Yucatan Trip Questions

Old Apr 11th, 2024, 10:11 PM
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Yucatan Trip Questions

We are getting ready for a month long trip to Yucatan in January 2025. Flying to Cancun to take advantage of Alaskan Air miles and then taking the ADO to Merida where we plan on spending a week. After that, we are thinking of renting a car and driving on the following itinerary:

Leave Merida and visit Uxmal / Kabah and end up in Campeche for 2 - 3 nights. Maybe stay for a night in Santa Elena after Uxmal and before Kabah, then to Campeche.

Travel to Celestun from Campeche for 2 nights, one being a travel day.

Back to Merida and head toward Progreso. I have a question here, is it worth it to stay in Progreso or travel along the coast and stop somewhere near Telchac Puerto. Has anyone done this drive?

Next stop would be Rio Lagartos for a few days and then head to Valladolid for maybe 4 - 5 days. We don't mind spending some down time here, even if there isn't a lot to do.

After Valladolid, we are thinking of two nights at Chichen Itza. One day to drive over there, find a hotel, and then hit Chichen Itza really early, spend half a day then back to Merida to fly Mexico City.

Again, looking for people who have done these places. We've done a fair amount of research and know what to see but not sure about hitting the upper coast around Progreso. I know we should do Holbox but it's not in the cards this trip. Thanks for any and all input.

Last edited by Tdiddy12; Apr 11th, 2024 at 10:14 PM.
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Old Apr 12th, 2024, 10:31 AM
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Just a few notes -- Uxmal will take a good chunk of your day. I would stay over in the area and devote the next day to the entire Ruta Puuc,l not just Kabah, You'll have many of the sites to yourself. Finish up at the caves.

When in Valladolid make time to visit Ek Balam, about ten miles north. There are some highly figured sculptures there, possibly unique in Mexico. You're not far from Chichen Itza in Valladolid -- less than an hour's drive, so you might avoid another hotel change by visiting from there.

Unfortunately I've never visited the coastal areas you mention.

Make sure your time in Merida includes a weekend.
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Old Apr 12th, 2024, 03:10 PM
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[QUOTE=Fra_Diavolo;17552920]Just a few notes -- Uxmal will take a good chunk of your day. I would stay over in the area and devote the next day to the entire Ruta Puuc,l not just Kabah, You'll have many of the sites to yourself. Finish up at the caves.

When in Valladolid make time to visit Ek Balam, about ten miles north. There are some highly figured sculptures there, possibly unique in Mexico. You're not far from Chichen Itza in Valladolid -- less than an hour's drive, so you might avoid another hotel change by visiting from there.

Unfortunately I've never visited the coastal areas you mention.

Make sure your time in Merida includes a weekend.[

We will spend a lot of time at Uxmal then hit Kabah in the morning. I will investigate the Ruta Puuc, that takes us further south correct? Planning on Ek Balam. I guess we could get up early to head to Chichen Itza from Valladolid, but we aren't morning people per se, so thought it might be better to already be there when we wake up.
Thanks for the tips
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 09:03 AM
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A different angle here: as there's still a lot of time before your trip, you may want to consider, if you're so inclined (and if you haven't done so), reading "Incidents of Travel in Yucatan," an account of a journey the American diplomat and explorer John Stephens and his companion, the artist Frederick Catherwood, undertook in 1841. Of course the book will not answer your modern travel questions; I mention this because it may be interesting to compare the Yucatan you visit, to the one Stephens saw 180 years ago. Before my first trip to CopŠn, in Honduras, I had read Stephens' account of his 1839 visit there, and I carried a copy along on my visit; I enjoyed comparing my experiences to those of Stephens, and the structures I was looking at to Catherwood's expert drawings. (If you do decide to get a copy of Stephens's book, make sure it includes Catherwood's illustrations. I would recommend the Dover edition, if it's still available.)
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 10:49 AM
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I have the Dover editions myself. When I photographed the arch at Labna I noticed there was a good deal less of it than Catherwood drew. I was pleased with the photo at the time, but came to see that the depth of field was insufficient. I'll have to return and try again!
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 07:53 PM
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I can believe it; the diligent Catherwood wasn't likely to miss much!
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 08:25 PM
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No. I’m afraid the structure had been compromised since his day. By the way, both volumes are still available.

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Old Apr 20th, 2024, 10:06 AM
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I visited Celestun, but not Progresso. As a rule, the flamingoes ó if thatís what interests you ó are in one place or the other. Itís seasonal; I donít remember when the flock is at which location.

Like others, I urge you to stop one night along the Ruta Puuc.
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Old Apr 20th, 2024, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Fra_Diavolo
I noticed there was a good deal less of it than Catherwood drew. I was pleased with the photo at the time, but came to see that the depth of field was insufficient. I'll have to return and try again!
Check out these photos, the lodge we recently stayed at in Guatemala had a copy of the book. The author followed 19th century photographer Teobert Maler.
https://issuu.com/peytonwrightgaller...uins_revisited

Go full screen if you are on a computer.
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Old Apr 20th, 2024, 04:11 PM
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Stunning photos, Nelson. I also ended up going down a rabbit hole reading about the photographer and even olde Teoberto. All new to me. Thanks!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 06:27 AM
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Hi Tdiddy, the flamingoes are flocking in winter near Celestun. We saw them from Celestun in December (it was still early). January should be fine.

Google turns up this blog with a March 2024 update
https://www.thetravellinglindfields....un-mexico.html

Progreso is a cruise port and we didn't go there.

Celestun is a charming fishing village, palapas on the beach, fresh fish, etc.

I would agree to spend at least a night near Uxmal for the sound and light show (in Spanish) and consider a few of the other sites along the Ruta Puuc.. I probably also recommended our good value hotel, Uxmal Resort Maya. Since you plan to drive I assume you can also stay a bit farther away. I did like the pool and view at that hotel.

I've probably mentioned our excellent bird guide, Alex Dzib who lives in Celestun. Since winter is heavy duty birding season, he's probably busy with tours but you can find him on instagram @ alexdzay
A wide range of Airbnb places there. I think I mentioned Alex and his Airbnb guest room on someone else's planning thread. If you are just going for a night or two, I wouldn't hesitate to stay there.

Search for Casa de Los Flamencos Celestun and it should popup.

Last edited by mlgb; Apr 22nd, 2024 at 06:49 AM.
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