Would you like to plan the perfect 7-day itinerary for Cancun?
You can do many things in one week! To get started, consider your budget and your tastes.
What type of vacation would you like? Do you wish to rent a car? Should you stay in Cancun only?
To help you out, I’ve put together 3 one-week itineraries for Cancun and its surroundings. Whether traveling with friends, your soul mate, or your family, you will find the right thing.
I have traveled for more than 2 months in the Riviera Maya, and it is my job to organize itineraries. So I know what I am talking about 🙂
Take your pen, and let’s go.
|Hotel Zone & Kayak||Head to Holbox||Head to Isla Mujeres|
|4 cenotes in 1 day||Explore around Holbox||Explore Isla Mujeres|
|DIY trip to Isla Mujeres||Go back to Cancun||Party in PDC|
|Chichen Itza at sunrise||Steal a Catamaran||Tulum ruins + cenotes|
|DIY trip to PDC||DIY trip to Chichen Itza||Relax at Mr Sanchos|
|Ziplining at Xplor||Swim with turtles||Explore Cozumel|
|Snorkeling & shopping||Go to Playa Blanca||Snorkeling at El Cielo|
This article is part of our excellent series: How to create the perfect itinerary for Cancun?
Dream makers 😎
Cancun Itinerary 7 days with your family
7 days in Cancun only
Are you looking for the perfect Cancun itinerary for a fantastic experience with your family? Come with me!
👉 Don’t hesitate to read our Cancun guide to plan your vacation and not make any more mistakes. You will find all our articles about this destination.
You’re on a family trip and look for cool activities that kids and adults can enjoy.
You watch your budget, and you’re not afraid to go exploring on your own unless you find a tour that’s really worth it.
I suggest you learn a few Spanish words before you go, or don’t forget your mini conversation guide if you plan to take colectivo out of Cancun.
Where to Stay
With its two nice outdoor pools and water park, the resort Wyndham Alltran Cancun All-inclusive Resort offers reasonable prices for families.
But there are better options than an all-inclusive resort if you plan to spend most of the time outside.
I recommend a family hotel with a double room, such as the quiet The Royal Cancun All Suites Resort.
Its shallow beach is super cool for kids, and the rooms have a kitchen.
How to come from the Cancun Airport
You have two solutions to get to your hotel from the Cancun international airport.
First of all, forget the on-site taxi; it’s too expensive.
You can take an ADO bus to downtown Cancun and then a public bus to Cancun hotel zone (lines R1 or R2). It’s the cheapest solution, but you’ll have to walk a bit between the stations.
Or I recommend a private transportation service, especially if you are numerous and loaded.
Remember to book in advance.
Day 1: Cancun Activities & Museums
To start your Cancun itinerary, I suggest some history of the Mayan civilization and excellent activities.
Catch the R1 or R2 bus to El Rey, a nice little archaeological site.
I advise you to be there at opening time (8.30 am – check the timetable) to avoid heat and crowds.
Don’t hesitate to take an English-speaking private guide. During an hour, he will tell the history of the ancient Mayan ruins (10 USD).
Afterward, you’ll walk to Playa Delfines, a popular white sand beach with several snacks and drink stands nearby.
After a swim and a family picture in front of the famous CANCUN sign (wait for your turn), you’ll take a bus to The Pink Coconut Cancun, a delicious healthy restaurant.
Bellies full, the family will visit the Museo Maya de Cancun to admire a beautiful collection of objects and ruins.
Count on about 1h30 to go around.
Until sunset, your guide will take you through the mangrove, where you can see birds and beautiful starfish.
Day 2: 4 cenotes in 1 day!
Today the family goes on a jungle adventure to discover sacred sites of the Mayan culture.
During this whole day trip, your tribe will listen to a professional guide tell legends haunting these mysterious sources while having fun with super activities.
Swimming, snorkeling in pristine waters, paddling, kayaking, cliff rappelling, and flying over an ancient cenote on a zipline, you’ll never get bored!
Snacks and drinks will calm your small hunger and thirst, and you will enjoy a great picnic lunch.
Although they limit the number of participants, you won’t be alone and thus won’t be able to feel the cenotes’ relaxing and peaceful vibe.
After this long day, your van will drive you back to your hotel.
