Your Friend the Nomad

Mexico , Favorites , Tulum · March 27, 2023

Ultimate Guide: Muyil River Float and Mayan Ruins

Imagine floating down a sparkling-blue ancient lazy river. Well, on your next trip to the Yucatan Peninsula, you can do just that at Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve .

The lazy river is actually an ancient canal created by the local Mayans for trade. The canals at Sian Ka’an connect Muyil—a Mayan city right off the Laguna de Muyil—to the Caribbean ocean. 

These canals are carved through dense wetlands and have a natural “lazy river” effect—the gentle current pulls you from one end of the canal to the other.

Sian Kaan is located right outside of  Tulum , so it’s a place you must visit if in Tulum, but it’s also worth a day trip if you’re in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Bacalar, or other nearby areas.

Most people choose to visit Sian Ka’an via a tour, but you can also visit without a tour if you plan ahead. Read on for  Sian Kaan travel tips  and  everything you need to plan your visit to the Muyil ruins and Mayan canals . 

Floating Down a Mayan Canal & Exploring the Muyil Ruins 

Muyil River Float, Muyil Mexico

Unforgettable Muyil Mexico Canal Float experience at Sian Kaan

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Unmissable Tulum Activities + Hotel Recommendations

Before we dive into this guide to Sian Kaan’s Muyil River Float, here are a few other things you cannot miss in Tulum!

👙 Exploring Cenotes : Swim in turquoise blue waters at three unique cenotes on this highly-rated Tulum cenote tour .

🥾 Mayan Ruins : Go on a private day trip to the Mexico’s famous Chichen Itza , or hire a private guide for the breathtaking beachside Tulum ruins .

⛵️ Luxury Boat Tours : Book your own private catamaran for the day , or join a luxury sunset sailing with other travelers (open bar included!)

🌺 Where to Stay : Breathtaking ocean front rooms at Habitas Tulum (luxurious ecoresort), airy suites with private pools at Hotel Shibari (hotel with private cenote), treehouse villas with private jungle pools at Rubi Tulum (one-of-a-kind jungle resort), or moody boho suites with private pools at Hotel Bardo (adults-only hotel near downtown Tulum).

Visiting Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve 

The Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Mexico’s largest protected areas. There are several other things you can do at Sian Kaan, but the Muyil float is my top recommendation for an unforgettable day trip. 

On your way to this magical experience, you can explore the ruins of an ancient Mayan city, spot wildlife along a jungle boardwalk, climb a tower to gaze out above the jungle’s canopy, and ride a boat through turquoise blue lagoons.  

Sian Kaan is a vast reserve with abundant wildlife and several Mayan ruins . Yet navigating through (and to) certain parts of the reserve can be challenging and even impossible for tourists. Before planning your visit, it’s important to understand your options.

There are two main itineraries for Sian Kaan visitors, depending on where the starting point:

Sian Kaan Map

The two main starting points for visiting Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Starting Point 1 : Muyil

Travel time from Tulum (one way) : 20 minutes via car, scooter, or colectivo Typical itinerary : Peacefully float down Mayan canals, explore the Muyil Mayan ruins, walk down a jungle boardwalk, lookout over the jungle and lagoons from a wooden tower, and enjoy a boat ride through bright blue lagoons. Recommended tour : Sian Ka’an and Muyil Archaeological Site Tour from Tulum Tips for DIY visits : More details below!

Starting Point 2 : Punta Allen

Travel time from Tulum (one way) : 3+ hours along potholed roads Typical itinerary : Snorkel with tropical fish, spot manatees, crocodiles, dolphins, and rare birds, enjoy a boat trip through turquoise blue water and explore the town of Punta Allen. Recommended tour : Sian Ka’an Adventure Tips for DIY visits : You can drive to Punta Allen yourself in a Jeep, but the road is in terrible condition, so I recommend taking a tour first.

In this article, we’re focusing on how to do the Muyil river float and experience the other attractions accessible from the first starting point mentioned above.

Muyil River Float

Peaceful lazy river float alongside mangroves

Is the Muyil River Float worth it?

Yes! Floating down the Mayan canals is one of the most serene and fun things I’ve done on the Yucatan Peninsula. 

Only a limited number of people are admitted into Sian Kaan each day, so it feels like you have the place to yourself when you float down the river. The river float lasts for about 45 minutes, and your boat captain meets you at the end with your shoes, where you can walk back to the boat on a boardwalk through the wetlands. 

Muyil tour

El Castillo at Muyil Archeological Site

Are the Muyil Ruins worth visiting? 

For me, yes. I enjoyed walking through the ruins. Muyil (also called Chunyaxche) was one of the earliest and longest settled Mayan cities in the area, and it is home to the tallest pyramid on the Mayan Riviera, El Castillo. 

Most of Muyil’s ruins have yet to be excavated, so you can easily walk through the archaeological site in under 20 minutes. There is much less to see compared to other nearby Riviera Maya sites like the Tulum ruins or Coba ruins. Because of this, I hesitate to say that the Muyil ruins are worth visiting  on their own . However, it’s definitely worth visiting if you also plan to explore wildlife at Sian Kaan and float down the canals. 

Muyil Ruins at Sian Kaan

Gazing up at El Castillo at the Muyil Archaeological Site near Tulum

Muyil River Float

Floating down the Mayan canals at Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve

Best Muyil River Float tours

There are lots of Sian Kaan tours, but the two below are my top recommendations. They both have the following:

★ Five-star reviews ★ Trusted, knowledgeable, and friendly guides ★ Comfortable roundtrip transportation ★ Guided tour of the ancient city of Muyil ★ Nature walk along a jungle boardwalk ★ Boat tour through the Muyil lagoon to the Mayan canals ★ The opportunity to float down ancient Mayan canals ★ Tasty homemade lunch

Important note : Sian Kaan tours can sell out weeks in advance (depending on the time of year). Book your tour now to make sure you can secure a spot! See links to the highest-rated Muyil float tours below.

Why book a tour?  Since Sian Ka’an is a protected area, a  limited number of entry passes  are available each day. In addition, a  limited number of boats  are available to transport tourists to the Muyil river float. One of the many advantages of booking a tour is that you  secure your spot  to both enter Sian Ka’an and get a seat on a boat.

Best highly-rated group tour from Tulum Sian Ka’an and Muyil Archaeological Site Tour from Tulum

Sian Kaan river float

Enjoying the 45+ minute Sian Kaan river float

★★★★★ 5/5 Stars out of 450+ reviews Pickup in Tulum included, pickup in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Akumal, Valladolid, and other cities for an additional fee. This is the most reputable and highly-rated Muyil float tour . Upon arriving at the Si’an Kaan Biosphere Reserve, your guide will take you through the Muyil Mayan ruins and then along a jungle boardwalk toward the Muyil Lagoon. Before you board the boat to the Mayan canals, you’ll enjoy authentic Mexican food for lunch. After a short boat ride through Sian Kaan’s stunning blue lagoons, you’ll have the opportunity to float peacefully down the Mayan canals. Your trusty guide will watch your belongings in the boat while you enjoy the serene lazy river float, which takes around 45 minutes.

“This [tour] is a hidden gem. Away from the crowds (small group) walking in the jungle canopy amongst the ruins and end off with a gentle float down crystal clear canals. T his was a highlight of a trip to Mexico and I can’t recommend this enough . Great guide (Cesar), great food and snacks and a wonderful experience.” Review from Paul on Viator

Best private tour from Cancun & Playa del Carmen Private Sian Kaan Muyil Lazy River Tour

mayan canals at muyil float

My experience floating down the Mayan canals at Si’an Kaan Biosphere Reserve

★★★★★ 5/5 Stars out of 35+ reviews Includes private transport from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and other nearby areas This private tour is led by Salvador, a very knowledgeable and friendly guide. Salvador will walk you through the Muyil Mayan archeological site before leading you through the jungle toward the lagoon. You’ll spot wildlife along the way and enjoy a homemade Mexican meal. Then you’ll board a private boat with Salvador and glide toward the Mayan lazy river through the incredibly blue laguna Muyil. Salvador will wait on the boat while you and your group enjoy a private experience gently floating down the Mayan canals. Salvador will meet you at the end, and then you’ll begin your journey home.

“Salvador was an amazing guide, super sweet with our little daughter and has an amazing knowledge about history and nature. I would say that this is a must do tour .” Review from Taciana on Viator

Muyil float tours vs DIY visits

Since Sian Ka’an is a protected area, there is a limit on the number of tourists who can visit each day. In addition, a limited number of boats can take tourists to the Muyil river float. One of the advantages of booking a tour is that you secure your spot to both enter Sian Ka’an and get a seat on a boat.

If you also want to visit the Muyil archeological ruins, booking a tour with an experienced guide can help you get the most out of your experience.

One of the biggest differences between a tour and a DIY visit is the cost. If you visit by yourself, the largest expense will be the boat ride, which costs around $50 USD. You’ll have to pay the Sian Kaan entry fee ($70 pesos), the boardwalk entry fee ($50 pesos), and transportation to Muyil. Tours cost double or more but are worth it since you get a guide throughout the experience, don’t have to figure out your transportation, and are guaranteed a spot in the park.

Muyil Lagoon at Sian Kaan

The many shades of blue at Laguna Muyil

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

View of Laguna Muyil from the jungle lookout

How to float down the Mayan canal without a tour

If you missed your chance to book a tour or want to try exploring Sian Kaan without a guide, don’t fear! I’ve visited Sian Kaan and floated down the Mayan canals without a tour and I’m going to tell you how I did it . Here are my top tips for visiting Sian Kaan on your own:

★ Leave early : As mentioned above, a limited number of visitors are admitted into Sian Kaan each day, and there are a limited number of boats. Try to get to Muyil (directions below) by 10am at the latest.

★ Get on a boat as soon as you arrive : Most visitors (and tours) explore the Muyil Mayan ruins first, walk through the jungle, and then board a boat toward the Mayan canals. But if you don’t have a boat reserved via a tour and you visit on a busy weekend, I recommend getting a boat right away. When I visited Sian Kaan, several boat captains were waiting at the park entry, ready to take visitors directly to the lagoon.

★ Bring at least $1200 pesos per person : The boat ride to the Mayan canals costs ~$900 pesos (~$50 USD), the park entry costs $70 pesos and the boardwalk entry costs $50 pesos. Plus, you’ll need a few hundred pesos in case you need to buy food or water before heading back to your hotel.

★ Pack water and snacks : You’ll definitely want a water bottle waiting for you when you return to the boat after floating down the lazy river. And snacks are a must for me on any day trip!

Muyil float boat ride at Sian Kaan

The boat ride through the first set of Mayan canals (before you jump out and swim!)

How to get to Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve without a tour

To enjoy the Sian Kaan lazy river float and explore the Mayan ruins, head to Chunyaxché (also called Muyil). See below for directions from nearby cities.

Sian Kaan from Tulum

Distance : 23 miles // 20 minutes

By car or scooter : From Tulum Centro, drive south on highway 307 toward Chetumal. After about 20 minutes you’ll see signs for Muyil. Turn left toward Zona Arqueológica de Muyil and you’ll arrive at the Sian Kaan tourist office.

By public transportation : Colectivos (shared shuttle vans) leave from Tulum toward Muyil every thirty minutes from the side of the road in front of  Arcoiris Tulum . (This is how I got to Sian Kaan in 2023, and I recommend it!) a colectivo costs about $50 pesos one way, and the driver will let you know when it’s time to get off, but I recommend keeping an eye on your surroundings or your phone’s GPS to ensure you don’t miss the stop.

Related: How to Rent a Scooter in Tulum

Sian Kaan from Bacalar

Distance : 187 miles // 2 hours

By car : Head north on highway 307 for two hours toward Tulum. You’ll arrive in the small town of Chunyaxché (also called Muyil) after about two hours of driving. The Zona Arqueológica de Muyil will be on the right side of the road.

By public transportation : Take an ADO bus to Tulum. Once you arrive in Tulum, take a short 20-minute colectivo south toward Muyil (colectivo instructions above under Tulum).

Muyil lagoon

Muyil Lagoon

laguna tours muyil

Muyil Mayan ruins

Sian Kaan from Playa del Carmen

Distance : 86 miles // 1 hour and 15 minutes

By car : Drive south on highway 307 toward Tulum. After driving through Tulum, you’ll have about 20 minutes until you arrive in Muyil. The Zona Arqueológica de Muyil will be on the left side of the road.

By public transportation : Take an ADO bus or colectivo toward Tulum. Then you’ll likely have to board another colectivo toward Muyil (colectivo instructions above under Tulum).

Sian Kaan from Cancun

Distance : 153 miles // 2 hours and 20 minutes

By car : Leave Cancun and find your way to highway 307. Drive south on 307 for two hours and 20 minutes. You’ll reach Muyil after passing through Tulum. The Zona Arqueológica de Muyil will be on the left side of the road.

By public transportation : Take an ADO bus toward Tulum. Then you’ll likely have to board a colectivo toward Muyil (colectivo instructions above under Tulum).

muyil river float sian kaan

Magical Sian Ka’an River Float

What to bring for your Muyil river float + my recommendations

While many areas of the Mayan canals are shaded, the boat ride itself is in the direct sun, and it’s HOT! Your tour guide may bring some extra water, but it’s always a good idea to bring plenty of water. My personal favorite reusable water bottle is this Miir bottle .

Sunglasses are not only essential for the archeological tour and boat tour but also for the river float! You’ll wear a life jacket like a diaper (if you know, you know lol) so you can comfortably float down the lazy river with your head up. My all-time favorite sunglasses are  SOJOS sunglasses .

Bathing suit + Protective Sun gear

Bring a comfortable bathing suit to float down the Mayan canals. Consider bringing a protective sun shirt with SPF and/or a  sun hat . I have yet to find a sun shirt I love, but my husband is a big fan of Patagonia sun shirts for men.

Travel towel

Although you can dry off quickly in the hot Quintana Roo sun, I like to bring a travel towel with me anytime I go swimming in Mexico so that I can use it to wrap my wet swimsuit in my bag to keep my other belongings from getting wet. I’m a huge fan of  Nomadix towels . My husband and I each have one, and we bring them everywhere!

As a vegan , I always pack plenty of snacks when traveling. Regardless of your dietary restrictions, it’s always a good idea to bring something to snack on in case you get hungry on the go.

After floating down the Mayan canal, you’ll have to walk back to the boat on a wooden boardwalk for about 15 minutes. Your guide/boat driver will meet you there with your shoes. I recommend bringing sandals you can easily slip into.

