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Mexico Itinerary

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Jan 17th, 2014, 07:29 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Mexico Itinerary

Hey all,

Thank you so much for your help. After so many really helpful suggestions, I decided to create an itinerary with the cities that i'm going. Just a little overview.

I am 32 and my wife 28, we are planning to go the last wed of July for a little more than 3 weeks, I am interested in history, ruins, beach and activities. So is my wife, but she is really looking forward to the beach part. So this is my itinerary. Please let me know what you guys think.

Also, would you guys recommend a guide book for specific cities? When I went to Europe I used Rick Steves guide, and i really liked the self guided walking tours, any recommendation like that for the cities I'm visiting?

Mexico city 6 days
Puebla 2 days
Oaxaca 3 days
Merida 3 days (one day to celestum)
Chichen Itza 1 day
Valladolid 1 day
Playa Del Carmen 5 days (including going to akumal, cenote, xcaret, atv tour)
Cancun 2 days (staying in an all inclusive, never been, wife really wants it)
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Jan 17th, 2014, 08:40 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Looks like a good itinerary. My only comment would be to keep in mind that July/August is the rainy season, and the Yucatan can get oppressively hot and steamy, especially inland areas such as Merida.
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Jan 17th, 2014, 08:58 AM
  #3
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@baldone Oh really? would you suggest going in Jun/July instead? My window to go is beginning of June to end of August
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Jan 17th, 2014, 09:14 AM
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Agree with baldone that weather might be a problem. I would think earlier is better, especially as the threat of hurricanes increases later in the summer. Oaxaca and Mexico City should be alright that time of year. Not sure about Puebla -- the main determinant is elevation.

Are there flights between Merida and Oaxaca? At one time people had to fly via Mexico City, which is expensive and time consuming. On the bus you're looking at fifteen hours, too much for me!

If you do decide to include the Yucatan, try to be in Merida for the weekend festivities. Consider a trip to Uxmal and the Puuc cities while there. It is possible to vsit Chichen Itza from Valladolid -- it's about twenty miles away -- this would eliminate one hotel transfer. While there, do not miss Ek Balam.

The best guidebook for Mexico I've found is Lonely Planet -- but mine is an older edition. I haven't seen the more recent editions. I would also recommend Andrew Coe's Archaeological Mexico: A Guide to Ancient Cities and Sacred Sites, but that is now 13 years old.
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Jan 17th, 2014, 09:42 AM
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Good information here above and yes, there is an airport in Merida although I have never used it but seen big planes land.
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Jan 17th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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The earlier the better (as far as the weather).
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Jan 17th, 2014, 09:47 AM
  #7
 
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I'd stay in Tulum rather than PDC but then I am not much into shopping and clubs, maybe you are.
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Jan 17th, 2014, 09:48 AM
  #8
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@Fra_Diavolo Thanks so much! Would you say first week of June would be good?

Yes, I'm planning to fly from Oaxaca to Merida. I guess I should buy all of my tickets soon.

Yes, I've heard sunday is beatiful in Merida, I def wouldn't wanna miss that. Great suggestion going from Valladolid to Chichen Itza. Would you consider Uxmal a must see? if you already see Chichen Itza? How much time do you think is needed in Ek Balam?

i'll look at lonely planet book. Thank you so much!
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Jan 17th, 2014, 09:50 AM
  #9
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@Rohelio, Thanks, def will be flying, maybe aerotucan has good rates.

@suze I think June it is then...

@jamie99 I do like clubs, but i'm more intersted in the activites that i saw like xcaret, and atv tours. What is the bennefit of staying in Tulum if I may ask?
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Jan 17th, 2014, 10:06 AM
  #10
 
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dsauna --

Yes, I would consider Uxmal and the Puuc cities "must sees." To tell the truth, I have far more memories of them than I do of Chichen Itza! The buildings feature elaborate facades and being less frequented, more evocative settings.

