Leave the busy streets of Cancún behind and embark on a boat tour to discover the paradise islands around Cancún. Set sail on a catamaran to Isla Mujeres, Isla Contoy or Punta Nizuc and enjoy a fantastic day at sea.
Cancún is the perfect place as a base for various boat trips and catamaran tours, whether you want to take advantage of nearby islands' natural beauty or have fun driving a speedboat.
What are the best boat tours & catamaran cruises in Cancún?
Isla Mujeres: full-day catamaran tour
Isla Mujeres is one of the most beautiful paradise islands near Cancún. On this full-day (10-hour) boat trip, you will set sail aboard a catamaran to Isla Mujeres. While sailing, you can enjoy the view of the crystal clear sea and relax on the deck, soaking up the sun.
Along the way, you will make a stop of about 1 hour near the coral reef, where you can snorkel and admire the seabed full of corals and the tropical fish that live among them. Afterward, you will reach Isla Mujeres, known for its heavenly beaches with white sand. You can relax and rule the beach and the crystal clear sea. Buffet lunch will be offered on the beach.
Don't miss the chance to visit Isla Mujeres - check all the trips and excursions to Isla Mujeres from Cancún.
Cancún: Jungle Speedboat Adventure with Snorkeling
Drive a speedboat across the Nichupté Lagoon to reach Punta Nizuc, located approximately 9 miles from Cancún.
In the Nichupté lagoon, you will pass through a forest of mangroves living in the water. After about 40 minutes, you will arrive at Punta Nizuc, where there is the coral reef and you can take the opportunity to swim and snorkel among the corals and tropical fish.
Isla Contoy Day Trip: Ixlache Reef Snorkeling and Eco Paradise Tour
This 8-hour boat tour will take you to discover a natural paradise just a stone's throw from Cancún: Contoy Island.
The excursion begins with a boat trip on the Caribbean waters of Cancún towards the coral reef of Ixlache, which you will reach after approximately 90 minutes. The reef is part of the Mesoamerican reef system, the second largest in the world after the Australian one. You will be able to snorkel in the shallow waters seeing corals, tropical fishes and sea turtles.
Then you will set sail for Isla Contoy, a protected natural ecosystem. Contoy Island is relatively small (around 5 miles long - 8 kilometers) but features an essential habitat for many bird species, such as the brown pelican or double-crested cormorant. Furthermore, the island is known to be a place used by several turtles species for their nests. The island is protected and only a limited number of visitors can visit it every day. Licensed tour operators are also limited.
Once on the island, there will be a tour of approximately 45 minutes with an experienced certified island guide. You will then have time to visit the rest of the island and relax on the beach, as well as enjoy the excellent Mexican lunch included in the tour.
Compare all tours to Isla Contoy from Cancún to choose the best one!
Holbox Island: Boat Tour and Transfer from Cancún
Another island near Cancún that deserves to be visited is Holbox Island. This excursion begins with transportation from Cancún to Chiquila, a Mexican town near Holbox Island. The boat tour will take you to Holbox Island and two other islands: Yalahau Island and Pajaros Island.
You can swim in the crystal clear waters of Yalahau Island and spot local wildlife on Pajaros Island. Finally, you will arrive at Holbox Island, where you can enjoy lunch in one of the many fish restaurants, before visiting the island itself. Finally, you can enjoy the heavenly beaches and crystal clear water of Passion Island before returning to Cancún.
Check out all the trips to Holbox Island from Cancún.
Catamaran Cruise from Cancún with Snorkeling and Boat Party
Enjoy a full day on the sea aboard this three-story catamaran. The catamaran trip indeed includes everything: snorkeling, the visit to Isla Mujeres and salsa lessons on board.
You will depart on a catamaran in the direction of Isla Mujeres, passing the coral reef of El Moco, where you will stop for snorkeling. Afterward, you will reach the island to enjoy the beach and lunch. There will be time for the boat party, with salsa lessons and alcoholic drinks on the way back.
Punta Nizuc Underwater Museum: Snorkeling + Glass Bottom Boat Tour
There is a unique place in the world near Cancún: an underwater museum! British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor conceived this museum in 2009, placing 30 sculptures on the seabed. The sculptures are made from materials that favor the corals' lives, which are now born on the statues. You will be able to snorkel inside the underwater museum (MUSA).
On this tour, you will reach the Punta Nizac Underwater Museum by a glass-bottom boat. You will be able to see the underwater beauties directly from the boat. You will also dive with the snorkeling equipment to get close to the statues and see the corals that live on them up close.
Customizable private sailing catamaran tour in Cancún
If you are a sailing lover, this tour is exactly for you. Set sail on a luxury sailboat to the Caribbean waters around Isla Mujeres and customize the itinerary yourself. The captain of the boat will follow your directions and wishes.
You can decide to snorkel, go deep-sea fishing (fishing rods are included) or just relax on the deck. This boat excursion is ideal for those who want to have privacy and relaxation.
Sian Ka'an: discovery tour of the biosphere reserve
The Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve is a wonderful marine ecosystem located about 100 miles south of Cancún. The tour lasts 10 hours and includes round-trip transportation from Cancún.
During the excursion, there will be boat tours to the Campechen lagoon and the Sian Ka'an biosphere's heart. You will see many wild animals in their natural habitat, such as turtles, dolphins, cormorants, pelicans, and herons. There will also be a fantastic snorkeling experience in the crystal clear waters of La Piscina. Lunch is included in the tour.
Compare all trips to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.
