For the 2012 Christmas holidays, my partner and I decided to leave the winter cold to choose the Caribbean heat of Mexico and precisely of the Yucatan peninsula.
On December 25th we left for Philadelphia, where we slept for one night at the Hotel Holiday Inn Philadelphia - Historic District, the next day we left for Mexico towards Cancun.26 December
Cancun - Valladolid
We arrive at Cancun at 14,00 pm and 15,00 pm we immediately take a bus that in about 3 hours takes us to Valladolid, the third largest city in the Yucatan and famous for its quiet streets.
We arrive in the evening in Valladolid and we stay atHotel Maria Guadalupe, located in a good location in the city near the central square and the bus terminal. The room was clean enough but spartan, a bit expensive value for money, around 550 Pesos per night.
Taking a walk around the town, we noticed another hotel that I definitely recommend the most, theHotel Zaci, always located in an excellent position, between the bus station and the square, but certainly more well-kept, with a beautiful swimming pool and a splendid garden. Best value for money, around 35 euros by booking through booking.com.27 December
Valladolid – Chichén Itza
In the morning we woke up early and after a breakfast of fruit and something they called coffee, we rent bicycles in the shop in front of the hotel and head to the shops. Cenotes.
After about half an hour of cycling through the cycle path that runs parallel to the road for Merida we arrive at the two cenotes that are one in front of the other, the Cenote Dzitnup e Samulà, enchanting natural freshwater pools, guarded by catfish, where you can dive and swim among dripping stalactites and roots immersed in the water.
After this wonderful trip that I definitely recommend, we take the bus back to Chichén Itza, where we arrive in less than an hour of travel.
The hotel chosen is the Villa Arqueologica Chichen Itza 300 meters from the ruins. Highly recommended hotel, small but very nice room well furnished and clean, and above all archaeological site within walking distance in 5 minutes.28 December
Chichén Itza – MahahualVery important advice for visiting Chichén Itza
Chichen Itza it is among the most famous archaeological sites of Yucatan and certainly the most visited, for this reason we recommend staying near the ruins to visit them early in the morning with calm and tranquility before crowds of tourists and souvenir stalls storm the archaeological site. In addition, if you go in a particularly hot period, visiting the site early in the morning before the sun is too strong is another precaution to make the most of the spectacular "Mayan city".
After the visit at Rovine of Chichen Itza and a dip in the swimming pool of our hotel, we decide to start again in the direction of Mahahual, a picturesque fishing village where you can enjoy one of the most beautiful seas on the Caribbean coast.
Sure getting there was a bit long, we had to go back to Valladolid, where we had lunch from Squimz close to the station also great for breakfast and after two Corona nice fresh we left for Felipe Carrillo Puerto (about 2,30 hours by bus) from where we thought we would find another bus to reach Mahahual, but in reality, contrary to what the Lonely Planet said, there is no bus, so we opted for a taxi and in about 2 hours we arrived at our destination.
I recommend Mahahual accommodation
If you arrive late in the evening and in a particularly tourist period (we arrived on December 28 ...) do not make the same mistake as us to arrive without having booked the accommodation and risk sleeping on the beach or even worse in a tavern.December 28 - January 2 Mahahual
After a first night unlucky only thanks to some Margaritas, in a place whose name I have removed, we find fantastic accommodation at the Nacional Beach Club & Bungalows, cabanas on the malecon, in front of the beach, delicious food, nice rooms and very kind staff.
Mahahual Unlike Playa del Carmen and Cancun it still retains the charm of the quiet and relaxing Caribbean town, with mostly Mexican tourists and the dock for cruise ships. The sea is one of the most beautiful on the coast sheltered by the coral reef, always calm, clear and with enchanting colors. I recommend Mahahual for 3/4 relaxing days spent reading a book on the beach, in the shade of palm trees and sipping a refreshing cocktail.
January 2 - 4 Tulum
On January 2nd we leave Mahahual to reach Tulum, we decide to take a taxi which in about 2 hours takes us to the Pueblo di Tulum, where we are content to stay atHacienda Inn, the only available accommodation we could find.
Also nearby is theItour Mexico, where unfortunately there was no place, but which I would recommend as you will find excellent value for money, as well as clean rooms and a very good location for any excursions organized by the owners themselves.
Tulum is famous for its splendid sea with indescribable colors, white sand and above all the ruins of a Mayan city directly on the beach (here you can find more information about Tulum).
I recommend Tulum accommodation
Precisely for the beauty and charm of its sea and Caribbean beach, the ideal would be to sleep in the Cabanas on the beach, but lately they have become very expensive especially in high season, prices range from 100 to 200 dollars.
Having said that, a good compromise is to stay in the town, where in the evening there are restaurants and clubs and go to the beach or by taxi (60 pesos) or by bicycle as many hotels rent them and sometimes they are included in the price of the stay.
4 - 6 Gennaio Isla Mujeres
From Tulum we returned to Cancun by bus about 2 hours, from where we took a ferry and in 30 minutes we arrived in Isla Mujeres. Here too we had not booked but we found theHotel Isleno, great location 5 minutes from Playa Norte.
The last three days have passed in the name of relaxation between a bath in the crystal clear sea of Isla Mujeres and a drink in front of a fantastic sunset.
Travel in the Yucatan? Start with The Right Guide
Tips and practical information to explore the Yuctan, the Riviera Maya, the islands and the archaeological areas.
Don't leave without Lonely Planet!
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