A couple of hours by boat along the Xochimilco canals is a popular activity for tourist groups and locals alike, especially at weekends. These colorful boats known as trajineras are perfect for a party, sometimes with your very own Mariachi band!
Xochimilco is an ancient network of canals and islands, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the south of Mexico City. Every weekend, the canals are alive with boats, music, food and drink sellers, and flowers. It’s a fantastic amount of fun and an entertaining way to spend an afternoon in nature.
As part of this tour, we not only organize your boat, but also a cooler of drinks, plenty of snacks, and some music to dance the afternoon away. This is a great option for groups on vacation, and if you’re celebrating a special occasion, just let us know, so we can plan all the bells and whistles to make this an afternoon on the water no to be missed.
You may think that Tulum is all about lazing the day away on sumptuous beach loungers sipping mezcal margaritas, floating in the Caribbean turquoise waters, or eating gourmet lunches in quirky little eateries. And YES, you would be right to think that, because it is absolutely all about that. But if you really want to explore Tulum, you’re in luck! There are plenty of great Tulum activities, tours and experiences to enjoy. However, Tulum offers so much choice, it can be difficult to decide which places work best for you. So to help, we’ve selected our Top Six Activities to Explore Tulum.
Two Travel can offer a wide variety of customised excursions set up exclusively for your group. From cultural experiences to active adventures and everything in between. Whether you’re celebrating a bachelorette, a wedding, or a family vacation, we help create incredible Tulum experiences and unforgettable moments.
Explore Tulum’s Cenotes
A cenote is a magical, deep freshwater pool fed by underground springs, and they are unique to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Many cenotes open up into vast under<water worlds, filled with tunnels and lagoons. Cenotes are number one on many people´s must see list while in Tulum and for good reason! If you’re travelling independently, the cenotes are usually open between 8am and 5pm, and some charge an entrance fee.
Cenote Dos Ojos, translated as “Two Eyes Pool” because it’s formed by two neighbouring circular cenotes, is the most photographed in Tulum. It’s easy to see why, as the sun beams glisten over the rock formations and transform the water into an aquamarine paradise. This place is also popular with divers due to the world’s longest underground water cave, so grab your snorkel and your GoPro, this is one not to miss!
2. The hottest beach clubs in Tulum
As soon as you arrive in Tulum you´ll want to hit the beach clubs. With so many to choose from, where do you start? The beach clubs in Tulum are split across the Beach road and the Hotel road and they range from rustic chic to luxury.
Here are our top three recommendations for beach clubs in Tulum.
For pure opulence and a touch of the bizarre, head to Casa Malca, which once upon a time was one of Pablo Escobar’s homes. Now transformed into a boutique hotel, art sculptures and abstract pieces fill every corner. The draped fabrics, swinging sofas and armchairs dotted around make the perfect backdrop for a photo, before you take the winding staircase to the rooftop for incredible 360 views. For non-residents of the hotel, a day pass is available, so don’t worry, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful grilled seafood lunch with a crisp rosé – the perfect combination.
Now popular on the beach club scene, Cinco opened its doors in August 2020. Here you’ll find a rustic laid back beach club full of bohemian charm. Located on the beach road in a quieter part of Tulum, it’s the perfect place for a relaxing beach day with friends and family. With a help yourself beer cooler, sorbet stand and swinging hammocks, plus glamping teepees for an overnight stay, what’s not to love about this beach club!
Papaya Playa Project
Surrounded by beautiful, lush green jungle, Papaya Playa Project is a luxurious eco-friendly beach club in the very heart of Tulum. With guest DJs and beautiful people draped across sun loungers, this is the place to be if you want to party into the night.
3. Rent a yacht or catamaran and explore Tulum by boat
For an unforgettable day out with family and friends, jump on board your very own private yacht or catamaran. There is no better way to explore the area. Spend the day gliding across crystal clear waters and visit some of the most extraordinary beaches and sights in the Mayan Riviera.
Your boat will take you to the best places to swim and snorkel amongst tropical marine life, and if you’re lucky, you may spot sea turtles or dolphins bobbing in and out of the water alongside you. Take in the sights and enjoy an open bar, as well as gourmet lunch, freshly prepared by our chef. For added luxury, choose an onboard DJ and your very own photographer!
Get away from the hustle and bustle of central Tulum and step into the natural beauty of the Sian Ka’an nature reserve, which translates as “Origin of the Sky”. To negotiate the bumpy ride, a 4 wheel drive is essential. Deep in the jungle, with only the sounds of jungle birds and the rustle of a lizard at your feet, fun and adventure awaits!
