We will drive to the temples and the pyramid of EK Balam (in Maya: "Black Jaguar"). This is one of the most beautiful Mayan ruins and is worth a visit, even if only a few buildings have been excavated. It’s heyday saw the city 700 to 1000 AD. but the earliest traces of the settlement is dated back to the time between 100 and 300 AD. The center is enclosed by a double wall ring. Dominating EK Balam is a building that is also known as the “Acropolis” and whose ancient name is inscribed as "Sac Xoc Naj" (White House of Learning). It is the largest surviving Mayan building in the north of the Yucatán Península. The Acropolis can be climbed today with its 106 steps and offers a breath-taking view.  
Afterwards we continue towards the Gulf of Mexico into the nature reserve Rio Lagartos. There, we will enjoy a common local lunch. Belly-full, we then will make our way through the nature reserve on our 2.5 hour boat tour. Despite it’s name, Rio Lagartos is not really on a river, it is rather a mangrove lake with seasonally changing salinity. There are no above ground  rivers on the peninsula, therefore it is fed exclusively by subterranean rivers and springs. During the dry season, the sea water presses into the lagoon. Rio Lagartos is 50 km long and separated from the sea only by a narrow strip of sand. It is protected because of it’s enormous fish, bird, and plant wealth. At least 350 bird species, 50 mammal species, and almost 100 different reptiles live in the area. Among them are various Turtles and small Crocodiles, often you can watch Flamingos up close. We will cross the mangroves in search of birds and reptiles by boat and look at the pink salt lake. It is a unique view that you will not want to miss! Here, we will take a photo stop with the pink lake and mounds of salt as your beautiful background. Then, the tour goes on to a shallow beach where we will rub each other with healing mud from head to toe, an absolute fun time for young and elders! Back on the boat the mud dries on our skin and at a nearby beach we wash it off again with lots of fun. 


"All Inclusive Tour" - Includes:

  • Day trip according to the above program
  • Personal care by Santi Tour guides
  • Pick up from your hotel or meeting point
  • Ride with a certified driver in a comfortable, fully insured, and air-conditioned minivan
  • Tour guide in English
  • Fresh, whole-grain, breakfast sandwiches "Santini" in the bus (no coffee or tea included)
  • Cool drinks in the bus (soft drinks, water, beer)
  • Entrance fees
  • English-speaking, archaeological, guided tour in EK Balam (about 1 hour)
  • Free time for climbing the pyramid or taking pictures
  • Boat tour in Rio Lagartos (about 2.5 hours; sighting different bird species - e.g. Flamingos, Herons, Pelicans, etc. depending on season)
  • With luck sighting Crocodiles
  • Pink salt lake
  • Fun action: Rubbing each other with healing mud and bathing in a small stretch of beach
  • Local lunch and one local drink or soft drink (no beer) 
  • All photos / videos of this tour are free of charge as a gift from us! 
  • Free Wi-Fi on almost all tours in our tour buses (whenever network available on the routes).
  • High way toll fees
  • Parking fees / tolls
  • Return to your hotel or collection point

Not included:

  • Personal expenses (e.g. for souvenirs, restroom, etc.) Please have small change in MXN or USD
  • Coffee or tea at the coffee stop
  • More drinks in the beach club
  • Tips in general (tour guide, driver, waiter, etc.)

Pick up and transfer: 
  • Pick up at lobbies of all hotels in Playa del Carmen to Dreams Tulum. Please inquire before booking about the location of your hotel
  • Hotels in Tulum, Cancun, Puerto Morelos, as well as hotels north of Playa del Carmen: Pick up at the meeting point Colectivo terminal in Playa del Carmen or meeting point
  • The transfer to Playa del Carmen (with the Colectivo shared minivans) can be made by any person in any hotel for about 2 to 3 USD very easy, safe, and inexpensive. The white Colectivo minivans begins to transit from 5AM in different directions and pass by every 5 to 10 minutes towards Playa del Carmen

Driving time:

  • The travel time to EK Balam is about 2 hours from the center of Playa del Carmen (depending on traffic and without pick-ups). Please note this in your tour planning
  • We kindly ask you to protect our reefs, cenotes and animals by avoiding sunscreen. They have a big impact of the damage of nature, even if it's biodegradable. Please use special Lycra shirts with UV protection instead
  • The government charges 45 MXN per device for carrying professional video cameras and action cameras in Ek Balam. This is not included in our prices and would have to be paid by yourself!
  • The pink lake is a private area and it is not possible to float in the salty water. Additionally, it is possible that the salt lake gets drained. The pink color varies, depending on the season and salinity. Please understand that we cannot influence those situations
  • Sighting of birds and crocodiles in nature is a unique experience. However, we cannot guarantee this. If no animals are spotted, there is no refund 
  • Our tour is also suitable for children. Please bring swimming aids!
  • This tour is a full day tour! The return from Playa del Carmen is around 6 PM to 8 PM  (depending on traffic, weather, events, etc). However, we cannot guarantee this


  • Adult                                    150 USD / 130 EUR
  • Kids 4 to 7 years                     80 USD / 65 EUR
  • Kids 8 to 10 years               125 USD / 105 EUR
  • Kids from 11 years               150 USD / 130 EUR


Payment options: 


  • The payment for our excursions will be made in CASH on the afternoon of the excursion day. We accept US Dollars, Mexican Pesos, or Euro (at the current daily exchange rate). It is not possible to accept credit card, bank transfer, or Paypal.
  • We ask for your understanding, just for the fairness of the other guests, we cannot drive to any banks or ATMs to exchange or withdraw money


Do not forget: