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After spending two months residing in Mérida and years of journeys touring via the Yucatán Peninsula, I’ve lastly put collectively the most effective itinerary for 2 weeks in Mexico.
Most vacationers go to Mexico to lie on the seashore for every week, perhaps go on an tour to a damage or a cenote, and head straight residence.
And sure. That may be enjoyable. However you are able to do SO MUCH higher than that!!
Mexico is one in every of my favourite international locations. It’s completely brimming with tradition and music and implausible meals and the nicest, kindest individuals. It’s numerous in experiences and it’s so far more than what most individuals suppose it’s.
You may have a look at this itinerary and suppose to your self, “You recognize, I’ve been to Playa del Carmen earlier than. I’ve achieved Chichén Itzá, too. Is it price it to return to the identical area?”
Sure. It’s price it. As a result of the Yucatán is SO far more than simply seashores and ruins. Plus, while you do it by yourself — on a highway journey and even by public transportation — it’s a lot extra satisfying than staying in a resort and touring on excursions.
Even if you happen to’ve already been to a resort within the Cancún-Playa del Carmen-Tulum space, I encourage you to present road-tripping across the Yucatán Peninsula an opportunity. It is a implausible a part of Mexico.
Two Weeks in Mexico
When you’ve obtained two weeks in Mexico, you possibly can go in numerous totally different instructions. Actually, I’ve spent months in Mexico and my listing of locations I nonetheless haven’t been (Baja! Guanajuato! El Chepe!) is miles lengthy.
However the Yucatán Peninsula is nice as a result of it’s straightforward for all types of vacationers, but numerous and fulfilling sufficient for knowledgeable vacationers.
You’ll fly into Cancún, a straightforward airport with numerous flights. You’ll drive on good roads. You’ll go to locations which might be accustomed to tourism — however not too overtouristed.
What does this a part of Mexico seem like? In two weeks within the Yucatán Peninsula, you possibly can see locations as diverse as these:
Unusually, this Mexico itinerary does NOT embrace Cancún, Playa del Carmen, or Tulum. Virtually each Yucatán highway journey itinerary contains at the least one in every of these locations as a stopover. Not this time.
Why don’t I embrace them? As a result of there are higher locations to go.
My purpose, in the present day and all the time, is to make sure that you have got the most effective journey potential. These three locations are overcrowded and costly. You don’t should go there simply because everybody else does — however you’ll nonetheless pack in some seashore time.
This two week journey to Mexico packs in a lot! One of many coolest islands round, a giant metropolis with tons of nice eating places, historical Mayan ruins, underground neon-blue cenotes, gentle white sand seashores, and the Lake of Seven Colours.
Yucatán Highway Journey Map
On the map above, you possibly can see the driving route you’d tackle this journey. The locations in blue are the place you’d in a single day; the locations in orange are day journey choices.
Right here is the 2 weeks in Mexico itinerary I like to recommend:
- Day 1: Arrive Cancún Airport, drive to Chiquilá, ferry to Holbox
- Days 2-3: Holbox
- Day 4: Drive from Holbox to Río Lagartos
- Day 5: Río Lagartos and Las Coloradas
- Day 6: Drive from Río Lagartos to Valladolíd
- Day 7: Drive from Valladolíd to Mérida by way of Chichén Itzá, cenotes, and Izamal
- Days 8-10: Mérida and day journeys
- Day 11: Drive from Mérida to Bacalar
- Days 12-13: Bacalar
- Day 14: Drive from Bacalar to Cancún Airport
Day 1: Arrive Cancún, drive to Holbox
Upon arrival, choose up your rental automobile and drive to the city of Chiquilá (two hours). This city is the place you get the ferry to Holbox. Holbox is a car-free island (apart from some native automobiles), so that you’ll be leaving your automobile on the mainland for a number of days.
Park in one of many many parking heaps in Chiquilá — don’t fear, this can be a protected place to go away your automobile! Loads of vacationers do on daily basis. The charges are normally 100 pesos ($5) for 24 hours.
Head to the dock and hop on one of many ferries that run each half hour. The journey prices about 200 pesos ($10) for an grownup.
When you arrive on the island, stroll or take a taxi to your lodging (the taxis are all golf carts right here!). Then simply loosen up and stroll across the island, attending to know your new residence for a number of days. You’ll be spending three nights right here.
The place to Keep in Holbox
Holbox is a small island, and I like to recommend staying inside a number of blocks of the principle middle. The western a part of the island is residence to numerous leases, however there aren’t as many retailers or eating places.
If you would like a luxurious lodging, I like to recommend Ser Casasandra. That is the most effective luxurious spot on the island. I like the beachfront space, the pool, the romantic design of the rooms, and the meals is excellent.
If you would like mid-range lodging, I like to recommend Hotel Para Ti. I completely liked this adults-only lodge. It has an amazing pool space, the decor is bohemian and enjoyable, they’re an ideal quiet location a number of blocks from the city, and as soon as once more, ADULTS ONLY.
If you would like finances lodging, I like to recommend Hotel V10 Paseo de Kuka. It’s a easy place, a brief stroll from the seashore and the middle of city. If you wish to keep at a hostel, I like to recommend Tribu, however know it will possibly get loud at night time.
Days 2 and three: Isla Holbox
Take these two full days to unwind on Isla Holbox. You possibly can spend your time idling on the seashore or taking day journeys across the island. Both method, you should definitely have some nice cocktails and catch a number of sunsets.
Remember to cease by my good friend Lucie’s eatery — Lulu’s Sandwich Shop and Paninis, positioned within the Holbox Foodie Market.
