Ready to begin planning your Yucatan itinerary? If you’re on the lookout for barely off-the-beaten-path cities and websites to go to in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, you’re in the fitting place. This seven-day Yucatan highway journey itinerary will allow you to plan a singular Yucatan Peninsula journey.
The smartest thing in regards to the Yucatan, situated in southeastern Mexico, is that there’s no scarcity of fantastic locations to go to, each on land and underneath the water. From Mayan ruins you possibly can climb, to swimmable cenotes (pure jungle swimming pools), there’s a lot to do right here that you may’t do wherever else on Earth.
Yucatan Road Trip – All You Need to Know
This itinerary begins with all of the issues you must know for a Yucatan highway journey, like renting a car vs taking the bus, and the way to get to the Yucatan Peninsula. After that, you’ll uncover all of the enjoyable locations and distinctive websites, which is able to make for an unforgettable Yucatan journey.
Where is the Yucatan Peninsula situated?
The Yucatan Peninsula is situated within the southeast tip of Mexico. As a peninsula, it does have water on three sides; to the south and east, there’s the brilliant blue Caribbean Sea, and to the north, you will have the Gulf of Mexico.
There are three Mexican states that make up the Yucatan Peninsula: 1) Quintana Roo state, residence to all the highest locations, like Cancun, Riviera Maya, and Tulum, 2) Yucatan state, the place you’ll discover colourful, colonial cities like Mérida and Valladolid, and three) Campeche state, an off the overwhelmed path vacation spot.
What’s the very best time to go to Yucatan?
The greatest months to go to Yucatan are from November to March. During these months, you get good cool climate and low humidity. The Yucatan Peninsula has a tropical local weather, so count on year-round excessive temperatures through the day and evening, although the winter and spring seasons are way more nice than summer season and fall.
Surrounded by water on three sides, Yucatan is inclined to hurricanes, tropical storms and really heavy rains through the June to October wet season. The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30, although Yucatan climate is normally good by the tip of October.
Do I would like a visa to go to Mexico?
United States, Canadian, and extra European passport holders don’t want a journey visa for Mexico — which is nice information as a result of in the event you wished to, you possibly can even do that Yucatan itinerary on a whim! For an inventory of all of the international locations that do require a Mexico journey visa, visit this site.
When you arrive in Mexico and undergo the Customs and Immigration line, an agent gives you your 180 day (6 month) FMM vacationer card. You should maintain this small piece of paper on you always, as proof you’re within the county legally. When you permit Mexico, it’s essential to return your FMM to an Immigration officer — so don’t lose it.
Traveling to the Yucatan Peninsula
For most vacationers, the simplest method to get to the Yucatan Peninsula is to fly to Cancun International Airport (code: CUN). There are smaller, regional Yucatan airports scattered all through the realm (the second largest is Merida International Airport), however it’s typically most handy to fly to Cancun.
Yucatan Car Rentals
Cancun Airport can be the very best place to get a rental automobile within the peninsula as a result of it has such a big choice. For nearly all of vacationers, it’s protected to drive in Yucatan, with the apparent caveat that you just’ll be out of the country, unfamiliar with its driving legal guidelines and native customs. Check automobile rental comparisons within the Yucatan at RentalCars.com
Driving in Mexico isn’t too dissimilar from the U.S. or Canada, however you may wish to ask the agent at your cart rental for some pointers. But relaxation assured — Yucatan highway journeys are typically thought-about fairly protected, and a extremely popular method to cowl a number of floor in slightly time.
Prices for Mexico automobile leases can range, however you possibly can normally lease a automobile for about $35 USD per day, with full protection insurance coverage. You do legally want Mexican insurance coverage to drive in Mexico, and neither U.S. nor Canadian insurance policies are legitimate outdoors of the nation’s border.
If you don’t wish to lease a automobile, you possibly can nonetheless do a Yucatan highway journey, however know buses will eat into your journey time. Mexico has an important bus system, and you may truly journey your entire nation by way of the ADO bus, Mexico’s largest bus firm.
ADO operated a fleet of luxury-class buses, full with comfortable recliner seats, air con, electrical retailers in any respect the seats, and restrooms on board. Ticket costs will rely in your journey route, however are normally fairly affordable at about $15 USD for a two-hour journey.
Though this itinerary talks about the way to drive between locations by way of rental automobile, you too can do that journey with a mixture of the ADO bus and taxis. (Note: There’s no Uber in Yucatan). Now that you recognize all the fundamental journey information, let’s get to this seven-day Yucatan Peninsula!
Yucatan Road Trip Itinerary: Day 1 and a pair of
After arriving in Cancun, get your rental automobile after which hit the highway. While Cancun is a good place to go to, it’s extra of a spot to go and benefit from the seashores, all-inclusive resorts, and websites, and someplace you’d wish to dedicate a complete journey to.
From Cancun, head about two hours northwest to Chiquila, Mexico, a small pueblo the place you’ll catch the 30-minute ferry to Isla Holbox Island. You’ll have to go away the automobile in a paid car parking zone for the following two days, as there’s no vehicles allowed on the island. These are safe heaps, and price about $100 MXN pesos ($5 USD) per day.
