Possible itinerary -- what do you think?
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Oct 13, 2012 9:37 AM Last Post By: ger_power
Oct 10, 2012 8:53 AM
Possible itinerary -- what do you think?First off here is the feel we want on our vacation: not touristy, we love taking trips where we have beaches to ourselves, don't see tons of other tourists for days on end, little cottages and bed and breakfasts rather than resorts, beach, small snorkle trips, being able to go on our own jungle and waterfall hikes (no expensive tours), etc
So here is a possible itinerary we are thinking about -- what are your thoughts:
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Day 1 and 2: Arrive in Cancun and head to Isle Mujeras to enjoy some beach time and snorkling. Stay in a small hotel while there. Something cheap. Dinner, drinks, and enjoy our first days in Mexico.
(WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO ON THIS ISLAND)
Day 3 and 4: Get back to mainland and head to Playa Del Carmen. Spend some time in the city exploring, hitting spa, shopping, etc. Maybe hit a nice resturaunt or go dancing one night. Take a day trip to Cozumel for Xcaret, dolphins, beaches, swimming, exploring. Back that night to PDC to sleep.
(ANYTHING NEAR HERE WE SHOULD DO TO GET AWAY FROM CITY LIFE)
Day 5 and 6: Head to Akumal to enjoy some peace and quiet and pristine beaches, swimming, etc.
(IS THERE ANYTHING NEARBY WE SHOULD DO)
Day 7 and 9: Head south to Tulum. Spend three days there exploring the ruins, sitting on beach, day trip to Coba, maybe a day trip to Reserva de la Biosfera Sian Ka’an, snorkle trip, etc.
(WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE DO WHILE HERE)
Day 10: Drive back early to Cancun and catch our flight back to reality.
This is what the articles and book suggest but I feel this might all be super dooper touristy. Also this plan keeps us near beach entire time which is nice but are there day hikes, waterfalls, jungle excursions, zip lines, etc near any of these places or should we insert a detour and delete something in here?!?!
Oct 10, 2012 10:16 AM
1I don't think you will find waterfalls in Quintana Roo as it is as flat as a tortilla. In my opinion, Xcaret and Xelha are way overpriced and oh so touristy with parking lots filled with large buses!
The rest of your trip sounds fine. Not much distance to cover between destinations which will make travel very easy.
Playa del Carmen is a gas! PLENTY of nightlife and great restaurants. The ferry to Cozumel is inexpensive and a fun excursion. They will try to sell you snorkeling trips on the ferry...but wait till you arrive on the dock. Same snorkle tours from a lancha and they will negotiate the price! Town is small but easy walking and you can rent bikes to tour the island.
Akumal is a nice laid back area. The town of Akumal is across the highway up on the hill....not much there but cheap Mexican food. The "beach" area of Akumal is great to hang out. Good restaurants to eat in but DO NOT miss La Buena Vida, or favorite bar on the whole coast!! There are a couple of bays to explore in Akumal and you often see sea turtles in the sea grass when you snorkle. For the BEST snorkleing in the area go to Yal-Ku in Akumal. It is a fresh water cenote that emptys into the sea. You snorkle around a variety of fissures in the rocks and mangrove islands....the water is crystal clear and filled with brightly colored fish! They also rent gear there. The water is so clear, as you get closer to the opening to the sea, you can see the shimmer of the sea water mixing. Easy to find and if you don't want to walk take a taxi.
The ruins at Tulum are some of the most beautiful anywhere because of their location on the sea...but a tad boring. Don't forget to visit beach at the ruin site!
To see a nice ruin, Coba is a must! Large trees growing out of the ruins with roots clinging to the rocks, and large ruins to climb. Climb to the top of the pyrimid and you can look out over the whole site,(over 40 sq miles) and see the unexcavated sites sticking up through the low canopy. They also rent bicycles at the entrance.
Enjoy your trip and don't miss swimming in some cenotes!
Oct 10, 2012 12:29 PM
Oct 10, 2012 12:39 PM
3It will not be cheap nor will you avoid tourists but if you don't speak Spanish....it will be VERY easy and you won't need a car. Just stop a collectivo on the highway, everywhere you planned is close. Kind of like Florida with a Spanish accent!
It is your trip.....
Oct 11, 2012 9:13 AM
4In terms of cenotes I really enjoyed snorkelling at the grand cenote.....not far from tulum on the road to Coba. Agree with #1 re: the ruins at Tulum and Coba...of the Mayan ruins we visited in the Yucatan Peninsula....the Tulum ruins were the least impressive but at the most spectacular location along the coast and the ruins at Coba felt the most authentic and wild and the main pyramid was the only I was allowed climb. Worth bearing in mind that Tulum is actually 2 seperate areas......the hotel zone along the beach and the town which is 3 or 4 kilometres inland. We loved isle mujures and found it very relaxing and laid back though as its a very small island 2 days is enough......a nice and fun way to see the whole island is to rent a golf buggy for a few hours. If you fancied a break away from the coast and the more touristy sites an option would maybe to skip PDC and head to Valladolid for 2 days and head to Tulum from there....we found it to be a lovely old colonial town from where you could get to Chitzen Itza early and miss all the coaches from the coastal resorts which start arriving after 10. There is is also some very cool cenotes just outside the town.