Issues to Do in Isla Holbox
Take a ship journey to Cabo Catoche. This inlet is additional away from city, but it surely’s the place you get the clearest, most stunning water. An absolute should for individuals who need good photographs of Holbox. Most Cabo Catoche journeys embrace snorkeling and/or fishing.
See three islands on a ship journey. The favored three-island boat journey will take you to Hen Island, residence to tons of attention-grabbing birds; uninhabited Pasion Island, the place you possibly can stroll on a sandbar; in addition to the mainland to swim in Cenote Yalahau. You can book here.
When you’re visiting from June via September, swim with whale sharks. When you like sea creatures, that is phenomenal to witness! Peak season is in July and August and you can book here.
Head to Punta Cocos for the sundown. Watch with a cocktail in hand! It’s a really lengthy stroll and I like to recommend taking a taxi, as it is going to be darkish while you begin strolling again. Taxis wait round to take individuals again after sundown. Convey mosquito repellant.
Simply hang around on the seashore. Even if you happen to don’t ebook a lodge with beachfront entry, there are many seashore golf equipment and eating places the place you possibly can arrange camp for the day.
See my full information to Holbox:
Day 4: Holbox to Río Lagartos
Take the ferry again to Chiquilá, choose up your automobile, and head out on the highway. When you’re hungry, I like to recommend getting breakfast at La Sardina Enamorada on the mainland in Chiquilá.
Right now you’ll be driving from Chiquilá to Río Lagartos (2 hours, 45 minutes), crossing from Quintana Roo into Yucatán state.
Know that you may be crossing a time zone! As you cross into Yucatán state, time drops one hour earlier.
Rio Lagartos is a small, sleepy city recognized for its wildlife and pure wonders. You’ll get pleasure from basing right here for 2 nights.
The place to Keep in Río Lagartos
Río Lagartos is a really small city and there isn’t an enormous number of lodging — at the least not but! All of those properties are positioned inside the middle of city.
If you would like luxurious lodging, I like to recommend Hotel Río Lagartos. Whereas not tremendous luxurious, this is without doubt one of the greatest properties on the town. It has a pleasant pool and swim-up bar, in addition to views over the water.
If you would like mid-range lodging, I like to recommend Hotel Tabasco Rio. This fashionable property affords nice worth for cash and has scorching, highly effective showers.
If you would like finances lodging, I like to recommend Hotel Mercy Inn’s. This lodge is straightforward however clear and comfy with beds which might be a step above the usuals in finances Mexican resorts.
Day 5: Río Lagartos and Las Coloradas
When you’ve dreamed of visiting pink lakes, that’s the star attraction of this area. These pink lakes are known as Las Coloradas. And these lakes are going to be the cornerstone of what you see in the present day.
In Río Lagartos there are a number of tour operators on the town who’ve each non-public and group excursions of the landscapes and the neon pink salt flats. I don’t have a particular tour operator suggestion, however you should definitely ask round and see simply how a lot time you spend on the lakes. Some tour operators will whisk you by rapidly with out a lot time to get pleasure from them.
Remember the fact that it’s possible you’ll not see as many flamingos as you’d like — peak season is from March to June and local weather change has impacted the variety of flamingos that make their residence right here. However the pink lakes? Spectacular.
Vital observe: Since Las Coloradas grew to become an Instagram hotspot in the previous few years, individuals are now not allowed to get into the pink lakes or use drones on the lakes. Please respect the foundations.
Day 6: Río Lagartos to Valladolíd
Right now you’re heading south to Valladolíd. It is a quick journey — simply 90 minutes by automobile — which is able to go away you a lot of the day to get pleasure from this beautiful little metropolis. Valladolíd is a superb spot to loosen up and revel in life at a slower tempo.
When you’re into ruins, it’s possible you’ll need to cease on the ruins of Ek Balam en route. That is fairly a ruinous itinerary as is, nevertheless — be happy to do what feels best for you!
Issues to Do in Valladolíd
Take a dip in Cenote Zaci. Cenotes are all around the Yucatán, however Cenote Zaci is correct in the midst of downtown Valladolíd! The water isn’t as clear as others but it surely’s a fantastic setting with waterfalls. It’s one of many deepest cenotes within the area, too, and hosts free diving competitions.
Benefit from the zócalo. Valladolíd’s important sq. is a stunning place to sit down and people-watch.
Get gelato at Wabi Gelato. Good gelato is very arduous to seek out in Mexico — this can be a particular place for a deal with. Flavors are restricted however ingenious and alter continuously. I liked the rosemary gelato.
Stroll down Calzada de los Frailes. That is arguably the prettiest avenue in Valladolíd, adorned with flags and lined with cafes, bakeries, retailers, and resorts. I had an amazing pay de limón (lemon pie) at a restaurant known as ConKafecito.
Go to the Convent de San Bernardino de Siena. On the finish of Calzada de los Frailes is a former convent that you would be able to go to. There’s a sound and light-weight present within the evenings. That is additionally the place you’ll discover the city’s Valladolíd signal.
The place to Keep in Valladolíd
Valladolíd is a small, low cost metropolis and you may get pleasure from it on a finances, however spending a bit extra money can get you a a lot nicer lodge. I like to recommend staying inside a number of blocks of the zócalo, the principle sq., to maximise your temporary time right here.
If you would like luxurious lodging, I like to recommend Le Muuch Hotel. This can be probably the most stunning property on the town with stylish, colourful rooms and a fantastic out of doors space with hammocks and a pool.
