Yucatan peninsula or Pacific coast?
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Aug 4, 2012 1:36 AM Last Post By: RobertSDF
Aug 2, 2012 11:25 AM
Me and the other half are heading to Mexico for 2 and a half weeks in October (we've never been before). We're definitely planning to spend a few nights in Mexico City to start with.
From there, we're torn between heading down to the Pacific coast around Oaxaca, or doing the Yucatan peninsula.
It's cheaper for us to fly back to the UK from Cancun rather than MEX, so we're leaning toward the Yucatan at the moment.
We're after beautiful scenery, beaches and pretty towns - we definitely don't want to be spending time in a resort style, tourist trap sort of place (so I think we'll be steering well clear of Cancun itself!).
I'm sure both coasts offer all these things, but am aware they're probably pretty different in their own ways - but I was just after some expert opinions, and maybe a breakdown of what each coast has to offer.
Thanks in advance!
Aug 2, 2012 12:26 PM
1Both are different but since I love the each I love the coast of the Yucatan more. White, sandy beaches that never get hot. Cancun is two places the Hotel Zone and Cancun Centro which is where locals live and play and where years ago I learned from locals how to speak Maya. Beaches on the Gulf Coast not as nice as in the area off the Rivera Maya.
Edited by: emd_two on Mar 4, 2013 5:59 AM
Aug 2, 2012 12:34 PM
Aug 2, 2012 5:32 PM
Aug 2, 2012 7:24 PM
4"...We're after beautiful scenery, beaches and pretty towns..."
Mexico's Caribbean coast, accessed from Cancun's airport, draws divers and snorkelers because its waters tend to be calmer and clearer than those of the Mexican Pacific. But, the Pacific has more rocky headlands and attractive sea side rocks and other land forms. Mountains adjoin some Pacific beaches, in contrast to the Yucatan peninsula which is very flat.
If you want to enjoy any mountain scenery (and attractive mountain towns) during your limited time, you should probably do so either in transit to a Pacific beach, or perhaps by venturing out a bit in Central Mexico, going to beauty spots located within a few hours of Mexico City.
I think flying from Mexico City to Cancun would make sense for you, to maximize use of your limited time. I suggest you divide your two and half weeks between three different types of places:
1.Mexico City (3-5 full-days)
2. A "pretty" smaller city or large town accessible via a bus ride of few hours from Mexico City. There are many good places for this. I especially like both towns/cities located on the beautiful plains of Puebla and Tlaxcala states, and also the Indigenous mountain communities of northern Puebla. (2-5 full days)
3. One or two Yucatan locations, not too far from Cancun. Tulum and Valladolid could together make an interesting, readily accessible combination. (Remaining days)
Aug 2, 2012 11:56 PM
5I recommend Isla Holbox as well. it's an island, so you need to take a ferry to get there (i can't remember from where, but it's easy to find out in Cancun), it's right between to gulf and the Riviera Maya, so the water isn't as blue as in Cancun or Tulum but it's very beautiful.
Around Merida you can also go to some cenotes which is very special.
In the pacific side, there are some nice beaches in Michoacan - around Maruata.
They're all great options!
*if you want to see some photos send me a message.
Aug 3, 2012 7:22 AM
6For a very pretty town, I also recommend Valladolid. You can get to Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, and Coba from there if you are interested in Mayan sites. There are nice hotels and good food and and a generally nice atmosphere. Less than 2 hours from Cancun by car or bus. If you are interested in birds and crocodiles, go south to Sian Ka'an Bioreserve. You can stay there in a tent or visit from Tulum. And Tulum is nice too, with great beaches. For snorkeling off the beach go to Akumal.
But then I have not been to the Pacific coast, so I can't compare them.
Aug 3, 2012 9:12 AM
Aug 3, 2012 9:13 AM
8Yucatan: way better beaches, friendlier locals.
Pacific coast: "colonial" mexico, very slight edge on food.
Aug 3, 2012 9:49 AM
9Traveling to the Yucatan and that region places you there at a time of year when hurricanes and tropical storms are commonplace. Enough so that the risk would be too great for me to want to plan such a trip, then. The Pacific Coast, below Puerto Vallarta (southward to Guatemala) is also at risk but the frequency is less ... though there may be tropical storms then. It's not the best time of year to be in some of the coastal areas. Of course, there are no guarantees when it comes to weather. So, wherever you plan to visit ... also have a "Plan B" back-up thought through because it's possible you will want to make a last-minute, just before you depart alteration as to the destination.
Aug 3, 2012 10:25 AM
10The Oaxaca coast is far less developed and touristy. Puerto Angel, Zipolite, San Agustinillo, Mazunte... beautiful. Huge crashing waves, laid back living. The good life. The whole Carribean coast of Mexico has been Cancun-ized to one degree or another. Though there's no denying the sand and water are pretty. You'll find me in Oaxaca.
Aug 3, 2012 10:27 AM
Aug 4, 2012 1:36 AM
12" The whole Carribean coast of Mexico has been Cancun-ized to one degree or another."
Have to agree. From Isla Mujeres down the coast to Tulum is much the same now and becoming more and more Cancun-ized everyday. For now, you can escape it by going to Isla Holbox. Go now before the same happens there.
(speaking of Cancun, I try to avoid as much as possible but was in Cancun center this week and its sad to see so much closed. Really now few stores and tourist restaurants remain. Mostly the result of Cancun, and the entire area, going to the All Inclusive concept)
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