Lazing on a beach or by the pool is all right, but some travelers crave a little more action. The Riviera Maya  has plenty to offer active travelers, including scuba diving, kiteboarding, fly-fishing, kayaking, and bird-watching. This tour is a workout for the eyes, too, taking you to some of the peninsula’s most stunning (and little-visited) natural areas.
This 10-day tour includes an excursion to Isla Holbox , a windswept island north of Cancún where the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico meet, and is best visited during whale shark season (June–September).
Fly to Cancún  and head to Playa del Carmen . Once you’ve settled into your hotel, head immediately to the beach—why waste any time? Besides, the afternoon sun is great. In the evening, arrange a diving or snorkeling excursion in Cozumel  for the following day. Afterwards, enjoy dinner—and people watching—on Quinta Avenida.
Spend the morning exploring the waters around Cozumel; ask to take a break or stop for your surface interval at Playa Palancar . If you have time, check out the Museo de la Isla de Cozumel —it has excellent exhibits on the island’s wildlife and coral reefs. Head back to Playa del Carmen and spend the late afternoon on the beach. Arrange a car rental for the rest of your visit.
Pick up your rental in the morning and head to Puerto Morelos  for a couple hours of snorkeling. After lunch, do some snorkeling of a different sort along the nearby Ruta de los Cenotes —Siete Bocas and Lucerno Verde are both breathtaking options. If you want a little more action, try the zip line circuit at Selvática instead (there’s a cenote there, too).
Pack up the car and head south toward Tulum . On the way there, do some more cenote snorkeling (or diving) at Jardín del Edén and Cenote Cristalino , both on Highway 307 across from Xpu-Há. In the evening, arrange a kayaking or bird-watching tour in Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve  for the next day.
Spend most of the day exploring Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, one of the Yucatán’s richest nature and wildlife preserves. When you get back, spend some time relaxing on Tulum’s gorgeous beaches—no shame in that!
Get up early and drive south to Mahahual . By the time you arrive, you’ll want to chill out on the beach awhile—order beer and ceviche for lunch. In the afternoon, rent a kayak or borrow one from your hotel to explore the coastline. Sign up for diving tomorrow—there’s great reef diving right offshore, but for a real adventure, book a trip to Banco Chinchorro . It’s a long boat ride there and back—and shops don’t go every day—but the diving is spectacular.
Snorkel or dive off Mahahual during the day. In the evening, have dinner on the Malecón.
Get up early to make you way to Isla Holbox , on the peninsula’s northeastern tip—it’s a long drive but definitely worth it. Park your car in Chiquilá, the tiny town across from Holbox, and catch the ferry over. Once you settle into your hotel, arrange a tour to go snorkeling with whale sharks the next morning. Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering through the village or beachcombing. If you’re up for it, take a late afternoon kayak tour of the mangroves, where there’s great bird-watching.
Enjoy breakfast at an outdoor eatery (you gotta milk these last hours). Take one last walk along the beach, then drive yourself to the airport. Return the rental car and fly home.