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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to the Yucatan in Jan to see Chichen Itza and Tulum. I am asking for recommendations, advice and/or experiences from those that have been there.
Do we stay in Cancun? What hotel? Take a tour? Just grab a bus?
The itinerary is:
one day-Chichen Itza
one day-Tulum
one day-enjoying the Mexican Riviera
 

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[QUOTE=Monty Floyd;2054786]I am going to the Yucatan in Jan to see Chichen Itza and Tulum. I am asking for recommendations, advice and/or experiences from those that have been there.
Do we stay in Cancun? What hotel? Take a tour? Just grab a bus?
The itinerary is:
one day-Chichen Itza
one day-Tulum
one day-enjoying the Mexican Riviera[/QUOTE]


Everyone has his or her own taste but as you have decided on such a speedy trip and assuming you are flying into Merida which would be the most logical idea for your itinerary it seems to me; spend a day in Merida, rent a car and drive to Chichen Itza visiting Izamal en-route then on to Vallodolid and down to Coba to see the incredible Maya ruins there that wiil blow you away and on to Tulum on a good if narrow country highway then, drive north to Playa del Carmen choosing beach viisits along the way as you wish but bypassing Cancun altogether and get on the freeway back to Merida. Nothing wrong with Cancun if you like modern highrise somewhat sterile architecture but the best Mexican Caribbean beaches are, in my opinion, to be found around Tulum so a night´s beach stay is best to be enjoyed at Tulum and I say that as one who has driven the entire Quintana Roo Coast .

Have a nice trip.
 

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To go along with that...if you fly into Merida, and out of Cancun, you can spend less time in the car.

But really, I'd recommend at least one more day, especially if you want to get down to Tulum. Another idea might be to use Tulum as your base of operations, flying into and out of Cancun, and driving to Coba, rather than Chicken Itza. It's not as well known as the latter, but has amazing architecture to see, and a stunning view from the top of the pyramid.

A bonus is that on the road to Coba from Tulum is a large cenote, open to the public for a small fee, where you can swim in incredibly clear waters. If you have the time/skill/inclination, there are cave tours from that cenote, as well.

Tulum has accomodations that range from very basic to luxurious. For myself, I'd choose the palapa hut above the beach over the condo. But it's your choice.
 

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I can't imagine why someone would visit the Yucatan and plan to visit Tulum (not a major archaeological site, in spite of its unique location) and skip Uxmal, a hauntingly beautiful one.
 

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A few years ago I flew into Merida and signed up for all the tours at the hotel. Besides Chichen Itza, I went the next day to another pyramid site in Dizbilchaltun...it was the most amazing place I think I've ever been. I also went to the place (can't remember the name) where the pink flamingos are-ha ha ha that was SO cool. I went alone on this trip- 6 days I think, and on Sunday just walking down the street in Merida I saw the guy with the horse and buggy with a family- I waved- and later he drove up after dropping them off, so for about $10 US he took me on a tour -it was really fun. Yeah- you need a few days, but you can pack alot in. Have fun!
 

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I wasn't quite as overwhelmed with Dizbilchaltun as you seemed to have been but I also enjoyed my visit there. If anyone goes, and it is worth the effort, think about bringing swimming gear as they have a great cenote there.
 

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I was just in the Yucatan , two and a half weeks ago . Three nights in Cancun , 2 nights in Merida , and 4 nights in Tulum ; with a day trip to Progreso and Playa del Carmen . Imho , if you are gonna go to that many places in a short time ; rent a car , that way you are on your own time schedule . In Cancun the buses are cheap and run all the time , in Tulum the taxis cost $150 pesos to take you from the town to the playa , which is maybe 6 to 10 kilometers depending on what hotel you stay at . We stayed at the Hotel Mestizo in Tulum , it is beautiful !
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I want to thank everyone who replied to the thread.
When I posted this, I already had my flights scheduled and what miserable flights they were.
I flew Volaris 3 times, three years ago and each trip was easy and free from hassle. This time however, the seats seemed cramped, the flights were packed with people and kids, hacking and coughing (I got sick). It was either too hot or too cold, on the return trip, I had a 10 yr old kicking the back of my seat all the way home. Talk about a complete turn around, 3 yrs ago I was singing their praises, now I doubt I will fly with them, again.
Anyway, other than that, the trip went exceptionally well. We landed in Cancun around 7:30 AM and the first thing we did was rent a car, no problems there. They even let me rent on my debit card.
It was raining and after some discussion, we decided to go to Tulum first. It was still raining when we got to Tulum, we ate, got a hotel room and I decided to take a nap, since it looked like that day was going to be a wash out and I had not slept in a day and a half.
Around 3, the rain eased off and we decided to try and see as much of the Tulum site as we could. Turned out that we saw the whole thing and left right after closing time.
Next morning, we took off for Coba. Beautiful day, sunny, warm but not too hot. Coba is a huge site. We spent most of the day there. Left there and drove towards Chicken Pizza. The maps make it look like an easy shot, even on the free road but we got to know the city of Valladolid very well, driving around in circles, trying to find our way out of town.
We stopped at a hotel just before getting to CI. Got up early, one of the first ones to get there. Toured the site, bought some touristy crap and then headed back to Cancun.
Got really nice place on the beach. We settled in, checked out the beach, ordered a pizza/beer and watched some football.
I didn't think the flight home would be as bad as the overnight flight to get there but I was wrong. It had a plane change in Puebla and that one was delayed. Got to see a couple volcanoes, though.
All in all, I thought it went very well considering I have not travelled very much, my limited Spanish, the short amount of time we had and the whole thing was done freestyle, no reservations, very little planning. My son told me it was the best vacation he ever had... THAT made everything worthwhile.
 

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I can't imagine why someone would visit the Yucatan and plan to visit Tulum (not a major archaeological site, in spite of its unique location) and skip Uxmal, a hauntingly beautiful one.
I'd agree with Isla Verde. I'd even recommend Uxmal over Chichen Itza. Last time I was there, the Chichen Itza "experience" is still heavily marred by over touristification, it's verging on annoying at times.

Tulum is quite nice, but it's a fairly small site, hardly worth the drive from Cancun!
 

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I'd agree with Isla Verde. I'd even recommend Uxmal over Chichen Itza. Last time I was there, the Chichen Itza "experience" is still heavily marred by over touristification, it's verging on annoying at times.

Tulum is quite nice, but it's a fairly small site, hardly worth the drive from Cancun!
Indeed! I like to think of Chichén Itzá as the Frida Kahló of Mexican Mayan archaeological sites - very nice to be sure, but not the only one and not necessarily the best one! In archaeological circles, Tulum is considered to be of rather minor interest, its only outstanding feature being its unique location by the sea.
 

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Every ruin has it attraction. Chichenitza was way too crowded 20 years ago so I can imagine what it is like now. It is a beautiful place and has nice hotels around but it is just too much for me. On the other hand Uxmal is my favorite down there. Tulum is not an important ruin but its location is unique and beautiful and you can plan a little stay on the beach. All the ruins have their pluses and minuses.
We are leaving on Saturday to visit ruins we know and some we do not know again and we are planning to skip Chichen but include Uxmal and Coba is also on the itenary.
I would fy in and out of Merida or may be leave out of Cancun and rent a car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd agree with Isla Verde. I'd even recommend Uxmal over Chichen Itza. Last time I was there, the Chichen Itza "experience" is still heavily marred by over touristification, it's verging on annoying at times.

Tulum is quite nice, but it's a fairly small site, hardly worth the drive from Cancun!
How many times have you been there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Indeed! I like to think of Chichén Itzá as the Frida Kahló of Mexican Mayan archaeological sites - very nice to be sure, but not the only one and not necessarily the best one! In archaeological circles, Tulum is considered to be of rather minor interest, its only outstanding feature being its unique location by the sea.
I have no idea what that means.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Every ruin has it attraction. Chichenitza was way too crowded 20 years ago so I can imagine what it is like now. It is a beautiful place and has nice hotels around but it is just too much for me. On the other hand Uxmal is my favorite down there. Tulum is not an important ruin but its location is unique and beautiful and you can plan a little stay on the beach. All the ruins have their pluses and minuses.
We are leaving on Saturday to visit ruins we know and some we do not know again and we are planning to skip Chichen but include Uxmal and Coba is also on the itenary.
I would fy in and out of Merida or may be leave out of Cancun and rent a car.
It wasn't crowded at all. The hotel we stayed at was head and shoulders above the noise box we stayed at in Tulum. It was Dolores something or something Dolores. First time I've been in a hammock since I was a little kid.
 

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It wasn't crowded at all. The hotel we stayed at was head and shoulders above the noise box we stayed at in Tulum. It was Dolores something or something Dolores. First time I've been in a hammock since I was a little kid.
I hope you are not equating a Maya Hamaca with anything you may have encountered elsewhere, such a thing would be some form of high treason ;)

adam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've been to a large proportion of the sites on the peninsula once. There's no point repeating any of them until I've seen them all!

adam.
I just wondered because you said "last time I was there".

Anyway, CI is one of the most famous of Mexico's Mayan sites, I think most people are going to go there on their first trip.
Maybe future trips would include those other places that you like so much and nobody else has heard of.
 
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