Yucatán, in the land of the Maya!

Yucatan Mayas

travel suitcase  travel as a couplebig budgetTravel in November 2021 Duration: 14 days

Welcome to Mexico!

Remember the cartoons of your childhood set in Mexico symbolized by sombreros, maracas, cacti or deserts. Who doesn’t remember Mexico’s fastest mouse named Speedy Gonzales and his cry of hardly “Arriba Arriba”? In our imagination, Mexico is also Zorro or American westerns. Yes this image is a cliché! Well not quite: the north of Mexico is very arid and semi-desert, especially towards the American border This area represents more this Mexican myth of our childhood. But southern Mexico has a very different climate: tropical and therefore humid with lush vegetation, as in Yucatán. I will transport you to the heart of a Mexico symbolized by the Mayan culture and its pyramids, its countless hidden cenotes, its breathtaking fauna and flora. On the way to a road trip through the Yucatan Peninsula in Myoxybubble Mexico!

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Our itinerary

You can click on all the photos in this article in order to view them in large format

Yucatán, in the land of the Maya!

Day 1 : Arrival in Cancun

A road trip in Mexico is planned a minimum before your departure. In a 1st time, it is important that you use a good car rental agency. I recommend the Agency Touracancun which is very reliable and responsive. Your rental will include all insurance, even anti-corruption. A reassuring bonus, even if at no time were we confronted with it. During your stay, Touracancun will be by your side and will hear from you via WhatsApp. You will also receive other practical information by email throughout your stay. At the slightest question, they are easily reachable. The other advantage of going through this agency is that you pay your bill on the spot and not at the time of booking. Request a quote on the internet before leaving and validate your reservation. You will not have any surprises on the spot. The price announced on the quote will be the final price invoiced. Be careful in Mexico, credit cards are preferred to debit cards for the reservation under penalty of having to leave a larger deposit. Upon arrival at the airport a shuttle from the agency will give you an appointment at a specific point. Be patient because they are not necessarily on time. We waited 30 minutes before their arrival. The return of the vehicle will be simple, fast and without discussion. No need to wash the vehicle (unless it is very dirty)) although it is advised. Another important point to organize before your departure or on site is the purchase of a local SIM card to have data at a lower cost. Arriving in the middle of the night, we preferred to receive our SIM card directly at our home before departure thanks to Holafly. The card arrived in our mailbox within 4 days. Fast! We did well to organize ourselves like this because everything was closed when we arrived at the airport. The price is a bit more expensive but it’s safer. It takes 50 € for an unlimited SIM card for 15 days so it remains reasonable. For your night in Cancun, if you are just passing through, we can advise you to sleep at Rob&Lalo. They live in a very quiet and safe neighborhood. At Rob&Lalo, you’ll feel right at home! They are very attentive hosts, accommodating and good advice. We had pleasant exchanges with them. And despite the fact that we arrived very late at their home, they still agreed to host us. We did not hesitate for a second to resume a night at their house for our end of stay. The house is tastefully decorated and is spotlessly clean, even with 1 dog and 2 cats (very well educated). The bedding is very comfortable. I recommend 100%!

Day 2 : Our 1st cenotes and Tulum

# Cenote Azul

Cenotes are characteristic of the Yucatán Peninsula. But what is a cenote? Cenotes are also called “sacred well” or “water hole”. Cenotes are sinkholes related to the collapse of soluble rocks (limestone) and filled with fresh water (sometimes with a lower layer of seawater). Some cenotes are connected to each other or to the sea by networks of natural underground galleries. When cenotes are in the sea, they are called “blue holes”. Inland, they form natural wells that can reach several tens or even hundreds of meters deep. At the time, cenotes allowed the Maya to communicate between the world of the living and the world of the dead. It is important to preserve tourism cenotes as much as possible. For this a shower is mandatory before bathing. The use of sunscreen, mosquito repellent and makeup is prohibited because they are very polluting. The water temperature remains constant all year round. They cool little during the winter months and stabilize on average at a temperature ranging from 24 to 25 ° C. The entrance to the Azul cenote will cost you 120 pesos/person. The site is open from 9am to 5pm. The peculiarity of the Azul cenote is that it is not a chasm like the majority of other cenotes.

cenote Azul cenote Azulcenote Azul

You will benefit from a magnificent open-air cenote, with a breathtaking gradient of blues that will amaze you.

cenote Azul cenote Azul cenote Azul

You will even be able to benefit from a free fish spa!

cenote Azul cenote Azul

Be careful it tickles! The fish will be happy to eat the dead skin of your feet. After the session, they will be soft and devoid of calluses. Possibility to bring your mask and snorkel to admire the funds. For the bravest, a jump of about 6m is possible! This is the attraction of the site in addition to its natural beauty.