Walk along the pontoon to your private lagoon boat, perfect for couples, families or large groups of friends. Cruise through the lagoons where the sea water meets with freshwater and you may even see a manatee, as wild birds swoop overhead. For added fun, pop on your life jacket, jump in and let the current gently pull you through the mangrove lined waterways.
After the lagoon tour, explore Tulum’s gorgeous secluded beaches. The Sian Ka’an is completely untouched, and home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Think white powdery sand and crystalline turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. As the sun sets, your food and drinks platter is served on the beach, brimming with fresh fruit, pastries, pasta salads and fresh juices, maybe even a bottle of fizz for that special occasion.
5. Spa and Detox Day in Tulum
Your vacation is all about balance. Too many midnight tacos might have you and your BFFs craving a detox. Rejuvenate your mind and body with a sensual spa day at the luxurious Yaan Healing Sanctuary spa in the hotel zone.
Here you’ll find a healing water circuit, with warm and cool massage pools, sauna, steam room and marble stone hammam. The spa uses natural waters from the crystalline springs of the Yucatan’s natural cenotes. Expect offerings of delicate herbal teas, made from herbs freshly harvested from the rooftop garden, followed by a natural scrub to stimulate your senses, and that’s just for starters.
Two Travel can help arrange unique spa experiences that will purify and cleanse your body, mind and soul. Choose from many different treatments including reiki, sound healing and traditional Mayan massages.
6. Tulum Cenote Adventure by zip line and ATV
For the adrenalin junkies, this activity is for you! Glide through the jungle on a zipline, ride an ATV through dense jungle before jumping into cool cenotes and crystal-clear waters. Experience the top adrenaline sports of the Riviera Maya on a trip that combines off-roading, ziplining, and snorkelling in a cenote.
These are just some of our top recommendations to explore Tulum. You can find more experiences here, or get in touch with details of the kind of vacation you’re looking for, and we’ll help you craft your dream trip to Tulum.
You are not alone if you’ve never heard of the Rosario Islands before. Most people who’ve not visited Colombia have no idea that just off the coast of Cartagena, there lies an archipelago of nearly 30 protected islands to rival the picture perfect Caribbean islands of your dreams.
The Rosario Islands nestle in a national park just an hour from Cartagena. The national park protects this important coral reef and the biodiversity that thrives in it. They are a must see for anyone coming to the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The experiences you can have in the Rosarios are as varied as the sea life you’ll find here.
This Two Travel guide to the Rosario Islands will help you decide what kind of trip you want to take. Discover when to visit, the best things to do in the Rosarios, and the things to know, before you go.We can help you with all your private boat rental needs. Simply get in touch to book a boat.
What kind of Rosarios Islands trip are you looking for?
The Rosario Islands offer a wealth of options for visitors who want to explore this beautiful Caribbean setting. Before you book, it’s important to know what kind of trip you want.
Party Vibe with Friends
The party you can have in the islands with friends all depends on your time and budget.
If you’re on a budget with just one day to spare, hire a speed boatfor an island hopping party.
For parties of 4 to 15 people, we’ll take you to the best spots to swim, snorkel and hit the beach. You´ll enjoy a traditional fish lunch and some dancing on the boat. And you´ll have time to explore some hotspots like Cholon which is THE party place in the Rosario Islands. Or maybe the hotspot where locals are flocking these days. It’s called La Piscina.
For a simple upgrade, choose a yacht or catamaran instead of a speed boat. You can even hire your own DJ and chef. This is a great option for bachelor and bachelorette weekends. It also works for a pre-wedding event, or for friends looking for a spring breaks style day trip.
For a more exclusive party if you have more time, you can rent a villa on a private island. This really gives you the chance to kick back and relax, or adventure and party. Staying the night in the Rosario Islands is the perfect way to enjoy the turquoise waters and perfect sandy beaches. With a private boat, you can explore anytime, then come back to the villa to relax, or continue the party.
Tell us what you need and our concierge will make sure everything is arranged for you – be it the boat you want, a DJ and bartender for the evening, or drinks and snacks for the ride.
A Romantic Trip for Couples
The Rosario Islands are the perfect weekend away for couples. There are some incredibly beautiful places to relax, reconnect and recharge. Even if you don’t stay on a private island, if you choose a weekday trip to a small island, you may well be the only people there after the day trippers leave. Go for a sunset stroll or take in the sunset with a cocktail on the deck of a beach-side cabin, before an intimate dinner for two in the most gorgeous of surroundings.
