My wife and I are making our first trip to PV over Christmas and would like some recommendations for fun and interesting day trips. We purposely chose to stay in a non-AI as we enjoy exploring wherever we go. On a trip to the Mayan Riviera a few years back our favorite day was when we jumped on a collectivo and got dropped off near the ruins at Tulum. After spending a few hours at the ruins and the nearby beach we walked back to the "mall" and asked about the town of Tulum, and whether or not we could walk there. Of course we were told we would need a cab as it is quite a far ways away. When we got clarification (few kms) we laughed and quickly found the trail that follows the highway. We ended up wandering all over the town, residential areas and all, and had a great meal where there were a group of locals gathered around a tiny black and white TV watching mexican pro wrestling. It was quite late when we finally realized we didn't know how we were gonna catch a ride back to our resort. On the edge of town I walked into a small internet cafe and thankfully his english was really good. The guy actually walked out to the road with us to help us flag down one of the busses that makes the trip back to Playa Del carmen. While waiting he told us how he moved from Tabasco to start this business and for Mexicans starting up in a place like Tulum was their "American dream".
So where would be a place to go that could be done in a full day?