Ek Balam is a smaller site. I would say an hour or two will do it. You can still climb the pyramid there, and from it (if the air is clear), you can see the Chichen Itza pyramid. Ek Balam features some deep high relief carving which I believe is unique in Mexico. Looks similar to photos I've seen of Copan.
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Jan 17th, 2014, 11:43 AM
  #11
 
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I can't, for the life of me, imagine staying in Tulum when you have about 5 or so days to spend in the region. Playa is where you want to be. At your age, you will fit right in and believe me you will not have enough time to see and do everything in Playa. There is a beautiful very romantic hotel in center town called Aventura Mexicana (about 3 blocks from the beach)check on internet.You can choose the AI or sleepover with breakfast. There are a 1000 restaurants waiting for you and the night time is where it all comes together. Dress is casual but the price is always a bit more on La Quinta. If you want a nightcap or digestif you can go on 1st ave where most of the clubs are. Dont go too early if you want to feel the energy and vibrations. I am 61 and past those days but whenever my lady and I walk by, I still get goosbumps and wish I was 30 again. If you want to treat your wife to an evening of romance and pleasure she wont forget then plan ahead, get to know the city and you will never regret it. Your the man so it's your job to plan ahead and know where your going. By the way, everything in Playa is within walking distance, there is absolutely no need for a cab here.If your wife likes shoes, then take her over to Benito Juares street (main artery) where she will really enjoy shopping.June is the beginning of slow season so check for discounts and don't be afraid to ask for better prices, especially in hotels !
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Jan 17th, 2014, 12:34 PM
  #12
 
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I strongly recommend you go to the the internet site called

intheroo.com

Anything and everything you want to know about Playa is on there.
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Jan 17th, 2014, 01:01 PM
  #13
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@fra i will definitely go to uxmal and ek balam, thanks so much for the suggestions

@Rohelio, That is invaluable advise. I will definitely plan ahead!
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Jan 17th, 2014, 02:21 PM
  #14
 
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Hi dsauana, earlier in June would probably be better, it may be a degree or 2 hotter, but maybe less rain. The thing is that Mexico's hot season is mid-end of April through May and then cooling off as the rains begin in June. Just try to do your activities as early in the day as possible. As far as flights from OAX to MID I'm almost sure you'll have to fly Aeromexico via MEX to MID. Aerotucan doesn't fly to Merida, only Tuxtla, PE & Huatulco. Vivaaerobus's website shows them with flights from OAX to CUN but not MID, and even at that, the last scheduled flight is in April. I don't know if they just stop for the low season, or if the calender isn't updated.
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Jan 17th, 2014, 03:20 PM
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I'm not sure if going in June rather than August will make much difference in temperature but it could make a HUGE difference in lodging costs. We found June prices to be sometimes half or 2/3rds what July and August prices were.

We made a 2-3 week loop in 2010 beginning with nearly a week in Tulúm Pueblo. We loved staying in town where we could walk to stores and produce stands and restaurants. We used it as our base for area Maya sites, snorkeling and diving cenotes, and flyfishing to the south (rented a small car).

Then we headed to Valladolíd (for Chichén Itzá and Ek Balám visits + more cenotes), then north to cute San Felipe for tarpon fishing and flamingos, then to Isla Mujeres to snorkel with whale sharks - I think the season starts in mid June.

It was an AWESOME trip - we loved everyplace we stayed and everything we did. You can look at the photos in the Yucatán Peninsula, 2010 collection - links to the blog and detailed travelogue on the main page. There are also sets for Mérida, Chiapas, and Riviera Maya later in the year.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Watch the hurricane site just in case; that's early but our trip was affected in early July that year.
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Also consider having ac and/or be on the beach and/or have a pool - exploring in the heat all day means it's great to cool off back at your base. Happy trails!
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Jan 17th, 2014, 07:20 PM
  #16
kja
 
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I thought Uxmal and the Ruta Puuc absolutely astounding and in many ways preferred them to Chichen Itza. They aren't substitutes for one another -- there are some striking differences between them. IMO, the Ruta Puuc really deserves 2 days. Consider staying at the Flycatcher Inn near Uxmal:
http://flycatcherinn.com

I second the idea of visiting Chichen Itza from Valladolid. Consider making time for Ek' Balam and the Cenotes Dzitnup, both best seen from Valladolid.

Also consider visiting Izamal between Merida and Valladolid.

If you are going to Celestun for the flamingos, note that a substantial portion of the flock is only there in the winter months. Those that remain are still impressive, though!

I found The Moon Guide the most useful of the half-dozen or so guide books I used when planning my trip to this area.

Hope that helps!
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Jan 21st, 2014, 04:18 PM
  #17
 
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I would take one day off Mexico City and add it to Puebla so that you spend at least one day for towns just outside Puebla. You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it.

We visited Chichen Itza by taking a day tour for a Merida travel agency. The same for Uxmal.

To whet your appetite: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...7623007252716/
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