1 hour South of Playa is Tulum, site of a pre-Columbian Maya walled settlement serving as a port for the inland Mayan city of Coba. One of the only remaining Mayan coastal sites, the spectacular temple and other remains are impressively positioned atop steep cliffs overlooking the Caribbean.
If you’re up for a longer day-trip, Chichen Itza is unforgettable. 2 ½ hours’ drive from Playa, Chichen Itza is one of the most significant Mayan archaeological sites and remains in a remarkable state of preservation. Highlights include the magnificent Temple of the Warriors with its countless stone columns and intricate carvings, the impressive Great Ball Court with its 40ft high walls (the largest ball court in ancient Mesoamerica) and the El Caracol observatory temple.