# Cenote Dos Ojos

Before you go there, I inform you that its entrance fee is 500 pesos/person (about 20€). This price includes the visit of the large and small cenote. Possibility to take a 1h tour in the large cenote in scuba diving for 75 € / person. These prices are excessive and unjustified in my opinion compared to other cenotes much cheaper and more beautiful. The site is very touristy! Honestly, it’s not the one I recommend the most, although it’s very beautiful to explore with its incredible turquoise blue waters. It is very popular with divers and snorkelers. Count 1 hour of visit for each cenote. Be careful, I advise you not to report the use of a reflex type camera, because it will be considered professional equipment and you will be asked to pay 300 pesos (this remark is valid for all tourist sites). However, you have the right to use your phone’s camera. Remember to equip the latter with a waterproof pouch to immortalize the exploration of the cenotes of the Yucatan or to own a GoPro.

.Cenote Dos Ojos Cenote Dos Ojos Cenote Dos Ojos Cenote Dos OjosCenote Dos Ojos Cenote Dos Ojos

On the site, open your eyes and look where you set foot because it is possible to cross on your way a beautiful tarantula!

tarantula Cenote Dos Ojos

# Tulum, the bohemian city!

The city of Tulum deserves a passage of a few days! It is a must even if the place is touristic. It is an eco-chic destination in Mexico. You will love it both during the day and at nightfall with its chic and bohemian atmosphere, punctuated by the sound of music and lights. The main street, very bumpy, benefits from restaurants, hotels and shops with bohemian artisanal decorations. They use natural materials that invite you to change of scenery and relaxation unlike large concrete hotels.

Tulum Tulum

Tulum’s gourmet restaurants are very romantic for a candlelit dinner. Some have a splendid view of the jungle and where you can admire beautiful sunsets. Tulum also enjoys paradisiacal beaches that invite you to relax. Be careful, some beaches along the coast are not accessible because they belong to the big hotels. To access it, you just have to book a deckchair and consume a minimum.

# Where to stay in Tulum?

Do you dream of a luxury camp with exquisite romanticism? Welcome to Uman Glamping tulum and Cenote. This luxury campsite benefits from 7 tents very nicely decorated and furnished in the manner of a very spacious yurt. You will benefit from a wifi network. The tents are equipped with mosquito nets for your comfort. You will find all the amenities such as a king size bed, toilet, sink and an outdoor walk-in shower with very appreciable hot water. Everything is private. You will be lost in the middle of the jungle of Tulum and surrounded by palm trees. The place invites relaxation and meditation.

Uman Glamping Tulum and cenote Uman Glamping Tulum and cenote Uman Glamping Tulum and cenoteUman Glamping Tulum and cenote Uman Glamping Tulum and cenote

The Glamping has a very good adjoining restaurant called “pizzine” which I highly recommend. At nightfall, the restaurant is illuminated with a thousand lights and has a brazier giving a chic and cozy atmosphere.

restaurant Pizzine

Glamping also gives access to a beautiful private cenote, taking the wooden walkway and along the mangroves at the back of the tents. The hotel is located in a very quiet area of the Tulum Hotel Zone. You will be connected to the lush nature of Quintana Roo. A real Zen moment. You will need to take your vehicle to reach the center of the main hotel zone. The reservation includes a very good and hearty breakfast (Assortment of fruits, granola, cottage cheese, croissant, freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee). He will take not far away, at Nativus, the other establishment of the owner.

The staff at Nativus does not speak English well but is smiling and extremely kind. There are more luxurious hotels but I am not interested. I will not hesitate to come back to this luxury glamping! This room is not available throughout our stay in Tulum so we had to try another accommodation. So I can also recommend the Maya room at Serena’s. The campsite is located on the left of the Mexican restaurant Mateo’s. We took a little time to find the campsite because it is hidden in a street halfway! There are parking spaces at the entrance. This is another luxury glamping tent. All rooms have air conditioning. They are very spacious, nicely decorated but not very bright. The complex benefits from a nice swimming pool and solarium, a relaxation area and outdoor bodybuilding.

Glamping at Serena Glamping at Serena Glamping at Serena Glamping at Serena Glamping at Serena Glamping at Serena

The campsite is close to the sea. The price of the night includes a continental breakfast from Mexico. The only negative point is the street which is noisy because it is lively until 2-3am. Feel free to dine at Chez Mateo’s Mexican restaurant. The atmosphere is great, with groups of musicians. It is a typical local restaurant with burritos, tacos and others. Be careful, as in all restaurants a tip of 10, 15 or even 20% is mandatory but to choose.