If you would like mid-range lodging, I like to recommend Casa Tia Micha. It is a mid-range property that feels luxurious, from its stylish stone bathtubs to its elegant carved wooden furnishings, but it surely’s properly priced and central.
If you would like finances lodging, I like to recommend Hotel Zazil-Maj. Right here the rooms are easy however clear and just lately renovated, only a few blocks from Cenote Zaci.
Day 7: Valladolíd to Mérida by way of Chichén Itzá and Izamal
Prepare for a busy day. There’s a lot to see between Valladolíd to Mérida, and that is sooner or later that you would be able to maximize to the fullest.
Very first thing within the morning, head to the Chichén Itzá ruins (45 minutes). They open at 8:00 AM and I like to recommend being there as early as potential to get a great parking spot and keep away from the vacationer crowds from the resorts.
The Chichén Itzá ruins are a few of the largest and most spectacular ruins on the Yucatán Peninsula, in addition to a UNESCO World Heritage Website. El Castillo, also referred to as the Temple of Kukulkan, is a gigantic and spectacular pyramid, however I discovered a few of the most pleasant websites are these additional afield.
Remember the fact that Chichén Itzá permits retailers to promote direct on website, and it will possibly get annoying having males continuously ask you to purchase issues. They promote units that make a jaguar noise, so that you’ll hear fixed jaguar shrieks all through your go to. Be prepared for that!
Be aware: I don’t suggest visiting Chichén Itzá on a Sunday. That is when Mexicans get free admission. In consequence, the location is much more insanely crowded and parking is a nightmare. If Day 7 is scheduled on a Sunday, I like to recommend going to Chichén Itzá on the afternoon of Day 6 as an alternative.
After the ruins, backtrack a bit to get pleasure from a cenote. One in every of my favourite cenotes is on this area: Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman. I like this cenote as a result of it’s visually spectacular, giant, not too touristed, the grounds are beautiful, and the meals is surprisingly good. It’s strong throughout and an amazing place to go to.
You do drive again towards Valladolíd for this cenote (50 minutes), however belief me, it’s greatest to go to Chichén Itzá within the morning when it’s much less scorching and crowded after which cool off within the cenote after.
An alternative choice is Cenote Ik-Kil, which has an analogous look and elegance, however that is far more fashionable with Chichén Itzá vacationers and it will get extra crowded.
If you’re achieved cenote-ing, it’s time to drive to Izamal (1 hour, 45 minutes). This city, one in every of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos, is legendary for its colour — the whole lot is painted brilliant canary yellow! Whereas some individuals say that it was painted yellow for Pope John Paul II’s go to in 1993, the city was truly yellow for fairly a while beforehand. It’s a cute city and nice for photographs.
When you’re low on time, you possibly can axe Izamal if you wish to — it’s straightforward to go to from Mérida.
Lastly, it’s time to drive from Izamal to Mérida (1 hour), the place you’ll be staying for the subsequent 4 nights.
The place to Keep in Mérida
My prime suggestion in Mérida is to remain in Centro. Mérida is a large metropolis of many neighborhoods, and a few of these neighborhoods are fashionable with expats, however I like to recommend Centro since you’ll have the ability to stroll in every single place (or take a $1 Uber), the most effective eating places are positioned right here, and it’s stuffed with beautiful colourful buildings and good parks.
A lot of the best listings in Mérida can be found on Airbnb, particularly if you wish to be in a standard home.
If you would like luxurious lodging, I like to recommend Casa Lecanda Boutique Hotel. Each inch of this fantastically restored villa lodge is drool-worthy, from the out of doors pool space to the elegant, stylish rooms. It’s positioned proper on the most effective restaurant avenue in Mérida, actually the most effective location potential, and is near the whole lot.
If you would like mid-range lodging, I like to recommend Viva Mérida Hotel Boutique. If you see this lodge, you’ll suppose it’s luxurious — but it surely’s truly nice worth for cash. The lodge is colourful and really Yucatecan in fashion, and it’s a number of blocks from Mérida’s zócalo and the middle of city.
If you would like finances lodging, I like to recommend Hotel La Piazzetta. Positioned on the jap a part of the Centro on Parque de la Mejorada, this lodge is small and easy with comfy rooms however they carry out cute artistic touches wherever they will.
So far as hostels go, Nomadas Ecohostel is a traditional.
Days 8, 9, and 10: Mérida
I visited Mérida for the primary time in early 2019, and I liked it a lot, I got here again to dwell there for 2 months a 12 months later! This metropolis is low-key, welcoming, and low cost. It’s not on the radar of many vacationers, however individuals who cease right here find yourself loving it.
By this level, midway via your Yucatán highway journey, you’ll be seeking to loosen up a bit, and Mérida is the proper place to take action. Come right here to discover the environment. I hope you’re able to eat.
Mérida is a superb place to hang around, however greater than that, I’m satisfied it’s the most effective base for day journeys in all of Mexico. You possibly can go to so many cool locations inside a brief drive of Mérida.
Finest Eating places in Mérida
You possibly can eat extraordinarily properly on a budget in Mérida. Actually, I’m together with an entire eating places part right here as a result of there are such a lot of good ones. I miss the eating places in Mérida a lot!
For breakfast, my #1 suggestion is to get the molletes at SOCO. SOCO is a bakery and the whole lot they make is delicious. Molletes are a quite simple dish — simply bread topped with beans, cheese, and pico de gallo — however SOCO makes them SO significantly better than anybody else. You can too choose up a loaf of sourdough to take again with you.
