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6 Best Eco Tours In Cancun

giant turtle with scuba diver

One of the great things about staying at a resort unlike a cruise, is that you can really indulge in excursions. Here is our list of the 10 best eco tours you can visit while in Cancun.

Why Eco Tours

Before we get into the details of these excursions, we should answer the question: Why is eco-tourism getting so popular?

With the concerns over pollution and the extinction of animal species, people want to see things untouched by humans.

In fact, eco-tourism focuses on visiting places that have limited or no disruption by humans. And the thing is, we are so used to being around other humans, we don’t realize how much nature we miss out on.

Let me give you an example.

I got a house built in a development that is in a rural area. We had the second house on the street. It was common to have the Ring cameras pick up deer in the backyard. We even caught deer crossing the driveway in the wee hours of the morning.

The unfortunate thing is that now that the development is complete, we haven’t seen one deer.

That’s why some take eco-tours. So they can see things in nature that they normally wouldn’t see at home.

With that said, if you’re planning on staying at a resort in Cancun, here is our list of the 10 best eco tours to take in Cancun.

1. Isla Mujeres

aerial view of Isla Mujeres at sunset

Isla Mujeres is a great place to visit if you’re into sea life.

Isla Mujeres makes our list of best eco tours in Cancun because of the sea life. Going snorkeling or scuba diving will reward you with views of sea turtles and coral reefs.

If you’re not into diving into the water, visit the Tortugranja facility. It’s where sea turtles are bred and rehabilitated. That’s because sea turtles are an endangered species.

Once you’ve finished exploring, you can enjoy the fresh seafood from the area. And you can get it prepared in a number of styles – from Mexican to Yucatecan, from Italian and Mediterranean to Mayan.

Recommended Resorts Near Isla Mujeres

2. Cancun Underwater Museum

statue of a child under water
Image via musamexico.org

One of the goals for ecotourism is to protect the environment.

The Cancun Underwater Museum protects the environment by sinking man-made objects to give coral something to grow on. The purpose of the museum is to show how man can live as one with nature. It’s also to highlight how much destruction has come to coral reefs because of humans.

The Cancun Underwater Museum gives humans a safe place to see coral without damaging natural coral reefs. You’ll see coral growing on all types of sculptures. From a Volkswagen to sculptures of people sitting around a table.

In fact, it will remind you of those cities in the Mediterranean that have sunk to the bottom of the sea.

If you like scuba diving, this is the tour you want to take. If scuba diving isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the museum in a glass bottom boat tour.

Either way, this is an ecotour you will never forget.

Recommended Resorts Near Cancun Underwater Museum

3. Xcaret Park

two yellow kayaks floating towards cave
Image via Xcaret Park

What do you think about swimming in an underground river? Sounds crazy right? But this is exactly what you can do at Xcaret Park.

Take your pick – the Blue River, the Mayan River, and the Manatee River.

Some of the things you’ll see on your swim are fossilized coral embedded into the rock. At the end of your trip down your selected river, you’ll exit into the sea where pink flamingos dominate the area.

Now, if you can’t swim, don’t worry. You don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer to enjoy this excursion.

First, everyone has to wear a life jacket. So you’re essentially floating down the river. Plus, the average depth is about 5 feet. If you’re comfortable in a swimming pool, this should be a piece of cake.

Once you’re finished your swim, there are other things to enjoy at Xcaret Park.

Take in the sounds of the jungle and enjoy the native plants of the area on the Tropical Jungle Trail. At the end of the trial, you’ll wind up at the Natural Museum of Orchid. This is where you’ll learn about the orchids of Mexico and learn about orchids in danger of being extinct.

There’s more to see but we don’t have the space to talk about the Coral Reef Aquarium, the Sea Turtle exhibit, the big cats of Jaguars Island, and Manatee Lagoon.

Recommended Resorts Near Xcaret Park

4. Isla Contoy

coastline lined with palm trees
Image via contoyadventures.com

Isla Contoy is just over 5 miles long. But the entire island is a protected Mexican national park. So when it comes to authentic ecotourism, Isla Contoy is one of the best ways to enjoy nature.

Isla Contoy only has a few companies that are allowed to operate tours. In fact, only 200 people max are allowed to come to the island.

But for those 200 people, you’ll be able to enjoy seeing a variety of turtles. Plus, there are over 150 species of birds that you’ll have the opportunity to see during your stay.

Recommended Resorts Near Isla Contoy

5. Pink Waters of Las Coloradas

pink lakes along coast
Image via expertvagabond.com

The Pink Waters of Las Coloradas is something you have to see.

The waters are pink because of the Dunaliella Salina algae that live in it. The water stays pink all year. However, there are different factors that can affect how intense the color is at different times.

Visiting between March through June will reward you with seeing real live flamingos. And here’s a fun fact: The flamingos get their color by eating the algae in the water.

As beautiful as the pink waters are, swimming is not allowed. Salt is extracted from the pools. Swimming contaminates it.

Recommended Resorts Near the Pink Waters of Las Coloradas

6. Isla Holbox

wide white sand beach
Image by Nadezhda1906 / Getty Images

Isla Holbox is arguably one of the best places to go on an ecotour.

For starters, no cars are allowed on the island. People get around on golf carts and mopeds. Access to the island is largely from a ferry from the town of Chiquila on the mainland.

Probably one of the best times of year to visit Isla Holbox is between June and September. That’s the ideal season to view whale sharks. And if you’ve got the nerve, you can even swim with the whale sharks.

The 26-mile-long island is also known to be one of the safest beaches for beginning kiteboarders. And if you don’t have experience kiteboarding, there’s a nearby school with professional instructors to get you up to speed.

Another attraction you’ll want to take in is the lagoon called Punta Cocos on the western tip of the island. The lagoon has a bioluminescence that can be seen on dark nights. This is a good place to prepare a romantic moment that won’t be forgotten.

Recommended Resorts Near Isla Holbox

Plan Your Ecotour

As you can see, there are a number of places just in Cancun alone to immerse yourself in nature. We’ll be featuring other areas that are good for an eco-vacation in future posts. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, think about what you would like most about an ecotour. Is it marine life? Perhaps it’s jungle life.

Whatever your choice, make sure to stay at a resort that you can feel relaxed in when you’re done. Your tour will last a day. Your vacation memories will last a lifetime.

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