Cozumel Island: Snorkeling Day Tour from Cancún
This tour departs from Cancún in the direction of Cozumel Island, located opposite Playa del Carmen. Hotel pickup and transport from Cancún to Playa del Carmen are included in the excursion price.
The ferry to Cozumel island departs from Playa del Carmen. Once on the island, the glass bottom snorkel tour begins. The boat trip takes about 2 hours and takes you directly over the reef where you can snorkel.
There will be free time on the island to explore it before returning to Cancún. All transport and boat tours are included in the price of the excursion.
Boat trip to the Isla Blanca
If you are looking for white beaches and crystal clear sea, a place not to be missed is definitely Isla Blanca. The island is located north of Cancún and can be reached by land or via a boat tour.
Explore the surroundings of Isla Blanca, where many wild animals live and there are mangrove-lined canals that can be explored by kayak. Reach the coral reef where you can snorkel before returning to Cancún.
What are the best places to visit on a boat tour from Cancún?
Isla Mujeres is located just 7 miles from Cancún. The island is relatively large and is very popular with tourists. Many boat tours from Cancún go to Isla Mujeres, especially the coral reef located nearby, a perfect place for snorkeling. You can also stay overnight on Isla Mujeres; here, you find the tours and activities that depart from Isla Mujeres.
Isla Contoy is a small uninhabited island located 20 miles from Cancún. The island is a perfect destination for a boat tour because it is a protected nature reserve: many land and marine animals live on the island of Contoy.
Punta Nizuc is the southern end of the spit of land that forms the Nichupté lagoon. Punta Nizuc is a place of interest because of the underwater museum: an incredible museum made up of statues positioned on the seabed above which corals were born. This is another excellent place for snorkeling.
Cozumel island is a large island located in front of Playa del Carmen. There are several amusement parks and beach clubs on the island, but the most exciting part is undoubtedly the coast. You can reach the coral reef and snorkel.
Holbox Island is located north of Cancun. It is a very wild island, protected as a nature reserve. The island creates a shallow water lagoon and is therefore inhabited by many birds and marine animals. The tip of the island, called Punta Cocos, is famous because it is possible to observe the water's bioluminescence.
Sian Ka'an Reserve
There Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve is located in the municipality of Tulum, south of Cancun. The reserve is certainly the best place in the area to observe a lagoon ecosystem rich in flora and fauna. Dolphins, sea turtles and various bird species can be seen. Also, here is the coral reef and you can snorkel.
Isla Blanca is a small island north of Cancun known for its white beaches. The island creates a lagoon where various wild animals live and it is possible to practice sport fishing.
What types of boat tours are available in Cancún?
Group boat tour
The most popular catamaran tours and boat excursions are group activities. Being boat tours, the groups are not very numerous because the number of passengers on a boat is limited. Most group tours have a limit between 10 and 20 participants.
Private boat tours
Private boat tours are ideal for those who want to be sure they have privacy and the ability to customize the itinerary. With a private boat tour, you will have a boat and a captain available for you. Check out all of the private boat tours to check out the best offers.
If you can drive a boat and want to have maximum freedom, you can rent a boat, catamaran or yacht for a few hours or for whole days. By renting a boat, you can easily reach the coral reefs (pay attention to the depth of the sea) and the islands of Mujeres, Contoy, Holbox and Cozumel.
How much do boat tours & catamaran cruises cost from Cancún?
The prices of the boat tours from Cancún vary according to the destination and the type.
- Catamaran tours to Isla Mujeres cost between US$ 55 and US$ 140 per person.
- Boat tours in the Nichupté lagoon or Punta Nizuc cost between US$ 47 and US$ 70.
- Excursions to Holbox Island cost around US$ 130.
- A private boat tour can cost anywhere from US$ 130 for one hour to US$ 1,700 for a catamaran that accommodates up to 40 people for a full day.
- Tours to Isla Blanca cost from US$ 75 to US$ 150 per person, while tours to Cozumel Island cost from US$ 85 to US$ 130.
What other outdoor activities can you do in Cancún?
Cancún is a paradise when it comes to the availability of outdoor and water activities.
Among the water activities, in addition to boat tours, it is possible to do snorkeling, scuba diving, jet ski rides, flyboard and diving with the whale shark.
The most interesting outdoor land activities are quad tours, ziplines, horseback riding, in addition to adventure parks like Xcaret, Xplor Park and Extreme.
Where do boat trips leave from Cancún?
Almost all boat tours from Cancún include hotel pickup in the price. Check your ticket to see if pickup is included or if you need to go to a meeting point.
What is the duration of a boat excursion from Cancún?
The duration of the boat tours from Cancún varies from a few hours to a full day. The boat trips that reach the islands almost always last a whole day because there are stops for snorkeling, lunch, and relaxing on the beach. Instead, boat tours to the underwater museum last 2-3 hours.
When is the best time for a boat tour from Cancún?
Cancún's tropical climate allows for year-round boat tours. The air and water temperatures are always high and you can swim and snorkel with only your wet suit.
The best months for a boat tour in Cancún are winter, from November to May, which corresponds to the dry season. Instead, from June to October, there can be several days of rain and the boat tours may be canceled due to bad weather: in that case, you will receive a full refund of the price paid.
Here are some travel tips to make the most of your boat trip.
- Remember to bring sunscreen to prevent sunburn. The sun is powerful in the tropics.
- Book the tour in advance to be sure to find availability. The number of participants on a tour is limited by the seats on the boat.
- Please communicate the name and address of your hotel to the tour operator.
- Don't forget your camera: you will see beautiful places!