Day 3: Isla Mujeres on your own
Get up, family! Put on your swimming suits and sail to a Caribbean gem, Isla Mujeres.
I advise you to catch an early one; it will be a busy day!
Once you arrive, don’t waste a second to go and taste the turquoise waters of Playa Norte, a gorgeous beach. At this early hour, you’ll avoid crowds.
After renting a golf cart for the family at Rental of Joaquin, drive to the south of the island! This is the wild part of the island; the landscapes are superb.
You will have lunch at Kin Ha Isla Mujeres Restaurant, a lovely beach club, before driving to Punta Sur to admire the ocean view from the cliffs.
Head to the middle of the island and visit the colorful Panteon cemetery, where you’ll see iguanas basking in the sun.
Stop off at Isla Brewing Company to buy delicious artisanal beers you’ll enjoy at sunset from Playa Norte after you return the golf cart and before you catch the ferry.
No beer for kids, of course! Buy some fruit juices on the beach.
Day 4: Visit Chichen Itza at sunrise
I know, it’s cruel to wake up so early on holiday, but trust me, it’s worth it!
It will still be dark and cool when the private tour van drops you off at the entrance of one of Mexico’s highlights sites, Chichen Itza!
Without tourists and vendors, you’ll gaze in awe as the sun shines on the majestic Kukulcan pyramid.
After a peaceful stroll through the sleeping ruins and taking tons of pictures without pestering the intruders, your guide will take you to Cenote Ik Kil.
This is a beautiful open cenote very photogenic, especially after 10.00 am. Maybe you’ll have a quick dip too.
It’s a private tour, so feel free to add other archaeological sites such as Coba, Ek Balam, or Tulum ruins.
You can also replace the popular cenote Ik Kil with another more secluded cenote (at extra cost).
Day 5: Playa del Carmen & Cenotes on your own
Adventurers get up early; you know that! So, let’s go and discover the Riviera Maya!
From the ADO Station, you will catch an early bus to Playa del Carmen (1h40 drive from Cancun downtown).
The driver will drop you off here, right in the heart of this pretty little resort.
You will walk down the lively 5th Avenue with its colorful souvenir shops.
You’ll stop at Parque Los Fundadores, a nice and popular beach park.
I’m sure you’ll want to capture a family photo standing by the stunning sculpture at the entrance.
For lunch, choose a beach club such as the Lido. The ambiance is great, and the cocktails are delicious. Moreover, if you consume on-site, you can laze on the comfy beach chairs unused by the hotel guests.
At 1.30 pm you will take a colectivo from here to go and visit two beautiful cenotes.
You will ask the driver to drop you off at Cenote Azul (30 minutes drive), one of the area’s most beautiful but crowded open cenotes.
The cenotes close at 5.00 am. If you have time, walk to Jardin del Eden (15 minutes). It is a quieter place to relax.
Cross the highway to wait for a colectivo to take you back to Playa del Carmen.
You will then return to Cancun on an ADO bus.
Day 6: Exciting ziplines with Xplor
Be ready for a thrilling day; you will fly over the jungle!
If you want to avoid crowds as much as possible, I advise you not to get up too late.
A van will take the family to Xplor Park, an adventure park hidden in the beautiful Riviera Maya jungle (1h drive).
There, both young and old will enjoy the many activities this big, and eco-friendly park proposes.
You can explore underground rivers, paddle in a cave cenote, drive an amphibious vehicle, and, highlight of the park, fly above the canopy thanks to 2 ziplines circuits, with waterslide and landing in the water.
I advise you to have lunch at the end of the tour (around 3.00 – 4.00 pm) to have fewer people.
If you’re starving, you can have a snack between two activities.
Day 7: Snorkel and Shopping
I know, I know… it’s early… but today is entertaining, and it’s the last day of your Cancun itinerary!
I advise you to be ready at 7 am so that the van of this snorkeling tour + cenote comes to pick you up at your hotel.
With a professional guide, the family goes to see the underwater life of a coral reef, meet turtles and maybe even rays, swim among the statues of the Cancun Underwater Museum, a shipwreck, and explore a cenote. All this in crystal clear waters and with colorful fish.
Don’t worry if you’re new to scuba diving, your guide is attentive, and life jackets are mandatory. If you want to go underwater to get a closer look at the fish, you can deflate it; relax.
