Costa Maya Explorer - Undiscovered Yucatan


Trip Summary:

Begin from: Cancun

End in: Bacalar (dual country trips - we will help you with transportation into Belize)


Duration: 7 Days / 7 Nights


2013 Trip Schedule: Feb. 16-23, Feb. 23-Mar. 2, Mar. 9-16, Mar. 16-23, Mar. 23-Mar. 30, 2013


Prices: $1799


Group Size: 6-10


Guides: 2-3 Local Guides


Hotel Sotavento, Balamku Inn, Hotel Laguna Bacalar


Sea Kayaking (Paddling & Sailing), Kayak Surfing, Snorkeling, Fishing, Birding, Hiking, Mayan Ruins, Photography, Natural History Interpretation

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Trip Route

Costa Maya Explorer - The Undiscovered Yucatan

Typical Daily Itinerary:


Day 0: On Arrival day Island Expeditions will meet you upon arrival at the Cancun International Airport and transfer you to a local hotel in the Cancun Hotel Zone. After you pass through customs an Island Expeditions’ representative will meet you as you step outside of the Terminal. Airport transfers and hotel is included on this night. This day is your day to arrive before the trip starts, meet your fellow travelers, and acclimatize to your new tropical environment.  Transfers from the airport and lodging are included.
Accommodation: Hotel Meals: Dinner is not included on this night
Day 1: After breakfast we travel south by van into the area of the Yucatan Peninsula. This takes us away from the mass tourism that characterizes the Cancun and Playa del Carmen region. We leave early from our hotel and on our way south we stop at a cenote cave system for a chance to snorkel in these unique underground waterways. After our cenote adventure we enjoy a delicious Mexican lunch and then continue on our way to the Caribbean coast. Here we settle into our accommodations on the beachfront at an exquisite small Eco-lodge.
Accommodation: Eco-Lodge Meals: B, L, D


Day 2: Wake to fresh coffee and the sunrise over the Caribbean Sea from our comfortable rooms. Our lodge at Balamku has achieved a reputation as one of the finest boutique lodges on the Costa Maya and operates completely off the grid - powered by solar, wind, and environmentally sensitive compost and waste management systems (we believe our trips must support ecoconscious businesses in order to protect the beauty and biological diversity of the areas we travel). This day we begin with an introduction to sea kayaking and snorkelling and then paddle directly to the main Reef just minutes from our beach front cabanas. Warm waters along with rich and diverse coral reefs are the focus of this day as we explore these waters by kayak and with snorkel and mask.
Accommodation: Eco-Lodge Meals: B, L


Day 3: Today we paddle south along the reef system - snorkeling, kayaking, and if weather permits, we will hoist the sails on our kayaks (after an instructional session) to harness the power of the wind as we travel along the coast. Beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and the thrill of travelling by kayak are the memories of the day.
Accommodation: Eco-Lodge Meals: B, L


Day 4: Our day’s activities include a paddle in protected lagoons where we are able to see rich bird life and have a chance to view the wildlife residing in these waters characterized by labyrinth like mangrove passages and clear water. Your guides will organize which activities on this day are best suited to the wind and weather conditions we encounter.  On our last night on the coast we venture to a small restaurant in the village of Majahual for an excellent dinner. Tonight we will guide you on an exploration of the tastes and flavours that reflect the cuisine of Mexico.
Accommodation: Eco-Lodge Meals: B, L

Day 5: After breakfast we have a chance for a sunrise paddle or a relaxing morning at the lodge before leaving the coast for a hidden gem in the southern Yucatan near the

border of Belize. Today we venture to little known Laguna Bacalar. Our hotel is located on the shoreline of a remarkable freshwater lagoon known for its shades of turquoise blues - Bacalar is known as the “Lagoon of Seven Colors’. Each room has a balcony with stunning views overlooking the water. Relax, enjoy a refreshing swim, and explore this unique hotel before heading out to dinner in the town of Bacalar.
Accommodation: Hotel Meals: B, L



Day 6: We have an early morning breakfast so we can arrive early for the Mayan ruin sites of Kohunlich and Dzibanche. These extensive ruins are in a natural setting surrounded by tropical forest that supports a rich diversity of wildlife. Because of the more remote setting it is not uncommon for us to be the only ones at the ruins. One of the more impressive Mayan ruins in the southern Quintana Roo, Kohunlich is best known for its Pyramid of the Masks, with six large masks each standing over eight feet tall. We return back to our lake-side hotel in the afternoon in time for a swim. In the evening we tour a 17th century Spanish fort in town with its unique museum that profiles the history of piracy and colonial occupation of the area.
Accommodation: Hotel Meals: B, L


Day 7: Enjoy the morning at the hotel and a cool swim before traveling north to Cancun with optional drop-offs along the way at Tulum or Playa Del Carmen. We do not arrive back into Cancun until early evening on this day. For those continuing south into Belize it is a short drive to Chetumal where we connect with a water taxi into Belize. 
Accommodation: Not Included Meals: B


Note: To allow for each person to choose their own dining variety we have not included the cost of dinners on this trip so that you may explore on an individual basis the fine culinary traditions of Mexico. We suggest a budget of 20 USD per person for each dinner that is not included in the trip.


Extra Travel Notes: On Day 7 of the trip we have left options available on how and where you would like to travel after the trip. For those who are continuing to Belize for another Island Expeditions’ trip we will take care of the transfer details.


What's Included...

  • Comprehensive pre-trip information package
  • All meals, accommodation, and transfers described in the tour
  • Unlimited use of our Equipment
  • Use of waterproof dry bags during kayak trip
  • Accommodation on the day before the trip (' Day 0 ') and the final night.
  • Professional Guiding Services (Belizean Guides).


What's Not Included...

  • Gratuities
  • International Flights and Airport Departure Tax
  • Extra costs due to late Arrivals, lost baggage and other circumstances beyond our control.


On 'Day 0’ we will be spending the night at a hotel in the Cancun area. On Day 1 we travel 280 km south to reach our area of exploration where we will be staying at the seaside lodge called Balamku, located just south of Majahual. Our lodge is well situated right on the water and is a model of ecological building, using solar power, a modern compost toilet system, and capturing and storing rainwater for showers. Each room has an ocean view and is tastefully decorated with local crafts and furnishings.  
While exploring the Bacalar and Rio Bec area we will be staying at Hotel Laguna Bacalar on the water’s edge. This hotel is comfortable with wonderful service and, of course, colonial-styled architecture, and has all the amenities of a modern hotel plus the interesting and quirky features that are often part of staying in rural Yucatan. 
NOTE: Lodging and hotels may vary slightly on some departures. We will endeavour to inform you prior to trip departure if there will be any changes to our lodging.
yucatan vacation pictures

Sea Kayak With the Experts

Sea kayak the southern Yucatan with Island Expeditions, leading paddling trips since 1987!

Questions ?

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The Undiscovered Yucatan

We explore 200 miles south of Cancun and avoids the overly developed areas of the Yucatan, near the Belize border...