- Destinations AsiaCaribbeanEurope
- Travel themes Round tripsTravel category
- Travel magazine
- German Site
- French Site
Thank you for your interest in this trip. If you want to revisit this page, use the QR-code shown or use the following link: https://en.itravel.lu/select/7058-mexico-roundtrip-beach-vacation-the-highlights-of-yucatan
During the next two weeks, the world-famous Mayan ruins by the sea in Tulum await you, among other places.
Dream beaches, Mayan culture, swimming in cenotes - numerous attractions await you on your Mexico round trip.
Mexico's Cenotes: The collapsed karst caves are a special feature of the Mexican peninsula.
Mexico's culture is colorful - experience it at various festivals.
There are more than 2,000 cenotes in Yucatan - in Valladolid, there is even one in the middle of the city.
Chichén Itzá is perhaps the most famous Mayan site in Mexico.
The ruins are very well preserved to this day.
The double-domed church of San Gervasio and the Convento de San Bernardino de Siena are highlights in Valladolid.
The church is the center of the city center in Valladolid.
Climb the pyramids of Ek Balam and experience a great view.
Enjoy the view of the endless jungle.
There are also numerous cenotes near Ek Balam.
The arcades of Valladolid invite you to stroll.
The Iglesia de la Candeliera is one of the most beautiful churches in Valladolid.
You should definitely visit a Mexican market. Here you can buy, among other things, great colorful fabrics that are typically Mexican.
Street food can be found on every corner - try your way through the world of Mexican food.
A Mexican market is also a wonderful place to observe the hustle and bustle of the locals.
Izamal is also called "the yellow city" because of the color of its houses.
Enjoy the relaxed flair of the city.
Merida is a modern and cosmopolitan city with museums, art galleries, restaurants and stores.
In contrast to Izamal, Merida is called the "white city".
On the way to Campeche, you can make a stop at the ruins of Uxmal.
The city of Campeche is located by the sea and exudes colonial flair.
After some colonial highlights, treat yourself to some downtime at the crystal clear lagoon of Bacalar.
Depending on the sunlight, the Bacalar lagoon glows in seven different colors.
In the foreground the sea, in the background the rainforest - this is the unique location of the Mayan ruins of Tulum.
Wouldn't you like to lie down on this dreamy beach?
Opt for a relaxing walk on the beach of Tulum.
Experience the Mexican way of life
Get to know the Mayan culture at Chitzen Itza and Ek Balam
Relax on the dream beach of Xpu Há
Explore the peninsula by rental car
Swim in crystal-clear cenotes and the Bacalar Lagoon
Yucatán, in southern Mexico, offers everything a traveler's heart desires: palm-fringed dream beaches, turquoise waves, Mexican joie de vivre, colonial cities, and Mayan ruins. Explore the Yucatán Peninsula and swim in the Caribbean Sea afterward.
The best time to visit the Mexican peninsula is during the dry season between December and April. The days aren’t too hot during this period, and rain showers are limited. Like in many countries, the high season is during Christmas/New Year and Easter days. The rainy season lasts from May to October and often brings rainfall in the form of frequent rain showers throughout the day. The official hurricane season is between June and November.
Today you will land at the international airport of Cancún, where our partner agency will welcome you. Afterward, your private transfer will take you to your hotel on the beach. You can look forward to two weeks of sun, beach, culture, and nature.
Travel time Cancún Airport - Hotel Cancún: about 30 minutes / about 25 km
Overnight with breakfast in Cancun, Mexico
Today you will pick up your rental car and head to the excavation site of Ek Balam. The mighty ruin rises between the trees in the middle of the jungle. You can even walk through some of the temples. Unlike Chichén Itzá, the world's seventh wonder, the site is more pristine and overgrown with vegetation. However, Chichén Itzá can also be reached less than an hour from here. Whether you visit the famous Chichén Itzá site or get away from the crowds, both monuments exude the allure of Mayan culture.
Afterward, take a jungle walk to X’Canche Cenote and treat yourself to a cool down. You will then proceed to the city of Valladolid, where you will get to know the real Mexico. Here the inhabitants still greet each other on the streets, dogs sleep by the wayside, and children play ball in the backyards.
Delicious street food stands can be found on every corner. Valladolid, in particular, is known for its tasty Mayan cuisine. Try Lomitos de Valladolid, a meat dish with egg, tomatoes, and beans, Longaniza sausage, which is only made here and resembles chorizo, or Poc Chuc. In this traditional dish, the meat is preserved with salt and combined with orange juice and vinegar.
The city itself consists of numerous pastel-colored, colonial-style houses. A light show is held every evening at the impressive San Gervasio Cathedral. Typically Latin American, the city's hub is in front of the cathedral. Not far from the city center, the Zaci Cenote offers excellent refreshments on somewhat hotter days. Also near the city are the Dzitnup and Samula cenotes. Their crystal clear water makes you want to take a pleasant swim. The San Lorenzo Oxman Cenote also has a Tarzan swing from which you can swing down from the edge of the pool into the water. These and other cenotes are easily accessible by bicycle or after a short drive.
Travel time Cancún - Valladolid: approx. 2 hours / approx. 170 km
Overnight with breakfast in Valladolid, Mexico
On the 3rd day of your trip, you will reach the world-famous Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Mayan culture is expressed in its magnificent splendor. El Castillo is the most impressive building, with a height of 30 meters. Afterward, stroll in the shade of the trees to the sacrificial well. The El Caracol observatory resembled a snail shell and was already discovered in 1842 by the explorer Frederick Catherwood. The observatory allowed the Maya, among other things, to observe Venus and its orbit. After visiting the site at your leisure, you will have the opportunity for a refreshing swim in the nearby Cenote Ik Kil before driving to Izamal. Our tip: Climb the Firebird Pyramid in Izamal. You will have a fantastic view of the city and the surrounding lowlands.
Travel time from Valladolid to Izamal: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes / approx. 110 km
Overnight with breakfast in Izamal, Mexico
La Ciudad Amarilla - Izamal, the yellow town with a colonial past, exudes a lot of coziness, especially in the evening light. The last golden rays of the sun shimmer on the houses, and the heat give way to a light breeze. No wonder the city has been designated a Pueblo Màgico (Magical Place).
Visit the sprawling Franciscan Convent, built in 1549 on the platform of one of the most essential pre-Hispanic pyramids. Afterward, ride a horse-drawn carriage to see the city's other highlights. Today, you will spend the night at the Working Hacienda in Sotuta de Peon. Witness how a henequen hacienda functioned during the golden age of the sisal boom. You will travel back in time and witness the different processes of henequen processing, from the fiber of the agave plant to the final product. With great attention to detail, this former 18th-century sisal hacienda has been restored and brought back to life.
In a horse-drawn wagon called a "truk," you will drive through extensive agave plantations and visit a typical Mayan house. You will arrive at a freshwater cenote where you can take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters.
However, as is often the case in Latin American cities, it is almost nicer to drift along the streets, drink a cup of coffee in the plaza and watch the daily life of the inhabitants.
Journey time: about 1 hour 30 minutes / about 90 km
Overnight with breakfast in Sotuta de Peon (Merida), Mexico
Today you will drive to Merida and have time to explore the city. The city's buildings include the vast cathedral, the bishop's residence, the Palacio Municipal, and the Casa de Montejo, the home of the city's founder, with its figure-decorated portal. The influence of Spain and France can be felt everywhere in the city. For example, the Champs Elysees served as a model for the Paseo de Montejo boulevard.
Travel time from Izamal to Merida: approx. 45 minutes / approx. 35 km
Overnight stay with breakfast in Merida, Mexico
We suggest that today you take advantage of your time and explore the area around Merida. Visit the typical Yucatan town of Uman and visit the traditional vegetable market. Afterward, continue to the fishing village of Celestún, which is also a mangrove biosphere reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. The only colony of Cuban flamingos in Mesoamerica lives here at the mouth of the Estero River.
