Having two statutory holidays for Christmas, we decided to escape from the Toronto’s winter and to go on a 6-day road trip in the Yucatán!
I really fell in love with Mexico and was delighted by the kindness of the Mexicans. Obviously, 6 days was too short to see everything, but it was enough to discover the Mexican culture, to live the experience of Christmas in Mexico and to discover the major points of interest of Yucatán.
Let’s discovering Mexico together !
The map of our 6-day road trip in the Yucatán:
Departure - Cancun
Day 2 : Valladolid
Day 3 : Chichén Itzá
Day 3: Izamal
Day 4 : Mérida
Days 5 et 6 : Tulum
Day 6 : Playa del Carmen
Our detailed 6-days road trip in the Yucatán
DAYS 1 and 2 : Valladolid et Ek’Balam
Prior to our trip, Cancun had been described to us as a « Little America in Mexico » with resorts and American Dollars. Even though it sounds like the perfect spot for relaxing vacation, it’s not really our type of travel.
Therefore, we decided not to pass by Cancun. We rent our car directly from the airport and hit the road toward Valladolid.
After about 150 km, we arrived in Valladolid for 1-night and 1-day. We took the highway 180-D that cost us 18,5 CAN $ (276 Pesos /13,2 €). The driving and the landscape are monotonous and don’t make you saving a lot of time. Therefore, we decided use the secondary roads for the rest of our trip and that allowed us to discover small villages.
My advice: At Valladolid leave the car at the parking and go discover the city on foot! In about ten minutes from our hotel we reached the Plaza e Parque Francisco Canton which is the central square of the city. Around it can be found the Cathedral of San Servasio, other churches, and cafes and shops.
The next morning, we visited the Casa de los Venados, a house owned by an American couple passionate about art. I recommend you do it. It will give you a first taste of the Mexican Gothic art. In 2000 they bought a ruined colonial house and made it now as a real place of exhibition. Every day at 10:00 am it’s possible to visit their home for only a few hours (there is only one visit per day). John, the owner came to greet us at the entrance and explained his project and his community engagement. Indeed, all the profits from the entrance fee and the donations are for to local charities.
Casa de los venados, Valladolid.
Casa de los venados, Valladolid.
WHERE TO SLEEP AT VALLADOLID?
WHERE TO EAT AT VALLADOLID?
Our best restaurant of Valladolid: Restaurant Conato Calle 40 226, San Juan
Les + : The incredible decoration (even more magical by night), the atmosphere, and the fact that they have live music.
The entrance price is about 2 CAN $ per person (30 pesos / 1€).
Cenote Zaci, Valladolid.
Cenote Zaci, Valladolid.
The site gives you access actually to two Cenotes: X Keken and Samula. Since we didn’t have enough time, we only did the cenote Samula. The atmosphere was def different from the other Cenotes we did in Mexico. The experience was like entering in a wet and dark cave with stalactites. I personally prefer opened or semi-opened cenotes than the closed cenotes, but the cenote Samula has its own character that worth the visit!
The entrance fee cost us $5,5 CAD per person (80 pesos / 3.5 €)
Cenote Samula Valladolid.
With a little bit of effort, you will then get rewarded by the wonderful views on jungle and on the other ruins.
My biggest regret though, was not having taken a guide. There are just a few explanations on the site and I am sure I missed a lot of interesting stories.
The entrance fee of Ek’Balam is cost us $11,5 CAD per person (170 pesos / 7,5€)
Ek’ Balam, Mexico
DAY 4 : Mérida
DAY 3 : Chichén Itzá and Izamal
About us, even if Chichén Itzá was located only at 40 minutes from Valladolid, we saved ourselves a little of stress (and a little bit of sleep) by sleeping immediately next to the archaeological site.
Take a guide to visit Chichén Itzá?
I usually prefer visiting independently, but for once, we decided to take a guide to visit Chichén Itzá, and we don’t regret! To visit an archaeological site without explanations is the risk of missing out on many stories! We learned it the hard way the day before at Ek’ Balam where we decided to visit without a guide and ended up understanding only half of it.
So directly at the entrance, we decided to join a group for a semi-private guided tour at about $33 CAD (22 €) for 2 hours of visit.
Our guide, a Maya descendant, was able to explain the mysteries of this place in a playful and captivating way. Of course, the visit of Chichén Itzá without a guide remains interesting, but if you have the budget, don’t hesitate to pay for additional explanations!
The entrance to Chichen Itza cost us $11 CAD per person (167 pesos / 7,5 €)
Chichén Itzá, Mexico
The entrance cost us $5 CAD per person (70 pesos / 3 €)
Cenote Ik Kil, Chichén Itzá, Mexico
For me, we come to Izamal for the pleasure of « a colorful break ». It’s a perfect location for a few hours break. Slow down the race, settle down to have a coffee on the Itzamna square, watch the carriages pass, walk in the colorful alleys and go have a lunch at the beautiful Kinich El Sabor!
WHERE TO SLEEP AT CHICHÉN ITZÁ ?
Les pros: The immediate proximity to the Cenote Ik Kil and to Chichén Itzà, and the swimming pool.
Les cons: A lack of charm and the immediate proximity to the road
WHERE TO EAT AT IZAMAL ?
Favorite restaurant: Kinich El Sabor Calle 27 No.A large renovated house that can accommodate up to 150 people and which showcases Yucatec cuisine
Les pros: The lovely setting, its interior garden, incredible decoration, the cooks that prepare the Tortilla cakes on site.
DAYS 5 and 6 : Tulum and Akumal
However, it’s true that Tulum Beach has its own bohemian style than Playa del Carmen doesn’t have. So, for a beach and relaxation destination, I would better recommend Tulum than Playa del Carmen or Cancun.
Tulum Beach, Mexico
L’entrée coûte 3,5€ (70 pesos / 4,7 CAN$)
The entrance cost us $7 CAD per person (100 pesos / 5€ ).
Cenote Azul, Mexique
Cenote Dos Ojos, Mexique
The night before our visit was rainy, so the water was a bit cloudier than usual, but I still succeed to see 3 turtles !
Playa del Carmen, Mexique
Our 6-day road-trip in Yucatán ends with a visit to Playa Del Carmen in order to eat our last lunch before taking our flight. The little we have seen of the city has confirmed the spirit of a « seaside resort » with a lot of tourists. Indeed, Playa del Carmen is the perfect spot for those who want to party, go shopping and sunbathe on the beach. For us, we were happy to make only a short stop there.
WHERE TO SLEEP AT TULUM ?
Hotel Tulum City : Mango Tulum Hôtel Calle 61 No. 578, for about $49 CAD/night for 2 people (32 € / night)
Les pros: A very nice and chatty Italian host, the indoor garden with pool, the cleanliness of the rooms and the ratio price/quality.
Les cons: Far from the beaches, so need to have a vehicle.
If you are convinced by this destination and wish now to have an idea of which budget is needed, have a look at my article Budget Mexique : 6 jours dans le Yucatán
Have a nice trip !
Welcome to my travel and budgets blog 🙂
My name is Cyrielle, and I created 6sous-to-Travel to share with you my passion for travel, but also to help you prepare your next vacation by sharing my detailed budgets by destination.
Expatriate in Canada, in Toronto, since 2015, I will give you the budgets in three currencies: The local currency, the Canadian Dollar and the Euro … just that!
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The most beautiful trip is the one we have not done yet. Loick Peyron