Mexico Discovery Fly Drive Holiday
A fly-drive holiday to Mexico is unusual, unique, exciting, awe-inspiring, humbling and exhilarating – not to mention safe. The police in the Yucatan area work very hard to keep the area crime free and safe for tourist.
If visiting the ancient Mayan sites is on your “must-do” list then there is no better way to explore the Yucatan area with its many ancient sites than on a fly-drive holiday.
The main site of Chichen Itza is relatively easy to visit from Cancun but if you want to visit a wider range of ancient sites and have the freedom to explore in your own time, it is not possible to do using public transport. This is why we have put together a fly-drive package that enables you to enjoy the ancient and the modern all in one holiday.
Our itinerary starts from when you land in Cancun and drive to your first destination at Chichen Itza, from there you will travel to Merida, on to Uxmal and experience something different at Tulum where you will stay in a jungle cabin before returning for a couple of days in Cancun to relax by the beach.
Our recommendation is for a Ten Night Itinerary spending:
2 nights at Chichen Itza,
2 nights at Merida,
2 nights at Uxmal,
1 night at Tulum
and 3 nights at Cancun.
The suggested route is shown below (but this is an adventure and you are free to explore other areas):
When visiting Mexico, one thing that should be at the top of your travel itinerary is visiting ruins from the ancient Mayan civilization. Hundreds of Mayan temples, statues, and buildings have lasted over 4,000 years and many of them are open to visitors to explore. One of the most famous sites for Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is one of the New Seven World Wonders: Chichen Itza.
To really experience Chichen Itzá and Uxmal properly we have arranged an overnight stay at one of the hotels situated right next-door to the park. This way, you by-pass the malaise of the tour-bus crowds and enjoy the comfort of the facilities and services the hotels have on offer to guests.
After you arrive at your hotel, check-in, relax with a cool drink, and perhaps take a refreshing afternoon swim. Some hotels offer spas treatments, too. This gives you space to unwind in the quiet tranquillity of the hotel’s grounds before enjoying dinner served in a courtyard surrounded by soft candlelight and lush vegetation.
After a good night’s rest, you can wake early to sounds of birdsong: a symphony performed by wild jungle birds, mainly tropical toucans. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast from around 7 a.m. and then the park opens its doors at 8 a.m.
By entering the park early, you have a couple of hours to really enjoy Chichen Itza and Uxmal, without hordes of people everywhere. By the time the tour-bus crowds arrive, and the intense heat of the midday sun takes hold, you have seen most of the key features and got some great pictures.
There are many ancient sites in the area and it is recommended that you spend some time exploring. Visit the Ruta Puuc archaeological sites which include Uxmal, Kabáh, Nohpat, Sayil and Labná and give yourself a deeper appreciation for the history and culture of the ancient Maya civilizations, without the commercial rush of the tour bus circuits.
Chichen Itza is approximately 2 ½ hours to drive from Cancun. It’s a pretty easy straight run to Chichen Itza, but be aware that the road has a toll of 95 pesos each way. Parking at Chichen Itza costs 30 pesos for the day
Driving to Uxmal Ruins from Merida is an easy drive on well-maintained roadways. The drive should take just over an hour, and does not require additional tolls. From Cancun, the drive to Uxmal is over four hours, and requires a toll 95 pesos. The drive time doesn’t make Uxmal an ideal day trip destination from Cancun. Parking for Uxmal is 30 pesos for the day.
While the buildings at Chichen Itza have a varying style of architecture, the buildings at Uxmal were all built in the Puuc style. But the main difference in visiting Uxmal vs Chichen Itza is that you can actually climb on many of the structures at Uxmal!
Merida truly is a beautiful travel destination, inside and out. Nicknamed the ciudad blanca (white city), you certainly do see some white structures while roaming around the grid-like streets of this charming colonial city. Yet we find that the white buildings are actually outnumbered by colourful pastel dwellings, adding much vibrancy to Merida’s colonial architecture.
REvery morning there is a free walking tour of Merida that departs from the centrally located Plaza Grande. A friendly guide offers a great lesson in the Merida’s history while also providing you bearings to know your way around town.
The free walking tour of Merida is a perfect introduction to many of the sites and attractions all around Merida centro. You’ll learn a lot about the city itself, as the walking tour is full of interesting facts that you likely have not read up on before you arrived in town. If staying in the city for a few days, we recommend starting off your visit with this free walking tour as the very first thing to do in Merida. It provides such a nice overview of Merida to help get acquainted with the city.
If you want to learn more about the Mayan people, culture, and history, this is most definitely the place to do it. We don’t know of anywhere else in the world with more Mayan artifacts under the same roof. There are over 1,000 different pieces here! This expansive museum will leave you with a deep understanding of the Mayan civilization. The Mayan World museum begins way back with natural history from the beginning of time and slowly walks you through to the life of the modern Maya today.
About 80 miles (129 km) south of Cancún is the small town of Tulum, best known for its ruins, which overlook turquoise coloured waters and soft sandy beaches on the Caribbean coast. Tulum was built during the dying days of the Mayan empire, and was actually a fort. It’s quite tame in comparison to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, but it does have one overwhelming attraction: its location next to the sea.
We have recommended a slightly different accommodation in Tulum where you will stay in a jungle cabin. We do realise, however, that this will not be to everyone’s taste and we can suggest other options if you wish.
The last destination on you Mexican adventure is where you can spend time having some well-earned relaxation.
Over two million people flock to the shores of Cancun annually, and there is good reason for this. The local environment is stunning; the beaches along the Riviera Maya are pristine and the sea here is perfect for swimming and water activities; added to this, within a short traveling distance visitors can find themselves at the heart of some of the most breathtaking archaeological wonders of the world.
Cancun is easy for foreigners to travel around. Everyone speaks English; you’ll see names and brands that you are familiar with at home, and everything is catered for. Cancun is the place to come if you’re looking for a hassle-free holiday and that also offers the opportunity to discover some archaeological wonders left behind by the Mayas.