Need Yucatán suggestions

Apr 7th, 2016, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,419
Agree totally about the beach thing. Especially at high tide when the sand disappears. Just figured since the OP stated not a beach person, more likely to do a twofer at the ruins than a separate ride to one of the clubs on the beach road. We seem to keep going to Ana Y Jose when we are at that end of the beach. Gotta try out some of the others.
SambaChula is offline  
Apr 7th, 2016, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 43
Tulum....NO BRAINER. The ruins there are underrated and Coba is a very easy drive. You'll have the option of picking one of the (mostly eco) resorts along the beach road or staying in town. Such a good vibe along the beach road but you will pay more. We enjoyed our stay at El Pez Beach House while at the beach. We also thoroughly enjoyed our stay in town at Posada Yum Kim (GREAT bang for the buck). Don't be put off by the neighborhood around PYK....very nice people, but a poor area. Just a bit too far to walk into town so you will need a car. We loved Suite 7. Be aware that many/most hotels in Tulum do not have air conditioning. Both of these places did have AC. A great breakfast place in town was Azafran (run by a cool German woman). Great places to eat along the beach road were Hartwood (dinner), Mateo's (lunch) and Ziggy Beach Club (drinks). Great ceviche all over town. There were many other nice lodging options there but two others that stood out were The Beach Tulum ( and Mezzanine (on the beach road, but at opposite end from most of the dining/shops).

We loved Chichen Itza but I wouldn't stay there for three days. It's about a 2-1/2 to 3 hour drive from Tulum (just don't drive after dark). We drove there and back from Tulum in the same day and didn't feel rushed. There were also tour operators out of Tulum that can take you there and back. One full day in CI is plenty imo.

One more word about Chichen Itza. You will get badgered to death by vendors all over the park. There are gauntlets where you'll have to pass through them....and they can be aggressive. My advice is to buy a couple of souvenirs early. They'll leave you alone after that. Expect young kids to tell you something costs $50...but then they'll yell $3 as you start to walk away. Also, most of them live in abject it's the nice thing to do : )

And although we didn't do should look into the Xel-Ha Water Park just north of Tulum.

Have a great trip!
uncfan is offline  
Apr 7th, 2016, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,708
At least when I was there (2008), the critical differences in driving rules include (1) to turn left on a highway, pull to the right, wait until all cars have passed, and THEN turn left. Using a turn signal to signal a left turn (as I do in the US and Europe) could be interpreted to mean "feel free to pass me on the left." At the time, that was identified in several of my guidebooks as the single biggest cause of accidents involving US drivers in the Yucatan. And (2) flashing your lights at a one-lane bridge or intersection or wherever means "I'm going," not "you go ahead," as it does in the US. Maybe things have changed....
kja is offline  
Apr 7th, 2016, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 43
One more quick note about driving. I definitely recommend getting a car. You'll just be able to see so much more that way. You'll need to read up on the Mexican rental car insurance requirements. You HAVE to purchase insurance when you get a rental car. So when you see car rentals advertised at ridiculously low rates, the added insurance will bring it more in line with what you pay in the States. The whole insurance thing was quite confusing. Just stick with a major rental company and they'll take care of you.

Get a nondescript that doesn't scream "tourist."

Several people mentioned the ubiquitous speed bumps. They weren't kidding....they sneak up on you at 60 mph.

We literally never figured out how to read the signs (actually, we just never saw any signs)....and constantly found ourselves driving the wrong way down one way streets in Tulum. Be careful.

Do NOT hand your credit card to gas station attendants....or be prepared to see multiple charges on your next bank statement. It happened to us. Use cash whenever possible.

Avoid driving at night on country roads. Banditos really do exist.

And finally, DO NOT drink and drive (for obvious reasons). But if you do and you get caught....I've heard it can be a complete nightmare.

But overall, I thought driving was very easy there and was quite glad we got a car.
uncfan is offline  
Apr 8th, 2016, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,419
@kja---Thanks for the explanation.
We put on a lot of kilometers, on Yucatan highways and waaaaay off the beaten path to little-known cenotes and villages, on multiple trips, and I don't remember ever encountering enough traffic for either of those rules to have had to come into play.
SambaChula is offline  
Apr 8th, 2016, 07:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,810
Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I will bow to your advice and cancel one of the Chichen Itza nights and add it on somewhere else. Maybe Valladolid.

I'm still trying to decide about driving. However, if I do decide to drive, it will not be at night. My night vision is no longer good enough to do that.

I will also re-read the above suggestions and see what other changes need to be made.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Apr 8th, 2016, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,912
kja, they now have tons of "retornos" on Highway 307 since they widened it, this is a special lane on the left hand side where you can make a legal U-turn, very easy.
So unless you are driving in some remote areas no need to pull over to the right anymore to make a left hand turn.
jamie99 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2016, 05:47 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,708
@ jamie -- Thanks for that update!
kja is offline  
Apr 11th, 2016, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,419
"Such a good vibe along the beach road but you will pay more" than in the pueblo.

Now that I'm looking at websites to compare, apparently 5 times more. The photos don't differ much.
SambaChula is offline  

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