Merida a must see or Tulum/VAlladolid instead?

Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 03:49 AM
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Merida a must see or Tulum/VAlladolid instead?

Hi everyone

we've had so much useful advice from this forum. we are doing 21 days in mexico and now planning travels in the last week in the yucatan peninsula.

we are tossing up now whether to go from Palenque- TUlum (overnight bus), 3 nights, 2 nights Valladolid (with chichen iza early on the second day)- Playa - 2 nights. from here we would visit tulum ruins, xcaret, many cenotes in the area and obviously the wonderful coastline. before this we are visiting san cristobal de las casas and mexico city. this is in late november and if the weather is likely to be overl windy, rainy, stormy etc then we will skip this option as wont be spending much time on the beach if its like that! we would hire a car in tulum and drop it off at Playa costin around $30 per day including drop off fee

option number 2 is PAlenque- Merida 3 nights- chichen iza 1 night- playa del carmen - 3 nights. this would cove more road distance and to pick up a car in Merida and drop it in Playa incurs an extra $250 AUD in drop off fees. everyone raves about merida on the weekend but considering where we are going before and the fact we are going to valladolid will we experience the music, street food, nightlife and atmosphere of a colonial mexican town without going to Merida

thanks in advance
adamore is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 08:12 AM
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I like the second option, because Merida is a more picturesque colonial town than Vallodolid and the first option has you backtracking mileage-wise (all the way to Tulum, then back northwest to CI, then east to Playa).
If you drive from Chichen Itza the "back" way you could include a stop at Coba.
sylvia3 is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 10:35 AM
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I would most certainly drop Valladolide and concentrate on Merida, Chichen and Playa, in that order. Take the ADO to Chichen Itza and spend the nicht at Dolores Alba close to the ruins. On your way back, take the colectivo (from Chichen parking lot) to Valladolide and have lunch there. Take the ADO bus from the station straight to Playa, by the way the colectivo will drop you off 1/2 a block from the bus station.
Rohelio is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 03:34 PM
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We loved Valladolid - a good size if you only have a few days. Mérida is lovely and fun on a weekend but a bit overwhelming unless you have more time imo. Good idea to hit Chichén Itzá 1st thing to beat the heat and crowds. Consider checking out Ek Balám, too.

My photos with blog, travelogue, and review links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there.
Happy trails!
hopefulist is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 08:06 PM
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IMo, and I have been to both a few times, forget Valladolid and concentrate on Merida. Media is much more lively artistically and culturally and historically. It is not overwhelming, as you will be likely focusing on the Centro Historico and the Paseo de Montejo. Three full days including weekend will be wonderful there. Valladolid is a nice small colonial town but nowhere near what Merida offers.
emd3 is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 01:34 AM
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Guess I'm not much of a city person.
hopefulist is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 04:43 AM
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I could not have said it better myself emd3...
Rohelio is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 11:23 PM
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IMO, the good news is that you won't lose either way -- two good options!

That said, IME, you won't find the same energy or colonial spirit in Vallalodid as in Merida. Much as I loved Vallodolid, it is IME a more quiet colonial experience, without the "music, street food, nightlife and atmosphere of a colonial mexican town" that you will find in Merida.

FWIW, I thought Uxmal and the Ruta Puuc much more rewarding than Chichen Itza. You might consider spending a night near Uxmal (I loved the Flycatcher Inn) so you can see Uxmal and the Ruta Puuc between Merida and points further east. And if you want to see Chichen Itza, too (how else will you know how you think the sites compare?), then you might consider giving up a night on the beach. After all, you can see beaches anywhere; where else will you see spectacular Mayan ruins? Just a thought....
kja is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2014, 09:52 AM
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Second the recommendation for visiting Uxmal and the Ruta Puuc.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Old Jun 9th, 2014, 09:50 PM
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Merida, yes! Hacienda Chichen to see Chichen Itza. . .wonderful grounds. . , fantastic food, plus you can wander over to the ruins early as well as return late afternoon.
TrvlMaven is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 10:22 AM
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Yes, the good thing is that there isn't a wrong answer here
november_moon is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2014, 08:14 AM
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When I began teaching seventh grade social studies in 1960, there was a unit in the social geography book about Chichen Itza. I'd never heard of it before, but I found it fascinating. Since then I've always wanted to go there. No matter where else I go in the Yucatán, I have to see Chichen Itza.
Pegontheroad is online now  
Old Jul 1st, 2014, 08:40 AM
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And so you should -- it's monumental, an almost Roman projection of power. But there is a great deal more in the region that you will not want to miss.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
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