Holbox Island, Mexico
Holbox (pronounced hole-bosh) is a small, laid-back island with no road lights and seashores as beautiful as Cancun — minus the crowds. Once a sleepy fishing village, Holbox Island has gained notoriety within the final decade, however managed to retain its small-town appeal.
There’s a lot to do and see in Holbox, however in the event you’re visiting from May 15 to September 17, take the tour to swim with the whale sharks. Whale sharks are the biggest fish within the sea, averaging 30 ft in size (9 m). Each yr, they hand around in the nice and cozy waters of the coast for just a few months, and you may take a tour to swim with them.
Whale shark excursions price about $125 USD, and every boat has a capability of simply 10 individuals per tour, which is a regulation the Mexican authorities has in place. If you wish to do that, be sure that to guide your tour with a neighborhood operator as quickly as you arrive at Holbox.
Yum Balam is a large nature protect on the northern finish of Holbox Island and is just accessible by boat by way of a tour. On the Yum Balam excursions, you’ll move by a number of islands within the Holbox Island chain, and Yalahau Cenote, which has superb swimming, snorkeling, and birdwatching.
You also can lease a kayak or SUP paddleboard and take a look at Holbox from the water. Enjoy a tranquil voyage via the protected mangroves in Holbox and make sure you cease by Isla Pasion (Passion Island) and Isla Pajaros (Bird Island).
These two islands are residence to numerous species of birds, together with a big flock of flamingos that reside in Holbox for a lot of the yr. Some guests will wish to exit at dawn on a SUP paddleboard tour to the islands, although you’ll wish to do that with a tour information who is aware of the realm.
The breeze on Holbox Island makes it probably the greatest locations for windsurfing and kiteboarding in all of Mexico. During the winter months, when the north winds blow in, the Caribbean Sea is filled with windsurfers and kiteboarders, and if you wish to learn the way, there are kiteboarding colleges in Holbox.
When evening falls, make your method to Punta Coco Beach to see the bioluminescent plankton because it sparkles on the water’s floor. You also can get within the water, and as billions of microscopic phytoplankton land in your physique, you’ll begin to twinkle as nicely. (Note: You can solely see the bioluminescence through the New Moon.)
Yucatan Itinerary: Days 3 and 4
Today you’ll say adios to Holbox, and take the ferry experience again to Chiquila. Retrieve your rental automobile from the car parking zone and make the two.5-hour drive southwest to the Valladolid pueblo magico (magic city), situated in Yucatan state.
Never heard of a Mexico pueblo magico? This prestigious designation has been awarded to about 140 pueblos, or small cities in Mexico. All the cities have distinctive websites and noteworthy traits, in addition to a robust tourism infrastructure with nice lodges and good eating places.
Valladolid is one in every of simply 4 pueblos magicos in Yucatan state. It is among the many most lovely colonial cities in Mexico, and one of many most secure. Enjoy a while strolling the streets of this colourful city, then have a pleasant meal at La Casona Valladolid.
For the following two nights, you’ll wish to choose a lodge in Centro (Downtown Valladolid), as this space has good, cheap lodging. Valladolid may be very walkable, and never very huge, so you possibly can even park your automobile for the day and get round to see the websites on foot.
While in Valladolid, don’t miss the Convent of San Bernardino of Siena, a sixteenth Century Franciscan convent, and San Gervasio Cathedral (AKA Valladolid Cathedral) within the Zocalo (Main Square). For artwork lovers, head to Casa de los Venados to see the biggest Mexican folks artwork assortment within the nation.
Chichen Itza & Cenote Ik-Kil
As one of many New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins is on the bucket listing of practically each Mexico traveler. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated about 45 minutes by automobile from Downtown Valladolid, so head there within the morning after a pleasant breakfast. Check out 7 Wonders of the World – the New, The Natural, and the Ancient
This Chichen Itza/Valladolid Tour takes you to each historic websites and to the Saamal cenote the place you possibly can swim within the azure waters. It features a buffet lunch and a guided strolling tour via Valladolid and Chichen Itza.
The Chichen Itza website is kind of massive, so gown in your most comfortable garments and sneakers, and don’t overlook to carry your water bottle, sunscreen, and a wide-brim hat. This half is optionally available, however with such an necessary website, you’ll wish to additionally carry sufficient money to pay for a educated information to take you round.
Guides price about $1,000 MXN pesos ($50 USD), and can normally take 6-8 individuals per group. However, with such a historic place, it’s definitely worth the cash to be taught each little element you possibly can about Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins — and there’s a lot to know!
After an extended and certain sweaty day touring the ruins, head to the Cenote Ik-Kil for a refreshing swim. This is likely one of the most lovely and hottest cenotes within the space and is situated solely about 10 minutes by automobile from Chichen Itza.
If you like a extra uncrowded cenote, head again to Downtown Valladolid and go to Cenote Zaci. It’s a few 10-15 minute stroll from downtown, and you may swim in Cenote Zaci at no cost so long as you order a meal from their onsite restaurant. If not, it’s simply $30 MXN pesos ($2 USD).