At Mateo's restaurant

Day 3: Tulum and its treasures

# The archaeological ruins of Tulum

The archaeological ruins of Tulum are part of an exceptional Mayan site that overlooks the Caribbean Sea.

The archaeological ruins of Tulum The archaeological ruins of Tulum The archaeological ruins of Tulum The archaeological ruins of Tulum

During your visit, you will better understand the life of the Mayans at the time and the exchanges of maritime trade. The site is part of Tulum National Park. The vegetation that surrounds the remains makes the walk very pleasant.

The archaeological ruins of Tulum The archaeological ruins of Tulum The archaeological ruins of Tulum The archaeological ruins of Tulum The archaeological ruins of Tulum The archaeological ruins of Tulum

No need to take a guide as the site has many explanatory signs in Spanish and English. The guide just allows a translation into the desired language or skip-the-line access for access to the site. The entrance fee is 80 pesos/person + 180 pesos for parking! The little trick, there is free parking at the secondary entrance of the site. The ruins will not be the only attraction. iguanas and pelicans will entertain young and old. Below the cliffs of the site, there are very popular and especially paradisiacal beaches. They were unfortunately closed during our visit. Every year, turtles live there. It is a protected area.

The archaeological ruins of Tulum The archaeological ruins of Tulum

The place is idyllic with long white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise blue water. We enjoyed being able to discover the famous Playa de las ruinas without tourists. We were amazed. Possibility to take a boat tour from the beach to observe the ruins from the sea and snorkel. We were unable to do this due to Covid and the closure of beaches for turtle laying. The site is open from 8am to 5pm. Count about 1h30 of quiet visit.

# Mayan Beach

Located 200m from the famous beach “Paraiso”, I invite you to rest, feet in the sand, for lunch at the bar restaurant “Pancho villa”. The view of the blue sea and the white sand is exceptional. The seaside is magical and idyllic. It invites you to relax, swim and sunbathe accompanied by a fresh coconut. The mixed ceviche and garlic fish fillet were delicious. Access to the beach is free.

Maya Beach  bar restaurant "Pancho villa"

# Cenote Calavera

I suggest you stop at the charming Calavera cenote. It is close to the center of Tulum. The site is well laid out with sunbeds and hammocks. It has a very photogenic circle shape. 2 solutions to go down inside: either you take the high, solid and vertiginous wooden ladder, or you dive! The cenote benefits from several attractions including a swing, an inner rope and two holes allowing blind jumps in this night blue water. You will have fun at the Calavera cenote.

cenote Calavera

Moreover, it is very Instagrammable. The cave is inhabited by harmless bats. Don’t be afraid! It will still cost you 250 pesos/person. Open every day from 9am to 4pm. I recommend, even if the place is very touristy.

# Sculpture Ven a la Luz

We looked for it in Tulum and found it! The ven statue has the luz ! (meaning “to enter the light”). This mother nature was imagined by the famous artist Daniel Popper. He is renowned for creating giant human sculptures made of wood, incredibly beautiful. These sculptures are all inspired by nature’s arboretum. He wants to connect visitors to trees and nature. Each visitor is free to interpret the meaning of the sculpture. Every sculpture created by Daniel Popper has a story. Ven a la luz hides to this day in the hotel center of Tulum, 20 meters from the hotel Ahau.

Ven a la luz Daniel Popper Ven a la luz Daniel Popper Ven a la luz Daniel Popper

Unintentionally, that day I was dressed in perfect harmony with the artwork. My dress was the same brown and had identical white grooves. For a moment, she and I were one! We were in perfect symbiosis! At his feet, I felt so small! I even thought I was Vaina and the legend of the end of the world. I felt like I was bowing to the beautiful and majestic Te Fiti, goddess of life and the ocean, on a mission to return the sacred heart stolen by Maui! She looked at me with a protective and serene look and opened with both hands her valiant heart and her large green lungs. She invited me to cross this tropical arch and enter the light! I plan to search for Daniel Popper’s works around the world in future MyOxybubble adventures. If you want to approach this wonder in Tulum, you will have to pay 70 pesos. If you admire just like me the works of this great artist from South Africa, I strongly invite you to follow him on his Instagram account.

# Where to eat in Tulum

I will make you discover an exceptional restaurant! It is simply beautiful! Karma Restaurant is on 3 levels. At the roof top are perched several nests and a heart reserved for private or romantic dinners! During the day, you will enjoy an incredible view of Tulum, the sea and the surrounding vegetation. But all this is paid for of course! You will have to consume a minimum of 100 € / person to enjoy the roof top and this idyllic setting. Ideally, I advise you to go there to watch the sunset. The decoration of the restaurant is a work of art in the image of the chic and bohemian Tulum. We could even imagine that it was created by Daniel Popper! Everything has been designed with natural materials such as wood!

