Replies: 6 - Last Post: Dec 11, 2012 8:09 AM Last Post By: patywolf
Dec 4, 2012 6:48 PM
YucatanI'm thinking of traveling to the Yucatan. I am interested in low budget Adventure or eco-travel. Also thinking of renting or buying a decent bicycle for a week or 2. I would love to get away from the beach resorts and the like. The same for the interior. I'm a little overwhelmed sorting through websites. Anybody have experience with the peninsula?
Dec 5, 2012 1:19 AM
1"I would love to get away from the beach resorts and the like. The same for the interior."
It appears that today every attractive and readily accessible place along Mexico's Caribbean coast already has an economy dominated by tourism. Everyplace away from the coasts is the Peninsula's "interior". Your prospects of finding coastal villages still focused on fishing, rather than continual tourism, might be better in some other parts of Mexico, such as for example coastal Michoacan or coastal Oaxaca.
"Adventure or eco-travel" and "low budget travel" are not necessarily compatible concepts either in the Yucatan, or elsewhere. Going on diving trips, snorkeling excursions, ziplining, cave floats,and guided activities typically impose substantial costs on travelers. On the other hand, taking Mexican buses is cheap, especially for relatively short distances; Walking from town to town is free. When I want to travel for a while in Mexico at an exceptionally low per day cost, I either carry camping gear on my back or I stay for a while in hotels in out-of-the-way mountain villages. I generally do that in places far from the tourism intense Yucatan Peninsula.
Winter is by far the best time of year to do active terrestrial activities, such as hiking, cycling, or touring archeological sites in the Yucatan region. At other times Mexico's lowlands are very hot and/or humid.
Dec 5, 2012 1:30 AM
2The large town/small city of Valladolid can provide a good base for budget travelers in the Yucatan region. Bikes can be rented there. Typically "backpacker" tourists stay for several nights at Hostel la Candelaria, which I recommend, in Valladolid. From there they make day trips to cenotes and also to the ruins of Ek Balam and Chichen Itza.
You still have some additional research to do. Guidebooks can be very helpful. Also, if you've not yet seen it, try this useful web site:
Dec 5, 2012 11:41 AM
Dec 6, 2012 1:07 AM
4I agree with Chris0Daniel's comments. Places that bill themselves as Eco-friendly, such as Eco hotels near Xpujil and Calakmul, are most expensive compared to everything else around. The Carebean coast is mostly sold to big tourist industry by now while many parts of the inland is anything but pretty.
This being said, there are some options, perhaps. One area to investigate is Laguna Bacalar as well as the other side of Bahia de Chatumal, road all the way down to Xcalak. The other area on the east coast to research is the road from Tulum to Punta Allen.
On a recent trip, we visited several small towns/villages south of Merida, along something known as Ruta de Los Conventos. That included Muna, Ticul, Mani, Teabo, some other. Those were the highlights of the trip and certainly not touristy. It may proof an interesting journey from Valladolid to Tihosuco and then west to Peto and up to Ticul and then to Merida. Or it may not. We only visited the western part. You'd need to check security situation too as you'd be riding secondary roads (also, conditions of some roads, including major free highways is below ok).
Finally, this is a blog of acquaintance of mine who biked from Cancun to Alaska in 2010, maybe it will be of help.
Dec 6, 2012 9:07 AM
5On secondary roads, my main concern for security would be traffic. I can't think of a safer environment than the interior of the peninsula. For example, the route from Valladolid to Tihosuco might be neat as chris0daniel said (I'd suggested traveling further to Carrillo Puerto however, the buses from Carrillo to Valladolid do barrel down that road and I don't know just how wide it is. Of course, plenty of folks travel from village to village on bikes.
The lowest type of budget travel that I can think of (low as in economical, not base and terrible) would be to travel from village to village on bicycle with hammock in tow and ask to stay in private homes. Mayans are usually pretty amenable to this, and there are often extra hammock hooks in houses. This might be more difficult in the state of Quintana Roo, as the Mayan population there is much more reticent and there are far more monolingual Maya speakers than in the state of Yucatan. You will run into a lot of that in the smaller villages in Yucatan, but I have never had an issue finding a Spanish speaker, even in places where the majority of folks speak little to no Spanish.
Since just about every household on the peninsula has at least one family member who migrated to Cancun or Playa to work, you will answer a lot of questions about why you are not staying in Cancun. Yucatec Maya typically are quite enamored of Cancun and think it's magnificent, whether for its beaches and water or because of the fact that their family members can go there to make some money to help the family.
Dec 11, 2012 8:09 AM
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