For lunch and dinner, my absolute favourite restaurant is Micaela Mar y Leña, which focuses on seafood but in addition has quite a lot of good meat dishes. It is a high-end restaurant and if you happen to’re into design, you’ll love the inside. I need my future residence to seem like Micaela!
My favourite dishes are the smoked oyster dip appetizer (if you happen to’re a New Englander lacking chowder, it will scratch your itch), the fabulous grilled shrimp, and the entire octopus, which is a showstopper. The cocktails are sensational.
One other excellent restaurant, and the one I visited most continuously whereas residing in Mérida, is Hermana Republica (the situation on Avenida Colón is central to Mérida). It is a native brewery with glorious beers. My favourite is the Belgian Blonde.
It could simply be an off-the-cuff brewery, however the meals is SUPERB — Yucatecan and Mexican specialties which might be simply phenomenal, from sopa de lima to salbutes de cochinita to tostadas de atún. In addition they serve the most effective tortilla chips I’ve ever had.
These could also be my absolute favorites, however I’ve a number of others to suggest. I like Chill-Akil for customizable chilaquiles for breakfast (you may also go to Chilakilez if you happen to like them with crispy pork stomach). La Casita del Cheviche is nice for ceviche and particularly the shrimp aguachile. Merci is the place you go for fancy breakfast or lunch.
Mercado 60 is a stylish meals corridor with an enormous number of meals, not simply Mexican, and makes for a enjoyable night time out. El Catrín may be hit-or-miss, however the ambiance is enjoyable — go when it’s darkish for a mezcal margarita, guacamole, and their mild present.
And if you happen to love high-end espresso, Manifesto is phenomenal, with the most effective coffees on the town. They roast in-shop. Márago Coffee can be good they usually’ll make espresso in numerous other ways, from Chemex to French Press to Aeropress.
Issues to Do in Mérida
Actually, I spend my time in Mérida hanging out, consuming, or doing day journeys outdoors town. However if you happen to’re in search of issues to do inside the metropolis, listed here are a number of nice choices:
Stroll down Paseo Montejo. Many individuals take into account this one of the stunning streets in Mexico, lined with mansions, retailers, museums, and cafes.
Expertise a magical Mayan ancestral ceremony. This ceremony is an attention-grabbing look into Mayan tradition proper in Mérida. After receiving the ceremony from a Mayan shaman, you spend time soaking in a number of herb-scented tubs. It’s uncommon, peaceable, and I like to recommend it. Learn more here.
Go on a design stroll. Mérida is turning into one of many large design hubs for Mexico, and you may go on a number of totally different excursions to see how individuals have renovated these houses. The Mérida English Library places on free strolling excursions (see schedule here); this daily tour via Airbnb Experiences prices $15.
Try El Gran Museo del Mundo Maya. This phenomenal museum is without doubt one of the most complete guides to Mayan tradition, and has numerous attention-grabbing shows. It’s on the best way out of city.
Go to the cantinas. Two of Mérida’s most enjoyable informal bars are La Negrita and La Fundación Mezcalería, that are owned by the identical individuals and each characteristic nice drinks, dwell music, and dancing. La Negrita is open till 10 PM, making it an early spot; La Fundación Mezcalería goes till late.
Finest Day Journeys from Mérida
The place Mérida actually shines is its day journeys. It’s an enormous benefit over different Mexican cities. When you’re desperate to discover, take two of these Mérida days and spend them exploring the encompassing area. Listed here are a few of my suggestions:
Celestún. This low-key seashore city with powdery white sand simply is perhaps the next-next-next Holbox. You can too discover the mangroves. Whereas flamingoes used to dominate the panorama, their inhabitants has dwindled in recent times attributable to local weather change. Celestún is a superb day journey, and a one-hour drive from Mérida.
Progreso. Need a wilder Mexican seashore city? Progreso is a real native expertise with blasting music and beers on the seashore. Is it fairly? Eh, it’s all proper. However is it enjoyable and authentically Mexican getaway? Hell sure.
Progreso is a 40-minute drive from Mérida. When you plan to drink on the seashore, take into account taking an Uber as an alternative — it ought to take 40 minutes and price round $15 every method.
Mayapán ruins and cenotes. The Mayapán ruins are near Mérida (45 minutes — be certain to not drive to the city of Mayapán, which is a distinct place and additional away) and one of many good issues is that you would be able to truly climb them! Even the large pyramid. I did this Airbnb experience to Mayapán and it included visits to 2 spectacular cenotes that had been so distant, I by no means might have discovered them by myself.
When you skip Izamal in your drive from Valladolíd to Mérida, a few of my buddies suppose that Izamal makes the proper addition to a Mayapán and cenotes journey.
Uxmal ruins, chocolate museum, and cenotes. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Uxmal ruins are higher than Chichén Itzá, for my part, and get a fraction of the guests. The chocolate museum is subsequent to the ruins; there are various cenotes you possibly can go to on the best way again.
Homún or Cuzama cenotes. There are SO many cenote choices on this a part of the Yucatán! The cities of Homún and Cuzama are well-known for his or her excessive focus of cenotes, each hacienda cenotes and wild cenotes.
If you would like a extra developed and arranged cenote with a restaurant on website, head someplace just like the Santa Barbara Cenotes. However if you need one thing extra tough and wild, there are many bike drivers who will take you to some off the overwhelmed path websites.
Campeche. This city is so fairly. Campeche has a UNESCO World Heritage-listed previous city, and it’s prettier and extra put collectively than Mérida’s. At 2 hours and 15 minutes, it’s one of many longer day journeys from Mérida, however it may be achieved.
