Maya Ka’an: A New and Adventurous Destination in the Mexican Caribbean

In Play, Playa del Carmen & Tulum by Suzanne Koch

The rising traveler consciousness toward low-impact, eco-friendly experiences meets the iconic Mexican Caribbean in the region’s newest destination of Maya Ka’an, an authentic stretch of Mayan communities and lush jungle surrounded by the biosphere reserve of Sian Ka’an. Travelers visiting Maya Ka’an can engage in untouched cultural traditions, daring nature activities and stunning flora & fauna woven through the Mayan wonders of this unique destination.

“Travelers know and love Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel and Riviera Maya. Now they can learn about another side of the Mexican Caribbean in Maya Ka’an. Maya Ka’an’s sustainable, off-the-grid status creates unparalleled experiences for travelers seeking true cultural immersion.” 

Dario Flota Ocampo, Director, Quintana Roo Tourism Board

Located south of Tulum and roughly two hours from Cancun International Airport, Maya Ka’an encompasses eight sites each offering distinct experiences. In Kantemó, adrenaline-seekers can experience a nighttime bike ride through the jungle to reach a cave and witness wildlife in action as the cave’s snake residents prey on flying bats. Muyil boasts historic Mayan architecture and tranquil wetlands, where visitors traverse back in time by kayaking the very lagoon Mayans used as a commercial route. Travelers seeking to immerse in historical traditions can join a chewing gum tour, where visitors witness the gum extraction process as originally created by the Mayans. Muyil waters provide the ideal spot for a peaceful swim as the sun sets. 

The small fishing village of Punta Allen houses a vast protected ecosystem of mangroves and marine life including dolphins, turtles and freshwater fish; visitors can observe Punta Allen’s abundant nature by kayak or bike. Similarly, Punta Herrero is prime for fly fishing. Travelers seeking a spiritual Mayan experience will find it in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, where the eco-center of Sijil Noh Ha offers visitors a relaxing walk among plants and herbs used for medicinal purposes. The medicinal plants are also found in a healing ceremony involving ancient techniques, dance and Mayan music that together inspire harmony of mind, body and spirit.

Food is one of the most significant ways to experience a culture, and in the culinary strongholds of Chunhuhub, Tihosuco, and Señor, visitors can taste classic local dishes and delights from a homecooked meal with Mayan families. In Chunhuhub, foodies will delight in a gastronomic tour scored by the traditional tunes of Maya Pax music. Foodies and history lovers alike can explore a Mayan community with steadfast customs in Tihosuco, which features the Caste War Museum in its cultural offerings. Señor invites visitors to an intimate cultural tour where they will be enchanted by the historic tales of a Mayan priest and can witness the rich practice of handmade rope and the area’s unique stingless bees. 

All tourist activities in Maya Ka’an are developed and managed by indigenous Mayan families thus all profits directly benefit the community, where the Mayan legacy of the Mexican Caribbean comes to life.

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