Karma Restaurant in Tulum Karma Restaurant in Tulum Karma Restaurant in Tulum Karma Restaurant in Tulum Karma Restaurant in Tulum Karma Restaurant in Tulum

At Karma, it’s the total escape from the decoration to the plate! The dishes are refined and the cocktails succulent! The staff is very attentive and very smiling. Not to mention the musical atmosphere that is at the top! This is my favorite restaurant in Tulum and I invite you to discover it.

Day 4: Muyil Pyramids and Sian Ka’an Reserve

# Pyramids of Muyil

The pyramids of Muyil are also called Chunyaxche pyramids. This Mayan archaeological site is located in the Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve and about twenty kilometers from Tulum. I advise you to combine your visit to the Muyil site with a boat trip to the Sian Kian Nature Park Reserve. It will cost you 45 pesos for the visit of the Muyil pyramids. The site exudes a very wild and mystical atmosphere. It is located in the middle of 40 hectares of surrounding jungle.

Pyramids of Muyil

The different structures and remains are therefore hidden by this lush forest, such as the main pyramid called “el castillo”.

Pyramids of Muyil "el castillo" pyramids of Muyil "el castillo" pyramids of Muyil "el castillo"

During our visit, it started to rain ropes! Suddenly, we heard loud impressive roars in the distance! I was soaked, but I couldn’t help but walk towards that scream that resonated so strongly in the jungle. The closer I got, the louder the scream! This noise was frightening but my curiosity led me to him. After analysis, I roll my eyes towards the trees and there we discovered a couple of howler monkeys with their two cubs. They were impressive! In the distance, they had the appearance of gorillas. They were black and strong. The howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) is a species that is part of the new world of South America. We have seen others in the biosphere of the reserve in Calakmul. So, open your eyes wide and pay attention to the slightest noise in the trees. Monkeys are everywhere in Mexico! The walk also offers the possibility of going to a wooden watchtower.

Mirador Sian Ka'an Reserve Mirador Sian Ka'an Reserve Mirador Sian Ka'an Reserve

Access to get there is a fee (50 pesos). A guard is on the lookout in a small house. It is possible to avoid the toll, without violations, by an external access to the site from the pier of the Sian Ka’an reserve. At the pier, you will find a sign indicating the direction leading to the viewpoint. Unfortunately for us, when we got there, it kept raining. The dizzying climb was really very dangerous and slippery. We did not take the risk of going up there knowing that the visibility when we arrived at the top would be reduced. Luckily, we met a boy pre-named Miguel on our way. Unlike us, Miguel was able to climb to the top of the watchtower before the downpour. He kindly made us discover through his photos the spectacular view of the lagoon and the lush jungle of Sian Ka’an. He even sent them to me!

view mirador sian ka'an

You can follow him on his instagram account @miguel.lopategui 😉.

# Discovery of Sian Ka’an Natural Park

The sian Kian biosphere is composed of 3 lagoons (laguna muyil, laguna chunyaxche and laguna boca pailla). Between laguna muyil and laguna chunyaxche, there is an artificial canal that was dug by the Maya.

Sian Kian Biosphere Sian Kian Biosphere

On the other hand, between the 2nd and 3rd laguna it is a natural channel that connects them. It is in this channel that you will equip yourself with your snorkeling equipment to explore the bottom (colorful crabs and large lobsters). On the boat and in the canal, the life jacket is mandatory. For the snorkeling session, they make us put the vest in diaper mode. The experience was really a lot of fun! You will be swept away by the current and drift effortlessly.

Sian Kian Biosphere Sian Kian Biosphere Sian Kian Biosphere Sian Kian Biosphere Sian Kian Biosphere

In the 3rd lagoon, you can see lamentins and crocodiles.

Sian Kian Biosphere Sian Kian Biosphere

Manatees are difficult to see because they have the particularity of staying in apnea for more than 15 minutes. On the other hand, they are unable to breathe underwater and spend their time eating algae and underwater plants. We were lucky enough to see 2 or 3 of them pointing the tip of their noses but it was very difficult to photograph them. The experience was amazing as the skippers are really good at spotting them in the distance. We were also able to see a crocodile. You will board a small boat that can hold 6 people. The departure is a stone’s throw from the pyramids of Muyil, at the pier.

Sian Kian Biosphere Sian Kian Biosphere

You can park your car there. You will love your boat tour through the different lagoons. Our captain slalomed at full speed in the mangroves for our greatest pleasure.

Sian Kian Biosphere Sian Kian Biosphere

The tour will end with a stop at the beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea on the side of the boca pailla bridge.