What is a cenote? In case you weren’t certain, cenotes (pronounced sen-no-tays) are sinkholes that comprise freshwater from underground rivers. There are about 6,000 within the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, which is the biggest focus of cenotes discovered wherever on Earth. Read extra Cenotes in Photos – Discover Mexico’s Extraordinary Underground Caves
Day 4: Ek-Balam Ruins and Cenote Xcanche
Some years again, the Mexican authorities outlawed climbing the Chichen Itza pyramids, although you possibly can nonetheless climb them at different Mayan Ruins within the space. If you wish to climb some Mayan Ruins in your journey, head to Ek-Balam, which can be a lot much less touristy than Chichen Itza.
Located minutes by automobile from the Ek-Balam Ruins, Cenote Xcanche is the perfect place to swim and funky down climbing the pyramids and exploring the traditional ruins. You can do rappelling at this cenote, experience the zipline or use a Tarzan-style rope swing to enter the cenote (or simply stroll in).
Since no Yucatan itinerary is full with out visiting a number of cenotes, there are some extra on this normal Valladolid space. These embody Cenote San Lorenz Oxman, Cenote Suytun, Cenote Dzitnup, Cenote Samula, Cenote Xkeken, and Cenote Zaci in Downtown Valladolid. Check out one other superb cenote within the Yucatan: Rio Secreto Cenote – Mexico’s Magical Underground Caves
Yucatan Itinerary: Day 5 and 6
On your fifth day, bid farewell to Valladolid and drive 4 hours south to Bacalar, one other pueblo magico (magic city). The small city of Bacalar is greatest identified for Laguna Bacalar, the second-largest freshwater lake in Mexico. You might also like: 15 Fun Facts About Mexico
Bacalar Lake is called the “Lagoon of Seven Colors” as a result of you possibly can see as much as seven distinct shades of blue within the water. Thanks to its brilliant blue-colored water, Bacalar can be generally referred to as “The Maldives of Mexico,” one other vacation spot well-known for its blue waters.
Whatever you name it, Laguna Bacalar is totally beautiful, with a number of the most lovely water in Mexico. The city of Bacalar itself offers a pleasant mixture of leisure, unspoiled nature, water actions, and nice eating places.
You can keep in Downtown Bacalar, or proper on the lake. If you possibly can, go for a spot on the lake so you possibly can simply stroll outdoors your room and soar proper in. Downtown simply isn’t as good, although it can save you some cash by staying there.
Day 5: Bacalar Boat Tour & Cenote Azul
The smartest thing to do in Bacalar is to take a ship tour across the lake. It is a reasonably large lake, at about 25-miles (42 m) from finish to finish, so one of the best ways to see as a lot of it as potential is by boat. You also can lease a kayak or SUP paddleboard to go across the lake, however you clearly received’t see as a lot of it.
There’s a normal Bacalar boat tour that may take you to all the good elements of the lake, just like the Canal de Piratas (Pirate’s Channel). This is a shipwreck that you may soar off of into the lake. There’s additionally the Isla de los Pajaros (Bird Island) and a few cenotes throughout the lake, together with Cenote Esmerelda.
The hottest cenote in Bacalar is situated simply outdoors of the lake, Cenote Azul (Blue Cenote). You must drive, take a taxi or stroll to it, however don’t miss the prospect to swim in one of many deepest cenotes within the Yucatan; Cenote Azul is at about 275-feet-deep (84 m).
Day 6: Sunrise SUP & Los Rápidos
If you’re a morning individual, Bacalar is well-known for its superb sunrises, which you’ll be able to see from the lake. Head out early for a SUP paddleboard yoga class, or just take pleasure in a quiet paddleboard session, because the early risers normally have the entire lake to themselves.
Los Rapidos, which suggests The Rapids, is likely one of the greatest balnearios in Bacalar. Balnearios are seaside golf equipment in Mexico, and although Bacalar is a lagoon, not a seaside, they nonetheless use the phrase balneario. There are just a few seaside golf equipment across the lake, however Los Rapidos is one which shouldn’t be missed.
As the identify Los Rapidos states, there are rapids right here so that you can swim and play in. You also can lease a kayak at Los Rapidos and discover much more of Laguna Bacalar. There are a restaurant, loos, water hammocks, and swings right here as nicely, so it’s an important place to spend just a few hours.
Yucatan Itinerary: Day 7
On the seventh and remaining day, it’s (sadly) time to go again to Cancun so you possibly can return the rental automobile and catch a flight residence. The Bacalar to Cancun drive is about 4.5 hours in regular visitors, so plan accordingly. Some individuals will even wish to guide a lodge in Cancun for one evening, particularly in the event you’re on an early morning flight.
Want to squeeze just a few extra websites on the drive to Cancun? There are just a few off-the-beaten-path Mayan Ruins you possibly can cease at on the way in which. These embody Muyil Ruins and Chacchoben Ruins, each situated simply off Chetumal-Cancun Highway 307, the highway you’re taking to Cancun.
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