Exploring and Adventure
If you’re keen to explore the biodiversity of the Rosarios, there are a wealth of options to suit any visitor. See the wildlife, coral reef or the mangroves in a kayak or on a paddle board.
Take a trip out for some excellent snorkelling or even better, scuba diving, and you will find yourself swimming with shoals of tropical fish in a unique coral wonderland. And if you’re staying the night, local residents will often offer you a chance to see and swim with bioluminescent plankton!
Relax for the day on a Caribbean beach
If you’re in Cartagena, without a doubt, you’ll be offered a trip to Playa Blanca. It’s true that the beach has idyllic white sand, tropical palms and incredible turquoise waters, but it can also get VERY busy. If you don’t know the best spot, you will (most likely) be hounded by vendors. That’s not to say it can’t be enjoyable, butwe know some better spotsif what you’re looking for is an Instagram shot to keep or a day to chill away from everyone.
As well as the villas that are available on private islands in the Rosarios, there are plenty of beach clubs you can go to for the day (we can help with those all important recommendations!) Perfect for those iconic Caribbean Instagram shots in the warm, turquoise-jewelled waters, or on incredible white-sanded beaches. You’ll need to arrange a day pass or stay the night at these island hotels, but we can guarantee that they’re worth it if you’re looking to relax for a couple of days. We can help you get the best price – just get in touch.
What you need to know before a trip to the Rosario Islands
Although a day trip is great for a boat party trip to the Rosarios, to really kick back and relax, we recommend you stay at least one night to enjoy more of what makes these islands so very special. Most boats, whether you go on a tour or hire a private boat, will leave from the main marinas in Cartagena between 7.30am and 9am, returning at around 4pm, before the sea gets too choppy.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for places to stay and things to do in the Rosarios, but do your research. If you’re looking for a quiet relaxing day, don’t head to Cholon or Playa Blanca. Instead, up your budget for a more luxe affair that you won’t forget.
Also, beware of gringo prices. Some tours, boats and lunch options are blatantly overpriced. When you’re out in the islands, there’s no choice to go elsewhere. So please choose a trusted operator who can tailor a trip to what you’re looking for.
Because there’s one thing we do know – the Rosario Islands are a great option for every visitor to Cartagena.
If you enjoyed these recommendations, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more inspiration for your next trip to Cartagena or Tulum. And get in touch if you need help with a boat, island or in building your journey.
If you’re searching for the best Rosario Islands day trip, look no further! Rent a private boat for the day and we’ll take you to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Rosario Islands. We start early to get to some swimming and snorkelling spots, then head to an island beach for a fresh fish lunch and an afternoon of lounging or liveliness – you choose your vibe and we’ll live up to your expectations.
The Rosario Islands day trip is a private tour, personalized to you. It’s your boat for the day and you can always manage your schedule, however we recommend going early in the morning (9 or 10 am latest). It takes an hour to get out to the islands on speed boat and another 30 minutes to boat around and see all the beautiful islands, But we know there are many swimming spots you’ll want to enjoy throughout the day, so that 30 minutes can stretch out the whole day.
We can arrange catering on board your boat or lunch at a beach club giving you enough time to enjoy your Rosario Islands day trip without having to rush. A note for the rainy season especially – the sea can get rought in the afternoon and occasionally, the captain will have to return earlier than expected in order to keep everyone safe. Whichever day you choose, all boats have to be at the dock at 5pm in Cartagena.
For a more extensive Rosario Islands trip, we can help you find a place to stay on an island, and get you the best rates for a beach club near Cartagena. If you’re looking for more advice (and some videos) of what to expect in the Rosarios, here’s our guide to the Best Way to Visit the Rosario Islands.
The coral reefs just off Cartagena are the perfect place to gain your Open Water Certification, or take the day to explore old wrecks, the underwater art museum, or the wonderful reefs teeming with tropical fish, sting rays, octopus and seahorses.
Offered as a half day or full day trip, charter a boat out to the Rosario Islands for a day of fishing with friends. All training and equipment is included and a chef can cook up your catch for lunch or dinner!
Perfect for wedding parties and larger groups, we can organise a sunset excursion in Cartagena bay. Watch the sun go down from your own private boat or luxury catamaran, and start your evening with style and a cocktail in the bay, before heading back to the city to continue your evening with a drinks reception or exclusive dinner reservation.