Yucatan Roadtrip Itinerary

16.01.20 08:53 PM By Putri

Mexico is one of the staple South destinations for winter getaway for Canadians, including Quebecers. Every now and then (read: every winter and spring break when the cold plunge into unliveableness), I get tagged on subtle flexing posts from fancy resorts with photos of glimmering suntanned thighs and cocktails. Not that I was ever in the location, but I have friends with zero sense of humble that taunt me with their pictures of perfect resort vacay, while I commute on foot to work, half-buried in snow. Because are we even best friend if we don’t taunt our bff while their struggle. Them betches. 

Mexico offers such diverse experiences and regions that it probably needs to be explored in years and years. But we didn’t have years and years, we had 15 days only for this end of year vacation. So instead of staying in the comfort of an all-included resort, we decided to explore the Yucatan peninsula, the safest region in Mexico to travel by car. The Yucatan peninsula consists of three states: Yucatan, Quintana Roo, and Campeche. With our busy-turtle style of traveling, we did two out of three in 15 days and left out Campeche for another visit. 

Detailed itinerary

Day 1. ​Puerto Morelos : ​Fisherman's village

The entry point to the peninsula by air is through the Cancun airport. Air Canada Rouge just started a direct flight to Cancun from Quebec City, and it takes only 4 to 5 hours of flight. We took a rental car from Cancun Airport and drove right away to Puerto Morelos. 

Day 2. Puerto Morelos : Snorkeling at the Great Mayan Reef

Whoever said Puerto Morelos is a sleepy village clearly has never been to Quebec City.It takes only 10 minutes of boat ride to the world's second biggest coral reef. How cool is that?! And the city square becomes very lively after dark with stalls of street food, and arts. 

Day 3. Snorkeling at Cenote Azul and Yal-Ku lagoon in Akumal on the way to Tulum

We had our first Mexican cenote experience at Cenote Azul, then continued to Yal-Ku lagoon to stalk more fishes snorkel.

Day 4. Christmas inTulum

We had our first visits to the Mayan ruins; the Tulum ruins and Muyil ruins. We were on the 24th of December, the night before Christmas. It is interesting to experience Christmas in another country, and boy, the Mexicans celebrate it,  all – night – long. 

Day 5. Driving to Isla Holbox with a stop at Coba ruins

Is biking in Mayan jungle on your bucket list ? Did that while visiting Coba ruins on our way to catch the ferry to Isla Holbox from Chiquila !

Day 6. Isla Holbox – island living 

I had my first, unexpected, encounter with flamingos at this island! Those pink bendy birds weren't supposed to be there at the time of the year, so it was exciting!

Day 7. Valladolid

Valladolid has so much to offer, the city is vibrant with a mix of Mayan culture and Spanish colonial building. It is strategically located too, making it a perfect base for day trips.

Day 8. Rio Lagartos so see some flameenggaaws

On the way to Rio Lagartos to see more flamingos, we visit other ruins on the unbeaten path; Ek Balam, and the famous pink lake at Las Coloradas.

Day 9. Cenote-ing day

We checked out the famous Suytun cenote to see what’s the fuzz all about and got a nice show. We also dicovered other pair of underground cenotes nearby; Cenote Las Palomitas and Agua Dulce. 

Day 10. Chichen Itza and Izamal the Yellow City

You definitely cant claim you've been to Mexico if you didn't visit Chichen Itza. We visited this world wonder on the way to Izamal, a sleepy city with vibrant Yellow color.

Day 11. Merida

We finally reached Merica, the capital of the Yucatan Peninsula. Another great base for exploring the west side of the Yucatán,

Day 12. Celestun

With Merida as our base, we took a day trip to visit the Celestun biosphere to do some boating, birdwatching and MORE flamingos stalking.

Day 13. Uxmal

We headed to Uxmal early in the morning. Uxmal is definitely one of the best kept Mayan ruins we visited in this whole Yucatan trip. We continued the day with an epic Yucatecan buffet at an old hacienda and a refreshing dip at an off the beaten path cenote called Kankiriche

Day 14. Distileria Mayapan and Playa del Carmen

We head back to Cancun, but a trip to Mexico isn’t complete without visiting a tequila distillery, amirite? We also had a quick stop at Playa del Carmen. Its hustle bustle as one of the most touristic cities in Mexico actually was a turn off for us, especially after the road trip outside resort areas.

Day 15. Cancun

Our last Mexican breakfast and sunshine before taking the flight back to Quebec City.

Final notes

I might not have a perfect vacay picture taken at a fancy resort in Mexico, but I did have a perfect Mexican vacay to brag to them betches treasure. In our short 15 days, we managed to experience more than what we thought we would, from snorkeling at the Meso American reef, to climbing Mayan ruins, to biking in some Mayan jungle, to eating Yucatecan food at an old hacienda, to taking a dip in underground river tunnels, to swimming with piranhas. Okay, maybe it wasn’t piranhas, but it looked like it, hard to tell, I didn’t have my glasses while snorkeling. I loved every part of this vacation.