Yucatan - Forced change of itinerary - some questions
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Oct 7, 2012 8:33 AM Last Post By: johanna33
Oct 6, 2012 3:53 AM
Any recommendation on which tour organism to use?
We already have the hotels booked up for the 4 cities. Not fancy, but nice and confortable. A pity we're only saying 1 night in Valladolid though, I really would have liked staying longer there. But Merida sounds like a nice place also!!
Oct 6, 2012 12:17 PM
16Merida has plenty to offer especially on Friday/Saturday night and Daytime on Sunday with food stands all around the Zocalo.
Merida is an easy town to get around in, and once you understand the road system it is hard to get lost. Streets running north-south are even numbered and the streets running east-west are odd. Addresses don’t tell you too much, you need to know the cross streets. So the system to find an address would look like this; “Calle 70 no.823 entre Calle 71X73”. This works in the City because there is little use of street names.
As in any city, use caution when walking. Be aware of your surroundings, keep your camera and other valuable tucked away, don’t flash a big wad of bills when you purchase something.
Don’t keep all of your money in one location. Use pesos from the ATM rather than USD….this avoids getting ripped off on the exchange rate......Hey, it is Mexico, use their currency! The streets are well lit in the downtown area, just keep your eyes open.
Call all of the credit/debit card companies that you will use and let them know your travel dates and locations in Mexico. This will (maybe) help with not having one of your cards cancelled. When using an ATM machine, use the ones inside a kiosk and have another person watching your back to look for others watching and they help block your PIN entry. NEVER accept help from a stranger! The machines are in English and Spanish.
Photo copy the original passports of everyone along with the international phone numbers for your credit/debit cards and email the information to yourself….if things go bad, you can always go to an Internet Café and get the information…bring a thumb drive.
Oct 6, 2012 1:55 PM
17If you decide to rent a car in Mexico, you don't just steer, you have to pay attention and drive! It is more expensive in a rental car than buses but gives you more choices for stopping and helps to facilitate a short time frame.
Always have automobile insurance from a Mexican company. A credit card may cover you in the USA for some insurance…but not in Mexico. NEVER DRIVE AT NIGHT….livestock, pedestrians and cars without headlights and road repair, are a real hazard. When entering/leaving a town look for the Topes,(speed bumps)…they are often unsigned and can be quite high!
First class buses are easy and comfortable from town to town.
Within Merida, the local buses work good for transportation and cost about $5.00 pesos per trip you pay the driver when you get on. On the front right window of the bus is painted the major destinations. In order to stop/board the bus, simply stand anywhere on the street, (often away from a corner) and just raise your hand. If it is night, the driver will flash their lights to indicate that you were seen. The driver does not call out streets/stops so stay heads up on where you are. When you are ready to exit, (anywhere) either say “Bajo” or push one of the buttons above the rear door or upper panel, (not on all buses) and the driver will stop. Most of the buses run the full length of the long avenues turn to the next one way street and return. One way to spend the day is to hop on a local bus, ride till the end and return back…..cheap sightseeing!
Don't miss the Puuc region about 50 kilometers outside Merida. It is easy to find a tour bus to take you Uxmal....but a car rental allows you to wander all of the Puuc sites. The Puuc region is about 50 kilometers out of Merida and an easy drive. Avoid driving through the city of Merida and stick to the ring road if you are in a rental car. Start with Uxmal and then see the other sites and then you can take the “Convent Route” back so you do a loop.
Uxmal is a beautiful site. The city of Uxmal, (600-1000 AD) is a stunning example of Classic Mayan architecture, visually the most dramatic site in the Puuc “highlands” and, some believe, in all of Yucatan and our favorite site. Grouped as they are on a broad plateau, the buildings appear almost unreal. Uxmal is believed to be a site of extensive government and religious significance, although there is evidence of a large population of “ordinary” people living there.
We were able to explore, climb and poke around in every corner to our hearts content. Kabah is located 19 miles south of Uxmal and straddles both sides of Highway 161. The main ruins at Kabah are only a few acres in size. The highlight is the Codz-Pop, a magnificent facade on a temple that is decorated with over 250 carved Chaac masks. The masks of Chaac, (Chac is pronounced CHALK) are everywhere in the Mayan ruin sites. Chaac was the all important god of rain, which was precious to the Maya due to the long dry season.
Close by the temple of the masks is a small path that leads off into the scrub forest to more partially restored buildings and mounds covering temples waiting to be discovered. Another Kabah attraction is located across the highway. It’s an impressive arch which once marked the beginning of a Sacbe extending all the way to Uxmal. (A Sacbe is a raised Maya road that was made of limestone and covered with a layer of plaster.)
The site was a major site in the Puuc region, but is in the early stages of restoration. The 100 room Palace is the major attraction and is the first building you come upon. Off in the forest is El Mirador, “The Lookout”.
Labna was our favorite of the smaller sites and is believed to be the architectural prototype of Uxmal. It was a combination of religious sites as well as wealthier Maya homes. Interesting combination of structures and had the remnants of a large Maya road,(Sacbe) running through it connecting the settlement to Uxmal.
This is a small site about 3 miles further down the road.
Enjoy the journey!
Oct 7, 2012 8:33 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$289.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$399.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$269.00 per night