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1 month itinerary US/Mexico

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Apr 13th, 2014, 02:06 AM
  #1
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1 month itinerary US/Mexico

Hi everyone, I'm posting this in the Central America and US forum and would love your opinion on this itinerary for the mexico experts out there


we are in our late 20s, married and wanting to do a last big trip before having kids, seeing places where we probably wouldn't return with kids.

this is the plan so far, I know its fast but please advise if you think its too fast and we will still get to experience the culture /food/ history of mexico.

Fly from Perth AUS to LA then connect straight away to Las Vegas, leaving 5th of November.
5 nights in Vegas to recover from Jet Lag 30th Birthday celebration on last night in Vegas.

DIrect flight with Volaris Vegas to MExico City. 5 night mexico city.

direct flight MC to Tuxtla Gutierez near SAn Cristobal de la CAssis in CHiapas. spend 6 nights in the area seeing the sights including Palenque. Night bus to Merida (does anyone know how much this might cost the website said $500 but do them mean Pesos??)

2 nights in Merida, hire car make our way to the CAribbean coast with CHichen Iza on the wal for half the day.4 nights playa del CArmen or Tulum area for some relaxing. can we pick a car up in Merida and drop off in CAncun? is driving in this area attrocious?


direct flight from CAncun to NYC- 6 nights there, leave on 4th of dECEMBER after the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller centre , 3 nights in HOng Kong on the way home (flying CAthay PAcific)

the travel costs will come to about $2400 per person excluding car hire and overnight bus

we have been to Europe doing 2-3 nights in each place then moving on by train so the fact we ae doing 4-6 nights in each spot I think is better but would love your opinon on what to cut back on and where to increase time in. thank you
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Apr 13th, 2014, 05:52 AM
  #2
 
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That's still a lot of days in transition - more than I'd be willing to put in a trip of that length - but it's your trip and it sounds like you're wanting to see a variety of what's out there in 2 countries. For what it's worth, there are a million places I'd rather see in the US than the 2 you've chosen but I don't have time to name them here.

Yes, the bus fare is listed in pesos.

We didn't love Chichén Itzá compared to other sites (including Palenque, a favorite) but it's an important site; try to get there 1st thing to beat the crowds coming from Cancún. Nearby Ek Balám is very cool and we liked Cobá, too, about 45 minutes from Tulúm. You'll probably be able to rent in Mérida and drop off in Cancún for an extra fee.

My photos with blog and travelogue links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - the ones that might interest you most would be two 2010 trips to the Yucatán including a quick stop in Mérida and a few weeks in Chiapas. Happy trails!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
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Apr 13th, 2014, 11:56 AM
  #3
 
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Yes you can rent a car in Merida and drop off in Cancun, I am pretty sure Easyway has offices in both cities as well as PDC and Tulum. I have rented from them at least 3 times and so has my good friend, be sure and take all the insurance including the zero deductible.
I also preferred Ek Balam (north of Valladolid, not too far from CI) and Coba, both of which you can still climb. You cannot climb at CI (or Tulum).
Stay in Tulum, Cancun I hated, one high rise after another, with lots of American chain restaurants. Drove through the hotel zone last year and still hated it.
The driving in the Riviera Maya is great, there is really only one main highway, 307, which is wide and well signed. The most important rule is to obey the speed limits - do not try and keep up with the flow of traffic as they all speed down there. Stay right and let the others pass you, otherwise you might get a ticket (or hit up for a bribe).
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Apr 13th, 2014, 01:35 PM
  #4
kja
 
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Should be a great trip!

I loved San Cristobal de las Casas, but would nonetheless cut a day or two from your time there so you can spend a pair of days exploring Uxmal and the Ruta Puuc outside Merida. Some people try to visit Uxmal as a day trip from Merida, and you might want to consider that, although I must admit that I thought it too far, and had to much to see, to make it a reasonable day trip. Uxmal is stunning and very different that Palenque (or Chichen Itza), and you might end up having some of the smaller Mayan ruins on the Ruta Puuc all to yourself! I stayed at the Flycatcher Inn, which I recommend:
http://flycatcherinn.com

BTW, in San Cristobal, you might consider Bela's B&B:
http://belasbandb.com

Do try to time your stay in Merida for the weekend - Friday and Saturday nights and Sat. and Sun days there are performances and markets and street performances and all sorts of fun things going on.

