocean and swimming in cenotes is an absolute must! And of course exploring the treasures of past centuries. Love the accommodation in the jungle.

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