Oct 11, 2012 11:29 AM
5#4 has a good point. A night in Valladolid would allow either a trip to Rio Largtos, (flamingos) , Ek Balam (ruins) Cenotes or a day trip to Chichen Itza (our least favorite). You can do a loop and head to Valladoid via Coba and take the toll road or libre road back to the coast....look at a road map.
Oct 12, 2012 6:08 AM
6" I feel this might all be super dooper touristy"
That pretty much sums up your itinerary, in my opinion. Good suggestion to head inland to Valladolid for a break.
And as far as "Akumal is a nice laid back area." That may be true but nearby Puerto Adventurous , not so much so.
Much publicity recently as a base for drug operations, by boat, by the drug cartel. In recent weeks, they have been into stealing yachts to use in their operations.
Oct 12, 2012 8:48 AM
7That is why I posted this -- for advice. I have never been before and don't have access or ability to buy any guidebooks right now. I will get them down the road when I am able but starting here to get some initial ideas.
So knowing what I said I am looking for as far as the trip, scene, feel what would your 9 day trip entail?
DAY 1 & 2 : ____________________________
DAY 3 & 4 : ____________________________
DAY 5 & 6 : ____________________________
DAY 7 & 8 : ____________________________
DAY 9: ________________________________
DAY 10: RETURN HOME
DAY 1 & 2 : ____________________________
Oct 12, 2012 9:01 AM
8OP: What you want was barely possible 30 years ago; now, secluded beaches and going days without seeing tons of tourists is impossible. The area you plan to visit is arguably the most touristy in all of Mexico. (If you want to know what else you can do on Isla Muleres, for example, just find a group of tourists and follow them--they'll lead you to everything worth seeing on the island.)
And #4: Your statements about Coba were not only silly, they were offensive. If an "authentic" ruina is one you can climb all over and help erode and destroy, then you have a perverted idea of "ruina." How likely would you have been to visit Coba back before it was discovered by archaeologists, partially excavated and minimally restored? While climbing on the pyramid, did you pick up any souvenirs to take home witrh you?
Oct 12, 2012 9:19 AM
9Here is another itinerary I was thinking of but not sure --- it seems like more driving than exploring/vacationing although I think it's a little more off the beaten path?!:
Day 1: Arrival in Cancun (arrive around 11am - stay in town this night - beaches, eat, explore)
Day 2: Drive to Rio Lagartos Nature Preserve (do boat trip to see flamingos, salt water lagoons, etc. Then drive another 15-20 minutes to the town of San Felipe.
Day 3: Drive to Izamal (yellow city). Explore the monestary, city, surrounding areas. Check into hotel and be ready for Chichen Itza ruins in the morning.
Day 4: Chichen Itza exploration all morning (get up early to beat the tourists). Leave late in the afternoon and try to find the "cenote Dzitnup". AFter that continue our drive to Valladolid. Staying there for the night - explore city, eat, etc
Day 5, 6, and 7: Drive to Tulum. Spend a day exploring the ruins and sitting on the beach. Explore the beaches and maybe Sian Ka'an the second day, Maybe take a day trip to Coba the other day.
Day 8: End the trip relaxed with a two night stay on Isle Mujures - just beach time, exploring small island, swimming, snorkling, etc
Day 9: Back to Cancun for afternoon flight!
Oct 12, 2012 9:25 AM
10I do want to see more cenotes, maybe some waterfall hikes (do these exist here), swim in the mouth of some rivers to the oceans, and I know there are some other ruin sites on these drives so maybe to break up the drives we can stop at some of those.
My girlfriend's priority are a few ruins and lots of beach time.
Mine are a little of everything (swimming in hidden lagoons, snorkling, beach time, jungle hikes, ruins, culture).
Oct 12, 2012 10:30 AM
Oct 12, 2012 10:38 AM
12OP: You have received some great responses/suggestions to each of your "proposed" itinerarys. Reread the answers you have received so far,(on both of your seperate posts) the answers are there.
Your hiking waterfalls question has been answered.
Your post #7 only YOU can answer.....although well traveled, I can't do your itinerary.....only mine.
I have tried to give you my best suggestion in answer to your questions. I see your post to be an endless loop asking the same thing over and over without much research on your own.
Enjoy whatever trip you finally settle on.......
Oct 12, 2012 10:48 AM
13I actually have not gotten any feedback on my revised itinerary (post #9) after I changed my entire trip because of the advice from the knowledable members here who shared thier advice. Is that a better path (less touristy and still experience everything)?
Thanks for your advice cdffirefly.
The only thing I heard on waterfalls was: I don't think you will find waterfalls in Quintana Roo as it is as flat as a tortilla. I don't know what QUINTANA ROO is - not on my itinerary. But I get it now - no waterfalls in Mexico.
Oct 12, 2012 11:07 AM
14Quintana Roo and Yucatan are two Mexican states on the penninsula.
Regarding your next proposed itinerary......yes, you can do that.
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