Caribbean Sea at boca pailla bridge Caribbean Sea at boca pailla bridge  Caribbean Sea at boca pailla bridge

The beach is very pretty with its white sand. Pelicans and waders can be seen. The time to return to the pier has arrived, but you will leave with beautiful memories. The tour lasts 4 hours. The price of the excursion is 6500 pesos for 1 boat. We were 4 people, so we paid 75€/person. Knowing that you can go up to 6 people per boat. This reduces the cost. It is better to organize with other people and say that you are together to lower the price. If they realize that you are unknown pairs they increase the price of the excursion. I hope I have convinced you to discover the wonders of the Sian Ka’an biosphere.

Day 5: Coba and Bacalar

# Pyramids of Coba

The Pyramids of Coba are a 50-minute drive west of Tulum. They are less explored than Chichen Itza or the ruins of Tulum. The walk is done in the middle of the jungle. It takes 2 hours to visit the site of Coba.

pyramids of Coba pyramids of Coba pyramids of Coba pyramids of Coba pyramids of Coba

The archaeological area of Coba has 4 groups of buildings, separated by more or less 1km each time (Grupo Coba, grupo Pinturas, grupo Nohoch mul, grupo Macanxoc). That’s a total of 6km of ride.

The archaeological area of Coba

It may be useful to rent a bike for 60 pesos/person if your day schedule is tight. For families with small children a bicycle taxi rental service is at your disposal.

The archaeological area of Coba

Otherwise, I advise you just like me to make the visit on foot to explore this jungle taking full advantage of the fauna and flora. Be very attentive to the slightest sound of trees stirring! Spider monkeys are everywhere in the forest. This shaded excursion is very pleasant and is done very well on foot. You will love this lush forest, endowed with vines making me think of Cambodia.

pyramids of Coba pyramids of Cobapyramids of Coba

The entrance will cost you 80 pesos per person and 60 pesos of parking. On site, possibility to take a guide for explanations on the Mayan ruins. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry, the site has a few explanatory signs. The temples are very beautiful and the history of the Mayans interesting. The main pyramid Nohuch Mul with its 42 meters high is very impressive.

The main pyramid Nohuch Mul The main pyramid Nohuch Mul

Don’t expect to go up! It is now forbidden in order to preserve the conservation of the ruins and for your safety. The ball court (juego de pelota) is very well preserved.

juego de pelota juego de pelota juego de pelota

The use of the drone is prohibited inside the site. We were able to take some photos and videos from outside the site.

The main pyramid Nohuch Mul  The main pyramid Nohuch Mul

# Bacalar, the lagoon with 7 colors!

From Coba, it takes 3 hours to get to Bacalar, located in the south of the Yucatan Peninsula. Choose the Amaca accommodation that offers direct access to the edge of the lagoon. The only drawback is the access to the site because the last 500m are on a very bumpy bad road. At Amaca time stands still! We wish we had stayed longer. You will stay in a very relaxing stilt hut, enjoying an incredible, breathtaking view of the lagoon with seven colors. The cabin is romantic, peaceful and very well appointed.

accommodation Amaca in Bacalar accommodation Amaca in Bacalar accommodation Amaca in Bacalar accommodation Amaca in Bacalar accommodation Amaca in Bacalar

It is an ecological place. Moreover, the host puts at your disposal organic body and hair products that smell divinely good. Waking up is magical at Amaca! Kayaks and paddles are available free of charge.

accommodation Amaca in Bacalar accommodation Amaca in Bacalar Accommodation Amaca in Bacalar and views of the lagoon Leave early in the morning in a swimsuit and take a kayak to the hotel restaurant “Mia” for breakfast.Breakfast is plentiful and delicious. The restaurant enjoys a magnificent view of the lagoon. The waiters are very friendly. The walk is zen, peaceful and will last 20 minutes. You will not get tired of contemplating the lagoon, listening to the birds singing and admiring this incredible landscape that surrounds you so early in the morning. A real moment of meditation!

Restaurant Mia Restaurant Mia Restaurant Mia

Day 6: Bacalar and its cenotes seen from the sky!