Alternatively, you possibly can spend three nights in Mérida as an alternative of 4 and spend the fourth night time in Campeche.
Day 11: Mérida to Bacalar
Bacalar, a city set on a lagoon in Quintana Roo, is one in every of my absolute favourite locations in all of Mexico. They name Lake Bacalar the Lake of Seven Colours and it genuinely lives as much as its title, shimmering in each colour from cerulean to aquamarine to ink.
Bacalar is exclusive and particular, and never too touristed but — however you possibly can inform that it’s on its approach to turning into a scorching spot. My recommendation? Go as quickly as you possibly can; it could not all the time be as peaceable as it’s now.
Bacalar is simply over a four-hour drive from Mérida. When you eat pork, I’ve the BEST lunch cease for you: it’s a spot known as Carnes Asadas “Mr. Samy’s” within the city of José Maria Morelos, about midway between Mérida and Bacalar. Samy and his fantastic household served me and my buddies on the best way there and again, and the meals is SO good.
Most definitely you’ll get to Bacalar within the late afternoon. Take it straightforward after your lengthy drive: get settled in at your lodge and revel in some drinks and ceviche whereas overlooking the gorgeous lake at sundown.
The place to Keep in Bacalar
If you would like luxurious lodging, there are two choices relying on the type of journey you need. I like to recommend Mia Bacalar Luxury Resort and Spa if you need an remoted luxurious spa getaway on the lake. If you wish to be central, and capable of benefit from the city, Hotel Carolina is without doubt one of the nicest properties in Bacalar city with good rooms and swings proper within the lake.
If you would like mid-range lodging, I like to recommend Casa Chukum. This stunning, environmentally pleasant lodge has colourful rooms and a chlorine-free swimming pool, and the complimentary breakfast contains eggs.
If you would like finances lodging, I like to recommend The Yak Lake House Hostel. This traditional Bacalar spot has each dorms and personal rooms, and it’s an amazing place to satisfy new individuals or simply loosen up at its lakefront location.
Days 12 and 13: Bacalar
You must spend a minimal of two full days in Bacalar, as a result of one needs to be spent on a ship tour of the lake, and one needs to be spent at Los Rapidos. Belief me on this one. They’re each fantastic actions and I wouldn’t need to go to Bacalar with out having fun with each to the fullest.
Issues to Do in Bacalar
The boat tour is the most well-liked exercise to do in Bacalar, and reserving this needs to be your prime precedence. You possibly can be a part of a ship tour — or rent your individual boat if you need a personal journey — and discover the lagoon, from the shallow waters of Pirates’ Canal to the darkish cenotes inside the lake itself. Many boats include drinks and switch into a celebration! You can book a boat trip with an open bar here.
Spend a day at Los Rapidos. Los Rapidos is a riverside seashore membership a couple of 20-minute drive outdoors Bacalar. You possibly can sit by the river, lie in Instagrammable hammocks proper within the water, and revel in meals and cocktails — however the most effective half is leaping within the river and letting it whisk you downstream! Insanely enjoyable.
I extremely suggest water shoes for Los Rapidos, because the pavement is sharp and painful to stroll on, however the river carries you downstream so you possibly can’t get out in the place you left your sneakers. Water sneakers resolve that drawback. They’re additionally good for sporting in Lake Bacalar.
Try the Cenote Azul. It is a good place to cease on the best way to Los Rapidos, because it’s on the identical highway out of city. This large open cenote is a pleasant place to cease for a morning swim.
Go stand-up paddle boarding. When you’ve by no means tried SUP earlier than, a lake is the proper place to be taught. It’s an amazing core exercise that doesn’t really feel like a exercise, and a beautiful approach to discover the lake. You can book a sunrise paddleboarding tour here.
Hang around on the docks and on the seashore golf equipment. All through Bacalar city there are docks the place you possibly can simply go and sit and benefit from the ambiance. Many are non-public to lodging, however a number of are open to the general public, too.
See my information to Bacalar:
Day 14: Bacalar to Cancún Airport
Unhappy instances — it’s time to move residence. The drive from Bacalar to Cancún Airport takes about 4 hours.
In case you have an early departing flight from Cancún, it’d make extra sense to drive up from Bacalar the night time earlier than and spend the night time in a lodge near the airport just like the Courtyard by Marriott Cancún Airport, which is sweet worth for cash and only a four-minute drive away.
Is it protected to drive in Mexico?
Lots of people get intimidated about driving in Mexico — but it surely’s not as scary as you suppose, particularly right here within the Yucatán Peninsula. It is a protected and straightforward area of the nation. I wouldn’t hesitate to drive alone on this a part of Mexico!
When you’re driving in Mexico for the primary time ever, the Yucatán Peninsula is the proper place to begin. Most main roads are in good situation. Yucatán state has exceptionally low crime; Quintana Roo state’s crime is generally concentrated within the resort cities you’ll be avoiding. The panorama is pretty flat and also you don’t should take care of loopy mountain passes.
In different components of Mexico, like distant areas of Chiapas, locals continuously shut down roads attributable to protests or ask passing drivers for cash; that is very unusual within the states of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo.
When you’re seeking to get good worth for cash, I recommend comparing car rental rates at RentalCars.com. Remember the fact that the most cost effective charges are sometimes for guide transmissions — if you happen to want an automated automobile, specify that while you ebook so there aren’t any surprises.
Clearly, you’ll want a license to drive in Mexico. Mexico acknowledges English language licenses, no matter nation. When you don’t have an English or Spanish language license, it’s possible you’ll need to convey a world driving allow (which is actually a translation of your license that you would be able to get in your house nation).
