Yucatan-two weeks July/August all hints most welcome!

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1. Posted by Zofka (Budding Member 3 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi !
We are two Polish couples flying to Cancun for two weeks at the end of July. We are planning on hiring a car and doing a trip around Yucatan with a possibility of visiting Mexico (Teotihuacan) .
We already bought Lonely Planet guide and I have gone through previous posts so I know more/less what we will have to see.
I wonder would it be better to plan the entire trip in advance and book all the accomodation now(hostels,campings maybe some questhouses) or maybe we can only book few nights at the beginning and it won't be any problem to find something once we arrive ?
We have almost no Spanish but I hope to learn a bit more before our holidays.Ideally I would love to stay in some secluded/ less populated /off the beaten track place not so far from the beach :)for a few days to take some time off from the sightseeing
Would it make any sense to rent a self catering accomodation for a week somewhere between Cancun & Merida and do sort of one day trips to surrounding areas & archaeological zones ?
I would try to avoid spending too much time in a car as we already did it few times :(
I would be very grateful for all comments,hints and suggestions!

2. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2007 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

I suggest you book ahead only for Cancun itself, as finding accommodations in all the other spots is easier once you are there. You'll need to rent your car in Cancun when you arrive or shortly before--either at the airport or at one of the hotels. It's about a two hour drive via the toll road to Chichen Itza--much less time than on the regular road--but it costs about $20 for the toll road one way. Chichen Itza is about half way to Merida--though the toll road ends soon after leaving this site.

There are literally about 18 pyramid sites in the Yucatan--so you can choose between these and all the other little known spots around town.

Going all the way to Mexico City (and to Teotihuacan--which is close by, could take you about a week since the roads in this area are not good, and it's a long distance (like driving round trip across Ireland three times).

Have fun and enjoy your trip. (oh, and don't drink the water).

3. Posted by Zofka (Budding Member 3 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi !
Many thanks for your post!We have already booked a car at the airport-Nissan Tsuru -never seen this car in Europe:).
We were planning to spend first night in Valladolid , than go to Chichen Itza and later on to Merida. 20 US dollars for a roughly 200km of motorway seems to be a lot, but if you say that it is worth it.
While staying in Merida we hope to to visit Celestun and I was thinking maybe about Izamal or Dzibilchaltun (?).
Than Uxamal and Campeche and a long drive up to Palenque.
Eventually we decided not to explore Mexico.Although Ireland is not so small:) and we did recantly about 1000km in three days and it was just a round trip from the centre where we live, up to North,it was definately too much driving.
From Palenque we are going to get to Caribbean coast and enjoy the rest of our stay around Tulum & Coba & Isla Mujeres. One more time thank you very much for your info .I will remember about water. You meant not to drink tap water ? how about water in the restaurants or bars ?

4. Posted by guerrita (Budding Member 8 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

the yucutan is an amazing region - be sure to get away from the touristy areas of Cancucn and exlpore the mexican side of the country!!

oh- and only drink bottled water everywhere you go - even locals buy their water in large bottles for every day use and don't drink from the taps. also watch out for ice cubes in drinks and veggies (like salad) that is washed in tap water. sounds paranoid but it will save you from getting sick!

5. Posted by Zofka (Budding Member 3 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

many thanks for your advice !
will only drink bottled water than
we will fly to cancun but do not plan to stay their for a day even:)
how about fruits ? I read that on most historical sites
there is no place where you can buy food, so I thought
that we could buy some fruits on the markets beforehand
and when is so warm you do not really eat much
untill dinner time
I love all kind of fruit anyway :)

Would sport type sandals be appropriate enough for ruin explorations or is it better to have proper tracking shoes ?


6. Posted by taki (Full Member 132 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Yes the little towns ur thinking about are excellent, Celestun, etc.,

Your plan sounds good for ur in the middle of all those close places to visit, and drive.

I would not suggest driving all the way from Yucatan to Mexico City, it might take u more than 2 full days of driving!!

There are cheap flights from Cancun to Mexico City, also remember youre coming in our high season, therefore hotels and places are packed with tourists.

As for water yes bottled water only, there are 20 litres bottles, and gallons too. So you can have plenty of water as you travel and visit.

Take towels with you ( i mean from the hotel ) for sweat and cover maybe if sun is too strong on u.

Good amounts of moskito repellent, they are mean! especially in all these archaeological places.

Fruits are the best and they are cheap!
and you can find most of them for it is our summer time! the Best!
there will be some rain too,

as for sandals bring hiking shoes and beach sandals both are used as for archaeological places u will need ur hiking shoes for they are stronger and in rocky places where u will have to walk normally sandals rip off and ur left with no more sandals.

as for beach days, I recommend u totally clean sand from ur skin in your feet for it is very very soft and it is like fish scales that stick to ur skin, and when u wear ur shoes they rub and get u sore feet so if you clean completely you wont have this problem.;)

Good luck!

7. Posted by dluna (Budding Member 9 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Always keep tissues or toilet paper with you. Most rest rooms you run into along the way won't have them. Save your small change for the attendants. Always keep gas in your car. Stations can be few and far between. Have a great time!!!!

8. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Even though Cancun is a bit of a gaudy tourist destination, it's still worth a look even just to marvel at some of the amazing hotels. Plus, the real Cancun as in the "old town" (not the tourist strip), is interesting. You can also do a day trip to Isla Mujeres.

Other worthwhile tourist spots from Cancun are Xel-Ha and another place who's name I can't recall (but you will be given brochures on it).

Other places worth seeing are Chichen Itza, Tulum, Merida and Cozumel. I must admit I found Merida a tad boring, but it's a good place to base yourself to visit the other sites.