Cancun tours to archaeological sites of Mayan ruins, Riviera Maya excursions to adventure parks for zip-lining and cenotes, the average tourist will plan a day trip or two during their week-long vacation.
As a local working in tourism in Cancun, I am invited a bit more frequently than that, taking an average of two or three tours a month as part of my job (I am NOT complaining).
I’ve tried all the ziplines, visited the big Riviera Maya parks like Xcaret and Xel Ha and the more intimate places like Aktun Chen and Selvatica, sailed on pirate adventures and island escapes and seen all the Mayan ruins a million times. So what is the one thing that make some Cancun tours great compared to the rest? It’s the guides!
All the facilities and attractions and natural wonders aside, it’s the people that make Cancun adventures something truly special.
The guides of Cancun tours are some of the hardest working people in the industry. They’re up before sunrise preparing to lead you on your adventures, packing the coolers with drinks and organizing the often complicated schedules of pick ups and tour check ins. At the crack of dawn they’ll greet you with a smile and a joke and they’ll do it in several languages.
These guys will remember your name and your hometown and tell you all about theirs. They’ll warmly answer the same question a thousand times a day without breaking a sweat.
The best tour guides are extremely knowledgeable, well educated in a variety of fields. Many guides have special studies in Mayan history and culture while others are experts in marine biology and ocean conservancy. Even taking a deep sea fishing tour can be a lesson in history and culture when you discover your captain’s family has been fishing these waters for decades.
They encourage the fearful to take a leap and inspire guests to get out of their comfort zones and discover not only new places and experiences, but new sides of themselves. The personal insights and histories of each guide bring something unique and memorable that you wouldn’t have if you were exploring on your own.
I always say that seeing an archaeological site without a guide is like watching a movie on mute, pretty pictures but no depth or story.
Having a stroll around Tulum ruins is one thing, doing so with a guide whose family has lived there forever is a whole other luxury. You will feel the vibe, the energy and see beyond the facades of the stone pyramids to the people who have always called this place home.
Cheers to the guides of all Cancun tours! The next time you take a Cancun day trip, take a moment to get to know your tour guide, it can truly enhance your experience. I’m sending my own personal shout out to Maui in Cozumel and Chito in Coba, I’ve recently had the pleasure of their company and had a fascinating time with them both! You never know, you may encounter a new lifelong friend in the process.
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