Private Tours Playa del Carmen Mexico

Frequently Asked Questions

The Custom Tour offers personal, professional and exciting private guided services in Playa del Carmen and The Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Are all the tours private?

Yes. We only offer private tours.
This is the only way we can provide you with a Customized Tour 100% tailored to your needs.

If you wish to lower the prices by adding more participants to your group, feel free to invite other like minded travelers from your hotel or maybe the couple sitting next to you on the plane? We are happy to add more participants to your group only if you invite them.

What is our cancellation policy?

When you cancel with a 48 hour notice or more, we will keep the deposit as an administrative fee.
When you cancel within less than 48 hours or last minute, we would need you to cover a cancellation fee of $250 US dollars on top of the deposit, to cover the arrangements booked in advance such as the transportation service, private guide, driver and other services we are required to pay in advance.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you wish to cancel. The transportation service asks for a 48 hour notice for all cancellations. A private guide is also booked in advance; therefore your guide will reject all other work opportunities for that date.
We always wish the best for you and your vacation! We are looking forward to meeting you and hope you feel the same way.

We do not cancel our tours due to rainy weather: all tours go rain or shine. Rest assured you will be able to have an amazing tour! Most of the time the showers are very local and it’s only raining at your resort.

There are really rare occasions where we will suggest you changing the day of the tour if we know that really bad weather is coming, but this rarely ever happens.

A deposit refund is possible when we have to cancel your tour for safety reasons: extremely rare cases such as a hurricane alert.

What is our payment policy?

We require a small Deposit to secure your spot.
The remining balance is due in cash preferably, as we will use your payment as our budget for the day.
We could accept a full payment in advance, at the time of booking with a small fee of 6%.
Electronic payments nor credit cards are not accepted on the day of your tour.
We only accept cash payments in Mexican Pesos (preferred) and US Dollars, according to the exchange rate shown on your booking confirmation. Our exchange rates are based on google exchange rates, so it is fair both ways.

Can I Pay with Credit Card?

The deposit can be paid with credit card through PayPal. The balance is due the day of your tour, and should be paid in cash, either USD or Mexican Pesos (we don’t accept travellers checks). If you want to pay the balance with credit card, you should let us know at the time of booking, and we will send you an additional PayPal link for the indicated amount plus 6% PayPal fees. Please note we can not accept credit cards the day of the tour itself.

Can I Pay in Pesos or USD?

Yes, we accept Mexican pesos or US Dollars, and apply Scotiabank’s daily exchange rate. Please note the bank’s exchange rate is always higher (but more accurate) than the exchange rates offered at your resort or at the money exchange offices in the street.

Is tipping customary in Mexico?

Tipping is a widely practiced social custom in Mexico as it is in the United States. Tipping by definition is voluntary. The amount you tip is at your discretion and should be based on the quality of service you received. Our tour guides will split tips with the Driver too. You may choose to tip extra for superior service, optional 10 to 20% when you are pleased with your tour.

In All-Inclusive hotels you do have the option to slip some bills to those resort workers that go out of their way, most hotel staff are happy to receive tips. Tips at restaurants go from 10 to 20%.

Credit Card or Cash?

Please note that the remaining balance is due in cash upon pickup in Mexican currency (preferred), USD. No credit cards are accepted on the day of the tour.
Most of the resorts in Mexico have safe ATM’s available.
Remember to tell your local bank that you are leaving your country so they let you make ATM transactions while in Mexico.
Please make sure that you have enough cash a few days before your tour so full payment can be made without delaying your tour.

Is it best to book my tour before traveling or wait until we get there?

We are a small team of highly organized people, so we always suggest to book a few weeks or even months in advance to avoid disappointment. Our tour services are limited and subject to availability.
The best way to book and get in touch with us is by filling out the Contact & Bookings Form on this website.

Who is Rod Ratner?

Rod Ratner is the founder of The Custom Tour. He is in charge of organizing and planning your adventures. In 2008 he started The Custom Tour, sharing his passion for the local culture, flora and fauna with customers from all over the world. Rod now has retired from the daily operations and no longer is aboard as a tour guide. Rod spends his days at the office designing tours and answering emails.

Is there a weight or age limit for the zip-lines and canoes?

Canoes and zip-lines are suitable for all ages.
Weight limit is 290 pounds or 130 kg. Safety gear is provided up to XXL size.
The 3 different zip-lines are 240, 120 and 110-yard long galvanized aircraft wires. They are totally safe!

What to bring with me on the tour?

We recommend wearing comfortable light-colored clothing, hats and sunglasses.
Comfortable walking shoes if you are visiting the Mayan ruins.
If your tour includes water activities please do not forget to bring your swimming suits and towels.
Water shoes or flip-flops.
Optional rash-guard or long-sleeve swimming shirt, as most swimming places do not allow sunscreen.
Organic sunblock & natural mosquito repellent.
Extra cash for gratuity, souvenirs or other personal expenses.

How easy is it to book a tour?

Booking a Custom Tour is very simple!
Just send us a Booking Form with your traveling information.
We will confirm the cost and tour details with a clear and easy to understand email.
We will request a small PayPal deposit to secure your spot. Upon receiving your deposit we will email you a confirmation letter. The total balance of the tour will be due on the day of the tour in cash.

What is included in the tour?

Expert tour guide for the day.
All entrance fees: admissions without lines.
A cooler with ice-cold bottled water, welcome snacks and granola bars.
Comfortable A/C touring vehicle (private driver, parking fees, fuel and round trip from your hotel).
Most full-day tours include an authentic Mexican lunch. Half-day tours do not include lunch.