Mexicans drive on the suitable aspect of the highway.
When you’re nervous, it’s possible you’ll need to do all of your driving in the course of the day. I deliberate out this Mexico highway journey itinerary in order that you possibly can do your whole driving in the course of the day if potential. The longest driving days are about 4 hours. Lots of people really feel extra comfy driving in the course of the day, when extra individuals are out and the sunshine is healthier.
Velocity bumps are a steady annoyance whereas driving in Mexico. They’re in every single place — in the midst of cities, on smaller roads, on busy roads, and generally even on the freeway. Whereas generally they’re painted yellow and have indicators, generally they seem out of nowhere and are arduous to identify. Regulate the highway repeatedly.
There are many toll roads (cuota roads) in Mexico, they usually add up. Nonetheless, I like to recommend taking toll roads when you possibly can, as they are typically in much better situation with fewer potholes and pace bumps. Hold cash on you — each payments and alter — to pay these tolls. You will have to pay as a lot as 200 pesos ($10). Belief me, it’s higher than the common roads.
There are checkpoints all through the Yucatán Peninsula, particularly when crossing state strains. Typically they’ll wave you straight via; generally they’ll ask you the place you’re going. One time, when driving into the city of Hecelchakán in Campeche, an area cop requested me why we had been going. “Cochinita,” we replied — we had been there for the well-known slow-roasted pork. He grinned and waved us in.
Gasoline stations are straightforward to seek out all through the Yucatán Peninsula. I’m a reasonably cautious individual and have a tendency to refill once I get all the way down to half a tank; you received’t want to fret about this, as there are many stations. Gasoline stations in Mexico are full-service — the attendant pumps your gasoline for you. Remember to give him a small tip (10-20 pesos is okay).
You must understand that many rural areas of Mexico haven’t any cellphone sign, and that features alongside the highways. A lot of the time that you must get to a city earlier than you get cellphone sign.
Lastly — Mexico isn’t practically as harmful because the American media would have you ever imagine. Similar to the US, there are very protected areas and not-so-safe areas. A lot of the drug violence is concentrated in pockets of the north. The Yucatán Peninsula is a very protected space of Mexico — in actual fact, Yucatán State and Mérida are continuously cited because the most secure state and metropolis in Mexico.
Different Yucatan Highway Journey Itineraries
Need a barely totally different two week Mexico itinerary? No drawback! You possibly can customise this Yucatán highway journey itinerary to your wants.
Would you relatively take public transportation than drive? You are able to do that!
Would you relatively change lodging much less usually and keep longer in fewer locations? Certainly you possibly can.
Do you solely have 10 days or every week? We are able to completely work with that.
Do you have got greater than two weeks to journey? Fortunate you. I’ve recommendations.
Touring within the Yucatán by Public Transportation
Don’t need to drive? That’s okay! With a number of changes, you are able to do this journey by bus. You received’t have the liberty to return and go as you please, and also you’ll should plan forward for scheduling your time, however for some individuals, not having to drive makes it price it.
The buses on this a part of Mexico are very protected and comfy. I’ve taken them many instances as a solo feminine traveler and I wouldn’t hesitate to take them once more.
Right here is the two-week Mexico itinerary I like to recommend, utilizing public transportation:
- Day 1: Get a shuttle from Cancún Airport to Chiquilá, then get the ferry to Holbox
- Days 2-3: Holbox
- Day 4: Ferry to Chiquilá, bus from Chiquilá to Valladolíd, then change to a bus to Río Lagartos
- Day 5: Guide a day journey to Las Coloradas from Río Lagartos
- Day 6: Bus from Río Lagartos to Valladolíd
- Day 7: Colectivo from Valladolíd to Chichén Itzá and again, then bus from Valladolíd to Mérida
- Days 8-10: Mérida and day journeys
- Day 11: Bus from Mérida to Bacalar
- Days 12-13: Bacalar
- Day 14: Bus from Bacalar to Cancún Airport
A number of notes: You could need to swap up the order of Río Lagartos and Valladolíd. When you’re touring from Río Lagartos to Mérida, you’ll want to vary buses in Tizimín.
You technically can get a bus from Chichén Itzá to Mérida, however you most likely don’t need to drag your baggage across the ruins, so I like to recommend leaving your luggage in your lodge in Valladolíd and simply going again to catch the subsequent bus to Mérida.
Whereas in Mérida, you’ll be higher off doing organized day journeys that embrace the transportation.
Listed here are a number of straightforward and enjoyable day journeys from Mérida the place you received’t should drive:
Progreso seashore: Head to Progreso by public bus from Mérida (20 pesos, or $1, every method), or take an Uber for about $15 USD every method. The drive is simply 40 minutes.
Mayapán ruins and cenotes: I did this Airbnb experience that entails going to the Mayapán ruins and two of probably the most remoted and spectacular cenotes I’ve ever seen. Memo is a superb information.
Homún cenotes: Take a colectivo from Mérida to Homún (1 hour) and upon arrival, rent a motorcycle driver to both take you to Santa Barbara Cenotes (resort-like hacienda expertise) or rent a driver for the day to take you to a number of wild cenotes within the space. You can too do this by organized tour with UrbanAdventures.
One other comparable possibility is taking a colectivo to Cuzama, one other city near Homún that has its personal assortment of cenotes.
Celestún seashore and mangroves: I like to recommend reserving a tour for this as the general public bus takes 2.5 hours but it surely’s simply an hour’s drive from Mérida. This organized tour contains time within the biosphere reserve and free time on the white sand seashore.