# Cenote Cocalitos

The entire lagoon of bacalar is privatized and accessible only by paid access such as the Cenote Cocalitos or by hotels. The place is idyllic but spoiled by this gray and unwelcoming fortress that surrounds it when you arrive. Access to the Cocalitos website is from 10am to 5pm with an entrance fee of 50 Mexican pesos.

cenote Cocalitos

I advise you to go early in the morning because the place is a victim of its beauty. I loved the landscape with 7 shades of blue but I hated this too touristy side. The site is landscaped with hammocks and swings feet in the water but you will play who goes hunting loses its place. People are waiting for you to leave to rush to your hammock or swing. I had no pleasure in asking myself.

cenote Cocalitos cenote Cocalitos cenote Cocalitoscenote Cocalitos cenote Cocalitos

The edges of the lagoon are beaches of grass and not sand so uncomfortable. Despite this tourist crowd, the place remains paradise but even more seen from the sky. Nature is really impressive in Bacalar! Starting with this natural phenomenon that forms over time in its shallow waters and gives rise to stromatolites.

cenote Cocalitos Bacalar stromatolites Bacalar stromatolites Bacalar

It is a limestone rock formation resembling an underwater fossil of rounded shape. These are protected in Bacalar. We launched the drone so that we could admire from the sky the 7 fabulous shades of blue of the splendid Caribbean lagoon. In aerial view, the underwater cenotes Azul, Esmeralda & Negro with a deep midnight blue will make you think of that of Belize which is located not far from the border. Stromatolites are also visible transparently in the lagoon from the air. Not to mention the very nice pirate channel. The show will leave you speechless!

# Cenote Azul

The Azul cenote is exceptional because it is open air and surrounded by forest. This chasm reflects a deep midnight blue due to its 90m depth. It is the darkest of the Bacalar cenotes. Possibility to swim there but there is no more interest than that on site.

cenote Azul Bacalar

# Esmeralda & Negro cenotes

The cenote esmeralda is characterized by its emerald green color and the cenote negro by its dark color or even black. They are both totally different. their respective color is due to their difference in depth. Seen from the sky, we can realize its differences in depth by examining the famous 7 shades of blue that the lagoon offers. I propose you a boat ride through this magnificent Caribbean water to discover the beauty of each Cenote. The grand boat tour with the visit of each cenote costs about 250 pesos/person. Do not hesitate to negotiate!

cenote Azul Bacalar cenote esmeralda&Negro in Bacalar cenote esmeralda&Negro in Bacalar Negro cenote in Bacalar Bacalar aerial view

# Channel of las piratas

Another option, it is possible to cross the lagoon by kayak to the canal de las piratas. You will contemplate as closely as possible the turquoise blue of this little paradise. It’s up to you to see if you feel attacked! The weather was not good we unfortunately could not try this experience.

.canal de las piratas Bacalar

# Where to eat in Bacalar?

During the day, if you are looking for a restaurant on the edge of the lagoon, do not hesitate to ask yourself at the “Playita”. Here the cocktails are delicious and really cheap! The card will offer you a wide choice. We loved the plancha shrimp and their tacos.

the "Playita" restaurant the "Playita" restaurant

The place is very crowded, so expect to have a bit of a wait, the best being to book the day before or in the morning. The setting is really nice and trendy and enjoys an idyllic view of the lagoon.

Bacalar Lagoon

In the evening, the Nixtamal restaurant will perfectly make you travel to an enchanting world.

Nixtamal Restaurant Nixtamal Restaurant

From the start, you will pass through a garden with dimmed lights and romantic decoration. The journey will continue on your plate with quality meat cooked in embers or wood fire accompanied by a good wine. For dessert, your taste buds will explode after a bite in the pod with 3 chocolates.

Nixtamal Restaurant

The cozy and warm atmosphere will be accompanied by impeccable service and a quality music group. Be careful, a reservation is more than recommended! The place is very popular.

Day 7: Calakmul and the borders of Guatemala!

# Calakmul or the lost city!

Calakmul is a lost jewel in the middle of the Mexican jungle. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a cultural gem about the Mayan civilization. It was re-discovered in 1931 only by aerial reconnaissance! It is one of the most hidden and wild sites in the south of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is off the beaten track and therefore less touristy because it is very eccentric. Count 3h15 drive from Bacalar. Calakmul is also located 35km from northern Guatemala. Be careful, you will change region. You will pass from Quintana Roo to Campeche and will be subject to a time change on your journey. There is a time difference of 1 hour! You will save 1h! That is, at 9am, it will actually be 8am 😉. We left Bacalar at 6am to arrive around 8:15am in Calakmul. Roadside checks are more frequent in this region. Don’t worry, the authorities are just doing their job. They just want to know where you’re coming from and where you’re going, and then let you pass. At the entrance of the site, you will have to pay 150 pesos per person to claim access to the calakmul jungle. The entrance crosses, you will have 60 km to travel in the middle of the jungle by driving at 30km / hour.

Calakmul Calakmul

Prohibition to drive faster in order to preserve animal life because the site is part of the biosphere reserve. On your way, you will meet animals such as, blue ocellated turkeys, howler monkeys or spider monkeys or even pumas or jaguars for the luckiest!