Have a good shower at the hotel, check out if necessary, and go to the Loncheria El Pocito for lunch. You will enjoy delicious Mexican food.
You can’t leave Cancun without buying souvenirs, so head to the Mercado 28 a colorful flea market with many souvenirs, handicrafts, and clothes boutiques.
Feel free to haggle over the prices.
1 week in Cancun with your friends
2 nights in Holbox & 4 nights in Cancun
Ready to visit Cancun and explore the Yucatan Peninsula? Follow me on this exciting 7 days itinerary!
Your buddies group wants to start its Cancun trip by chilling out.
You first chose Holbox, a beautiful small island protected from seaweed and far from the world.
It’s an excellent spot for you as you’re not looking for luxury facilities and don’t mind wading through muddy streets during the rainy season (June – October).
After chilling out, you decided that Cancun would be your base camp to explore the Riviera Maya with a rental car.
You don’t mind getting up early; you’re not a crowd lover.
Where to stay
Best places to stay in Holbox
For your stay in this little lost end of Quintana Roo, I suggest two areas:
On the left side (facing the sea), which is the quieter part, you will easily find flats to rent like this one. Located 300m from the beach, the property offers spacious, well-equipped accommodation with several double rooms.
Or, go to the right side of the island. The beach and water are fantastic, and beach clubs and bars are there.
I suggest two good places:
Villas Caracol is a rather posh hotel with an outdoor pool and rooms for 4 people.
Or an adults-only hotel such as La Casa del Alux. This charming establishment has only rooms for 2, but they are equipped with a kitchenette.
Best places to stay in Cancun
I recommend a hotel with parking and close to Punta Cancun to be in the lively part.
This condo flat is a good option. It is fully equipped and has a capacity of 5 people and 2 outdoor pools.
Or, if you prefer a more casual vibe, choose the Mayan Monkey, a hotel with a pool where travelers like to share their explorations.
Day 1: The barefoot-island-life in Holbox
For this first day, nothing is better than gently getting into the mood of an idyllic island.
I advise you to book private transportation; it is the easiest way to get to Holbox from Cancun airport.
It will drive you to Chiquila pier (about 2 hours), where you will take the ferry to Holbox (30 minutes crossing).
Holbox Island, in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula, is a small and still unspoiled by tourism paradise without roads or cars.
With fine white sand beaches, beautiful nature, dreamy sunsets, and a cool and cheerful vibe, it’s the perfect destination to recharge energy.
After checking in at your hotel, relax; the journey was long.
You are now ready to enjoy the fabulous nightlife of the island.
Have a beer or a great cocktail at sunset at El Chiringuito RestoBar Zomay, a friendly beach club.
Afterward, stroll through Holbox village and let the music from the many restaurants and bars draw you in.
Don’t hesitate to mingle with other travelers and follow them from pub to pub. Even if some of you are not great dancers, you will surely sway to the Latin rhythms of live concerts.
Day 2: Island hopping and White-sand beaches
The adventure begins! You sail off to discover the wildlife of your paradise.
During this half-day three Island tour, with a passionate local guide, you’ll stop at Isla de la Pasion and Isla Pajaros, two superb tiny uninhabited islands classified as natural reserves.
Armed with binoculars, you will become an ornithologist to observe a multitude of chatty nesting birds, as well as frigates, pelicans, and flamingos.
You will finish your naturalist boat trip by bathing in the fresh and crystal clear waters of a cenote in Yalahau near Chiquila.
Many group tours, such as this VIP Holbox tour, organize the excursion. Boats fill up before leaving at 9.00 am for the first spot.
I advise you to take a private tour which leaves at 7.00 am. You will avoid crowds on sites.
Back in Holbox, you will calm your hunger and laze around with a delicious cocktail at Playa de la ñaña, a great beach club.
3 hours before sunset, you will abandon your sunbed to go to Playa Punta Cocos, a great spot to watch the sunset and, at night, observe a marvelous and unforgettable phenomenon of bioluminescence.
To get there, either be brave and walk for 35 minutes or take a taxi (10 – 15 USD one way). He will wait for you to return.
Day 3: From Holbox to Cancun
Did you know that there is always a paradise hidden within a paradise?
Don’t you believe me? Follow me!