Hope that helps!
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Apr 14th, 2014, 05:02 AM
  #5
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wow thank you so much for your responses!!
Kja- do you think its still worth cutting a day from chiapas, i have read there is lots to do there from waterfalls to the sumidero canyon to the town itself and then bus to PAlenque.
hopefulist, yes it is a lot of travel time and distance to cover but we are hoping to go back to the US when we have kids and visit the other parts, what would be your top 2 places in the US to visit?

would peole recommend a day bus rather than night one due to safety issues? what about accommodation in Mexico, is $100 US per night too little for a budget? we don't like hotels so much but B and Bs and self catered apartments. i've been recommended Tulum rather than Playa/cancun to stay in

Is mexico city worth the 5 nights? we are more small city people and i'm not sure if the size and bustle of the city will get to be too much...

thank you all for your thoughts
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Apr 14th, 2014, 05:26 AM
  #6
 
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DO take the night bus, as the trip is approximately 12 hours and DO take the GL version on the ADO bus line. The prices have gone up from Jan 1st with the new taxes so I beleive the cost is around 800 pesos one way. DO remember to take some warm clothing in Chiapas as the weather is quite cool in the mountainess areas, you'll be glad you did. DO NOT cut a day from the Chiapas area, you can visit Agua Azul, Palenque, Villa Hermosa and more, this is THE real Mexican way of life, including their wardrobe and authentic lifestyle unchanged. YES' DO visit Merida on a week-end and also visit the RUUTA PUC area along with everything that you can choose from Mayan mud baths and Pink Flamingos to a night at the theatre. Hotel Caribe (near central park) is a renovated Monastary and is very affordable (appro. 700 pesos/night) with a swimming pool.Have breakfast elswhere though.
This is a great plan and I DO know that you will take away some unforgettable moments.
Rohelio
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Apr 14th, 2014, 06:50 AM
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I love Mexico City but if you think it might be overwhelming, cut your stay to three nights and add them to Merida, as suggested above. With three nights you'll still see enough of Mexico City and certainly won't feel you've overstayed.
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Apr 14th, 2014, 06:55 AM
  #8
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thanks rohelio!
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Apr 14th, 2014, 11:10 AM
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Can't help with Mexico City, but for Tulum your budget is a bit low unless you want to stay in a very basic place. Try Zazil Kin on the beach near the ruins, rates start at $40 for shared bath(YUCK), but they also have private baths for more money.
Personally I like the south end of Tulum much better but don't think you will find much there in your price range. Maybe try Tita Tulum or the shared bath rooms at Ahau.
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Apr 14th, 2014, 01:51 PM
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Good information here... It seems that everyone is in accordance with Merida and I must concur. At around 8 or 9 pm Saturday night, they start closing access to all the streets leading to the main square and in a matter of minutes the restaurant tables are in the middle of the street where cars used to be. Then the music begins (some live some recorded). By the way, the Hotel Caribe is right in a small park area in front of one of the closed off streets where you can have a cocktail or a full meal. Lets not forget Sunday, where all the action takes place around the main square in the streets, folklore dances, accrobats, musicians, horse and buggy rides and the main square is filled with all kinds of wares and food for sale. Please dont forget to visit the (I beleive) oldest Cathedral in North America (front of main square)the museums, theatre, restaurants of every kind and the shopping is fantastic, way cheaper than the Riviera Maya corridor.
If the Caribe hotel is full you can go a little further north to the Peregrino hotel about the same price but the breakfast is included and very good (no pool) By the way Merida is very hot, much more than the Riviera. From Merida you can visit other interesting areas on your way towards Tulum and such as Progreso beach (north 40 munites) Ek Balam, Rio Lagartos National Park (mud baths and flamingos), Valladolid and even Chichen Itza which is now one of the 7 wonders of the world. In closing, I really must emphasize on how safe this whole area really is. Practice what you normally do at home and you will most certainly never encounter any wrong doing.
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Apr 14th, 2014, 05:41 PM
  #11
kja
 
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"Kja- do you think its still worth cutting a day from chiapas, i have read there is lots to do there from waterfalls to the sumidero canyon to the town itself and then bus to Palenque."

Oops, I had forgotten that you are planning to see so much from San Cristobal de las Casas! My bad. You probably do need at least 4 or 5 days there -- one for the Palenque ruins; one for the waterfalls (Misol Ha, Agua Clara, and Agua Azul can all be seen on one day); two for San Cristobal itself, along with the outlying Mayan villages; and perhaps more, depending on your priorities. FWIW, I spent one day visiting the zoo in Tuxtla Guittierez and the Sumidera canyon, and while I enjoyed that day, I personally would rather skip that than skip Uxmal and the Ruta Puuc. YMMV. You might want to play around with your options a bit to see if you can free up some time for that area.

You are going to have quite an adventure!
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Apr 14th, 2014, 06:20 PM
  #12
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wow thanks everyone for your input. Here is a revised itinerary based on the comments I've received in both US and Centra America forums

6th November- leave Perth, Australia arrive in Las Vegas 12pm on the 7th. 4 nights there
11th Nov- Mexico city- 4 nights there including day trip[ to Puebla
15th Nov- Fly to Can Cristobal. 6 nights here
20th Nov- Merida- 3 nights based here- Will be the weekend yay!
23-27- Chichen Iza early morning, drive to Tulum. 4 nights exploring the coastline
27th Nov- leave for new york

thanks for all your advice! what is the weather likely to be in Mexico City, Chiapas (colder I imagine) and Yucutan?
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Apr 14th, 2014, 06:23 PM
  #13
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http://www.wunderground.com
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