Are the tours suitable for all ages?

We do not have an age limit! Our custom tours are suitable for most ages, however, it is a must to be able to swim (with a floating device) and walk. We have organized family-friendly tours with toddlers and 85 year old grandparents and they loved it!

How do you get your FREE pictures after the tour?

We want to help you create memories that last a lifetime! We are happy to take pictures of your party during your tour as a special bonus. We will prepare a digital album in less than a week, and send you a link so you can share and download your pictures with your family and friends!

Why book with The Custom Tour?

We are passionate about our job! We are simply the best at what we do!
We know how to deliver the highlight of your trip: best value for money and your precious vacation time.
We care about our natural resources: no animals kept in captivity, we take you to their natural habitats.
We focus on quality, not quantity.
We love to share our authentic food made by real locals.
We provide high-quality experiences with newer touring vehicles and your very own knowledgeable tour guide, in the friendliest way and in a relaxing atmosphere.

Do you need any snorkeling experience before taking a tour?

Absolutely not! We provide life jackets or flotation aid. Remember this is a private tour and your personal tour guide will give you a full detailed briefing about how to use the equipment. We are happy to share some comfortable snorkeling techniques with you. We are always there to ensure you feel safe at all times. Some swimming skills are required and a good health condition.

How do I make reservations?

You can contact us through the contact form on our booking webpage. Please include your preferred date and any special requests you might have. In case the contact form does not work, please send an e-mail to including all the info that is asked for in our contact form. We will get back to you with the details of your booking, availability and send you a PayPal link for a small deposit. Please note you don’t need to have a PayPal account in order to process the deposit. The PayPal link comes with clear instructions, and you should be able to pay with your debit or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a confirmation email.

In case you didn’t make reservations ahead of time, you can always check with us upon arrival for availability. We strongly recommend that you book your spot in advance.

You have sent us a contact form but have not heard from us yet?

Please check that the email address you provided is spelled correctly.
If you have not heard back from us after 12 hours, please check your spam folder and make sure we are on your safe list.

What are your Opening Hours?

We operate seven days a week from 8 AM to 8 PM.
All reservations are made online and by email. We do not have a shop or office open to the public.
Departure time from Playa del Carmen, for most tours, is around 7:00 AM.

At what time will the pick up be?

Timing is vital for your tour experience, we really try to beat the busiest times you visit these fascinating sites when it’s quieter and more peaceful. It all depends on the tour you choose. Our tours starts around 6, 7 or 8 AM depending on hotel location and itinerary, as we want to be the first ones getting to the sites and beat the heat and the traffic.

If you desire a different pick up time we can adjust it to your personal preferences. Tour itineraries without visiting Mayan ruins may start up to 8:30 AM depending on resort location. We will send you a confirmation email with the exact pick up time.

Where will the pick up take place?

We pick you up right at your hotel, resort, villa or vacation rental.
Just make sure you give us the exact name and location in advance.
If you are staying in a resort please remember to share your room numbers with us upon arrival so we can arrange the logistics of your pickup.

Pick ups inside the Playa del Carmen area are included.
Additional transportation charges may apply per vehicle depending on hotel location:
Maroma/Paraiso beach (+$40), Tulum or Puerto Morelos (+$50), Petempich/Moon Palace (+$60), Cancun (+$80), Playa Mujeres (+$90). These additional rates are different for the Whale Shark Safari.

Some resorts do not allow external vans to enter the property. The Mayan Palace or Vidanta group and Princess resorts are some examples. In these cases the pick up will be at the main gate. We will confirm these details when we send you your confirmation email.

Vegetarian, vegan or food allergies?

We do our best to take care of your dietary needs! Please let us know at the time you book a tour so we can arrange everything accordingly. Any special dietary requirements may imply additional costs.

Am I allowed to use my sunscreen for the swimming activities?

As snorkelers we always recommend to swim with a rash-guard or lycra shirt instead of using sunscreen. Wearing a long sleeve shirt will protect your skin from the sun and will help us maintain the environment and the Cenotes pristine and healthy.
Our second option is to use a mineral based organic sunblock. The base ingredients that are allowed are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Please notice that buying “bio” sunscreen from the commercial brands is not an option. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Is the Riviera Maya safe?

Of course it is! That’s why millions of people come down to the Riviera Maya & Cancun area every year!
All of the locations we will visit are considered very safe.


The Ultimate Tour Experience!

We specialize in private tours, family vacations, romantic getaways, wedding groups or large events. The highlight of your trip!

Explore the amazing Riviera Maya

We offer you the most comfortable tour experiences around Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Tulum & the Riviera.

Worry-free Travel

Our efficient logistics will allow you to enjoy a perfect day, just with the people you love, doing exactly what you want to do, at your own pace and without hassle.

Tailor-made Excursions

VIP services adapted to your personal interests. Allow us to design an unforgettable vacation, creating memories for life!


Playa del Carmen Private Tours in Riviera Maya

Best Value for Money

And your precious vacation time. Let us take care of all the details and enjoy a relaxing tour!

Playa del Carmen Private Tours in Riviera Maya

Exceptional Service

Tour Guide support and assistance at all times during your private tour. We’re always there for you!

Playa del Carmen Private Tours in Riviera Maya


Send us your tour inquiry. Secure your spot and get ready for the highlight of your trip!