Wake up early, guys! Let’s go to Playa Mosquito to see the sunrise.
Don’t pass the panel indicating the end of the path; Playa Mosquito is a protected site.
No need to tell you that you have to respect the place.
I advise walking carefully to avoid a painful meeting with a ray buried in the sand.
Back from your heaven, it will be time to leave Holbox and take the ferry back to Chiquila, where you will catch an ADO bus to Cancun city (2h30 drive).
I advise you to buy the tickets online in advance.
Take a public bus (Line R1 or R2) to Punta Cancun in the Cancun hotel zone at the ADO bus terminal.
Check in at the hotel, drop off your bags, and head to Cancun’s most lively beach, Playa Forum.
You’ll dine at La Bamba, which offers affordable Mex-seafood. Why not enjoy a ceviche and a few Mojitos?
Day 4: Unforgettable Catamaran private tour
Today buddies, you are sailing on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Be at the marina at 9.00 am or 11.00 am if your head hasn’t cleared the mojitos from the night before.
Your captain will be waiting for you on board, and you will draw up your navigation plan for this 7-hour Catamaran private tour.
Between two sunbaths on the boat’s deck or two cocktails from the open bar, you can snorkel on coral reefs and swim through the sculptures of Cancun’s underwater museum.
I recommend a 2-hour stop on Isla Mujeres, a Caribbean island paradise where you can have lunch in a lovely beach club of your choice and a bath in the shallow waters of the famous Playa Norte.
Remember your hat and biodegradable sun cream to avoid destroying the corals.
Thinking about tomorrow, before embarking on your Catamaran trip, arrange with Avant Rent a Car, a reliable agency, to pick up your rental car at your hotel or at the agency (traffic is easier after 7.00 pm).
Day 5: Explore Chichen Itza & Valladolid on your own
Travel back in time! Today you explore the beautiful Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and wander through a colonial city.
5.30 am, get in the car, guys! Yes, visiting one of the new Seven Wonders of the World without crowds and before the heavy heat is worth it!
The site opens at 8.00 am, count 2,5 hours drive, and traffic is lighter early in the morning.
The entrance costs around 30 USD ( federal tax + Yucatan government tax). Queue up at the 2 ticket offices to save time, and bring cash in Mexican pesos.
Once you arrive, I advise you to take an official guide. It will cost you around 50 USD. You may find it expensive, but believe me, it’s worth it.
Why not suggest to other nice guys to join your group and share? That’s what I did!
Take about 3 hours, including the guided tour, to walk around the vast site. Besides the famous Kukulcan pyramid and the great ball court, there are many edifices to see.
After visiting Chichen Itza, enjoy lunch at La Tia de Kaua, an excellent Mexican restaurant, very family-friendly.
Get back in the car and drive to Valladolid, a lovely little colonial town.
Try to park near the Convento de San Bernardino de Siena.
Then walk down Calz. De Los Frailes, a commercial street to a pretty main square, rest on a bench in the shade of trees.
Day 6: Snorkel with Turtles in Akumal and relax
Today you live a fantastic experience: swimming with turtles in a small paradise!
Let’s get up early! Yes, again… Turtles are early birds, buddies! And you will avoid the traffic and the annoying tourists; the site opens at 8.00 am.
So, I advise you to leave your hotel at 6.30 am for Akumal, a lovely beach at a 1h30 drive south of Cancun.
As soon as you arrive, look for a professional guide, a prerequisite for swimming with the turtles.
No need to tell you that you should not touch them, even if they are friendly.
Haggle a private tour. The beach entrance (turtle protection program) and 1h30 guided tour will cost you about 25 USD/pers ( gear included).
Then head to Yal-ku, a lovely lagoon cenote nearby with cool, shallow waters and rich wildlife.
It opens at 9.00 am and is very popular.
Are you getting tired? No problem! I suggest you relax for a while on the pretty Playa Xpu-ha. You have to pay an entrance fee.
You can lie on the white sand in the shade of a palm tree while sipping a beer bought in one of the beach clubs.
Drive to Puerto Aventuras and enjoy a great big burger at Mamalonas.
Top off at one of the beautiful cenotes on the way back to Cancun. Cenote Azul, Jardin del Eden, Chikin Ha, Cristalino, Kantu Chi, the choice is yours! They close at 5.00 pm.