Calakmul blue ocellated turkeys

On site, you will again have to pay 80 pesos per person to visit the site. I advise you to provide loose and long clothes preferably. Avoid mosquito repellent if possible to preserve the biosphere. Be careful, there is no store nearby, so remember to provide water and snacks. Also remember to fill up with gas before leaving because there is no station around. On site, several courses are available to you. There are 3 possible routes to visit Calakmul: A short (2h), a medium (3h) and a long one (4-5h). We opted for the grand tour and we took 4 hours taking our time (and photos). The site has 3 pyramids on which it is possible to climb, as well as 2 acropolises and the ancient Mayan ruins. The largest pyramid reaches 45 meters high. It is one of the tallest pyramids of the Mayan civilization. You will have the pleasure of climbing the steps and admiring, once at the top, the 360-degree view that is offered to you on a lush jungle as far as the eye can see!

Calakmul Calakmul

In the distance, we were lucky to see howler monkeys with their young, perched quietly in the trees. Be careful!

Howler monkeys Calakmul Howler monkeys Calakmul Howler monkeys Calakmul Howler monkeys Calakmul Howler monkeys Calakmul

Against all odds, we had another beautiful encounter at the top of this pyramid. The bloggers of Un Tour dans le Sac recognized me! An unlikely encounter, in a lost city on the borders of Guatemala. They were in the middle of a world tour.

meeting bloggers in Calakmul

We had the pleasure of getting to know them and making them progress a little bit in their adventures by taking them in our vehicle to accompany them to Xpujil, but also for their greatest pleasure at the cueva de murcielagos. The world is really small! From this pyramid, you will also enjoy a view of the 2nd Great Pyramid. The 2 largest pyramids are located in structures 1 & 2.

Calakmul Calakmul Calakmul

In the vicinity, the old foundations correspond mostly to family dwellings, decorated with pretty red and ocher colors. The site also has a very well preserved Maya ball court. Throughout your walk, you will be immersed in a lush jungle.

remains in Calakmul remains in Calakmul

Nature takes over! We can see this with the green of the surrounding vegetation and the moss that covers the remains. Be careful where you put your feet because you could come face to face with a coral snake that can be very dangerous in case of bite.

coral snake

I wish you to discover this hidden treasure and invite you to make the trip despite its long distance.

# The cueva de murcielagos

The cueva de murcielagos is located 5 minutes by car from the exit of the Calakmul site, between km 105 and 106 when you will take the main road towards Xpujil. Don’t miss the sign with the bats!

La cueva de murcielagos

You will then access a small car park. The price of the entrance ticket is 75 pesos/person. The site is open from 4:30 pm to 8 pm. Every day, a little before sunset, 2 to 3 million bats come out of the cave in 3 hours (which is an ancient dried cenote). They return to the cave in the morning around 7am at sunrise. There are only 2 places in the world with as many bats in a cave: here in Mexico and Malaysia. The cave is home to 9 species of bats classified into 3 categories (those that eat fruit, those that eat insects and those that feed on nectar and pollen).

La cueva de murcielagos La cueva de murcielagos La cueva de murcielagos

You will witness a kind of dance where the bats creating fly away in a whirlwind, right before your eyes. They will frolic together just above your head and then leave and dispatch themselves in the forest in search of food. The moment is spectacular and magnificent! It’s an impressive sight because they never collide. There is a real coordination between them! It is mandatory to wear a mask to protect yourself from bat droppings that contain bacteria harmful to humans to avoid inhaling them. Prohibition to put mosquito repellent product and prohibition to use a flash. The site really deserves a stop when returning from the Calakmul site.

# Where to stay in Xpujill

In Xpujill, we offer you a stay at Arturo. He is a welcoming and very kind host. Its accommodations are of an irreproachable cleanliness. The room will be simple, spacious with very comfortable bedding. There is a hot shower with towels available. The place is peaceful and without noise nuisance in the surroundings. Perfect for a night of passage on the way back from Calakmul. The value for money is perfect. Arturo will also advise you some restaurants like at “Veracruzano” at very affordable prices and with fresh products. Count 250 pesos for 2 people for cocktails accompanied by 6 tacos with generous portions.

Day 8: On the way to northern Yucatán!

# The ancient Mayan city of Uxmal

Your Road trip continues with a 5-hour drive from Xpujil to Uxmal. On site, plan 80 pesos for parking but especially an exorbitant cost of 461 pesos per person to access the visit of the site. Same price as Chichen Itza. Attention, only cash payment is accepted! The entrance is expensive but the site is incredibly well preserved and restored! All the buildings are magnificent as the initiation square, the pelota game, the governor’s palace and the pyramids. We can thus better imagine the life of the Maya in this preserved village. The view offered from the Governor’s Palace over the city of Uxmal and the Pyramid of the Divine is breathtaking.

