To be honest 7 days are not enough time to completely discover Yucatan because the Mexican half island offers impressive Maya ruins, colorful colonial cities, beautiful beaches and a lot more. The following route for 7 days at least includes a perfect mix of all these highlights: from Cancun to Tulum, Valladolid, Ek Balam and Chichén Itzá to Mérida and back to Cancun.
Day 1: Tulum
Travelling from Cancun Airport:
- By ADO bus (approx. 11€ per person; Travelling time approx. 2h)
- By taxi (approx. 85€; Travelling time approx. 1.5h)
- The only Mayan ruins by the ocean
- Grand Cenote, the biggest Cenote in Tulum
The Mayan ruins of Tulum are the only ones located by the ocean. Therefore, Tulum is the perfect start for a round trip through Yucatan. The best time for visiting the ruins is early in the morning around 8 or 9 a.m. At this time it is not too crowded and above all not too hot. From Downtown Tulum it is approx. 4 km to the ruins. You can rent a bike, walk (30 minutes´ walk), go by bus or taxi. The area is not very large and can be visited within 1-2 hours. Afterwards you can go swimming in the ocean. Via a wooden stairway you can reach the beautiful beach. The water is pretty warm and not really refreshing. For real refreshment go by taxi to Grand Cenote and spend the afternoon there. At night go to the charming outdoor restaurant Burrito Amor for a delicious Burrito. Read more about Tulum here.
Day 2: Valladolid & Ek Balam
Travelling from Tulum:
- By ADO bus (approx. 3€ per person; Travelling Time approx. 1.5h)
Hotel and Restaurant:
- Cathedral Iglesia de San Servacio
- Parque La Mestiza
- Convento de San Bernardino de Siena
- Cenote Zaki
- Maya Ruins (Ek Balam)
Travel by ADO bus to Valladolid early in the morning (travelling time 1.5 hours). Spend the day discovering the small town by foot. Walk from the famous cathedral Iglesia de San Servacio via Calle de los Frailes to the old monastery Convento de San Bernardino de Siena. Then walk to Cenote Zaki, which is also located in the city center. In the afternoon there would be enough time to visit the Mayan ruins in Ek Balam. The easiest way is to go by taxi. In contrast to the ruins in Tulum and Chichén Itzá, these ones can be climbed. At night the hotel and restaurant El Méson del Marqués offers delicious, regional food in a beautiful atmosphere. Read more about Valladolid here.
Day 3: Chichén Itzá
Travelling from Valladolid:
- By ADO bus (approx. 1€ per person; Travelling time approx. 45 Min.)
- None, direct continuation of the journey
- World famous Mayan sites
Who visits Yucatan, has to visit the world famous Mayan ruins in Chichén Itzá. The ADO bus from Valladolid stops directly in front of the ruins (travelling time approx. 45 minutes). Make sure to be there before 9 a.m., because at this time it is possible to get some photos of the most famous building of Chichén Itzá, the Kukulcán Pyramid, without other tourists. To discover the whole area it takes between 4 and 5 hours. Afterwards you can go for lunch to the restaurant "Oxtun" located at the exit, before taking a taxi to the local ADO station (approx. 2€). There take the ADO bus to Mérida. You will arrive there in the afternoon. Read more about Chichén Itzá here.
Day 4: Mérida
Travelling from Chichén Itzá:
- By ADO bus (approx. 8€ per person; Travelling time approx. 2h)
- The historical center (e.g. Plaza Grande, Cathedral of Merida, Town Hall, Barrio San Juan)
- Paso de Montejo (e.g. different monuments, museums, historical manor houses)
Also visiting the capital of the half island is obligatory for many Yucatan tourists. In the morning of the fourth day you can discover the historical center by foot. For example you will see the Cathedral of Mérida at Plaza Grande or the Arco de San Juan. Just ask for a map at the reception of the hotel. In the afternoon walk to the famous boulevard Paso de Montejo. Here you can enjoy magnificent mansions and monuments while walking in the shadows of beautiful trees. For dinner I can recommend the restaurant La Bistrola and the avocado pizza. Read more about Mérida here.
Day 5: Cancun
Travelling from Mérida:
- By ADO bus to Cancun (approx. 20€ per person; Travelling time approx. 5h)
- Then by taxi to Zona Hotelera (Travelling time approx. 15 Min.)
Hotel und Restaurants:
- White sand and blue water
After some busy days, it is time to relax at the beach. Therefore, take the ADO to Cancun early in the morning and then take a taxi to your hotel. Spend the afternoon at the beach.
Day 6: Isla Mujeres
Travelling from Cancun:
- Ferry Ultramar (approx. 15€ per person for a round trip; approx. 45 Min.)
- None, Return journey to Cancun at night
- Playa Norte
Who wants to see another beach, should take the ferry to Isla Mujeres early in the morning. They ferry runs every 30 minutes´ from Zona Hotelera to Playa Norte. Here you will also find a beautiful beach and many beach bars. In 5 minutes you are in the only town of the island "Downtown". As an alternative to Isla Mujeres you could go diving with whale sharkes. All hotels in the hotel zones offer day tours for it.
Day 7: Cancun
Before going home, relax at the beach.
Please note: We booked all hotels in advance but all bus and admission tickets on site.
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