Uxmal ruins, hacienda, and cenote: This organized tour features a journey to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Uxmal ruins, Yaxcopoil Hacienda, and Cenote Peba.
A Slower Two Week Mexico Itinerary
Do you like not altering resorts usually, with longer stays in fewer locations? I completely get it. If that’s the case with you, I like to recommend basing in three locations throughout your two week journey to Mexico: Holbox, Mérida, and Bacalar.
This itinerary can be straightforward to do with public transportation.
- Day 1: Drive from Cancún Airport to Chiquilá, ferry to Holbox
- Days 2-4: Holbox
- Day 5: Ferry to Chiquilá, drive to Mérida by way of Valladolíd and Chichén Itzá
- Days 6-9: Mérida
- Day 10: Drive from Mérida to Bacalar
- Days 11-13: Bacalar
- Day 14: Drive from Bacalar to Cancún Airport
If You Have Greater than Two Weeks
In case you have longer than two weeks to your Yucatán highway journey itinerary, you possibly can add additional days to any of the beforehand talked about locations. Holbox, Mérida, and Bacalar specifically can be nice locations so as to add additional days. Listed here are another issues you are able to do.
Spend an evening in Campeche. Or perhaps two. Campeche is gorgeous — its previous city is smaller, cleaner, prettier, and higher put collectively than Mérida’s. There’s additionally a pleasant malecón, or path alongside the seafront. A stunning spot to spend a while.
Spend an evening or two in Mahahual. This beachside city on the Costa Maya is on the verge of getting super-popular — the best way Tulum was 15 years in the past. The time to go to is now, whereas it’s nonetheless a bit low-key, earlier than the key builders arrive.
When you REALLY need to, spend an evening or two in Cancún, Playa Del Carmen, or Tulum. I’m not going to cease you. Simply go in with measured expectations. They’re fashionable resort cities. Like I mentioned, there are much better locations to go to within the Yucatán Peninsula, and also you’ve been to numerous them.
See the Coba ruins. The Coba ruins are about 45 minutes west of Tulum and just like the Mayapán ruins, you possibly can climb them! The Gran Cenote makes a great cease on the best way again (there are turtles swimming in it!) however understand it’s a lot pricier than the cenotes close to Mérida and Valladolíd.
In case you have the finances for an evening or two in a resort, you’ll most likely need to do it across the Riviera Maya. This a part of Mexico isn’t missing in resorts! Enjoyable by the pool with a cocktail in hand could be a good approach to finish your two-week Mexico highway journey.
10 Days in Mexico Itinerary
When you solely have 10 days in Mexico, I’d make a number of cuts on the locations that excite you the least. If if had been as much as me, I’d reduce Río Lagartos out of your itinerary, restrict Valladolíd to a brief drive-by go to, and take away one of many days in Mérida.
Day Four goes to be a LONG day. I like to recommend beginning early to profit from it.
- Day 1: Arrive Cancún Airport, drive to Chiquilá, ferry to Holbox
- Days 2-3: Holbox
- Day 4: Drive from Holbox to Mérida by way of Valladolíd, Chichén Itzá, presumably a cenote
- Day 5-6: Mérida and day journeys
- Day 7: Drive from Mérida to Bacalar
- Days 8-9: Bacalar
- Day 10: Drive from Bacalar to Cancún Airport
One Week in Mexico Itinerary
When you solely have one week in Mexico, I’d break up your time between two locations: both Holbox and Mérida or Bacalar and Mérida. I do know it’s tempting so as to add in numerous locations, however belief me on this one.
In 2019 I spent every week in Mexico break up between Holbox and Mérida and it was good. (And it positively whet my urge for food for extra — a 12 months later I got here again for 2 full months!)
You could need to take into account a one-way automobile rental from Cancún to Mérida. One-way leases can usually be costlier, but it surely saves you hours of driving on this case. As soon as once more, RentalCars.com will provide you with an thought of the pricing.
However a automobile isn’t essential for this weeklong journey. You possibly can simply do that itinerary by public transportation on the ADO buses, as I did in 2019. When you go to Holbox, take one of many many shuttles from Cancún Airport to Chiquilá — it’s sooner and simpler than the bus.
- Day 1: Arrive Cancún, drive to Chiquilá and get the ferry to Holbox (or drive to Bacalar)
- Days 2-3: Holbox (or Bacalar)
- Day 4: Drive from Chiquilá (or Bacalar) to Mérida
- Days 5 and 6: Mérida
- Day 7: Depart Mérida
There’s much more to see on the drive from Chiquilá to Mérida — Valladolíd, Chichén Itzá, some cool cenotes, Izamal — than the drive from Bacalar to Mérida.
So which place is healthier, Holbox or Bacalar? Wow, that’s a tricky one! Having frolicked in each locations just lately, I’d give the sting to Bacalar. It’s extra distinctive and I believe it has a greater vibe.
Mexico Journey Ideas
If you arrive in Mexico, you’ll fill out a kind on the airplane and current it at immigration. You’ll be given a part of the shape again. This must be offered while you go away Mexico — don’t lose it! When you do lose it, there are locations within the airport the place you will get a brand new one.
If you wish to get a SIM card to your cellphone when in Mexico, I like to recommend Telcel. Keep in mind to convey your passport to the shop for ID. When you run out of information, you possibly can prime it up at an OXXO drug retailer, that are throughout Mexico.
Quintana Roo and Yucatán states are in numerous time zones. In accordance with this itinerary, you’ll cross these time zones while you go from Holbox to Rio Lagartos on Day 4 and while you go from Mérida to Bacalar on Day Ten. Hold that in thoughts.
