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Bansheee May 25th, 2014 12:06 PM

Driving car from Uxmal to Tulum with stops in ONE day. Possible?
Hi everyone and thanks in advance for taking the time in reading and replying to this post! :)
I'm a female solo traveler, I'm used to travel by myself so no big deal, but I have never been in Mexico yet. I will be in the Yucatan Peninsula between August and September. As I will be short of time, I made a plan to see as many Maya ruins as possible in the shortest time, which might be a little challenging, so I need some opinions or advice.
Ok, the plan so far is:
- Will land in Cancun at around 7pm, pick up a car and drive to Merida (should be around 4hrs from what I read), sleep there.
- In the morning, drive to Uxmal to be there by opening time (8am) and visit.
- Drive to Chichen Itza (around 3hrs?) and visit.
- Drive to Coba' (around 2hrs maybe?) and visit, must be here by 4pm at the latest I think.
- Drive to Tulum (1-1 and half hr?) with no rush.
I figured I can stop in any of these sites to rest, if needed, although I love driving and I have done road trips before.
What concerns me the most is 1) the driving times between sites are actually much longer, which would mess it up and 2) by being at Chichen Itza by late morning/ midday, I will find it FULL of people...
So far I read that driving is fairly easy and safe and might encounter problems at gas stations.
So, does anyone with experience with driving in that area think is possible and/or has any suggestions?

jamie99 May 25th, 2014 12:22 PM

No, it will be too rushed. We drove six years ago from Akumal to Uxmal where we stayed in Hacienda Uxmal. We left Akumal around 8-8:30 and stopped for an early lunch in Valladolid and got to Uxmal at 3:30pm (we did take one wrong turn and ended up in Merida for 30 minutes). We visited the ruins the next morning when they opened at 8am and also visited two Ruta Puuc sites then spent the afternoon at the hotel pool with drinks.

sylvia3 May 25th, 2014 01:50 PM

Wow. 3 major archaeological sites with long drives between them in one day seems ambitious, if not impossible.
You might consider staying overnight on site at Chichen Itza after visiting Uxmal: Villas Arqueologicas Chichen Itza is very nice and reasonable, and you could visit after hours plus get an early start to Coba. In addition, that might give you time to see Ek Balam, a nearby site that is very worth a visit: "The construction and decoration of Ek Balam’s buildings was completed with stucco and limestone mortar, not the stone carvings found at Chichen Itza, Coba or the Tulum Ruins...highly decorated and detailed structures...unique features" If you are determined to get to Tulum the same day after visits to Uxmal and CI, I'd suggest skipping Coba (especially that late) that day and just driving back to Coba from Tulum the next; it's a fairly short drive.

Rohelio May 25th, 2014 06:27 PM

I have no idea as to why you want to RUN through the archeological sites you mentioned. Firstly, I do believe it to be improbable and most certainly impractical. Logisticaly speaking, I suppose you could do it if you actually physically ran through these sites got back into your car and drove like a bat out of hell knowing exactly where to go and exactly where to eat and sleep. Honestly, you should skip one or two sites and take time to appreciate what is around you. You should listen to the little voice in the back of your head, I am certain that it is trying to tell you something...

KVR May 25th, 2014 07:42 PM

I have to agree with the above post. It's too much in one day. We've been going to Mexico since 2000 and one ruin trip like that usually takes about 12 hours or so to get there, see everything and then get back. We do only one long trip like that per visit because it is so tiring.

We just returned from Puerto Morelos. We went to the Ek Balam ruins, Rio Largartos and Valladolid. We left at 7am and didn't return until 10pm.

Bansheee May 27th, 2014 01:16 AM

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply!
The reasons why I am planning a lot are that by travelling on my own, I learnt that I can do so much stuff in such a little time, so better plan more, so to have a backup in case something goes wrong, than ending up with time to spare and nothing to do (I'm sooooooo not the beach/pool type lol plus I follow a special diet so usually no eating out). But yes I decided to take a day off Cuba and spend it in Mexico instead, so I will be able to visit Ek Balam (thanks Sylvia!) and I found an animal sanctuary I can stop by on the way as well :) Also, I found a place in the jungle where to sleep near Chichen Itza so will be there first in the morning.
Please keep replying! I already learnt so much and got many ideas from only 4 replies!

sylvia3 May 27th, 2014 07:01 AM

Enjoy your trip; Ek Balaam will surprise you by it's uniqueness (and it is a fairly small site to see and won't take too much time out of your schedule). Coba might be overwhelming (it's very large) if you don't scope out a map and plan your walk around first. I'd recommend hotels with pools, though; reward yourself with a dip after walking around those very hot sites all day!

jamie99 May 27th, 2014 11:54 AM

Agree with Sylvia, Ek Balam was one of my very favorite ruins and yes a pool is very nice, it is hot inland.

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