Overnight stay with breakfast in Merida, Mexico
Today you will travel to Uxmal and immerse yourself in the history of the Late Classic Mayan era. Experience the Puuc style in one of the most historical ruins in the world. The name Uxmal stands for "the thrice-built." Built around 600-950 AD, the meaning of many of the buildings has not been fully deciphered to this day. Again, the site has evolved through various construction phases and impresses its visitors with beautifully decorated facades, huge terraces, plazas, columns, and archways.
Continue on a lonely country road to the small Mayan site of Labna. Outstanding is the remarkably well-preserved Mayan gate arch. Deeply hidden in the Ruta Puuc, you will discover the mysterious cave of Calcehtok, where the ancient Mayas held rituals and ceremonies.
Today you will spend the first night in the port city of Campeche.
Travel time from Merida to Campeche: approx. 2 hours 30 minutes / approx. 185 km
Overnight with breakfast in Campeche, Mexico
Drive today to the excavation site of Edzna, where many temples, administrative buildings, and dwellings were built on an area of about 25 km². On the floors, there are numerous rooms. In the upper part, the actual temple with a cruciform ground plan, whose roof construction, once decorated with stucco figures, is still partially preserved. After the visit, you will travel back to Campeche. The Spanish founded the city in 1540. It quickly developed into a thriving port city. The Baluarte, built by the Spaniards to protect against raids, is one of the most important sights and will be visited during a tour. The city's beautiful and lovingly restored colonial buildings are within this fortified belt. Also, visit La Concepcíon Cathedral and cross the heart of the city, the small Zocalo Parque Principal.
Overnight with breakfast in Campeche, Mexico
Today you will leave early and drive to the Calakmul National Park, where the once mighty Mayan city awaits discovery. Calakmul covered an area of about 30 square kilometers and had over 100 colossal buildings. However, most of the city has not yet been excavated or explored in detail. Only speculations can be made about the number of inhabitants. For the city center, for example, a population of about 50,000 is assumed. Due to the size of Calakmul, however, the metropolitan area's total population may have been comparable to the dimensions of Tikal. Particularly impressive are the enormous dimensions of the main pyramid, from whose uppermost platform you have an unforgettable view over an endless jungle deep into Guatemala.
Travel time from Campeche to Calakmul: approx. 3 hours 30 minutes / approx. 220 km
Overnight with breakfast in Calakmul, Mexico
Today, drive to Kohunlich and visit the Mayan site idyllically surrounded by palm groves. The main temple, with four giant masks of the sun god, Kinich Ahau, is particularly stunning.
On your journey to Bacalar, you can stop at the deep blue Cenote Azul and treat yourself to a refreshing swim.
Like Izamal, Bacalar has recently received the Pueblo Magico award. The tranquil little town is a gem on your trip through Yucatán. The town's lagoon, the Lagoon of Seven Colors, is filled with crystal-clear water.
Check into your hotel and relax by the lagoon before spending a full day at the lagoon tomorrow.
Travel time from Calakmul National Park to Bacalar: about 2 hours 30 minutes / about 180 km.
Overnight in Bacalar, Mexico
Laguna Bacalar sparkles in seven different colors depending on the sunlight.
The place is beautiful to look at and radiates soothing tranquility. Here you can let your soul dangle. If relaxing gets too dull, sail across the water on a catamaran or sign up for some windsurfing lessons. Also, Bacalar is the perfect place for stand-up paddleboarding because there are hardly any waves in the lagoon.
Overnight in Bacalar, Mexico
Today's drive will take you to Xpu Há. On the way there, you can stop at the Mayan site. Unlike all other Mayan sites, Tulum is located directly by the sea. The so-called Castle, the Temple of the Descending God, the Temple of the Wind, and the Fresco Temple, are the most famous structures.
Make a detour to Coba. The city is 30 km away and built between two lagoons. The various temple complexes are connected by fortified roads called sacbes. The longest sacbe is over 100 km long and leads to Yaxuna. An outstanding sight in Coba is the highest pyramid in Yucatan, the Nohoch Mul, with a height of 42 meters.