GoPro camera or waterproof phone case

Most people want to take photos while floating down the Mayan canals. Bring a waterproof camera (GoPro) or put your phone in a waterproof case. As a traveler and photographer, I highly recommend investing in a GoPro for experiences like this. Once you have it, you’ll use it way more than you’d expect. And the quality of the newest GoPro is incredible. All of the river float photos on the blog were taken with my  GoPro Hero11 , which has 27 megapixels and screens on both sides (perfect for selfies!) It’s a huge upgrade from my old GoPro that had mediocre image quality and no screen.

Water shoes

You don’t need water shoes for the Muyil float, but they can be helpful. The water is about 5 feet deep, and the bottom is smooth and soft, but some people prefer to bring water shoes for an extra level of protection.

Muyil Lagoon

Muyil Lagoon from above

Muyil River Float FAQs

I can’t swim. can i still do the muyil river float.

Short answer: yes. Someone on my boat couldn’t swim, but he was fine floating down the river with a lifejacket (lifejackets are mandatory). The river is 4-5 feet deep with a gentle current that pulls you. If you feel safe floating in water that deep with a lifejacket, you can do the river float. Just make sure you go on a tour with other people or bring friends/family, so you’re not alone.

Are there crocodiles in the Mayan canal?

I have not heard of any visitors seeing crocodiles in the Mayan Canal. Crocodiles like hanging out in areas where they can bask in the sun. The banks alongside the Mayan canals are covered in mangroves and other plants, so there isn’t any space for crocodiles to sit in the sun. Plus, the canals are heavily trafficked by humans and boats. Crocodiles are just as scared of us as we are of them!

Do boat drivers at the Muyil lagoon speak English?

I can’t speak for all boat drivers, but my boat driver (in 2023) spoke fairly decent English.

Can you wear sunscreen in the Muyil lagoon?

Although the use of sunscreen is prohibited in many nearby Yucatán Peninsula lagoons, I didn’t see any signs prohibiting the use of sunscreen at Sian Ka’an in 2023. However, opting for reef-safe and biodegradable sunscreen is always a good idea.

Sian Kaan River Float

Final Thoughts

Floating down the Mayan canals at Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve was one of my favorite experiences during my Rivera Maya travels. If you visit Tulum, you can’t miss Sian Ka’an. Book a tour ahead of time so that you make the most of your visit!

Also read : Vegan Tulum Guide: Top Tulum Vegan Restaurants Ranked Visit Xcacel Beach Turtle Sanctuary Cenote Aldea Zama: Tulum’s Secret Free Cenote

Essential Mexico Travel Resources

Have a Mexico trip coming up soon? There are a lot of travel companies out there, but some are better than others. After traveling to dozens of countries and living abroad on several continents, here are some of my favorite websites and resources for planning unforgettable trips.

🗺️ Hotels + Vacation Rentals : I always use this site for hotels. They have an easy-to-use platform and great rewards. When I’m looking for a vacation rental, I compare Vrbo and Airbnb.

💪 Travel Insurance : Travel insurance is essential for any trip! I use SafetyWing , which has affordable rates and coverage for many adventure sports.

🚠 Tours + Activities : Viator (owned by Trip Advisor) is the best site for comparing and booking experiences with local tour operators.

🚗 Car Rentals : Use DiscoverCars , a highly-rated platform for comparing and booking rental cars around the world.

📱 Easy phone plans abroad : Use this company to get an eSIM for phone coverage while traveling—without getting a SIM card or canceling your existing plan (unless you want to!)

🎒 Essentials always in my bag : Check out my ‘ in my bag ‘ page for the items I always have in my carry-on.

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About Annie

Annie is the founder of Your Friend the Nomad and an expert in the digital nomad lifestyle and vegan travel. She's lived abroad in Mexico, Italy, and Palestine, and traveled extensively in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

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laguna tours muyil

January 26, 2024 at 4:33 am

We’re heading to Tulum soon and this looks so fun! Just curious if you’re allowed to bring a dry bag and/or a water bottle on the river float with you?

Also, do you leave your purse/stuff on the boat while you float or do you have to store it somewhere before you get on the boat ride? (I also travel with a lot of water, snacks and a camera everywhere I go and just wondering if you’re allowed to keep that stuff with you or not)

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February 12, 2024 at 2:07 pm

Hi, Karen! You can bring a dry bag (and water) down the river if you’d like. However, I personally left my stuff on the boat which was perfectly fine 🙂

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laguna tours muyil

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🙋 Note for solo travellers : Feel free to contact us, we may have an available spot on dates that are already shown as fully booked on the calendar.

🙋 Nota para los viajeros solitarios : No dudes en contactarnos, es posible que nos quede un espacio disponible en fechas que ya se muestran llenas en el calendario.

Experience the beauty and rich history of the Yucatan Peninsula with our Muyil tour, which combines a visit to a Mayan archaeological site with an ecological adventure in a stunning natural reserve.

As you journey into the jungle, you’ll first arrive at the Muyil Mayan site, where a local guide will lead you through the ancient ruins and share the fascinating history of this mysterious civilization. Walk among the carefully crafted stone buildings and learn about the daily life, religion, and culture of the Mayans.

After exploring the Muyil ruins, you’ll continue on to the breathtaking Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve, home to a diverse array of flora and fauna. Follow an ecological trail and take a boat ride to the Muyil freshwater lagoons, where you can observe the rich ecosystem up close.

As you make your way to the highest Mirador in the reserve, be prepared to be awestruck by the sweeping views of the biosphere. And to truly immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Yucatan, don’t miss the opportunity to float through the ancient canals of Sian Ka’an on a peaceful boat ride.

This Muyil tour is the perfect way to discover the rich history and stunning natural beauty of the Yucatan Peninsula, all while being ecologically conscious and away from the crowds.

  • Mayan ruins, floating activity, boat tour, birds watching.
  • Local certified guides! 🇪🇸 🇬🇧 🇫🇷
  • Ecological adventure!

muyil tour

About the tour

  • Small groups
  • Pickup at your hotel in Tulum

Booking & Payment

To secure your spot on the tour, we require a $50 USD deposit per person at the time of booking. The remaining balance must be paid in cash (USD or Pesos MXN) on the day of the tour. If you need to cancel, you may do so free of charge up to 48 hours before the tour. Your deposit will be refunded in this case.

Please note that all prices on our website are listed in US Dollars (USD).

Children aged 4 to 8 years old qualify for the children’s price.

Pickup and Drop off

Pickup at your hotel or holidays rental around 11:45am in Tulum.

Price Includes

  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Tulum
  • Entrance fees
  • Water, fruits & snacks
  • Certified local guides: English, Spanish, French
  • Vegetarian Lunch

Price Excludes

  • Any Private Expenses

What I should know ?

  • Do not forget to bring biodegradable sunscreen, swimsuit & towel, hat & sunglasses, comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • There are no ATM in the area. Please anticipate your cash withdrawals.

FAQ about our Muyil tour

How can i pay .

To secure your spot on the Muyil tour, a $50 USD deposit per person is required at the time of booking. The remaining balance must be paid in cash (USD or MXN) to the guide on the day of the tour.

What happens if I have to cancel ?

If you need to cancel your booking after paying the deposit, you will receive a full refund as long as you cancel at least 48 hours in advance. Please note that cancellations made within the 48-hour window are not eligible for a refund.

I'm Vegetarian or Vegan, do you have an option for me ?

For sure, the lunch offered during this tour is vegetarian.

Is everything included ?

Everything is included except any private expense and tips (not required, but appreciated).

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I recently took the Muyil tour and it was truly an amazing experience! The Muyil archaeological site was fascinating and our local guide taught us so much about the history and culture of the Mayans. The Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve was equally impressive, with beautiful views of the biosphere and the opportunity to float through the ancient canals. I highly recommend this tour to anyone interested in learning about the Mayans while discovering the beauty of the Yucatan Peninsula.

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The floating trip on the canals is a nice thing to do. We really enjoyed all the comments from the guide at the ruins and during the boat tour. We had an amazing experience today !

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The view from the tower over the jungle is amazing. Thank you to the guide who made our day incredible.

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Great day with a great guide on the boat tour through the mangrove and on the ruins. We loved the floating activity.

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We all loved this tour with a boat ride on the biosphere and the floating activity on the floating canals. Great guide, he explained everything about the mayan culture and history.

laguna tours muyil

Mexico Cenotes and ruins

How to Visit the Muyil Mayan Ruins – The Only Guide You Need

Muyil ruins

Wondering how to Visit the Muyil Mayan Ruins? You are in the right place as in this post we will share everything you must know about this beautiful site.

We will also offer practical tips on how to make the best of your time there and share information that you won’t find anywhere else!

The Muyil ruins are a special place and very different from other archeological sites because here you have the chance to enjoy not only the historical site but the thriving nature surrounding it.

In fact from Muyl ruins, you can have access to the lagoon of Chunyaxché, which is part of the popular Sian Ka’an reserve and biosphere.

Its strategic location allowed Muyil to have a constant connection with the Caribbean sea through the numerous lagoons and canals inside the Sian Kaan Biosphere.

And since Sian Ka’an is one of the most popular places to visit on the Riviera Maya, you can check out the Muyil ruins too while you are there.

But let’s find out more about this little gem so that you can enjoy your visit as much as we do!

muyil-castillo

Table of Contents

SOME HISTORY OF THE MUYIL MAYAN RUINS

Muyil has been an important commercial harbor for a long while and it had the same type of development as its neighbor Coba .

Both cities have been part of a commercial network throughout all the stages of the ancient Mayan civilization.

First, they were affiliated with the Peten cities (south of Mexico and Guatemala) and then with cities such as Mayapan and Chichen in the north of the Peninsula.

For all the great civilizations, the proximity to the sea has been an important factor in their expansion and Muyil was a vital part of the Mayan civilization for that very reason.

The material evidence that has been found about Muyil is dated from the 300 BC to 1450 AD

The way this city influenced the Mayan civilization can be broken down into 3 big stages.

laguna tours muyil

From the Late preclasic (300 – 50 B.C) to the Early Clasic (250 – 600 A.D.)

During this time Muyil had commercial relationship with the north of Belize and south of Quintana Roo.

The dominant arquitectonic style of Muyil is the Peten style as it’s clearly shows in buildings such as El Castillo and the three basements at the entrance.

You will see how you will be able to distinguish the different arquitectonical styles of the old Mayans as you learn. It’s a fascinating and exciting world to discover! 💛

Early postclassic (1000 – 1200 d.C.)

In this time Muyil ends its relationship with the south and it strengthens commercial ties with the interior of the Yucatan Peninsula.

We just want to remind you about the big crisis of the greatest Mayan cities such as Palenque, Calakuml and many others which caused a huge mass migration and the growth of other cities such as Chichen Itza or Mayapan, which created new commercial partnerships with Muyil.

Late postclassic (CHRONOLOGY 50 d.C.),

Most of the buildings that we know now were built in the late postclassic which is also when the city gained great importance as it was included within the coastal commercial networks of the Peninsula.

  • CHRONOLOGY: 300 BC – 1450 AD Middle Preclassic to Late Postclassic
  • APOGEE: Late Preclassic to Late Postclassic 1200 – 1450

phases of the history of the Maya Civilization

Did you know?

✔ The Muyil “Castillo” is it’s tallest building and it’s 12 mt tall (36ft)

✔ There is a 500 mt interpretative trail (Canan Ha) that takes you to the Chunyaxché lagoon, which is inside the Sian Ka’an Reserve and Biosphere (declared in 1986). It’s a great place to learn about the flora and fauna.

✔ Muyil is the most important among the 20 Mayan vestiges within the Sian Ka’an biosphere.

✔ The canals connecting the Sian Ka’an lagoon have been built from the modificados by the Mayan to get to the sea.

muyil ruins

The Mayan architectural style of Tulum Ruins

During the Early Classic, (250-600 d.C) the most important structures, El Castillo and the three basements of Group 3 where built. All these structures are built in Peten style because at that time they had a intense commercial interaction with the Peten region in the south.

Meaning of Muyil

The original name of this site is unknown. Muyil is the name given from the Colonial times and comes from the name of one of the nearby lagoon. It’s also known as Chunyaxché, which is the other nearby lagoon.

muyil lagoon

HOW TO GET TO MUYIL

From Cancún you need to get on the Federal Highway 307 that runs along the caribean coast all the way to chetumal in the South of Mexico. Muyil is located 25 km south of Tulum.

The site is located right on the highway. You cannot miss it.

STATE:  Quintana Roo, Mexico

how to get muyil

How to get Muyil by car

Getting to Muyil by car is very easy. Coming from Tulum on the way to Chetumal on Federal HIghway 307 you will find Muyil, 25 km from Tulum.

Signs are all over the highway and you cannot miss it.

There is a parking lot right in front of the entrance.

➣ When renting a car in Mexico we recommend Discover Cars because on their website you can compare different companies and their prices and you can choose between their car insurance or the ones offered by the car rental directly, or both.

How to get Muyil by local bus

Local minivans ( also called combis or colectivos) leave from the center of Muyil. You need to catch those that go in the direction of Felipe Carrillo Puerto.

Keep in mind that these minivans don’t allow to take a lot of bags with you. Ask them to let you out a the Muyil entrance. Cost is 20 MXN.

To get back to Tulum, you just need to wait on the highway for a van to pass by. Just hail and if they have an available seat they will stop for you.

How to get Muyil by bicycle

In Tulum they rent bicycles at around 150 MXN per day or scooters. If you are used to good exercising you can go by bike, but if you are not used to it we wouldn’t recommend it.

Always bring water with you in any case, because it’s going to be hot, not matter what time of the day or the year you are going.

From May through October it’s even hotter and more humid. 😉

How to get Muyil by taxi

From Tulum you can grab a taxi as well. Just keep in mind that all taxi drivers need to show you the official rates.

If you want them to wait for you or to come back to pick you up you need to negotiate a rate.

For waiting time there are no fixed fares, so that depends on how much the taxi driver wants to charge.

muyil ruins mexico

MUYIL MAP & THE CANAN-HÁ PATH TO THE BIOSPHERE RESERVE OF SIAN KA’AN

Muyil ruins are very small and a well marked path will lead you to all the structures.

The most iconic site is the 12 mt tall El Castillo.

Then you have a small group of basements scattered around a thick jungle further down the path (the buildings with numbers 8 and 9 on the map). Don’t miss them.

map muyil ruins

Once you pass the Castillo you will see the path that will take you to the lagoon. You will need to pay an extra fee to get to the Lagoon since it belongs to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere.

muyil map

On this map you will see the Canan-Ha pathway that connects the Muyil site to the Muyil lagoon in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere.

It’s an interpretative trail with different descriptive signs about the local flora and fauna and a lookout tower where you can enjoy incredible views of Sian Ka’an.

