Yucatan peninsula by car


Arriving from Cartagena after 2 months in Colombia, we rented a car in Cancun for a 9 days road trip through Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo. Here is our itinerary, places to visit and expenses.

Note: I already visited this place in 2016 by bus and prices have raised A LOT since Covid!

Day 1: From Cancun to Valladolid

We landed at 3.30pm and had just time to pass through Zona Hotelera of Cancun (20km of resorts without really a good view on the beach), went to Walmart to buy supplies and arrived in Valladolid around 9pm.

Note: roads and circulation in this part of Mexico are very easy, not a lot of trafic, limitation of 80km/h on the small roads and 110km/h on the big ones. Be only careful with the “Topes” (speed bumps).

Hostel in Valladolid: Guacamaya 340pesos for 2 beds in a dorm and a small swimming pool (we spent 2 nights there).

Day 2: Around Valladolid

We started the day visiting Ek Balam (entrance 494pesos per person and guide 250). It was a rainy day so we didn’t go as planned to the Coloradas in the North. Instead we visited Zazil Tunich Cenote, a huge cave with translucide water where we had the chance to be all alone (300 pesos per person).

Ek Balam
Zazil Tunich

After that we went back to Valladolid to visit the city and see outside of San Bernardino convent.

Day 3: From Valladolid to Ruta Puuq

The guide in the first cenote recommended us Ik Kil cenote: an other type of cenote, open with very deep water. We were there for the opening and swilled in the clear and fresh water, again almost all alone (150 per person).

At 10am we went to Chichen Itza, the famous wonder of the World (entrance 571 per person). We spent almost 3h there. It’s a must see but the rest of the ruins were definitely more interesting and wild.

Then we had lunch in Kinish Izamal, nice restaurant in a beautiful yellow city (Izamal) built around pyramids and a yellow convent.

Ik Kil
Chichen Itza

We finished this day at Saak Luum hotel (400pesos a double room with a swimming pool), lost in the forest in the beginning of Ruta Puuq.

Day 4: Ruta Puuq to Campeche

Ruta Puuq is full of archeological sites. The main one is Uxmal, but as I already visited it in 2016 and the price has raised A LOT we decided to focus on the others places: Kabah (70 per person), Sayil (65) and Labna (65). They all have their particularity but also look the same, with a main palace, nice maya doors and miradors.


On the road to Campeche we made a stop at the most beautiful site (but full of mosquitos): Edzna (85 per person).

We ended this long day at Campeche and visited the city center (no time for the museums where there is a lot of artefacts of the Rio Bec sites). We slept in a private appartement (Hospedaje San Jose) for 400pesos.


Day 5: Rio Bec ruins

After 3h of driving from Campeche, we arrived at Balamku (65pesos per person), ruins lost in the jungle with a beautiful mural under the stairs of the main palace.

After 1h visit we headed to Calakmul, the most impressive site of the region. You need to cross a 40km road through the forest (careful with the animals). You need to pay 165 the entrance to the reserve and 85 the access to the ruins. The palaces there are HUGE, they’re like mountains made by mayas!


At 15min from the exit you have a nice natural show: the bat cave where 5 millions of bats leave every day around 7.30pm (75 pesos and you need to be there at 7pm).
We slept in Xpujil (320 cabañas Calakmul).

Day 6: road to Bacalar

In the morning we went to visit Becan (70pesos per person) and took a guide very interesting (tip: 200pesos).

Then we went to Kohunlich, an other site in the middle of a tropical forest (85 pesos), before going to Bacalar and enjoy the colourful water of the Laguna (Eco Camping Yaxche 617pesos).


Day 7 & 8: Tulum and Playa del Carmen

We made a quick stop to have lunch in Tulum, maybe the most expensive place of the region (2 pizzas and small beers 770 pesos).

We wanted to stay at Paamul, famous for being a hippie place but instead it was a resort with private beach and 3000 pesos for a room…

We finally found an hotel in a quiet place of Playa del Carmen (Casa Ejida, 438 a double room with swimming pool). We had a nice evening in the city center and Avalon nightclub (techno music).

Total Car spendings:
– Hertz rental at Cancun airport: 400pesos per day with 350€ deposit
– Toll in Campeche: 80pesos
– Parking: in Chichen Itza: 60pesos, in Tulum: 200pesos
– Gazoline: 2800pesos (2,5 full tank)

Day 9: Puerto Morelos

Only 30min from Playa del Carmen and 25min from the airport you have this very cute and quiet village full of beautiful houses. We slept at Arrecifes hotel (1172pesos) with it swimming pool and private beach. Sadly the beach was full of Sargasse, stinky seaweeds you have during summer…

Day 10: back to Cancun

End of our trip, we had our plane at the end of the day for Tuxtla Gutierrez. To be continued…

Entrance fee:

Ek Balam ruins484MX$ (+250 guide for 2)
Zazil Tunish cenote300MX$
Ik Kil cenote150MX$
Chichen Itza571MX$
Kabah ruins70MX$
Sayil ruins65MX$
Labna ruins65MX$
Edzna ruins85MX$
Balamku ruins65MX$
Calakmul ruins250MX$
Bat cave75MX$
Becan ruins70MX$
Kohunlich ruins85MX$
June 2002

Video of our trip:

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