Our tips: Rent a bike and ride to Cenote Dos Ojos, or "two eyes," about 30 minutes from Tulum. The cave system is 61 km long and 118 meters deep. The name comes from the fact that this cenote is divided into two sections: one with blue, clear water suitable for snorkeling and one of interest to divers. The cenote got its cult status because of its unique location and easy entry, but also because the light plays hide and seek underwater, between the stalactites and stalagmites in each tunnel.
Travel time Bacalar to Tulum: approx. 2 hours 30 minutes / approx. 215 km
4 nights with breakfast in Xpu Há, Mexico
Your exciting journey through a unique country comes to an end today. It is time to pack your bags for the last time and get into your rental car. With many unforgettable memories in your luggage, you will drive to the airport to start your journey home.
If you want personalized changes, we will be happy to help you and arrange your vacation according to your wishes.
itravel - For that moment.
Hotel Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites***+, Cancún, Mexico
From the hotel, you have direct access to the sea. In addition, the property has water sports facilities and is located near a golf course. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style in the restaurant, as is lunch. Dinner, on the other hand, is served à la carte. WiFi and the fitness center are free to use.
Ecotel Quinta Regia****, Valladolid, Mexico
Just five blocks from the main square, this Ecotel Quinta Regia is near Canton Francisco Park.
The Mexican colonial-style rooms feature a private balcony or terrace, cable TV, and a safe. Individual suites also offer whirlpool tubs and kitchenettes.
Hotel amenities include tennis courts, a game room, a hot tub, and free WiFi.
Hotel Hacienda Santo Domingo***+, Izamal, Mexico
This accommodation has a pool and is set in tropical gardens. You'll be treated to Mexican and international delicacies at the on-site restaurant. Rooms are decorated in Mexican style and feature a terrace with garden views.
Hacienda Sotuta de Peon****, Merida, Mexico
Lush gardens surround this charming hacienda. Two outdoor pools offer perfect refreshments. Each of the rooms has a balcony with garden views. A restaurant, poolside bar, and snack bar cater to your culinary well-being.
Hotel Del Gobernador***, Merida, Mexico
This hotel is located in the city center, not far from attractions. You can reach the Cathedral of Mérida and the shopping street in just a few minutes. The hotel's outdoor pool with sun loungers invites you to relax. All 92 rooms are individually equipped with TV, free WiFi, and a private bathroom with a rain shower. In the café, you can end the evening on the terrace or try regional specialties in the hotel's "El Comendador" restaurant.
Hotel Castelmar***+, Campeche, Mexico
Located in the center of town in a colonial building built in 1800, this hotel has been lovingly restored. A sun terrace and pool invite you to relax.
Rooms are all air-conditioned and have private TVs and bathrooms.
Hotel Puerta Calakmul***, Calakmul, Mexico
The hotel's cabañas are located in the pristine jungle of Calakmul. The interior design is comfortable. All rooms have a hammock and a furnished terrace. The restaurant treats you to Mexican and international dishes.
Hotel Rancho Encantado***+, Bacalar, Mexico
The hotel is located right on the lagoon on a private beach. Sports activities, such as fishing, sailing, etc., are offered here. A whirlpool, terrace, and garden create an oasis of well-being. In the spa, you can pamper your body and mind.
The rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated.
Hip Serenity Eco Camp***+, Xpu Ha, Mexico
The sustainable tent camp is the first of its kind in the Riviera Maya and is located away from the tourist crowds of Playa Carmen and Tulúm. The spacious "luxury tents" were built in safari style and surrounded by pristine nature. Let yourself be pampered with freshly prepared dishes in the hotel's open-air restaurant, and relax on the terrace, by the pool or relax on the beach, which is only 200m away.
Duration of the trip: 16 days / 15 nights
Includes insurance for loss and theft (including windows), accidents, and natural disasters
The navigation system cannot be booked in advance, only at the pickup location. We recommend the offline version of Google Maps as an alternative to the navigation system.
The driver(s) must have held a valid driving license for at least two years.
Drivers between 18 and 24 years old, navigation system & child seat pay an extra charge.
Since the rental company charges a security deposit of 250 USD (depending on the category) when you pick up the rental car, a credit card with a sufficient credit limit valid for at least three months is necessary.