Once you are on the lagoon you will see the boats they use for the tours in Sian Ka’an. 

muyil ruins mexico

TOURS ON THE LAGOON

You have two types of tours, the long one that lasts 5 hours and the shorter one of 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The majority of the people choose the first one that takes you through the canals up to the floating rivers where you swim with the current.

The long one will take you all the way to Boca Paila, where the lagoon meets the sea.

Sian-kaan canal - boat

Things you should know about these tours:

✔ The boats are not allowed to have overheads because it would damage the mangroves as the canals are very narrow.

✔ It’s recommendable to use rash guards to protect you from the sun instead of the sunscreen even if your sunscreen is eco-friendly.

✔ make sure you use a hat that is securely fastened or the wind will easily blow it off.

✔ the boats can take a maximum of 6 people.

Check out the below suggested tours to Muyil and Sian ka’an Biosphere

Practical information.

As usual here some practical information to make your trip easier 🛺🌎

✔ parking lot

✔ sanitarios 

✔ sitting area

Muyil opening hours

From 9 am to 3 pm every day. Last access at 3 pm

Muyil entrance fee

70 MXN per person.

70 MXN if you pay the entrance at the Sian Kaan reserve and walk the trail.

✔ On Sundays, the entrance is free for Mexican and foreigners with permanent residence. 

✔ Access to the Mayan ruins is open every day for kids up to 12 years old, students, teachers, and seniors (must show ID).

✔ Parking is free. 

FREE ENTRY TO MUYIL FOR: Mexicans  •Over 60 years old (with official ID) •Retired and pensioners (with official institution credential) •Teachers and students (with an official credential from the Mexican Educational System) •Children up to 12 years old •Researchers and interns (with INAH permission)

Mexicans and foreigners  • People with Disabilities

Tips for visiting Muyil

✅ Use comfortable light clothing and shoes. 

✅ Being close to the Riviera Maya it can be crowded, but not at the level of Tulum or Cobá. If you go early you will be alone.

✅ Bring a bottle of water but keep in mind that you cannot walk in with food or alcoholic drinks.

✅ Big backpacks are not permitted. There are no lockers

✅ You can hire a certified guide at the entrance

How much time do you need to visit Muyil ?

One hour is more than enough. If you walk along the trail add another half and hour.

INSIDER TIPS Walk the 500 mt Canan-Há path all the way to the Muyil lagoon. There you can buy a boat tour t the canals in the lagoons of the Sian Ka’an biosphere.

muyil ruins sian kaan

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE ABOUT MUYIL RUINS

From May to November mosquitos can be really annoying, sometimes unbearable, so make sure you are well protected against them.

WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT MUYIL RUINS

Without a doubt we love the perfect combination of natural and cultural experience that Muyil offers thanks to the interpretative path that takes you to the Muyil lagoon. Also we appreciate the opportunity to do tours to the Sian Ka’an biosphere.

THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MUYIL RUINS

We canot stress enough how amazing is the opportunity to combine the visit of the Muyil archeological site with Sian Ka’an biosphere. We love it!

muyil ruins sian kaan

WHAT YOU CAN VISIT NEARBY

➡️ Cenote Cristal y cenote Escondido 19 km/ 12 miles

➡️ Laguna Kaan luum 13 km/ 8 miles

➡️ Cenote Corazón 16 km/ 10 miles

➡️ Tulum ruins 28 km/ 17 miles

➡️ Playa Paraiso Tulum 28 km/ 17 miles

➡️Tankah Bay 30 km/ 18.6 miles

MUYIL RUINS FAQ

Can you climb muyil.

It is not allowed to climb the Castillo. However, you can climb other smaller structures.

How to visit Muyil?

You can visit Muyil either on your own or on a tour.

How far are Muyil ruins from Tulum?

The Tulum ruins are located only 28 kilometers from the Muyil ruins. 30 minutes by car.

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Paradise Experience Tours

Muyil Ruins And Sian Ka’An River Experience

( PRIVATE TOUR ) Muyil Ruins And Sian Ka’An River Experience

Adults: Adults $189.00 dollars

Kids: kids ages 4 to 9 pay $ 129.00 dollars

Description

  • Reviews (0)

If you want to truly dive into the Mayan culture, you absolutely need to book our tour of the Muyil Ruins. We are combining the Muyil ruins with a boat tour in the Sian Kaan reserve, including the floating through the mayan canals.

Muyil ruins are one of the oldest Mayan sites in the area and contains natural artifacts dating back 4th Century BC. This area showcases the need for survival in the Mayan culture as it includes canals the Mayans used to connect this inland city to the coast. This was prominent as it allowed for trade to occur!

After you have become engulfed in the culture, our experienced guide will take you walking through the jungle and mangrove to the lagoon.

In order to allow you to have an even more memorable time, once arrived at the lagoons of the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve, our tour allows for our patrons to experience a private boat tour of the reserve’s lagoons and a visit to another small Mayan temple.

Translating to “where the sky is born,” Sian Kaan is one of the area’s most beautiful landscapes. The biosphere is now known for its diverse vegetation and wildlife. We will also get into the water and float in one of the canals to get cooler, and this is actually quite fun as the current swims for you!

From historical ruins to natural biospheres, we provide the best excursions in the area. We look forward to taking you on an Absolute Adventure!

Our tours are scheduled at the best hours to avoid high traffic and heat on the sites. 07:30am: Private transportation from your hotel to Punta Laguna 09:00am – 11:00am: Sian Kaan boat tour and river float 11:00am – 12:30pm: Muyil ruins visit 12:30pm – 01:00pm: Transportation 01:00pm – 02:00pm: Lunch in a restaurant 02:00pm – 03:30pm: Transportation to your hotel

Itinerary is based on a departure from Playa del Carmen. Pick up time is recommended time to avoid the crowds. We can leave later if you want to.

1)Pick up and drop off at your hotel with private air-conditioned transportation

2)Experienced certified private guide all day long

3)All entrance fees

4)Private boat tour

5)Life jackets

6)Cool drinks in the van (waters, sodas)

7)Your guide will show you where to take the best pictures and will be happy to help to take you in photo with your camera or phone!

What to bring:

Swimsuit and beach towel Comfortable shoes and light clothes to visit the ruins Flip flops or water shoes for swimming activities Hat or cap and sunglasses Biodegradable sunscreen Biodegradable mosquito repellent Camera/Underwater camera Cash for souvenirs/tips

You can bring personal belongings you require during the tour (phone, camera, extra set of clothes…). While you are visiting or snorkeling you can leave the things you don’t need in the van. Our driver will always be in the van, so keeping your things safe!

What is included:

Guide Private transport Admission tickets Boat ride in to the laggon Lunch (beach) Waters Snack

Swimwear and towels Comfortable tennis and light clothing to visit the ruins Sandals or water shoes for water activities Hat or cap and dark glasses Biodegradable 🌿 sunblock Biodegradable repellent for mosquitoes Camera / waterprof camera Cash for souvenirs / tips

$189.00 dollars per Adult

Kids 4 to 9 pay $129.00 Dollars 12

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></center></p><h2>A Guide to the Muyil Ruins in Tulum</h2><p><center><img style=

Overshadowed by its bigger brother at the Zona Arqueológica de Tulum , the Muyil Ruins just 15 kilometers south of Tulum is a fantastic spot for any history or Mayan buff, not to be overlooked.

Technically connected to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve , the site’s Mayan name is actually Chunyaxché and is surrounded by a wonderful lush jungle with not many tourists, creating a peaceful, mystical environment.

The ancient settlement is one of the earliest and longest-lasting Maya sites on the Yucatan peninsula, stretching over a stunning 38 hectares throughout the jungle. The earliest objects and artifacts found here have been dated to 350 BC and as recent as 1500 AD.

Muyil ruins, Tulum

The Muyil ruins are considered Peten architecture: steep-walled pyramids and buildings commonly found in the southern Yucatan with other famous sites being Tikal in Guatemala. There are still many buildings and ruins yet to be excavated. The main pyramid or ‘Castillo” of the Muyil ruins is an impressive 57 feet high.

What to See at the Muyil Ruins

While the ancient Muyil Ruins are actually a large site, most of it is still buried within the dense jungle and has yet to be uncovered. The actual area you’re allowed to visit and what’s open to the public is quite small.

laguna tours muyil

The main attraction at the Muyil Ruins is el Castillo, the large 57-foot steep pyramid in the middle of the complex, looming over the rest of the area. There is also a hidden pathway behind el Castillo that meanders through the jungle and eventually ends up at Laguna de Muyil.

For an extra 50 pesos, you can enter this path and on the way, you’ll see wonderful fauna and flora such as monkeys, deer, foxes, and hundreds of species of birds. You are now essentially in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

There is also the El Mirador Sian Ka’an or observation tower in the jungle that you shouldn’t miss the chance to climb. It overlooks the entire area, providing fantastic views of the laguna and the Muyil ruins.

It’s a difficult, steep climb but definitely worth it in our view. If you’re planning on seeing everything including the ruins, laguna, and biosphere reserve, you should plan on staying for a least 2-3 hours.

laguna tours muyil

How to Get to the Muyil Ruins

The best way to get to the Muyil Ruins is by renting your own car, heading south down highway 307, and turning left off the highway when you see the sign for the entrance. We always feel like this is the best way to travel as you get to go at your own pace and stop at smaller sights you may find interesting along the way.

Like most other tourist attractions surrounding Tulum, it’s also possible to get here with public transportation or ‘colectivos’. You can find the minivans in the center of Tulum, and just take the one going to Felipe Carrillo and they will drop you off right in front of the entrance, but the ride can take up to an hour.

Of course, there are also tours that you can take, most of the tours to the Muyil ruins also include visiting the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and the Kaan Luum Lagoon , so we’d recommend taking a tour if you’re planning on visiting these sites anyway.

Entrance Fee and Hours of the Muyil Ruins

The entrance fee to the Muyil Ruins is 65 pesos per person and is open from 9 am to 3 pm every day with a free toilet on site. If you want to visit El Mirador Sian Ka’an and the Laguna de Muyil that will be an extra 50 pesos per person, but worth it in our view.

Muyil Ruins Tips & Advice

If you’re planning a visit to the Muyil Ruins in Tulum, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

– Wear comfortable, lightweight clothing and shoes.

– The crowds aren’t as intense as they are at Tulum or Cobá ruins. To avoid crowds altogether, try to arrive early, like around 9 am and not on weekends.

– You can grab a certified guide at the entrance to enhance your experience and learn more about the history of the ruins.

– Don’t forget to bring a water bottle, mosquito spray and sunscreen! Outside food or alcoholic drinks aren’t allowed.

– Large backpacks aren’t permitted, and there are no lockers available.

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Muyil ruins, Kaan Luum Lagoon and Cenote

PRIVATE TOUR: Private visit of Muyil ruins, relaxing time at Kaan Luum lagoon and cenote Corazon. With a Mexican lunch in Tulum. 

  • Pick up and drop off at your hotel with private air-conditioned transportation
  • Experienced certified private guide
  • All entrance fees
  • High quality snorkel gear
  • Cool drinks in the van (waters, soda)
  • Lunch with one main course a la carte

NB: this tour doesn’t include the floating river, only Muyil mayan ruins.

Scroll down for all information & itinerary.

muyil mayan ruins

Seamless Booking & Free Cancellation

Book your tour now and if your plans happen to change, you can cancel for free up to 24 hours prior to the tour!

  • Number of adults 2 adults (196 USD per person) 3 adults (190 USD per person) 4 adults (179 USD per person) 5 adults (169 USD per person) 6 adults (169 USD per person) 7 adults (165 USD per person) 8 adults (165 USD per person) 9 adults (165 USD per person) 10 adults (155 USD per person) 11 adults (155 USD per person) 12 adults (155 USD per person) 13 adults (155 USD per person) 14 adults (155 USD per person) 15 adults (155 USD per person) 16 adults (155 USD per person) 17 adults (155 USD per person) 18 adults (155 USD per person) 19 adults (155 USD per person) 20 adults (155 USD per person) Total for adults USD

For larger groups, contact us.