Hold small change for bogs. Many bogs cost you to make use of them. It’s normally 5 pesos (25 cents).
Remember the fact that an “M” on the lavatory means it’s for girls! I’ve made that mistake earlier than! M is for mujeres, or ladies. Typically bogs are labeled Mujeres and Hombres, or Damas and Caballeros.
The water isn’t protected to drink in Mexico. Your lodging will usually offer you consuming water, and I like to recommend a LifeStraw or SteriPen water purifier and reusable bottle to chop down in your plastic waste. That mentioned, there’s nothing improper with brushing your tooth with Mexican water.
When you get sick in Mexico, take into account visiting a Farmacia Ahorro. I discovered this on my newest journey — a number of pharmacy chains, together with Farmacia Ahorro, have a physician working within the pharmacy who can look at you! Ask the pharmacist they usually’ll provide you with a ticket for the physician. Tip the physician while you’re achieved (100 pesos, or $5, is okay).
Finest Time to Go to Mexico for a Yucatán Highway Journey
The very best time to go to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico is in the course of the winter months: from December to March. That is primarily for climate causes: good sunny days, it hardly ever rains and temperatures are at their most nice.
That is particularly necessary as a result of Mérida is brutally scorching for a lot of the 12 months. The winter months are when Mérida is at its most nice, however even in winter, you’ll sometimes have some days at 95 F (35 C).
Exterior of those months, it actually heats up in Mérida. Mérida’s hottest month is Could, and late April and early June are additionally brutally scorching. It stays scorching via November.
The opposite locations on this itinerary, like Holbox and Bacalar, aren’t QUITE as scorching as Mérida, however the warmth can nonetheless be disagreeable. Plus, a lot of this itinerary depends on out of doors climate circumstances and I do know you’d relatively not threat being rained out.
Consequently, this winter months are when Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula will get probably the most vacationers, and when locations are typically costliest. However I encourage you to go to right now as a result of climate actually could make or break your go to.
Plus, visiting Mexico when it’s chilly at house is the purpose! You want a heat climate escape, and Mexico is without doubt one of the absolute best locations you possibly can go to. Your folks are going to be jealous of your photographs…
What to Pack for a Mexico Highway Journey
The benefit of Mexico is that you would be able to usually purchase what you want there. Nonetheless, it is best to pack properly, simply in case.
By way of clothes, you possibly can put on no matter you need in Mexico — simply nothing grotesquely revealing, and preserve swimwear to the seashore. Mild materials aid you breathe. I are inclined to put on attire, skirts, and tank tops with sandals, plus some athletic put on for lively days. You may need to convey a sweater and denims for cool nights or bus rides.
(Like my bag within the photograph above? I obtained it at Poshería, my favourite store in Mérida, proper on Paseo Montejo. Such an amazing, helpful memento!)
Listed here are some gadgets which might be sensible to pack for a visit to Mexico:
Biodegradable sunscreen. Depart your common sunscreen at residence — it may be dangerous to delicate areas like cenotes, Lake Bacalar, and the waters surrounding Holbox. Persist with the biodegradable or reef protected manufacturers.
Earplugs. Mexico is loud. Even in small cities. Even in luxurious resorts. Even on a Monday night time. Earplugs are important to get a great night time’s sleep in Mexico.
Mosquito repellant. Mosquitos may be incessant on this a part of Mexico, particularly at sundown.
Travel towel. Cenotes don’t present towels — you’ll have to convey your individual.
Sports sandals. Sports activities sandals are perfect for climbing ruins and exploring the outside whereas leaving your ft room to breathe on scorching days.
Water shoes. I don’t normally suggest these, however they’re extraordinarily helpful in Bacalar, particularly at Los Rapidos, the place you alternate being within the water and strolling on painful floor.
Journey Insurance coverage for Mexico
One final observe — it’s completely very important to have journey insurance coverage earlier than touring to Mexico. When you get sick or injured in your journey, if you happen to get robbed, or even when it’s a must to be flown residence for extra care, journey insurance coverage will defend you from monetary damage. I use and recommend World Nomads for trips to Mexico.
Journey insurance coverage will aid you in your hour of want if you happen to come down with appendicitis in Mérida or journey and break an ankle whereas climbing the pyramid at Mayapán, and in case your flights get canceled attributable to hurricanes, you will get lodging and new flights paid for.
As all the time, you should definitely learn your coverage fastidiously and ensure it’s a match for you. See what World Nomads covers here.
You will LOVE your Mexico highway journey.
Mexico is one in every of my absolute favourite locations on the earth. I like this nation fiercely, and I’ll all the time come again to it. The extra time I spend in Mexico, the extra locations I preserve including to go to sometime!
So many individuals go to Mexico and see nothing greater than seashore resorts, when the nation has SO far more to supply, particularly within the Yucatán Peninsula. I do know your journey can be so significantly better while you give attention to areas outdoors the resorts.
And please don’t neglect that you would be able to put your individual spin on no matter you need to do. Perhaps you’re not a fan of ruins. That’s nice! You don’t should go to any! And if you happen to don’t like swimming in deep water, know that you simply don’t should swim in any if you happen to don’t need to. (Plus, all of them present lifejackets.)
That is your journey. You go do Mexico the best way you need to. I’m simply right here that can assist you alongside the best way.
Have the most effective time in Mexico — then come again and inform me all about it!
Learn extra about Mexico:
Have you ever been to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula? The place do you suggest going? Share away!