Day 7: Enjoy a secluded beach near Cancun
For this last day of your Cancun itinerary, you will be Robinson Crusoe on a lost beach!
Relax, I don’t set the alarm clock…
Before leaving, load the car boot with umbrellas, cooler, drinks, masks, tubas, and sun cream. You go to Playa Blanca!
Fill up the tank before you leave because there is no station where you are heading.
If you want to enjoy peace and quiet on this beach day, I advise you to avoid Sundays, as the place is very popular with locals.
This gorgeous and very long white sand beach is located on a narrow peninsula north of Cancun, between the lagoon and the Caribbean Sea.
The access is by a chaotic path. There are a few beach clubs, but they are rather modest and charge a fee. If you go to the tip, it will cost you 100 Mexican pesos. Don’t be fooled!
7 days in Cancun with your soulmate
1 week in paradise islands
Read and then close your eyes; I’ll take you on such a romantic Cancun itinerary.
You want to escape from your crazy city life to enjoy the serenity of dreamy islands and the pleasure of walking in white sand.
You’ve heard of seaweed but don’t want to let it spoil your holiday.
Nor do you want to worry about organizational details.
You just want to relax with your lover!
Where to stay
Best places to stay in Isla Mujeres
To stay near the famous Playa Norte, Hotel Secreto is a great option that combines calm, comfort, and a lovely view.
Or stay on the east coast of the island.
The luxurious Zoetry Villa Rolandi is the best all-inclusive resort on Isla Mujeres.
Izla Beach Front Hotel is a more affordable option (beautiful location and quiet).
Best places to stay In Playa del Carmen
I recommend staying around Parque Los Fundadores, a lively beachfront park close to the ADO bus station and the pier.
The nice contemporary Hotel Posada Sian Kaan is ideally located near the beach.
More classic, Hotel Los Itzaes, in the center of Playa del Carmen, is perfect for a tighter budget.
Best places to stay in Cozumel
I advise you to choose a hotel in the south near the nicest beaches.
If you want the best upscale hotel, choose Presidente Intercontinental Cozumel with its private beach.
For a good deal, Albatros Suites by Bedsfriends offers comfortable rooms with a kitchenette.
Day 1: Head to Isla Mujeres
Let’s start your Cancun Itinerary by meeting the gorgeous Isla Mujeres, your first dream destination.
There you will board a Jetway or Ultramar ferry, which runs every hour. The crossing takes 30 minutes.
When you arrive on the island, rent a golf cart here.
After hotel check-in, drive to the wilder south of the island to relax in a beach club.
I recommend the friendly Kin Ha Isla Mujeres Restaurant. Seafood specialties are good, and the view is excellent.
Go for a walk on the pontoon to watch the pelicans fishing before returning to your sunbed and enjoying a tequila tasting, waiting for sunset.
Day 2: Explore Isla Mujeres on your own
Today, you will explore the island in your golf cart.
After breakfast, drive to Punta Sur. There’s a lovely ocean view from the cliffs.
Even better if you are an early bird; The sunrise here is fantastic!
If the underwater life of the Caribbean appeals to you, go snorkel at the great spot of Garrafon de Castilla.
After swimming, go for lunch at La casa de Tikinxic to taste their specialty, a traditional Tikinxic.
Order just one; it’s big enough for two.
The preparation requires 30-45 minutes, but trust me, you won’t regret it, and you’re on holiday!
If you love dogs or miss yours, go and cuddle one at Isla Animals, a really great shelter. A small donation is always welcome.
Visit the Cemetery; you’ll be amazed by its cheerful colors.
Dine in one of the restaurants on Miguel Hidalgo street, the liveliest pedestrian street on the island.
I suggest you the good and friendly Xcatik Restaurant.
End the day by listening to some live music at EL PATIO CASA DE LA MUSICA; the atmosphere is top-notch.
Day 3: Chill out in Isla Mujeres, then enjoy Playa del Carmen’s nightlife
A special moment in your paradise before leaving for another great place!
I remember. You want to relax.
Good timing. This morning you enjoy your hotel’s comfort.
After check-out, take the ferry to Puerto Juarez, and then a taxi will drive you to the ADO bus terminal (10 min).
