Trips on Driving from Tulum to Merida

Old May 1st, 2002, 06:08 PM
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Trips on Driving from Tulum to Merida

Hello! We are considering taking a trip to Mexico next month or so. We've heard mixed reviews. People have warned us about the water, the salad and the fruit. People have also warned us NOT to drive, rent a car and do things on our own. We are the explorer-types...we like to get to know the people, culture and do not like big hotels. We are considering staying outside Tulum for a few days and then drive up to Merida. Do you have any suggestions for young Americans like us?
Old May 1st, 2002, 06:47 PM
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As in any other place there are obviously some dangers in not going with a group or organized tour, but there are bigger rewards on doing so as you get a better feeling on the country's people, scenery, etc.

I have just made that trip a few weeks ago and I consider that the dangers are no higher than driving in a 4 lane highway in the US.

There are 2 options (the best depends on where you are staying):

1) Drive from Cancun to Merida which is the 4 lane highway I was mentioning. You should be in Merida in about 2:45 - 3:00 hours. A very, very good road with a cost of around $10 - $15 dollars.

2) If you are staying in Tulum, going back to Cancun would take you 1 hour. An option is to take a road (2 lanes, one way each, quite decent, new pavement) from Tulum to Valladolid and then taking the main Cancun-Merida highway. This could save you around 1 -1:30 hour (mainly the driving back to Cancun). It is a lesser used road but with no dangers. Here you have the added option of stopping in Coba, an important Mayan center where you can rent a bike and ride through some interesting ruins (2 hours should leave you happy enough).

A way to minimize any dangers is to drive during the day, as the night could be a bit more dangerous (specially in the Tulum - Coba - Chemax - Valladolid road).

You will love Merida and the surrounding Mayan ruins (Dzibilichaltun, Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil and Labna, among others)

Good luck,

Old May 20th, 2002, 06:13 AM
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Not sure what these "people" are talking about. Renting a car and driving this area is the only way to do it. I agree with the previous poster that you should stick to day-time driving though. Perhaps you're making the typical mistake of lumping the Yucatan in with the rest of Mexico. Please be advised that this area is very safe, and much easier to drive than many other areas of Mexico. Be sure to allow enough time to do Merida and the surrounding area well...everyone seems to leave wishing they had spent more time there.
Old May 20th, 2002, 06:40 AM
Carole Glab
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You shouldn't have any problems driving or eating salada and fruit in the Yucatan. I do it all the time and frequently drive alone from Cancun (to take care of bill paying, etc.) to Tankah/Tulum area where my house is located. There are also auto service trucks called the Green Angels, that patrol up and down Rt.#307, they are there to help tourist with car problems. This is a free service provided by the Mexican government.

Enjoy your trip!

Casa Tropical
Photo Album of Casa Tropical
Old May 20th, 2002, 08:25 AM
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McH gave a great summary. It would be a shame not to explore the Yucatecan cuisine because it is very very good. If you go to Valladolid, you must try the speciality of that city. It is a sausage called longaniza (sic), a spicy, vinegary chorizo-like sausage that is served grilled. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. In Merida, go to Los Almendros for cochinita pibil (roast suckling pig), queso relleno (raisins, almonds, and ground meat in lard sauce inside a bowl of melting cheese), sticken chic (sic) (fish in achiote paste), pavo en pipien (roast turkey in ground pumpkin seed gravy)...oh I could go on and on. I stayed in Merida for two weeks and still didn't get to see and do everything in the surrounding area. If you're really feeling adventurous, go to Celestun, which is the birthing grounds for all the flamingoes in the Northern Hemisphere.
Old May 20th, 2002, 10:26 AM
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Renting a car should be fine but it pays to make intelligent decisions so be sure to check this government website for advice on car rentals/safety:
Also, be aware that in Mexico, having a car accident is a felony and if anyone is hurt, both drivers go to jail until responsibilities are assigned. Be sure to purchase insurance called "proliber" which may keep you out of jail but not the mess. If you make smart choices, no problem!! Enjoy!!
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