  • 0 1 kid (155 USD per kid) 2 kids (155 USD per kid) 3 kids (155 USD per kid) 4 kids (155 USD per kid) 5 kids (155 USD per kid) 6 kids (155 USD per kid) 7 kids (155 USD per kid) 8 kids (155 USD per kid) 9 kids (155 USD per kid) 10 kids (155 USD per kid) Total for kids USD
  • 0 1 kid (50 USD per kid) 2 kids (50 USD per kid) 3 kids (50 USD per kid) 4 kids (50 USD per kid) 5 kids (50 USD per kid) 6 kids (50 USD per kid) Total for kids USD
  • 0 1 infant 2 infants 3 infants 4 infants 5 infants 6 infants Total for kids USD
  • Select your hotel Not on the list Condo / Rental ACANTO HOTEL & SUITES AHAU TULUM AKUMAL BAY – BEACH &WELLNESS RESORT AKUMAL CARIBE ALDEA THAI LUXURY HOTEL ALL RITMO ALLEGRO PLAYACAR ALOFT CANCUN ALOFT PLAYA DEL CARMEN ALOFT TULUM AMANSALA ANA Y JOSE ANDAZ MAYAKOBA AQUAMARINA BEACH ARTISAN THE HANDMADE AZUL BEACH RIVIERA CANCUN AZUL SENSATORI AZULIK BANYAN TREE MAYAKOBA BARCELO COSTA CANCUN BARCELO MAYA BEACH BARCELO MAYA CARIBE BARCELO MAYA COLONIAL BARCELO MAYA PALACE BARCELO MAYA TROPICAL BARCELO RIVIERA MAYA BARCELO TUCANCUN BEACH BARDO TULUM BAY VIEW PUERTO FINO BE PLAYA BE TULUM BEACH PALACE BEACH SCAPE KIN HA BELMONT MAROMA BLUE BAY GRAND ESMERALDA BLUE DIAMOND BREATHLESS RIVIERA CANCUN BSEA CANCUN PLAZA HOTEL CABANAS COPAL CABANAS LA LUNA CABANAS PLAYA CONDESA CABANAS TULUM CALALUNA CALETA TANKAH HOTEL CANCUN BAY RESORT CARMEN HOTEL CASA MAGNA MARRIOTT CASA MIRAMAR CASA VIOLETA CATALONIA PLAYA MAROMA CATALONIA RIVIERA MAYA CATALONIA ROYAL TULUM CATALONIA YUCATAN BEACH CHABLE MAROMA CHAN CABANAS CLUB MED COCO LIMITED TULUM COCO TULUM CONRAD TULUM COPAL TULUM HOTEL COQUI COQUI CORAL IBEROSTAR CANCUN COZUMEL HOTELS – PLAYA DEL CARMEN PIER CROWN PARADISE CLUB DELEK TULUM DESIRE PEARL RIVIERA MAYA DIAMANTE K DON DIEGO DE LA SELVA DREAMS JADE RESORT & SPA DREAMS NATURA DREAMS PUERTO AVENTURAS DREAMS RIVIERA CANCUN RESORT &SPA DREAMS SANDS CANCUN RESORT &SPA DREAMS SAPPHIRE RESORT & SPA DREAMS TULUM DREAMS VISTA CANCUN EL DORADO MAROMA EL DORADO ROYALE EL DORADO SEASIDE EL PARAISO EL PEZ EL TAJ EMPORIO CANCUN ENCANTADA TULUM ESCENCIA EXCELLENCE RIVIERA CANCUN FAIRMONT MAYAKOBA FIESTA AMERICANA CONDESA FIESTA AMERICANA VILLAS CANCUN FLAMINGO CANCUN RESORT FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON GENERATIONS RIVIERA MAYA GOLDEN PARNASSUS GR CARIBE BY SOLARIS DELUXE GRAN PARK ROYAL GRAN PORTO REAL GRAND BAHIA PRINCIPE AKUMAL GRAND BAHIA PRINCIPE COBA GRAND BAHIA PRINCIPE SIAN KAAN GRAND BAHIA PRINCIPE TULUM GRAND CARIBE REAL GRAND FIESTA AMERICA CORAL BEACH GRAND HYATT GRAND LUXXE RIVIERA MAYA GRAND OASIS CANCUN GRAND OASIS PALM GRAND OASIS SENS GRAND PALLADIUM COLONIAL GRAND PALLADIUM KANTENAH GRAND PALLADIUM RIVIERA MAYA GRAND PALLADIUM WHITE SAND GRAND RIVIERA PRINCESS GRAND SIRENIS GRAND SUNSET PRINCESS GRAND VELAS HABITAS TULUM HACIENDA TRES RIOS HARD ROCK CANCUN HARD ROCK HEAVEN HARD ROCK HOTEL RIVIERA HAVEN RIVIERA CANCUN HIDDEN BEACH RESORT PUERTO AVENTURAS HILTON CANCUN HILTON PLAYA HILTON TULUM HIP HOTEL HM HOTEL PLAYA DEL CARMEN HOTEL CASA TURQUESA HOTEL PALLADIUM HOTELITO AZUL TULUM HYATT ZIVA HYATT ZIVA RIVIERA CANCUN HYATT ZYLARA IBEROSTAR CANCUN IBEROSTAR GRAND HOTEL PARAISO IBEROSTAR PARAISO BEACH IBEROSTAR PARAISO DEL MAR IBEROSTAR PARAISO LINDO IBEROSTAR PARAISO MAYA IBEROSTAR QUETZAL IBEROSTAR TUCAN ISLA MUJERES – PUERTO JUAREZ JASHITA JW MARRIOTT KANAN TULUM KIMPTON ALUNA TULUM KORE TULUM KRYSTAL CANCUN KRYSTAL GRAND LA VALISE LA ZEBRA LAS CASITAS AKUMAL LE BLANC LIVE AQUA CANCUN LIVE AQUA PLAYA DEL CARMEN LUNA MAYA HOTEL LUV TULUM MA’XANAB TULUM MAGIC BLUE MAHEKAL BEACH MARIA DEL MAR MARINA EL CID SPA & BEACH RESORT MARRIOT CANCUN RESORT MAYA TULUM MAYAN PALACE MEZZANINE MI AMOR MOON PALACE MOTTO BY HILTON TULUM NAALA TULUM NIZUC RESORT & SPA NOMADE NOW ESMERALD CANCUN NYX CANCUN OASIS CANCUN LITE OASIS PALM OCCIDENTAL COSTA CANCUN OCEAN CORAL & TURQUESA OCEAN MAYA ROYALE H10 OCEAN RIVIERA PARADISE OCEAN SPA HOTEL OCEAN VIEW CANCUN ARENAS OLEO CANCUN PLAYA CANCUN OMNI CANCUN OMNI PUERTO AVENTURAS BEACH RESORT PAL MAR TULUM PANCHO VILLA PAPAYA PLAYA PARADISUS CANCUN PARADISUS ESMERALDA PARADISUS LA PERLA PETIT LAFITTE PIEDRA ESCONDIDA PLATINUM YUCATAN PRINCESS PLAYA CANEK BEACHFRONT TULUM PLAYACAR PALACE PLAZA CARIBE POSADA LAMAR POSADA PUNTA PIEDRA PRESIDENTE INTERCONTINENTAL PURE MAREAZUL RIVIERA MAYA RENAISSANCE CANCUN RESORT & MARINA RESIDENCE INN BY MARRIOTT PLAYA DEL CARMEN RESIDENCE INN CANCUN RIU CANCUN RIU CARIBE RIU LUPITA RIU PALACE LAS AMERICAS RIU PALACE MEXICO RIU PALACE PENINSULA RIU PALACE RIVIERA MAYA RIU PLAYACAR RIU TEQUILA RIU YUCATAN ROSA DEL VIENTO ROSEWOOD MAYAKOBA ROYAL HIDEAWAY ROYAL SOLARIS ROYAL SUNSET ROYAL UNO CANCUN ROYALTON CHIC ROYALTON RIVIERA CANCUN ROYALTON SUITES CANCUN SANARA TULUM SANDOS CANCUN SANDOS CARACOL SANDOS PLAYACAR SECRETS AKUMAL SECRETS CAPRI SECRETS MAROMA BEACH SECRETS MOXCHE SECRETS SILVERSANDS RIVIERA CANCUN SECRETS THE VINE CANCUN SENSES RIVIERA MAYA BY ARTISAN SENSIRA RESORTS & SPA RIVIERA MAYA SHAMBALA PETIT HOTEL SIAN KAAN AT GRAND TULUM SOHO HOTEL SOLYMAR SUENOS TULUM SUN PALACE SUNSCAPE AKUMAL BEACH RESORT TEMPTATION CANCUN RESORT THE BLISS AT VIDANTA RIVIERA MAYA THE BRIC HOTEL THE FISHERMENS VILLAGE THE FIVES DOWNTOWN BY HILTON THE FIVES OCEAN FRONT PUERTO MORELOS THE FIVES RESIDENCES PLAYA DEL CARMEN THE GRAND MAYAN VIDANTA THE PALMS THE REEF 28 THE REEF COCO BEACH THE REEF MARINA PLAYACAR THE RITZ CARLTON THE ROYAL CANCUN THE ROYAL CARIBBEAN THE ROYAL HACIENDAS THE ROYAL ISLANDER THE ROYAL PLAYA THE ROYAL SANDS THOMPSON PLAYA DEL CARMEN TROPICALITO TULUM TRS YUCATAN TULUM VILLAS TUNICH UNA VIDA TULUM UNICO 20N 87W VALENTIN IMPERIAL MAYA VENTUS HA AT MARINA EL CID VENTUS MARINA EL CID VICEROY RIVIERA MAYA VIDANTA VILLA PESCADORES VILLAS AKUMAL VIVA WYNDHAM AZTECA VIVA WYNDHAM MAYA WESTIN LAGUNAMAR WESTIN REGINA WESTIN RESORT & SPA CANCUN WYNDHAM ALLTRA CANCUN WYNDHAM ALLTRA PLAYA DEL CARMEN XCARET ARTE XCARET MEXICO XCARET OCCIDENTAL XSCAPE TULUM ZAMAS HOTEL ZAZIL KIN ZOETRY PARAISO DE LA BONITA ZULUM Additional fee for this hotel:
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We advise 06:30am from your hotel.

We advise 06:45am from your hotel.

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We advise 07:30 from your hotel.

We advise 07:30am from your hotel.

We advise 07:45am from your hotel.

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Muyil ruins, Kaan Luum Lagoon & Cenote

If you’re exploring the Riviera Maya, one of the most incredible tours combines the Mayan ruins at Muyil with a visit to Kaan Luum Lagoon and the opportunity to snorkel in a pristine cenote. It’s three incredible experiences bundled into one private tour!

Muyil Ruins and El Castillo

Nestled within the verdant jungles of the Riviera Maya, Muyil ruins boast the striking presence of the unique pyramid, El Castillo. The site’s strategic location along ancient trade routes adds to its historical significance, providing insights into Mayan commerce and culture. Visiting Muyil ruins promises a fascinating journey through time, offering a deeper understanding of the rich heritage of the region.

Kaan Luum Lagoon

The picturesque Laguna Kaan Luum features a shallow lagoon with stunning turquoise waters. In its center lies a deep cenote (the source of the fresh water) marked by an area of darker water. With a sandy bottom along the shoreline, the fresh water ranges mostly from knee to shoulder depth, while the deep center of the cenote is designated off-limits for swimming. You can relax beneath the shady palapa or stroll along the pier and take a refreshing dip in the lagoon. We’ll even provide floating airbeds so you can kick back and soak in the tranquility of the waters. It’s simply stunning!

Cenote experience and Lunch in Tulum!

The final stop of this incredible Muyil Tour includes a stop at Cenote Corazon. As you snorkel and swim, swim into the crystal-clear waters to marvel at the breathtaking rock formations. Once you’ve had your fill of the refreshing cenote swim, you’ll be ready for a delicious lunch and drinks at a typical Mexican restaurant in Tulum center.

Note: This tour does not feature the floating river experience in Muyil-Sian Kaan.

  • Private Tour: Only you, the guide and the driver, nobody else!
  • Duration:  8/9 hours
  • Physicality:  Easy
  • Age:  All ages
  • Snorkeling:  Basic swimming skills required. This excursion suits everyone from novices to experts.
  • Which cenote will you visit? We will bring you to Laguna Kaan Luum and Cenote Corazon .
  • What’s on the menu? Selection of quesadillas, tacos,fajitas, grilled chicken, grilled fish … with vegetarian, fish, shrimp, chicken & meat options. With corn or flour tortillas. We can accommodate special diets and allergies, just let us know!
  • Mobility:  We can adapt this tour for people with disability.
  • Pick up and drop off at your hotel with private air-conditioned transportation (Booster car seat and baby car seat available on request)
  • Lunch in a restaurant with one main course a la carte

Price excludes

  • Ruins: In case you bring a go pro camera, a video camera or a phone with a selfie stick, there is a 50 pesos (less than 3USD) per device charged at the entrance of each archeological site, to be paid in pesos (INAH tax) – Drones and Tripods for video/cameras are forbidden.
  • Laguna Kaan Luum: You are allowed to bring your drone; however, there is an obligatory fee to be paid at the entrance (cash only).
  • Drinks at the restaurant

Our tours are scheduled at the best hours to avoid high traffic and heat on the sites.

07:00am: Private transportation from your hotel to Muyil 08:30am – 09:30am: Visit of Muyil ruins 09:30am – 09:45am: Transportation 09:45am – 11:00am: Swim at Kaan Luum Lagoon 11:00am – 11:10am: Transportation 11:10pm – 12:00pm: Snorkeling in cenote Corazon 12:00pm – 01:00pm: Lunch at a local restaurant 01:00pm – 02:30pm: Transportation to your hotel

Itinerary is based on a departure from Playa del Carmen. Pick up time is recommended time to avoid the crowds. We can leave later if you want to.

  • Beach Towels
  • Swimsuit (We recommend wearing it in the morning and feel free to change after snorkeling activities)
  • Comfortable shoes for the ruins (We recommend tennis shoes)
  • Flip flops or sandals for water activities (Water shoes are optional but can be worn for added comfort)
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Sunscreen and we recommend wearing a rash-guard/UV-Shirt for water activities*
  • Mosquito repellent*
  • Cash (for tour payment, tips, souvenirs…)
  • Camera/Underwater camera/Waterproof case for your phone

  * It is forbidden to apply sunblock and repellent before swimming or snorkeling activities to prevent water pollution in the cenotes and preserve the lagoon, even if they are biodegradable products. Compliance with this rule is essential for the protection of the environment.   You can bring personal belongings you require during the tour (phone, camera, extra set of clothes…). While you are visiting or snorkeling you can leave the things you don’t need in the van. Our driver will always be in the van, so keeping your things safe!

3 reviews for Muyil ruins, Kaan Luum Lagoon and Cenote

Ali – February 16, 2024

Juan led us on an incredible tour that we thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend his guidance.

Magali – February 8, 2024

We just got back from doing that Muyil Tour. The whole thing was awesome, it was totally worth it. The lagoon and cenote were beautiful. Big thanks to our guide, they did a great job showing us around. I would definitely recommend checking it out. Five stars for sure!

Melissa – December 15, 2023

Our tour with Arturo was absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend it.

