Yucatan info needed

Old Mar 14th, 1999, 12:53 PM
Lisheng Weng
Posts: n/a
Yucatan info needed

Hi everyone,
My friend and I are planning to travel to Yucatan
for 10 days in mid April to visit the mayan sites; we
have some questions and hope to get some advice from you.
1. Do we need to buy the tour package here (Los Angeles)
in advance or we could join the local tour guide in Merida?
2. If we go by ourselves, should we rent a car or just
take the local bus?
3. How many sites you would recommend us to visit and
how many days for each site?
Thanks in advance!!
Old Mar 15th, 1999, 05:31 AM
Posts: n/a
For the major sites, such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Palenque, Tulum, and Coba, you can take a bus. I have not visited the other sites around Merida, but I have read in several places that it is best to have a car or take a tour to see these. Uxmal is maybe an hour from Merida by bus. Chichen Itza is a couple of hours and a little farther from Cancun. I would say you can easily spend one day at both Uxmal and Chichen Itza. If seeing the ruins is going to be a large part of your trip though, I would use one full day for Uxmal, starting early from Merida, and stay overnight at Chichen Itza to have part of two days there. Uxmal is not very crowded, but Chichen Itza can be quite crowded, and everywhere can be hot, so you will appreciate the early and late hours of the day. Palenque is 5-7 hours west of Merida.

I would at least vist Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Palenque if you don't mind all the travel time, and the other sites around Merida (particularly Labna). If you have time left to go farther east, you will enjoy some time (about 4-5 hours) at Coba (surrounded by jungle) and Tulum (on perched on a hill above the gorgeous blue Caribbean). Tulum can easily be seen in a couple of hours, but you might want to budget some time to relax on the beautiful beach there.

Not sure about the tours, but I would think you can join them in Mexico.
Old Mar 16th, 1999, 07:52 AM
Posts: n/a
A lot depends on your budget. You can rent a car for about $30/day and drive to the sites. This is what I did in Dec. I went to Chichen Itza and Tulum on this trip which was 7 days. You need at least an overnight at Chichen Itza and 2 days for Coba & Tulum. You can get a tour guid at each of the sites. We paid $20 for 6($3.5/person) of us to take a 1hr tour at Tulum and $30 for 6($5/person) of us to take a 1.5hr tour at Chichen Itza. I personally like the freedom of a car, but you can take the local busses. I wouldn't take an organized tour. I have done this in the past and they always seem very rushed and expensive considering what you get.
Old Mar 22nd, 1999, 12:33 PM
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I just got back from 2 wks in the Yucatan...the cheapest car I could rent was $55 US for 24 hrs. I drove from Playa del carmen to Chitchen Itza. Believe me ....its cheaper to take a bus trip. there are tolls along the highway!!!! The positive thing about renting a car is that you can spend as much time as you want at each site and not have to see it in a pack of touristas! Do NOT drive at night!!! the roads are very dangerous...and so are the local drivers!!!!!!!!!!!
Old Mar 23rd, 1999, 08:16 AM
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Dollar rent a car in the Plaza Antiqua mall usually rents VW's for $25/day. They is also a non toll route. Head south to Tulum, right towards Coba, we usually stop here for breakfast at El Bocadito. Stay to the left at the Y and head to Chemax. Left on old 180 through the beautiful town of Valladolid and on to Chichen Itza. Find a nice hotel to stay overnight. Also if you rent in advance, Budget is currently offering a Compact(nissan sentra) manual w/air for 198/week + tax.
Old Mar 24th, 1999, 08:52 AM
Brian in Atlanta
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I was a little leary of taking a public bus, but it was great! Very clean and comfortable and someone else did all the driving allowing us to take in the scenary. We bought tickets the same day. Playa del Carmen is a great place to set up base. Don't miss Tulum!
Old Apr 14th, 1999, 09:53 AM
Laura wolf
Posts: n/a
In Mérida we took a really cheap bus that starts out early (8 AM) everyday from the new bus terminal (which is is next to the old terminal). I cannot remember what the name of the company is, but it's an unguided ride (meaning your bus driver does just that) to 5 sites including Uxmal, (where you spend 2 hrs), Xlapac, Labna, and two others near there, where you spend only 30 minutes. All in all we found this was enough time to spend at the "minor" sites. The bus returns to Mérida about 5PM. We had read about the sites and had our book with us so we were OK without a guide.
The roads are one-lane-each-way affairs, I wouldn't have wanted to drive there. We traveled all over on buses which were fine, although prone to be late, and sometimes hot.
I recommend the niht-time light show in Chichén, as well as sneaking off to Old Chichén, which none of the guides go to, and since it's a 1/2 hr walk from Chichén, hardly any tourists set foot in it either. The house of the phalluses is worth it! (or is it called House of the Three Lintels?).

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