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Bold Yucatan 🇲🇽

Pierre and Barbara
February 12th, 2020 · 3 min read
Home > Yucatan > Bold Yucatan 🇲🇽

Itinerary 📍


1. Holbox Island in 3 days
Boat, bioluminescence and beers

chichen itza front
cenote 3
izamal 1

2. Valladolid in 3 days
Cenotes and pyramids

cenote santa rosa
cenote yaxbacaltun
boat mangroves

3. Merida in 3 days
Wildlife, mangroves and Cenotes

uxmal pyramide
uxmal maya
cenote yaal utzil top
oxkutzcab castle bottom

4. Uxmal in 2 days
Hidden ruins and Cenotes

lagoon shore
lagoon island
cenote azul
chacchoben pyramid

5. Bacalar in 2 days
Relaxing on the lagoon

tulum beach 2
cenote calavera
dos ojos scuba
sian kaan 1

6. Tulum in 4 days
Bath, scuba dive and relax

coba 1
coba 3
ihg cancun 2
ihg cancun 3

7. Cancun in 4 days
Relax and enjoy the sun

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General Tips 👏

  • Food and beer is cheaper than in Europe
  • It’s pretty safe in touristic areas, just apply common sense
  • Avoid small villages while driving since it’s very slow to cross those
  • Renting a car is cheap, but insurances are mandatory and expensive
  • Online tours are very expensive, it’s four times cheaper to buy on site
  • There is cenotes everywhere, Cenote Finder is great to search for those
  • Visit touristic spots in the afternoon around 3PM to avoid crowds and heat
  • Guacamole in restaurants is normally around 70MXN and is a good indicator of the overall price

Budget 💸

We spent 3000£ in 22 days, which means 135£/day. The banks to withdraw with the smallest extra-fees are (full list):

Transportation 🚃

During our stay, we rented a car with Easy Way from the Cancun airport to move around the states. While it was not cheap, 630$ for 18 days, it gave us the freedom we needed. The roads were not perfect, but good enough to not have any problems. In general, we tried to avoid small villages while driving since there were full of speed bumps, kids and dogs, making it slow to cross.

We went with this company after scanning tons of articles online, and we highly recommend. The car was good, the insurance was covering everything, they were very responsive and came to pick-us up at the airport for free. The price we paid was the same as agreed before, and we also arranged to drop-off the car at the hotel zone in Cancun for 25$ extra. The best was the license plate was a local one, meaning people didn’t knew we were tourists, great to avoid corrupted police.

If you’re on a cheap budget, you can also move around easily with collectivos for way cheaper, but it might be less convenient.

Apps 💾

  • Netflix: Perfect for rainy days.
  • XCurrency: Offline and up-to-date currency rates.
  • TravelSpend: Log and budget your expenses day by day.
  • Free offline map of the world, including trail paths.
  • FourSquare: Perfect to find the best restaurants in a very easy way.
  • AirBnB and The best to find cheap accommodations.

Food 🍗

No need to introduce the delicious mexican food. Both of us being huge fans, we had a ball during our entire stay while taking a bit of weight. We found all our places either online or by walking in the street and never been disappointed. On top of being awesome, it was also very cheap and big, count around 7$ for a huge fajitas plate. Here’s our top pics:

  • Chilaquiles: An close alternative to nachos
  • Tacos Arabes: Kebab-style pork meat in a tortilla with oignons and peppers.
  • Fajitas-Tacos-Enchiladas-Quesadillas-Guacamole-Burritos: The best basics

Telecom 📞

We browsed up-front and asked some locals about the best operator, and went with TelCel. We had a pretty good reception all along our trip, including 4G. It costed us 200MXN for 3.5GB and another 80MXN for the SIM card.

There was sadly no store at the Cancun Airport to buy a SIM, so we found one on the way. We stopped at an Oxxo convenient store in a petrol station, since all of those sell SIM cards. We just had to pay, put the card in the phone and all good.

The easiest way to check the remaining balance for data or minutes is by logging in My Telcel, or by dialing *133# for free.

Visas 🛂

No need for visas if you come from UK/EU. Passing the border has been very easy, and the entrance was just a stamp on our passport.

Hotels 🏠

We booked all our accommodations in advance, by using AirBnB and and had no problems. We usually preferred AirBnB since it came most of the time with a kitchen and bigger space.

The hosts and staff were not speaking english most of the time, but were always great, friendly and helpful. The best is to read reviews (sorted by the worse) while browsing, and book in advance to avoid sold-out places or too expensive rates.

Tourism 🏄🏽‍♀️

All the places we’ve been, besides Uxmal, were packed with tourists. Whatever hidden-gems or off-the-path area advertised online were stuffed with high tides of tourists, featuring agencies, party hotels and cheap street food. Even if crowded, it was still very nice, and also came with benefits such as easy to book tours or ATMs everywhere.

In general, we crossed the path with many Europeans (mainly Frenchs), Americans and also quite a lot of Mexicans as tourists.

Packing List 📦

  • Rain jacket
  • Hikking shoes
  • Foldable towel
  • Driving license
  • Moskito repellent
  • Re-usable water bottle
  • Beach gear (towel, swimwear, flip-flops…)
  • Snorkelling gear (mask, snorkel, wetsuit, rashvest and fins if possible)

Overall Experience 🤓

We had a blast in Mexico, making it one of our favourite destination, we can’t recommend it enough. Food, weather, culture, beach, everything is there to have a good time. It’s basically the place to go for fun and easy holidays. It’s also not a secret, so it can be a bit overwhelming in term of amount of tourist, but that’s part of the game! The best is to plan in advance, learn a bit of spanish, book hotels, and simply enjoy the country!

Hope this was helpful, you can leave comments if you need extra informations or if you have any questions or suggestions! You can checkout our summary video below built with 1 second a day.

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Our 3 days stay in Holbox Island.

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