Mexico City vs Cancun for a week's trip

Jan 13th, 2018, 03:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 47
Mexico City vs Cancun for a week's trip

Hello kind fodorites

I'm interested in old buildings, ruins, museums and nature. I can do a week's trip, excluding flight days to either Mexico City area or Cancun area.

Roughly if I do the first it would be . Arrive Saturday afternoon, then three days in Mexico City including a half day trip to Teotihuacan (perhaps on Monday as the DF anthropology museum is closed). Tuesday an overnight bus to San Miguel de Allende. Then back to Mexico City on Friday sometime for the flight back to NY in the morning (following Saturday).

If I go to Cancun then I can get to Valladolid the same night I think (will take only a carry on plus camera). Two days in that area visiting Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. Here's where it gets a bit fuzzy, I'd like to visit uxmal and then spend some time in Merida and then back to Cancun for the flight out on next Saturday, and maybe visit a cenote on the last day (Friday) but don't know the order. If it's possible to drive a rental maybe can do that but would prefer to take buses where I can (less risky)

Given the limited time either options rushed but which one is less rushed to you? I've done solo trips in India where I live and in USA which I visit but never in any other country.

I have until Monday to decide this so will appreciate any inputs.

thank you
AroraV is offline  
Jan 13th, 2018, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,228
I can't comment on your Mexico City option, as I haven't had the pleasure of visiting there yet.

Some things to consider if you decide on the Yucatan:
  • Merida is particularly delightful on weekends, from Friday evening through Sunday evening. If I'm following your plan, you would have little chance to take advantage of its weekend offerings, and you might want to put as much of your time in Merida at the very end of your trip as you can. BTW, if you haven't already booked you flights, you might explore your options for flying out of Merida.
  • Some of the Yucatan's most beautiful cenotes are just outside of Valladolid, the Cenotes Dzitnup (aka the Cenotes X'kekÚn y Samula). I reached them by collectivo, but that was some time ago; you'll need to check your current options, but might consider visiting them before leaving Valladolid.
  • Visiting Uxmal without a car is certainly possible, but not necessarily ideal. You best bet would probably be a one-day tour from Merida. I wanted much more time than I would have had with a tour (I think I spent about 5 hours at Uxmal itself, and I would not describe my visit as leisurely), and I also wanted to see some of the other stunning ruins of the Ruta Puuc -- so I rented a car, spent the better part of 2 days on the Ruta Puuc and other sites along the way, and spent a night en route. I'm glad I did, but YMMV.
Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Jan 15th, 2018, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,377
I've been to both, just two very different options that's all. I think you just have to decide.

Personally, I think the Mexico City one is a little less rushed as you are only going to 2 places, not moving as much and arranging transportation as much as the Cancun etc trip. No way wolud I personally take an overnight bus, though.
Christina is online now  
Jan 16th, 2018, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 28,255
I also think the Mexico City option seems less rushed. To efficiently do all you want to do in the Cancun area, I really think you would need a car. While there is a direct bus from Cancun to Merida, I think it would be cumbersome and time consuming to use public transport for the other places you want to go.
tom42 is online now  
Jan 17th, 2018, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,948
For Cancun, why not base yourself further south in the Riviera Maya (e.g. Akumal or Tulum) so you have better access to both the nature (Sian Kaan) as well as the history/architecture--(Tulum and especially Coba)?
RAC is offline  
Jan 17th, 2018, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 801
You didn't indicate which Monday, so this post may not apply.
What overnight bus would you take to San Miguel? It's only a 4 hour trip, and neither Primera Plus nor ETN (the 2 most popular carriers) offer an overnight run.
I as well think sticking to the CDMX area is less complicated.
2 other trips I might recommend over San Miguel would be Puebla/Cholula or Mineral Del Chico/Mineral Del Monte. Chico boasts a national park for your nature fix. Monte is an old, handsomely restored mining Town. The Prismas Basalticas are nearby too.
baldone is offline  
Jan 20th, 2018, 09:30 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 47

To everyone who responded. I came down with a bad relapse of my plantar fasciitis and have postponed travel - anymore than necessary - as I travel for work anyways. I will have to do this trip another time.

thank you
AroraV is offline  
Jan 20th, 2018, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,228
Good luck with your recovery!
kja is offline  
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