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Muyil Ruins Tour (Private, Half Day)

laguna tours muyil

  • Bottled water
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • All Fees and Taxes
  • Entry/Admission - Zona Arqueológica de Muyil
  • For this tour we pickup from all locations in Tulum and Akumal, and also Playa del Carmen.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
  • Zona Arqueológica de Muyil

Similar experiences

laguna tours muyil

  • You'll get picked up See departure details
  • 1 Zona Arqueologica de Muyil Stop: 3 hours - Admission included After pickup, our federally licensed tour guide will drive you to the Muyil Ruins located in the beautiful Sian Ka'an Biosphere which is about a 20 minute drive south of Tulum. You will then enjoy a guided tour throughout the amazing Muyil Ruins where you will learn many interesting facts about the ancient Mayan civilization that once thrived in this area. Throughout the tour you will see many different species of animals in the jungle landscape such as butterflies, birds, melipona bees, and if you're lucky maybe even some wild monkeys in the trees! Read more
  • You'll return to the starting point

laguna tours muyil

  • Traveler15469945916 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Such a great experience! We had a fantastic time with Rodrigo! He was super knowledgeable! We learned so much about Mayan history. Great experience and itinerary! Rodrigo is the best! Read more Written March 26, 2024
  • Laura H 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Excellent guide Rodrigo Extremely informative Good fun wonderful host who taught us so much Rodrigo was excellent highly recommend x for the geeks who love facts x Read more Written March 18, 2024
  • I7070EZjonathanm 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Rodrigo was awesome, would book again! We booked a private tour to Chichen Itza and the Coba Ruins with Rodrigo and thoroughly enjoyed it! Rodrigo was friendly, knowledgeable, and had all of the details covered, from snacks, to water (we highly recommend packing more if you're not used to hot weather), and visual aids to accompany the tour. We spent a full day visiting the two sites and learned an incredible amount about Mayan history, their culture, belief systems, and the ruins/remains themselves. In addition to providing an educational experience, Rodrigo helped us get some fantastic photos to remember our journey by! We would definitely book another tour with Yucatan Eli again in the future. Read more Written March 15, 2024
  • J2326WUsusang 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles The Best Day with Elis Eli made sure that we got there early and we were the only tour floating down the canal. It was heaven. A spoonbill flew over, there were flowers and waving grasses and of course, Eli! It was all heavenly. We got out of the water and walked about a mile on the boardwalk in quiet beauty. After that, we went to the beautiful ruins at Muyil. Eli knows everything. It was fascinating. As we were driving out, Eli spied (don't ask me how he saw it......but he did,) a turquoise-browed motmot. He said that it was rare to see them where we were - usually are seen in the underground cenotes. Way cool. We then went to eat at a fabulous local restaurant, Suspire, for the most delicious meal. Eli is so knowledgeable in the most engaging way. We lucked out. Read more Written March 15, 2024
  • sailorwc 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Great Family Coba Tour We had the most amazing tour with Nelson at Coba! We did the private half day tour and it was great! Nelson was so knowledgeable about the Mayan history and was very engaging. Even our 18 & 16 year old boys loved the tour:) Plus, he picked the best spots for photos. We also stopped for a quick bite on the way back to the hotel as we were all a little hungry and had the best tacos of our entire trip! So glad we booked with Yucatán Eli! Definitely recommend it. Read more Written March 14, 2024
  • aaronmP1201QV 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Great experience! We had a really great time with Eli. We found him to be personable and knowledgeable of the wildlife and area. Our goal for the tour was to see monkeys and he, along with our park guide, made sure we saw monkeys. We were also taken to a great place to have lunch and Eli pointed out the ruins which our party ended up visiting the next day. Read more Written March 10, 2024
  • luisexplorer2021 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Simply the best tour.. We wanted to explore the incredible Mayan ruins with a guided tour. Our hotel had its own operator but it seemed unreasonably expensive. After some research and thanks to Tripadvisor, we found Eli! Omg, thank God we did! We booked a private Tulum, Coba and Cenote tour with his agency. Communication is excellent. Derek is super attentive and provides all information you may need. We were able to tweak the itinerary of our tour as we wanted, following Eli's recommendations (which are just on point). His cars are comfortable, provides snack and a delicious lunch in a local restaurant. Btw, definitely some of the best cochinita I have tried. More than anything, Eli is a nice, genuine, knowledgeable, and kind person, who loves his job and his culture. He will provide you with a true story about Mayan civilization. It is a personal and relatable experience. Do not hesitate to book your private tour with Yucatan Eli. Simply the best tour... Can't wait to come back again! Read more Written March 9, 2024
  • mathieugO3840PK 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Touring Coba ruins 100% would recommend. Tour guide was very friendly and made the trip a great time. Our guide Rodrigo was very knowledgeable of the area and gave us a great understanding of the area and its history. He took lots of great photos for us as well. Definitely worth while. Read more Written March 7, 2024
  • I5213OIpatrickh 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Eli and Rodrigo are awesome! My girlfriend and I recently visited the Tulum area in February, 2024. We ended up taking two tours with these guys, the Tulum ruins private tour and the Pet Cemetery cenote swim. Both were absolutely amazing. Eli and Rodrigo accompanied the two of us on the Tulum ruins tour and gave an exceptional history lesson and so much more information than I expected. Both were incredibly friendly, took care of every aspect of the trip, and even brought water and snacks for us. We liked the tour so much that we went on another excursion just two days later! The Pet Cemetery cenote was absolutely stunning, Rodrigo took us on a snorkeling tour, where he showed us around the large caverns for more than two hours, until we were ready to go. My girlfriend and I wanted to go to a cenote and expected to swim around for a few minutes and leave, I never expected to have such an incredible experience as Rodrigo gave us. I cannot recommend this company enough if you are in the Tulum area. At no point during either tour did I feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable or like we would have rather spent our money somewhere else. I hope to see Eli and Rodrigo again sometime soon! Read more Written March 6, 2024
  • Patricia0703 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Well worth the money! Nelson was a very knowledgeable guide. He taught us so much about the Mayan culture, history, astronomy, symbolism, etc. We never would have appreciated the ruins as much without his guidance. We are so happy that we decided to hire Yucatan Eli's Tours. Read more Written March 5, 2024
  • carinjr70 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Great Tour! Definitely everyone visiting the Tulum area, should take this tour. The place is amazing and full of history. Our tour guide Nelson was very well informed and attentive with us. Read more Written February 29, 2024
  • mattrU5586DQ 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Great experience The tour was amazing! We learned a lot of the history and had plenty of great photo spots. Our tour guide Rodrigo was excellent and really knowledgeable. Read more Written February 25, 2024
  • shellieshellz 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Amazing & Efficient We had an amazing tour with Eli. He hit all of the key points and we learned a lot about the history of the Mayans from this tour. He didn’t make us feel rushed and was super efficient with his timing. We avoided all of the crowds, took amazing photos, and had a delicious lunch in between. We would recommend this tour to anyone wishing to learn more about the Mayan culture!!! We had a blast! Read more Written February 25, 2024
  • kellil264 0 contributions 4.0 of 5 bubbles Be Careful in the market’s Cantinas! The bus ride and tour of Tulum were excellent. Our guide was very knowledgeable and didn’t let me get suckered in to paying for a picture with the locals with their monkeys, parrots, and iguanas…. Because they totally price gouge the tourists!! After the tour, I walked around the ruins, people & iguana watching; taking pictures of the beautiful ruins and vistas. And, when done…. Walked back out of the park. Alright… it was hot and I was ready for lunch. In the middle of market area, I exchanged some USD$50 for lunch… thinking that was more than enough for tacos and a mojito. Wrong!! I ordered tacos, a margarita and the served asked if I wanted guacamole, I obliged! Little did I know, the guacamole was another $15+ usd, and my bill came to $890 pesos, I exchanged $50 usd for $810 pesos!! Omg! … I ordered tacos and 1 margarita. They charged for the guacamole!! Server said … go and get more money!! I said …. I ordered tacos!!! How much are tacos?! He showed me the bill and the menu, they charge more for guacamole… I was not happy, ridiculous when avocados are $.50 usd at selecto! Anyway, I felt I was being squeezed, I don’t mind paying my fair share but $50 USD for tacos, a margarita and guacamole is outrageous! The margarita was equivalent to $23 USD —- more than NYC prices. Food was good, but not at those prices. Make sure you’re really hungry and thirsty if you want to eat & have a cocktail here! Read more Written February 25, 2024
  • janicecd 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Amazing Adventure We recently went on this amazing tour with Eli. First, I can’t say enough about how friendly Eli is & we were so comfortable with him. His knowledge of Mayan history is amazing. He brings the Mayan world alive throughout the tour. The ruins are so fascinating when you tour with a guide who truly loves the history of his country & presents it to you in a way you can almost visualize. When we left the ruins we went to a cenote that was beautiful! The water is crystal clear & the history of the cenotes is fascinating. Eli took us to a local restaurant where the food was fantastic. We always tour with Yucatán Eli’s and have never been disappointed. Eli is truly a great guy & guide. Read more Written February 23, 2024

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Jennifer F

Buy it with

laguna tours muyil

Muyil Ruins Tour (Private, Half Day) provided by Yucatan Eli's Tours

Ocean Tours Mexico

Private Tulum & Muyil Laguna Tour

Private tulum & muyil laguna, "amazing experience".

We had the best day swimming with turtles and exploring the Cenote. Our tour guide, Ariann, was absolutely fantastic and so passionate with the information she was telling us.

General Info

What to Bring

Why With Us

Family Friendly

Ruin exploring, about this tour:.

We start with Muyil, board local motorboats, and cruise through natural channels that crisscross this fascinating natural paradise filled with extensive mangrove forests and islands, wetlands, savannahs, and forest ecosystems that are home to hundreds of bird, mammal, and reptile species. Your boat trip ends at the Mayan Xlapak ruin, also the starting point of the canal floating tour. Spend a relaxing half an hour suspended on top of the water as the soft current lazily guides you through the crystal clear fresh waters of these ancient canals.

After that, we will have our lunch in a typical local restaurant.

We finish with the Mayan archaeological site of Tulum, world famous for its unique location alongside the Caribbean coastline. Built on a natural outcrop facing the rising sun, the stunning turquoise-blue ocean backdrop makes this beautiful site one of the most picturesque in the world.

Tour Time Table

* Times can vary depending the conditions.

09:00 - 09:15 AM

09:15 - 11:00 am, 11:00 - 12:00 pm, 12:00 - 01:00 pm, 01:30 - 02:15 pm, 02:15 - 02:45 pm, cancel up to 24 hs before your tour for a full refund..

100% refund will apply in the following cases:

  • If the service is canceled by the supplier. For example in case of bad weather and rescheduling is not possible. Due to illness, presenting a doctor's report.
  • If the cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to the day of the tour.
  • If a date change is requested at least 24 hours prior to the date of the tour and a new date cannot be agreed upon.

50% refund will apply:

  • If the cancellation is made after 5pm (local time) the day before the tour.
  • If a date change is requested after 5pm (local time) on the day before the tour, and a new date cannot be agreed upon.

No refunds will apply:

  • If the client does not show on the date and time of the tour.

Photo Gallery

laguna tours muyil

About Muyil

About tulum, general tour questions, why should i add a visit to muyil.

In this private tour you will see picturesque temples stand undisturbed among the trees, where you take an eye-opening walk through a jungle path where finally your reach the pier to board. We enbark the boats and you’ll cruise around the lagoon and into narrow canals that are just barely wider than the boat itself. The water is crystal clear, so you can easily spot fish swimming around. But look up in the air too, as Sian Ka’an is known for over 300 species of birds.

Eventually, you’ll reach a small Mayan ruin that was used for commerce centuries ago. The boat docks here to take a look around.

Where is Muyil located?

Muyil  (also known as  Chunyaxché ) was one of the earliest and longest inhabited ancient  Maya  sites on the eastern coast of the  Yucatan Peninsula . It is located approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of the coastal site of  Tulum , in the  Municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto  in the state of  Quintana Roo ,  Mexico .

What to wear to Tulum ruins?

There is not any protection from sun or rain while walking around. It is usually hot walking around, so comfortable clothes, shoes, sunscreen, hat, glasses, and water are all good things to keep in mind. We offer, free of charge, umbrellas to protect you from the sun and rain in case of. 

How long does it take to see Tulum ruins?

The Tulum ruins are not that big. We take you on a 45-minute guided excursion to go through the Tulum ruins. After that you can use 15-20 minutes to go your own and take your pictures.

What happened to the Mayans in Tulum?

Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya; it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico.  By the end of the 16th century, the site was abandoned . Tulum was abandoned as European diseases and epidemics decimated the population . Archaeologists have evidence that the population was killed off by the Spaniards when they introduced Old World diseases into the area as a way to destroy the native population.

How did Tulum get its name?

The original name of Tulum was Zamá, which in the ancient Mayan language means "dawn”. Tulum was an important walled city that in ancient times was used as a port for an extensive commercial network since the terrestrial and maritime routes of the ancient Mayan people converged here.

Do you pick me up from my Airbnb or Private residence?

Yes, we will happily schedule your pickup from your Airbnb or Private Excursion. As soon as you arrive at your destination let us know your exact location. For some locations, we have special nearby meeting points.

Can I be dropped off at another hotel or location?

Please ask our Ocean Tours Team before booking if you want to be dropped off at another location. We will try our best to accommodate your request. We cannot take luggage like suitcases and backpacks on our coach excursion. We can accommodate you on our Private Excursion.

How safe are my belongings whilst on the trip?

We take all the precautions we can to make sure your belongings are safe; our guides will recommend the places where you can leave your belongings safely. Please take in mind that we can only take small bags with personal items you need on the excursion. In our coach, we cannot take suitcases or backpacks.  If you need to move from one hotel to the other on the day of your excursion a Private Trip will be perfect for you.

I have special dietary requirements – will they be catered for?

Please let us know at the time of booking of any food requirements or allergies and we’ll pass the information to our provider. We offer vegetarian and gluten-free options without any cost, but please let us know, as we need to know this at least 24 hours before the excursion starts.

Which language does my guide speak?

All our guides speak English and Spanish. 

We also have international staff, and we can offer our excursions on specific days with other languages like German, French, Italian Dutch, Polish, and Russian. If you want another language guide, please contact our customer service.  Spanish and English language is always available.

Can I skip the transportation and take my own car?

Although we recommend our hassle-free transportation from your hotel or Airbnb you can take your car and leave the car at a meeting point. In between the activities, we will take you with our transportation and after the excursion, we bring you back to the car. Please take note that parking fees are not included. Please contact our customer service if you want to bring your own car.

How many people can sign up for an excursion?

In our excursions, we create small groups so that you can enjoy the freedom of movement and be able to interact closely with your surroundings, as well as so that you can receive more personalized attention from our guides. This small size ensures that your group will not encroach on your personal experience. Most of our transportations fits 12 persons but some of our excursions involve boat trips, which may have specific capacity limitations.

May I tip the driver and guide? Is it obligatory?

Although not obligatory, it's standard practice in Mexico, and for many of our visitors is a form of thanks on finishing the excursion, always when the service and attention of these professionals have been as expected or has surpassed your expectations.

But we repeat, this is NOT OBLIGATORY.

Can people with disabilities participate in the excursion?

Our existing itineraries are not specifically designed for travelers with disabilities, but that doesn’t mean you will not be able to enjoy one of our small group excursions – it’s largely dependent on your specific needs and the location you wish to visit.

Some destinations are better suited for travelers with disabilities than others. Many destinations we visit lack accessible public infrastructure or facilities designed to accommodate travelers with disabilities, but we will do our best to arrange suitable alternatives where possible.  

You may also prefer to speak to our Customer Service and arrange a customized itinerary to suit your needs.

Do you offer photos from the snorkeling excursion?

Of course! On most of our tours, professional photographer will do their best to make your day with Ocean Excursions as memorable as possible. They carry top-quality (underwater) cameras and take high-resolution photos of both participants and their surroundings. You can view the pictures after your excursion and decide if you want to purchase them. The images are sold as a package, where you receive access to all the photos taken by your guide and our "Best Ocean Tours Excursions" collection folder, all of which will be made available to you via a link . The price for the photo package depends on the group size of your booking. For 2 persons the package is $66 USD and for 6 persons the package is $106 USD. Private Tours have different pricing depending on your group size  and tour. 

Can I take my (underwater) camera to the excursion?

You are free to take your own photos or video on tour with us, but we ask, while snorkeling, that your equipment is attached to your body in one way or another, for example with a wrist band. We do however not advise that you take your phone in a waterproof case, because it is generally not possible to operate it whilst doing the activities. At all archeological sites non-professional cameras are permitted at no cost. Video cameras GoPro tablets and selfie sticks have a charge which is paid directly at the box office upon entry. The use of professional photography equipment is strictly prohibited - including tripods. 

We do not take any responsibility of lost or damage photography gear that may happen on tour with us.

What to Bring:

Non-disposable bottle or thermo.

Bring your own non-disposable bottle or thermos to comply with environmental regulations and enjoy an eco-friendly visit.

15 USD per person

Collected by your guide at the start of the tour. Due in cash with USD, MXN or EUR

Change of clothes

We recommend to bring an extra t-shirt

Extra Money for souvenirs and tips

Credit card and cash payments

Wear lightweight, light-colored, comfortable clothing

Comfortable, lightweight clothes, and long-sleeved-cotton shirt

What’s Included:

Certified bilingual guide.

Traditional Mexican buffet-style lunch

Potable water

Round-trip transportation.

Round-Trip Transportation with AC

Why With Us:

Important : Conservation of the Marine Fauna Fee ($15 USD per person) is not included in the price.

Our first concern is the total satisfaction of our clients!

Professional photographers team.

Our professional photographers' team will come with you on the tour and get the best shots at these fantastic locations.

We are Dedicated

We are dedicated to make your tour a memorable one. Our customer-centric approach aims to exceed your expectations.

We are Experienced

We have over 15 years of experience in operating tours as Ocean Tours started in year 2005.

We are Professional

Our guides are enthusiastic, experienced, and knowledgeable. The whole team will make your tour unforgettable.

We are Safe

Our professional guides are certified in First-Aid. Our transportation is very safe and comfortable, and our drivers are very experienced.

We are the Tour Operator

Every service and every part of the tour is directly operated by Ocean Tours. This is why we’re able to guarantee excellent and high-quality service. Most of the web pages you see are simply selling tours as a middle-man, providing little to no guarantee of quality, safety, or assurance. Here, you buy directly from the tour operator.

We strive to be the Best

We are rated excellent on Tripadvisor, Google, and other rating platforms thanks to our commitment to excellence.

We want you to remember your tour forever!

One professional photographer per group!

Our Guides:

Make it a trip.

Combine this tour with other activities and save time during checkout!

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The Adventures of Nicole

How to get to Ruinas Muyil & the Muyil Canals at Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve from Tulum

Updated February 2024 , How to get to Ruinas Muyil & the Muyil Canals at Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve from Tulum was originally written in August 2022

Visiting the Muyil Ruins and the Muyil Canals ended up being one of the only things in Tulum I actually enjoyed. I didn’t find Muyil to be overcrowded, especially visiting in the afternoon until close when I did. So if you’re looking to escape the Tulum crowds (they’re nearly unavoidable), this gem within the Sian Kaan Biosphere is the perfect place to go. 

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The Mayan Ruins at Muyil

Muyil, which you will also hear referred to as Chunyaxché is among the oldest Mayan ruins found on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Researchers estimate that Muyil was inhabited from 350 BC until 1500 AD. It was an important center in this period being located along a strategic trading route that connected other Mayan cities extending southward through Central America to the famous city of Coba which is located north of Muyil. 

From the entrance to the Muyil Ruins; you’ll first pass the  Entrance Group Complex , which has sat largely unexcavated. The only portion of the complex that has been explored is the building known as Structure 6 which has been only partially excavated. 

Entrance Group Complex, Muyil Ruins, Mayan Ruins, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

The ruins of Muyil’s main feature is of course the  Castillo – a 57 foot tall pyramid that bears quite a resemblance to the Tikal Pyramid in Guatemala. Excavations revealed two structures within the Muyil El Castillo Complex. One is the  Temple of the Herons , taking its name from the bas relief pieces embellishing the walls and the other is the  Temple of the Falcon . 

El Castillo, Muyil Ruins, Mayan Ruins, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Continuing along a path that leads into a forest to the north of El Castillo you will arrive at the  Pink Palace  that is sat amongst other structures. The Pink Palace would have been a Mayan temple. It’s a tiered structure with stairs leading to the top (unfortunately you can’t climb up it) and features two chambers and an altar within. 

Pink Palace, Muyil Ruins, Mayan Ruins, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Finally, there is a small temple-like structure located along the Mayan canals that connect the Muyil and Chunyaxché Lagoons to the sea. It’s just a few steps off of the boardwalk from where people would be dropped off by their boat on the lagoons to float along the Mayan Muyil Canals. 

Muyil and Chunyaxché Lagoons

I hadn’t planned to visit the Muyil Lagoons or Canal at all, to be honest. I had come just to visit the Muyil Ruins, but upon arrival, I met two women who had booked a canal tour and were looking for an additional person to join. I thought about it for a minute and figure why not- how often am I in the Riviera Maya anyway? (it had been 20 years since I had last visited to be exact). So, I arranged my boat trip on the fly (more practical info on how to visit the Muyil Canals and Lagoons later).

From the Muyil Ruins, a path meanders through the jungle for a little less than a kilometer with signposted tree species and even a jungle lookout tower, eventually arriving at the boat dock from which the Muyil Canal boat tours start. 

Muyil jungle walk, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

The boat dock is situated on Muyil Lagoon, the smaller lagoon of the two I visited on my Muyil Canal trip. As we cruised along Muyil Lagoon, we managed to see different nesting bird species, but sometimes you can get lucky and see manatees, dolphins, and other aquatic species. 

Muyil lagoon boat dock, Muyil Lagoon, Mayan Ruins, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

We then ducked into an archway of trees where our boat captain explained that these canals were constructed by the Mayans using limestone to connect their ancient city of Muyil to the sea via Laguna Muyil and Laguna Chunyaxché. An impressive feat.

Muyil Canal, Muyil Lagoon, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Eventually, the tree-arched canal gave way to the much larger Chunyaxché Lagoon where we kept our eyes peeled for wildlife. 

The Muyil Canals

Muyil Canals, Mayan Ruins, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Finally, we entered yet another narrow archway of trees dredged by another white limestone canal. This canal from Chunyaxché Lagoon extends all the way out to the sea. 

We continued in the boat a little way up the canal and disembarked onto a boardwalk where a short few steps away brought us to the previously mentioned temple. After checking out the temple, it was time to put on our ‘ Mayan diapers ‘ (flip the lifevest upside down putting your legs through the armholes) to float along this ancient Mayan lazy river. 

Muyil Ruins, Muyil Canals, Mayan Ruins, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

It took about 45 minutes to float along the section of the Muyil Canals before we arrived at another dock where we were able to walk back to the original boardwalk and returned by boat back to the dock on Muyil Lagoon.

How to get to Muyil

It’s pretty easy to reach Muyil on your own, but if you aren’t interested in trying to make these arrangements on your vacation in Tulum, you can check out this Muyil Ruins and Canal tour. 

Getting to Muyil by Bus

Getting to Muyil is a lot easier than most people think despite it being located a bit off the beaten path in an area like Tulum. To reach Muyil, all I had to do was go to the ADO bus station in Tulum and ask for a ticket to Muyil at the counter, and wait for the next bus to come at 1:30 pm. The bus that goes to Muyil is just a regular ADO bus, so you cannot book tickets online or through the ADO app.

Do note that your ticket will say Chunyaxché on it, but the guy who sold mine to me did write Muyil on the top corner of the receipt. I boarded my bus when it arrived at the station and off we went. The driver had seen my ticket said Muyil on it so he dropped me off right at the entrance to Muyil Archeological Site (ruins) rather than at the actual bus stop a couple hundred meters down the road. 

Buses depart Tulum every 30-60 minutes, so you won’t be waiting long to get on. The trip takes about 30 minutes each way.

If you plan to return to Tulum from Muyil by bus all you’ll need to do is return to the bus stop and get on the next one headed back to Tulum. You can pay the driver once aboard (make sure to have small bills).

Tulum-Muyil bus ticket cost:  $31 MXN (one way)

Getting to Muyil by Colectivo

You can also take a colectivo to Muyil from Tulum. Colectivos depart Tulum from next to the ADO bus station. Just ask around for the colectivo headed toward Filipe Carrillo Puerto and let the driver know you want off at Muyil.

Personally, I took the ADO bus to Muyil and planned to take it back but quickly realized that since I visited in the late afternoon and was trying to leave Muyil around 5:15 pm after the park had closed that I wasn’t going to find a bus. I figured I’d look for a colectivo to return back to Tulum so I went to the bus stop and waited. 

After about 10 minutes I flagged down what I thought was a colectivo but it was empty- so I inadvertently hitchhiked back to Tulum  😂   (if you know me then you probably aren’t surprised). I did ask the driver when I got in how much the colectivo cost and he said 40 pesos. When we arrived back in Tulum he gave me the money I had passed to him back (in all honesty I think he was just driving back to Tulum either way and didn’t mind picking randoms on the side of the road.

Tulum-Muyil colectivo cost:  $40 MXN (one way)

Getting to Muyil by Taxi

I can’t comment on taking a taxi to Muyil from Tulum but I would brace myself for an insanely high price tag as I quickly found out taxis in Tulum (note that ridesharing services are not allowed here) are among the most expensive in the world (seriously,  I read an article that said the cost 2x that of taxis in Manhattan !). If you do opt to take a taxi, make sure that they will wait on you and bring you back to Tulum. And do make sure to negotiate a price before you get in, though I did find that the white and red taxis in Tulum had fixed prices (nonetheless they were insanely expensive). 

Getting to Muyil by Rental Car

If you have your own vehicle getting to Muyil from Tulum will be easy. You will take Highway 307 south from Tulum until you reach Muyil, which is signposted. Note that you will lose mobile reception a few kilometers before you reach Muyil so I would recommend having maps.me or google maps offline already downloaded to your phone. 

There is a parking lot outside the Muyil Ruins that is free to use.

Tickets and Hours for the Muyil Ruins Archeological Site

The Zona Arqueológica de Muyil has a small office as you walk to the ruins where you’ll need to pay a fee of  $65 MXN  to visit the Muyil Ruins. 

The park is open from  8 am to 5 pm  daily.

Cost of the Muyil Canal River Floating Tour

Muyil Canals, Mayan Ruins, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Prices for the boat trip to float the Muyil Canals and Cruise the lagoons are  1,000 MXN  per person if you book with one of the guys from Sian Kaan Tours that will approach you when you arrive at Muyil Ruins. They can accept both cash and cards. The tour lasts about 2 hours.

Of course, there is also a 4 hour long tour you can do that includes Muyil but explore deeper into the which will cost  $4,000 MXN+  but is per boat, meaning you can split it amongst others. 

So for me, my total costs for visiting the Muyil Ruins and Canals independently was:

$31 MXN ADO bus $65 MXN entrance fee $1,000 MXN Muyil Canal tour $40 MXN collective ______________________________ Total:  $1,136 MXN

Best Muyil Tours

You will have no problems finding a tour of Muyil if that’s what you wish to do. It was cheaper to arrange it on the fly like I did but I know some of you like to make advance plans for your vacations. If you’re staying in Tulum, you’ll find plenty of kiosks offering the trip to Muyil including transport. If you prefer to book in advance online, check out this highly-rated tour of the Muyil Ruins and Canals that includes pick up and drop off in Tulum.

If you are not staying in Tulum it’s totally possible to visit the Muyil Ruins and Muyil Canals on a day trip from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Check out this Muyil day tour with stops at the Tulum Ruins, a cenote, and Playa del Carmen from Cancun .

Muyil Canal, Chunyaxché Lagoon, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Best Time to Visit the Muyil Ruins and Muyil Canals

I had been told the best time to visit the Muyil Ruins and Canals was when it opens at 8 am before it gets crowded. I didn’t arrive there until 2 pm, staying until 5 pm and besides me and the two girls in my boat, I think I saw 3 other boats with people in them. Based on my experience I would recommend the late afternoon too.

What to Bring with you to the Muyil Ruins and Muyil Canals

  • Quick-drying towel
  • GoPro  or your phone (if it’s waterproof)

Important Things to Know Before you Visit Muyil Ruins and Muyil Canals

  • You cannot wear sunscreen if you plan to swim in the Muyil Canals so do bring a rashguard or something to cover your skin so that you don’t sunburned. on your lazy river float
  • There are toilets both at the Muyil Ruins entrance and just off of the parking lot and boat dock at Muyil Lagoon
  • Back on the highway near the bus stops, there are several shops selling food, snacks, drinks, tourist trinkets, and more
  • There is no mobile reception in or around Muyil

Have any questions about visiting Muyil Ruins and the Muyil Canals?

Ask in the comments section below. 

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Muyil River Float-a journey into the past and paradise!

Tulum activities

Muyil River Float

The Muyil river float will take you to one of the more spectacular locations in the Riviera Maya. You will be entering into Sian Ka’an reserve and discovering a beautiful natural area. None of this is manmade except if you count the Mayans cutting a canal over 1000 years ago to connect the lagoons.

What makes this so spectacular is the fact that this is all ground water flowing out towards the ocean. The water has been filtered through the limestone and is crystal clear. When you enter the “river” to swim, there is a current and you are gently floated along the river through an area about 4-6 feet deep. Along the banks are mangrove and savanna areas with local flora and fauna.

Muyil River Float Sian Kaan

What to expect when going to Muyil

When you arrive to the dock, either if you came by yourself or by tour, you will get in a small boat. The local guides all belong to the local community. You will be supporting the local people by taking this tour.

The boat will take off across the first lagoon and then through a narrow canal to the other lagoon. After you cross the second lagoon you will enter the area where you will start the Muyil river float.

Just where you enter is a remnant of the Mayan culture.  After you finish your river swim you will return here and be able to take photos.

Muyil River Float Sian Kaan

Floating along in the river

Either the boat captain or your tour guide will show you how to wear the life vest upside down so you can sit in it. It seems very silly to have it like a diaper but it makes sense when you are in the river. This way you can sit and float along the river. Your upper body will be more free. The current will take you along and your total time will be around 40 minutes in the water. This is a super tranquil experience.

Muyil River Float Sian Ka an

Finishing your river float

At the end of the river your captain will bring your shoes to the dock where you can put them on and walk the boardwalk back to the boat. The surrounding area is beautiful savanna with pockets of water and small fish. This area is also home to over 300 species of birds, so keep a look out for them.

Once you arrive back at the boat, your captain will take you back across the lagoons to the dock.

Muyil River Float Sian Kaan

Our video introduction to Muyil river float

Just so you can see how beautiful this area is, we made this video of above and below the water.

How to get to Muyil

Muyil is known as the ruins just south of Tulum along the 307 Highway. Hence the area got the name “Muyil river float”.

Going south from Tulum you will drive about 19km or 23 minutes on the highway. When you get to the Muyil ruins on your left, pass the ruins and in about 20 seconds on your left will be a dirt road (see map below). There is not a good sign for the road entrance. Take this dirt road all the way to Lagoon Chunyaxche. Along the way make sure you watch on your right hand side the remnants of Mayan ruins. There is one distinct carving visible right next to the road.

At the end of the road is a parking area. It can get full at times, especially midday. Parking is allowed along the narrow dirt road. Just be careful not to park too close to the edge especially if it has been rainy, you can get stuck.

Taking a tour to do the Muyil river float

Some people might not feel comfortable setting this activity up themselves. It does involve getting yourself there via transportation, arranging a price and even then, there might not be availability for the boats if they are busy. You might consider taking a tour here.

A tour to Muyil can include the nearby ruins and a certified archeological guide to show you around. Here is one tour you can take to Muyil to float in the river and visit the nearby Mayan ruins. This is not too touristy so you will have an opportunity to see this beautiful area while the crowds are all in Tulum ruins and miss out on this river float.

laguna tours muyil

How much is it to take the boat to the canals?

If you go there yourself you can expect to pay around 1050 pesos per person for the boat. There are minimums for how many people the boats will take and prices do vary. This is cash only when paying at the dock.

Have you been to the Muyil river float? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.

If you are going to be in the Tulum area, you might also like to read our article on the best things to do in Tulum .

Muyil River Float Sian Ka an

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29 Comments

Since experiencing the float down Muyil’s canal, it has become the first place I take friends that come to visit. I have seen tourists skip the ruins to get to the lagoon, which is a shame. But that’s all right, I prefer to keep it a treasured secret!

Is this activity available year round? It looks beautiful and I want to do this river float in February.

Yes Mike! The weather and water temperature is warm enough to enjoy Muyil and Sian Ka’an year round. It is very enjoyable if you can make it.

How long would you say we should allow to explore the ruins and then do the river float? We have limited time and are trying to prioritize what is “must see”. Trying to get an idea of how long the boat ride takes to get to the floating river. Would is be possible to do the ruins and floating river, AND still do the Tulum ruins on the beach, in the same day? Thank you so much for any tips and advice!

Hello Lyndsey Thank you for your question. We would go first to Muyil and depending on the weather and how warm it is, go first to the dock and ask about a boat. Getting there early beats most people. The entrance to the dock is just past the ruins of Muyil on a dirt road that is not well signed. It can take about 25 min in boat to get to the river then about 45/1 hour floating and coming back. It is not rushed so there is a spread of time there. Then go see Muyil ruins. This can take 30 minutes or a little more if you do the trail from the dock to the ruins. Then Tulum ruins and end with going to the beaches just south of the Tulum ruins for late afternoon beach and sunset. A big tip would be to drive from Muyil into Tulum and take the road to the beach, then at the beach take a left. Go to the end and park. There is a paved trial to the entrance of the ruins and then when you are done, exit to your car. Sometimes this beach access road is closed when full. Plus you save time not parking and driving to the beach afterward.

Awesome article! Very informative. Thank you for sharing.

You provided all the information we needed to arrange our own tour. We went to the boat dock/landing as you suggested and bartered with the boat owners waiting there. We paid about $700 pesos each for a tour that included the float down the canal, about 2 hours long. Our guide happened to work with Community Tour, the Mayan-owned business, but we lucked out and found him between tours so paid less than usual. He was wonderful and we tipped him generously. After the tour, we had a delicious lunch at Restaurante Chayunxche across the road from Muyil ruins.

That is great Alex. Glad you got to go to this magical place.

Do they provide you with lunch or snacks

These tours are only a few hours. So no food is included. There is a local restaurant on the highway just across from the turn here or you can eat in Tulum.

Is there a number I could call for this place? How would I get there if I am at a hotel in Playa.

There is no phone number. For transport from Playa Del Carmen you can take the bus or colectivo to Tulum and take a taxi or colectivo toward Chetumal. This area is not as visited so it is good to have a rental car or take a tour here. It is very hard to figure out public transportation here. Even the road into to the pier is about 1 km from the highway.

With the seaweed situation in Playa right now, sounds like this is a good alternative to the beach!

Yes, there are many alternatives to the beach. Cenotes, ruins, colonial towns, eco parks ad rooftop pools. This place is special so we hope you get to go.

Hi, what time would we have to be there? We would love to have this experience of floating towards the ocean. If I have a telephone number I could call you, otherwise you hold send us the information via mail.

Many thanks

Hello Blanca

We don’t offer this tour but you can click the link where it says Sian Kaan Muyil Floating Canal in red and you can book a tour there.

I loved the Muyil River Float. It’s such an inspiring and meditative experience. As you float you can literally feel the magical energy of the Mayans.

Hello Lorelle

We are so glad you enjoyed it! It is a magical place!

I stopped by and checked prices and they are now at 700 pesos per person. I had done it a few years ago and it was 500 pp then.I thought it was overpriced then so of course the new prices are a tourist gouge. Rates are controlled by a collective so free enterprise has been cast out the window.

Hang on to your wallet Gary…now at 1000 pesos

Has anyone managed to get themselves to Muyil Ruins and the River float from Playa del Carmen without a tour and using public transportation? My boyfriend and I are in our mid-twenties, active people, and both fluent in Spanish. It’s going to be our second time visiting PDC. We’re trying to explore outside of PDC in a more affordable way and on our own. We think we can handle finding our way too Muyil by ourselves, but after reading the comments we aren’t so sure. If we take the ADO Bus to Tulum, are there colectivo stands nearby the ADO Bus Stop? Do we have to walk into town to catch a colectivo toward Chetumal?

Hello Sydney If you take the ADO to Tulum you can get a colectivo going south toward Chetumal. These are not as frequent as the ones between Playa and Tulum. You will have to specify the entrance to the Muyil lagoon entrance and not Muyil ruins. The stop is about 1/2 km further. Then from the highway walk about 10 minutes to the boat dock. Here you will need to negotiate a price. We have ben with a group and solo. When we have gone as two people there were no other groups and it was going to be very expensive to take the boat since you need to pay for gas and time of the driver. If you do go, it is good to go early since you get a better chance of getting on a boat with people. Returning to Tulum you will have to catch a colectivo. These come every 15/20 minutes. So you will have to be paitient.

Looks like fun! Would you recommend this for children ages 7 and 9? They know how to swim.

It is fun for everyone. All people wear a lifejacket and the current is very gentile. So you float along. the boat ride is also very smooth since it is a lake. So it is very good for children.

February 2020. Price for arriving on your own has jumped to M$1000 yes that’s 1000 pesos. 700 if you are with a pre arranged tour. It was fun and unique but we can see a lot of cenatos for that money

Update on price. $1050 pesos per person. Includes a tour of the ruins and boat ride to float down the channel. Well worth the price.

Thank you Tracy for the update on the price.

Can you bring your own tube for a young child? Is that allowed on the river? I know it’s a protected area, please let me know.

We don’t know what the official policies are but can imagine that would be fine with the guides. You just might have to inflate the float when you arrive at the river.

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The Muyil River Float | The Best Tour and Tips!

affiliate disclosure

Muyil is an archaeological site that is located between Tulum and Playa Del Carmen . It was one of the first Mayan civilizations in the Yucatán Peninsula and was also one of the longest inhabited. In addition to the ruins and rainforest found on the site, the Muyil Lagoon has crystal clear water and essentially operates like a natural lazy pool. If you are taking a trip to Quintana Roo, you should certainly consider a trip to the Muyil Mayan Ruins, not just to experience the history of the site, but to swim in the Muyil River Float.

Table of Contents

Overview of Muyil, Sian Ka’an, and the Muyil River Float

History of muyil.

Muyil, also known as Chunyaxhe, was an active Mayan city from around 300 BC to 1500 AD. In the heyday of the city, it served as a major trading port due to the Sian Ka’an Lagoon found behind it. These man-made lagoons enabled the ancient Mayas to trade goods such as honey, feathers, chewing gum, salt, and chocolate. Evidence points to this city have strong ties to nearby Coba and Tulum.

Muyil Ruins

As nature often wins, many of the homes, temples, and other structures found here were overtaken by the jungle in the 500+ years since the site was abandoned. The site was re-discovered in the 1920s, and since this time, effort has been made to reconstruct and restore some of the original structures there. When you visit the site, you’ll now see large Mayan temples, many of which have a similar architectural style as found in Tikal in Guatemala. Some of these include:

  • The Castillo : This narrow temple is the tallest structure on the site at 59 feet. It features a five-tiered pyramid crowned by a small temple. This building in particular has a very similar style to the ones found in Tikal.
  • Temple of the Herons : A temple that features stucco decorations on its walls
  • Pink Palace : A shorter tiered temple that features a chamber at the top

What I liked about this site is that they have left buildings in their natural state as well, so that you can see how the jungle really reclaims the land if left unattended.

Woman in front of El Castillo at the Muyil River Float.

Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve

Sian Ka’an and the surrounding ruins have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, the biosphere is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean, and in my humble opinion, one of the best things to do in the Yucatán peninsula . Within this reserve, you will be see an abundance of local flora, animals, and many bird species. In my experience, it really does give you a true jungle exploration experience, and is great for anyone who enjoys nature.

Muyil River Float Experience

The Muyil lagoon is also known as Chunyaxché lagoon, and behind the lagoon you’ll find the ancient Mayan canals. Although they do appear quite natural, they were actually carved out by the ancient Mayans who once lived here. These ancient Mayan canals are also mangrove canals, and you’ll see these plants and a number of orchids lining each of the canals as you float through it.

Given the natural current, the river float could really be called the Muyil lazy river. Just put on a life jacket, and you could easily just pass the day by like this. Check out the video of my experience while there below!

As you reach the part where you start your lazy river experience, you will also see another temple right at the entrance. The purpose is not fully known, but it does keep the historical aspect of the site present throughout.

Temple before Muyil river float

How to Experience the Muyil River Float

If you are planning to visit Muyil and want to experience both the river float and the ruins, I highly suggest that you take a tour. This is for several reasons: 1) Driving in Quintana Roo can be a bit tricky due to corrupt police, and this place is not close to anything. 2) A tour will ensure you learn as much as possible both about the ruins and the biosphere as you travel through. And 3) You’ll have all the supplies and food required to survive the hot day already at your fingertips.

Muyil site entrance

The Best Muyil Tour Experience

I recommend trying this Mayan Ruins & Sian Kaan Nature Reserve Half Day Trip tour as is includes the Muyil river float, uses local guides who are very knowledgeable about the area, and also includes your Muyil ruins entrance fee. This is a small group tour, so you don’t have to worry about being with 30+ other people.

If you choose this option, your day will go a little like this:

  • Get picked up by your own driver to get to the tour location. This tour has options for pickup from Tulum and Maya Riviera.
  • Explore Muyil ruins and visit the temples mentioned above while learning about the site’s history.
  • Walk through the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and get a close up of the local flora and fauna.
  • Climb to the top of the Observation Tower. This tower is a bit treacherous to climb as the steps are very steep, but it offers really impressive views of the lagoon and the jungle. If you are afraid of heights, you certainly have the option to skip this, however.
  • Take a boat trip to the Muyil canals. When you get to the docking area after walking through the jungle, you will then need to travel in a small boat to the canal area.
  • Start the Muyil River Float through the lagoons of the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve. Your tour guide provides you with life jackets that you wear upside down (around your legs like a diaper). This will allow you to really use the canals as a lazy pool – no upper body strength required at all!
  • Eat a Vegetarian lunch on site after the swim. The menu is likely to change, but we had a delicious veggie burrito, tamarind juice, and a sweet on my tour. It was all delicious and offered a nice chance to sit down and get to know everyone else on the tour.

This tour comes highly rated at 4.9 stars out of 5.0 , and from personal experience I highly recommend it.

Book Your Group Muyil & Sian Ka’an Tour Now!

Muyil Lagoon

Private Boat Tour of the Reserve

If you would prefer to visit Muyil without other travelers, there are private options as well. I recommend the Private Tour of Sian Ka’an and Muyil Archaeological Site . It provides nearly the same experience as the site mentioned above, and may be a better priced option for you if you are traveling with your family.

This tour comes with 100% 5-star reviews , and is therefore another great option for you to consider.

Book Your Private Muyil & Sian Ka’an Tour Now!

Tips for Visiting Muyil

When visiting Muyil, here are a few things that I recommend that you pack in order to have the most optimal experience:

Comfortable Shoes : These could be either sneakers or ergonomic sandals. You will be walking over bumpy terrain and will need to have tread on your shoes as well so you don’t slip in wet areas.

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Biodegradable Sunscreen and/or Ecological Sun Cream : You cannot wear the usual sunscreen while floating in the lagoon as it may damage the natural environment found there. If you must wear it, be sure it is something that is environment friendly.

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Light Clothes : This maybe goes without saying as it will be quite hot no matter the time of year, but don’t wear anything too heavy. It’s hot and humid and heavy clothes will not serve you.

Swimsuit: Wear this under your clothing so that when it is time to go swimming, you can easily change for the lazy river experience.

Mosquito Repellant: This is a must as there are so many mosquitos in the area. I really got eaten alive! But as with the sunscreen, be sure that this is an environmentally friendly version.

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Light Backpack : Don’t forget to bring something that can help you keep all your things together while there. If you travel on a tour, they can keep this for you while you are on the excursion.

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Healthy Snacks : As the tour is likely to provide, this is most pertinent for those who may have dietary restrictions. Bring something that can help you stand up to the heat, especially if you don’t eat ahead of the tour.

Other Historical Sites to Visit in Quintana Roo, Mexico

The Yucatán Peninsula is full of ruins, so if you’d like to explore more while there, here are a few ideas:

  • Chichen Itza : This was one of the largest Maya cities during that time, and is now one of the most visited ruins in all of Mexico. It is best known for the Temple of Kulkulcán at its center.
  • Archeological Site of Tulum: This site is one of the best preserved Mayan coastal sites and served as a major port city for Coba during its heyday. It is perhaps best known for its Temple of the Descending God.
  • Coba : This site contains a large temple complex, and some of the tallest pyramids in the peninsula. The tallest is Ixmoja, which is 138 ft tall!

In Summary | Muyil River Float Experience

Overall, this amazing place offers one of the most unique experiences you’ll find in the area. In addition to what was mentioned above, there are many fun activities to do, such as sea kayaking in Sian Ka’an . And as it is not as popular as the other mentioned historical sites, it should make for a quiet day as well.

The Muyil River float part of the area really makes this one of the best excursions from the nearby resorts and the lagoon definitely makes this one of the area’s most beautiful landscapes. There is so much to do in Latin America , and this unique experience is further evidence of this point!

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Related Posts:

  • The Ultimate Tulum Itinerary

Last update on 2024-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

laguna tours muyil

Christen Thomas is the founder of TravelWanderGrow, established in 2018. She has lived abroad and traveled extensively to over 30 countries. In addition, she is a certified Travel Advisor and is an expert in planning trips focused on city history and culture. As a frequent traveler, she also shares tips on how to prepare to travel well and how to save money while doing so.

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Muyil & Laguna Kaanlum

  • Portfolio Details

laguna tours muyil

Private Boat + Lazy River + Kanluum Lake & Lunch

Feel like Indiana Jones exploring this beautiful hidden place south of tulum, enjoy its handmade canals and the beautiful Kanluum lagoon. Your private tour includes, entrance to the Muyil archaeological zone, boat ride, visit and swim in the Muyil lazy river, visit to the Kanluum lagoon, private transportation without unnecessary stops, finish your adventure with a delicious lunch.

Price Per Guest

  • Adults $222 USD
  • Children $149 USD
  • Private Excursion

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Muyil Mayan Ruins – Everything You Need to Know Before

By: Author Hannah Lukaszewicz

Posted on Last updated: 15 February, 2024

Muyil Mayan Ruins – Everything You Need to Know Before

There are plenty of ruins to visit in Tulum, but we really recommended heading to the Muyil Ruins for a totally different experience than other Mayan Ruins. This ancient Mayan site contains many different buildings, pyramids, and temples that date as far back as 350 BC.

However, the best part of the Muyil Ruins is that they are practically empty compared to the other attractions around Tulum. If you’re hoping to explore a part of Mayan history without standing shoulder to shoulder with thousands of other tourists, make sure to add the Muyil Ruins to your itinerary. This undiscovered gem is definitely worth a visit during your trip to Tulum.

The Yucatan Peninsula is a fascinating region known for having many different archeological sites. No matter where you go, it feels like you’re always uncovering a part of history.

Must Visit Mayan Ruins in Mexico

Where are the Muyil Ruins

Situated on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, the Muyil Ruins are located not too far from Tulum. It’s one of the 23 archeological sites in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve , which became a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

From Tulum, you’ll head down the 307 Highway for about 10 miles. You should see a sign posted on the side of the road marking the entrance to the ruins.

Related Article: Best Things to Do In Riviera Maya & Places to Visit

History and Facts About the Muyil Ruins

Established in 300 BC, Muyil became an important city due to its central location along the Caribbean coast. As one of the main settlements along this busy trade route, Muyil was able to create strong relationships with other pre-Columbian cities, including the ancient settlement of Coba.

Despite its influence on society, Muyil’s reign took a dark turn in the 16th century, when Spanish conquistadors invaded the Yucatan Peninsula. Some of Muyil’s residents died from diseases that were brought over by the Spanish, while others fled to other cities. As they left, the city was abandoned and left to crumble into the ruins that you see today.

Now, you can wander through 38 hectares of the jungle to see the different structures that were once occupied by the Mayas. It’s important to note that while there are two different sites in Muyil, only one of them is open to the public. The public site is commonly referred to as Muyil A, while the private site is called Muyil B.

How to Get to the Muyil Ruins

The easiest way to reach the Muyil Ruins is by car. It’s a bit off the beaten path and harder to reach compared to other tourist attractions in Tulum; renting a car allows you to explore the area at your leisure.

If you do not have a car, it’s still possible to visit the ruins from Tulum by hitching a ride on the local colectivo bus. Make sure to get on the bus that goes from Tulum to Felipe Carrillo.

Although the bus ride takes an hour, it drops you right in front of the entrance. While it’s easy to catch a bus going to the ruins, finding one heading back to Tulum is more difficult. They run less often and don’t leave until they are filled up.

  • Entrance fee: 50 pesos per person
  • Hours: Daily from 9 am – 5 pm

Top Things to See at the Muyil Ruins

Despite its small size, the Muyil Ruins have several significant buildings to see. The largest structure in the complex is the Castillo, the tiered stone pyramid that dominates the archeological grounds. At 57 feet high, it’s one of the most iconic structures in the Muyil Ruins.

Behind the Castillo is a small, hidden pathway. For an extra fee of 50 pesos, you’ll be able to trek through the jungle on a wooden boardwalk to admire the native foliage and fauna.

This trail is part of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, which is home to an abundance of wildlife, including howler monkeys, deer, and grey foxes. Even if you don’t get a chance to spot these wild creatures, you’ll still probably see a few smaller birds and butterflies.

Besides admiring the ruins, climbing to the top of the on-site observation tower is recommended. Shooting high above the forest canopy, the observation deck boasts stunning views of the sparkling Kaan Luum Lagoon.

It’s a relatively steep climb but worth the effort if you’re interested in a birds-eye view over the jungle.

You should plan to spend about an hour exploring the ruins. If you plan to hike the trail or visit the Kaan Luum Lagoon, you should give yourself an extra few hours.

Tours that Visit Muyil

The Muyil Ruins are small enough to tour on your own. However, you’ll learn more about the history and area if you hire a local guide to lead you through the complex. They can give you more insight into what you’re looking at and the significance of the different structures and ruins.

Most tours also include stopovers to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and the Kaan Luum Lagoon. For more adventurous travelers, consider joining a tour that allows you to float along the lazy river of the reserve.

Sian Ka’An and Muyil Archaeological Site Tour from Tulum

Make the most of your trip to Muyil with this all-inclusive tour . You will get time to explore the Muyil Ruins, and your guide will also take you on an exclusive boat tour of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

You’ll end the tour with a float down the lazy river as it meanders through the dense mangrove forests of the reserve.

This tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off at your Tulum accommodation, transportation with a guide, and a picnic lunch. Click here to check availability and book online.

Private Tour to Muyil Ruins, Tulum, and Coba from Tulum

Check off three different archeological sites on this full-day tour around the Yucatan Peninsula.

Your first stop is at the Muyil Ruins, where you’ll learn more about this important trading post with the help of your private guide.

From there, you’ll visit the historic Tulum ruins, which are situated atop the rocky coast overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Finally, you’ll visit Coba Ruins , where you’ll be able to climb up the massive Nohoch Mul pyramid for sweeping views of the jungle canopy.

This private tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off at your Tulum accommodation, transportation with a guide, and lunch. Click here to check availability and book online.

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Photos of Muyil Mayan Ruins

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  1. 7 de abril de 2024

COMMENTS

  1. Ultimate Guide: Muyil River Float and Mayan Ruins

    Sian Ka'an and Muyil Archaeological Site Tour from Tulum. Enjoying the 45+ minute Sian Kaan river float ★★★★★ 5/5 Stars out of 450+ reviews Pickup in Tulum included, pickup in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Akumal, Valladolid, and other cities for an additional fee. This is the most reputable and highly-rated Muyil float ...

  2. How to visit the Muyil ruins and Muyil floating river in one day

    Here below some practical info. Cost: the short tour lasts about 2 hours and it costs 600 Mxn ( about 35 Usd) per person or 1200 minimum, which means if you are alone you pay 1200, whereas if you are 2 or more you pay 600 each. The large tour lasts about 5 hours and costs 4000 MXN ( about 220 USD).

  3. Muyil Tour

    This Muyil tour is the perfect way to discover the rich history and stunning natural beauty of the Yucatan Peninsula, all while being ecologically conscious and away from the crowds. Mayan ruins, floating activity, boat tour, birds watching. Local certified guides! 🇪🇸 🇬🇧 🇫🇷. Ecological adventure! Excellent. Based on 158 ...

  4. Zona Arqueológica de Muyil, Chunyaxche

    It is located 16 KM south of Tulum on highway 307. Artifacts excavated at Muyil date back from as early as 350 BCE. to as late as 1200-1500 CE. The vestiges of Muyil are an example of Peten architecture. The city is situated on Laguna Muyil in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. Sian Ka'an means "Where the Sky is Born".

  5. Muyil, Tulum

    1. Explore the ancient Maya cities of Muyil, Tulum, and Coba on a full-day, private tour from Cancun that includes entrance fees, transport, and a buffet lunch. Climb the tallest pyramid in the Yucatán, follow footpaths at the edge of Sian Ka'an lagoon, and see partially-excavated sites covered with thick jungle.

  6. How to Visit the Muyil Mayan Ruins, The Only Guide You Need

    INSIDER TIPS Walk the 500 mt Canan-Há path all the way to the Muyil lagoon. There you can buy a boat tour t the canals in the lagoons of the Sian Ka'an biosphere. ... ️ Laguna Kaan luum 13 km/ 8 miles. ️ Cenote Corazón 16 km/ 10 miles. ️ Tulum ruins 28 km/ 17 miles.

  7. Muyil Ruins And Sian Ka'An River Experience

    Itinerary: Our tours are scheduled at the best hours to avoid high traffic and heat on the sites. 07:30am: Private transportation from your hotel to Punta Laguna. 09:00am - 11:00am: Sian Kaan boat tour and river float. 11:00am - 12:30pm: Muyil ruins visit. 12:30pm - 01:00pm: Transportation. 01:00pm - 02:00pm: Lunch in a restaurant.

  8. Muyil Ruins and Lagoon Small-Group Tour From Tulum 2023

    Discover the Muyil archeological site and the mangroves and lagoon of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve with this small-group tour from Tulum. Explore the Muyil ruins on a self-guided tour, then savor a local lunch. Afterwards, take a boat ride through the lagoon to an old Mayan trading post, followed by a float down the shallow ancient Mayan canals.

  9. Muyil Ruins and Float in Sian Ka'an Maya Canals

    Archaeological Sites, Boat Tour and Cultural Activities. Embark on a captivating full-day journey with our Sian Ka'an Muyil Ruins Tour, a perfect blend of history, nature, and adventure. This immersive experience, led by expert local Maya guides, begins at the Muyil archaeological site, one of the earliest and longest-inhabited ancient Maya sites.

  10. A Guide to the Muyil Ruins in Tulum

    Entrance Fee and Hours of the Muyil Ruins. The entrance fee to the Muyil Ruins is 65 pesos per person and is open from 9 am to 3 pm every day with a free toilet on site. If you want to visit El Mirador Sian Ka'an and the Laguna de Muyil that will be an extra 50 pesos per person, but worth it in our view.

  11. The Sian Ka'an Biosphere & Muyil Ruins- A Guided Tour to the Birthplace

    In front of the bay sits Muyil, the oldest Mayan site on the Yucatan. A ½ mile long nature trail/boardwalk winds through the mangroves to reach the turquoise water of Laguna de Muyil, the first bay of Sian Ka'an. From there, you board a small boat that takes you through thousand-year-old Mayan canals to the second bay -Laguna Chunyaxché.

  12. Private Muyil Tour with Laguna Kaan Luum and Cenote

    Our tours are scheduled at the best hours to avoid high traffic and heat on the sites. 07:00am: Private transportation from your hotel to Muyil 08:30am - 09:30am: Visit of Muyil ruins 09:30am - 09:45am: Transportation 09:45am - 11:00am: Swim at Kaan Luum Lagoon 11:00am - 11:10am: Transportation 11:10pm - 12:00pm: Snorkeling in cenote ...

  13. 2024 Muyil Ruins Tour (Private, Half Day)

    We were so fortunate to tour Muyil Ruins with Eli. The grounds of the ruins are neat & clean & truly beautiful. ... Coba Ruins, Punta Laguna Nature Reserve, Cenote and Mayan family. 313. Full-day Tours. from . $175.00. per adult. LIKELY TO SELL OUT* Chichen Itza Private Tour VIP. 145. Historical Tours. from . $285.00. per adult (price varies by ...

  14. Muyil lazy river

    First we traverse the lagoon by boat, then we use a floatation device to enter the canals and enjoy a 40 minute ride being pulled by the current of the ¨lazy river¨ along the mangrove vegetation. A place to enjoy tranquility as you disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, and tune in to peaceful silence, that only nature ...

  15. Private Tulum & Muyil Laguna

    Private Tulum & Muyil Laguna Tour. Private Tulum & Muyil Laguna. From $810 "Amazing Experience!" - We had the best day swimming with turtles and exploring the Cenote. Our tour guide, Ariann, was absolutely fantastic and so passionate with the information she was telling us. Amity W.

  16. How to get to Ruinas Muyil & the Muyil Canals from Tulum

    The ruins of Muyil's main feature is of course the Castillo- a 57 foot tall pyramid that bears quite a resemblance to the Tikal Pyramid in Guatemala.Excavations revealed two structures within the Muyil El Castillo Complex. One is the Temple of the Herons, taking its name from the bas relief pieces embellishing the walls and the other is the Temple of the Falcon.

  17. Made only for you

    This tailor-made experience already starts before you hit the road with Tuluminiña: ahead of the tour we create a unique tour itinerary hand in hand for you or your group. Finally you can check many places off your bucket list on just one tour! On the day of your personal expedition to your selected highlights of the region your private guide ...

  18. Muyil River Float-a journey into the past and paradise!

    Muyil is known as the ruins just south of Tulum along the 307 Highway. Hence the area got the name "Muyil river float". Going south from Tulum you will drive about 19km or 23 minutes on the highway. When you get to the Muyil ruins on your left, pass the ruins and in about 20 seconds on your left will be a dirt road (see map below).

  19. Muyil Ruins Near Tulum & Muyil River Float In The Mayan ...

    Muyil Tulum Location. The Muyil Ruins are located 15 km (9.3 mi) south of the beach town Tulum, right next to the Chetumal-Cancun Highyway 307 leading to Bacalar. The Muyil archaeological site is located next to the same-named lagoon, Laguna de Muyil, and Laguna Chunyaxché in the pristine Sian Ka'an nature reserve.

  20. The Muyil River Float

    The Best Muyil Tour Experience. I recommend trying this Mayan Ruins & Sian Kaan Nature Reserve Half Day Trip tour as is includes the Muyil river float, uses local guides who are very knowledgeable about the area, and also includes your Muyil ruins entrance fee. This is a small group tour, so you don't have to worry about being with 30+ other people.

  21. Portfolio Details

    Your private tour includes, entrance to the Muyil archaeological zone, boat ride, visit and swim in the Muyil lazy river, visit to the Kanluum lagoon, private transportation without unnecessary stops, finish your adventure with a delicious lunch. Price Per Guest. Adults $222 USD. Children $149 USD. Private Excursion.

  22. Muyil Mayan Ruins

    Where are the Muyil Ruins. Situated on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, the Muyil Ruins are located not too far from Tulum. It's one of the 23 archeological sites in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, which became a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. From Tulum, you'll head down the 307 Highway for about 10 miles.