Jump on a bus to Playa del Carmen (1.5 hours).
Once installed at your new hotel, in the late afternoon, enjoy the friendly atmosphere of 5th Avenue.
This is the town’s heart. The pedestrian street, close to the beachfront, has many colorful souvenir shops, restaurants, and bars where live music never stops playing.
Nothing better to end the day than a good dinner in a fine restaurant.
I recommend Romeo Trattoria Pizzeria, an Italian restaurant with sublime pastas and pizzas.
Or, if you prefer French cuisine, enjoy a delicious chicken or boeuf bourguignon at La Brocherie. I bet you won’t resist a fantastic homemade dessert.
Whatever you choose, remember to book during the day!
Day 4: Tulum ruins and mind-blowing cenotes
Today I’m taking you on a day trip in the footsteps of the Mayan civilization!
The van of this VIP Tulum Private Tour will pick you up at your hotel.
I advise you to leave at 7.00 am to avoid the heat and crowds.
Your adventure into Mayan history will begin with a visit to the fabulous site of Tulum ruins overlooking the sea. As you walk through the Mayan ruins, your guide will tell you all about them.
If you wish, go for a swim on the small beach below the majestic pyramid.
Still, with your guide, you will taste the fresh and turquoise waters of two wonderful cenotes.
Xunaan-Ha, an open cenote where you will swim, and Taak bi Ha, a cave cenote where you can explore underground galleries.
If you want, have lunch in a local restaurant before the driver of your private vehicle takes you back to your hotel.
Day 5: Spend the day at Mr. Sanchos
Mr. Sanchos invites you for a relaxing day at his luxurious beach club in Cozumel.
After checking out your hotel, go to the official place and nowhere else to buy your tickets.
The first Ultramar or Winjet ferries leave at 8-9 am (30-40 min crossing time).
Please note that there is no public transportation in Cozumel.
I advise renting a car rather than taking taxis; you will feel freer.
Leave your luggage at the hotel and go to Mr. Sanchos for a fantastic beach day.
In a cozy Mexican vibe, the all-inclusive day pass will allow you to enjoy the private beach, nap in a hammock, sip cocktails at the pool bar, and eat at the all-you-can-eat buffet lunch.
Day 6: Explore Cozumel on your own
On the road! You explore Cozumel, the last step of your Cancun itinerary.
I advise you to leave around 8.30 am; you have so many wonders to see!
Stop at Skyreef, a great beach club to snorkel in beautiful water with colorful fish and enjoy a cocktail.
After a shower, drive to Punta Sur, an ecological reserve (around 20 USD entrance fee – open from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm – closed on Sunday).
On a dirt road, go to Faro Celerain. Don’t hesitate to climb to the top of the lighthouse; you will see ancient Mayan ruins and lovely white sand beaches.
Then drive a little further to reach the beach. Once parked, join a boat tour (around noon) through the mangrove to see ibises and crocodiles.
Ok. Now, you can relax and enjoy the beach. There are 2 restaurants. You can also rent snorkel gear to explore the nearby reef (count for at least 1 hour).
After 3 hours of enjoying the site, drive west. It’s wilder; the hurricanes destroyed the buildings.
Make a stop at El Mirador to take thousands of pictures of the huge waves.
Then you’ll deserve a drink at Coconuts, a cliffside bar with a nice view.
End this day of nature by wandering through San Miguel, Cozumel’s town, at sunset.
I suggest you have dinner at Hemingway bar, a friendly lounge bar restaurant.
Day 7: When the sea looks like the sky
Your idyllic itinerary in Cancun comes to an end. Let’s live an amazing last day, lovers!
During this Snorkel half-day trip tour, the captain of your catamaran will take you first to the coral reefs of Palancar & Columbia, where you will swim among fish and turtles.
Then you will admire superb starfish and beautiful rays at El Cielito, with stunning shallow blue waters.
Between dives, you will enjoy a drink on board, relax in the sun while listening to lively rhythms, or taste a fresh ceviche.
Your aquatic excursion will end with a relaxing stop at the friendly Tortugas Beach Club.
Don’t nap too much. You don’t want to miss the ferry to Playa del Carmen and your private transportation to the Cancun Airport 😉
How many days in Cancun is enough?
Read our other articles to decide how long you wish to stay in Cancun: