Have you ever wanted to go further afield and see more of the Yucatán Peninsula during your Royal Resorts vacation? A world of wonders awaits discovery beyond the spectacular beaches of Cancún and the Riviera Maya and Thomas More Travel offers private van tours with a driver so that you can explore the area at your own pace and leave the driving to someone else.

This is the perfect option if you like travel adventures without the schedules and organized departure times of a bus tour. You can spend as long as you want in one place or visit several sites of interest during one day.

Take advantage of the Thomas More Travel special offer for private van hires, rates start at US$95.
Here are some private tour itinerary ideas for your next vacation.

The call of the Yucatan

Plan a private tour to Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve for a boat trip to see thousands of flamingos and many other species of birds that live in the wetlands and coastal lagoons. You’ll need to get there early, as the birds are most active at sunrise and sunset. If you are hungry after your boat trip, the seafood in the fishing village of Rio Lagartos or nearby San Felipe is excellent.

How about spending the day in the Yucatan’s colonial twin towns and Pueblos Magicos (Magical Towns) Valladolid and Izamal? Both are rich in history and traditions and surrounded by cenotes, archaeological sites and haciendas.

Spend the day exploring Chichen Itza, enjoy lunch and a cooling swim at a nearby hotel and stay on for the Maya Nights video mapping display after dark. You could combine your Chichen Itza visit with a side trip to the smaller site of Ek Balam, 20 minutes to the north of Valladolid.

Head for Merida, capital of the Yucatan for a couple of days and use it as your base for exploring the southern part of the state. Tour the Puuc Route, famous for the ancient city of Uxmal and the smaller sites of Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak and Labna, all sharing UNESCO World Heritage status. Visit some of the restored haciendas in the area and the Loltun Caves. You can return to Merida via the Convent Route, a chain of villages with colonial churches, caves, cenotes and archaeological sites that starts with Mani and includes Mama, Teabo and Acanceh.


Riviera Maya

Spend the day on your favorite Riviera Maya beach such as Punta Maroma, Xpu-Ha or Akumal or combine beach hopping with exploring the ancient Maya cities of Tulum or Coba, snorkeling, jungle adventures or cenote visits. Stop off in Playa del Carmen for cocktails, dinner and a spot of shopping on your way back to Cancun.

Alternatively, keep heading south. Discover the ancient Maya site of Muyil and take a boat trip through the lagoons and canals of Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Continue south on Highway 307 into central and southern Quintana Roo to the Maya site of Chacchoben, the historic towns of Felipe Carrillo Puerto and Tihosuco in the Zona Maya or the Caribbean fishing villages and dive spots of Mahahual and Xcalak on the Costa Maya.

Further south is spectacular Bacalar, the Lagoon of Seven Colors, state capital Chetumal and the archaeological sites of Oxtankah, Kohunlich and Dzibanche.

For an unforgettable trip into the wild, visit the ancient Mayan capital of Calakmul in southern Campeche, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its monuments and the biodiversity of the jungle protected by the vast Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.

Contact Thomas More Travel for more information about private van tours, fees if you would like to hire a guide too, and sightseeing itinerary ideas.