The ancient Mayan city of Uxmal The ancient Mayan city of Uxmal the pyramid of the Divine the pyramid of the Divine Mayan city in Uxmal juego de pelota Uxmal juego de pelota Uxmal Governor Uxmal's Palace Mayan city in Uxmal

Count 1h30-2h00 of visit. The advantage is that this UNESCO-listed Mayan city is not very touristy. At the entrance, they are very strict because it is forbidden to carry a backpack on you. Only a full-size handbag is tolerated. They will require you to leave them in the trunk of your car. Ditto, prohibition to eat in the site, only a bottle of water is tolerated. The drone is forbidden inside the site but we were able to take some pictures from outside this beautiful ancient village.

aerial view Uxmal

# Merida

Starting from Uxmal, I offer you the opportunity to make a stop in Merida. For my taste, the city does not have much interest. I advise you to pass your way or make a stop just for an overnight stay.

Merida

Day 9: Authentic Mexico!

# Cenote Noh mozon

The cenote Noh mozon is deserved! Count 1h15 from Merida to get there. The way to get to the cenote is dirt and filled with potholes for the last 4.5km. The road is very bad. Only the motivated will go there! On this last stretch of road, be careful not to break or scratch your rental car. The passage is narrow with branches of trees and bushes brushing against your vehicle on either side. But what a reward when you arrive!

cenote Noh mozon cenote Noh mozon cenote Noh mozon

The Noh Mozon cenote is very wild and located in the middle of nowhere in the forest! On your way, a resident will ask you for a right of way of 50 pesos per person. The cenote is also famous for being able to dive there, moreover when we arrived 3 divers left the site.

cenote Noh mozon

We were the only ones in the world to enjoy this hidden treasure with crystal clear waters. The best time to go is for the sun to reach its zenith. The sun’s rays bring out the turquoise blue water of the cenote and the sublime. We could admire the reflections of the water on the internal cavities of the cenote. It was wonderful. A vertiginous staircase will allow you to descend into the cenote. For the more adventurous, a 9m high dive is possible!

cenote Noh mozon cenote Noh mozon

The water is really good for bathing in (about 25 degrees). Bathe and bask while contemplating this open sky that is offered to you. Remember to have a picnic on site. I wish you a good change of scenery!

# Izamal, the yellow city!

If you pass Izamal the yellow city, stop and climb the pyramid of the city. The view of this yellow colonial city must really be very beautiful. Access is free! We were unlucky because it was raining with seals during our visit. It is imperative to visit the magnificent convent of San Antonio de Padua located in the city center. You’ll love it even in the rain! You can enter the inner courtyard and the chapel.

Izamal Convent of San Antonio de Padua Izamal Convent of San Antonio de Padua Izamal Convent of San Antonio de Padua

A stop is necessary in this beautiful village full of charm, unlike Merida.

Izamal Convent of San Antonio de Padua Izamal the yellow city! Izamal the yellow city! Izamal the yellow city! Izamal the yellow city!

Possibility to take a carriage ride in the city but for us the weather unfortunately did not lend itself to it at all. To sleep we advise you to go to Pisé at the Hotel Doralba. The advantage is that the hotel is a 5min drive from the chichen Itza site and right in front of the famous Ik Kil cenote. Very convenient! The rooms are clean and have a king size bed. Very good breakfast will be included in your rate. Good value for money, I recommend!

Day 10: Discover one of the 7 wonders of the world!

# The wonderful Chichen Itza!

Chichen Itza is one of the 7 wonders of the modern world! After the Colosseum of Rome, the Pyramids of Egypt, and the city of Petra in Jordan we were delighted to add another wonder of the world to our list! Its beauty has everything of a great and deserves its status as a wonder.

Chichen Itza Chichen Itza Chichen Itza

It is of course listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its visit attracts many visitors every day. This Mayan archaeological area is a must when you go to the yucatan. The entrance to the site will still cost you the modest sum of 533 pesos in addition to 80 pesos of parking. This is the largest and best preserved Mayan site we have visited. I advise you to go early, as soon as it opens to avoid the hordes of tourist buses. Remember to take water because the sun is overwhelming! The Mayan city has many buildings in addition to the beautiful pyramid such as a huge ball court, an observatory, a market, a Venus platform, a group of 1000 columns, a church, convents and many others. Chichen Itza’s ball court is the largest in all of Meso-America.

juego de pelota in Chichen Itza juego de pelota in Chichen Itza Mayan remains in Chichen Itza juego de pelota in Chichen Itza Mayan remains in Chichen Itza Mayan remains in Chichen Itza Mayan remains in Chichen Itza juego de pelota in Chichen Itza

The site also has 2 sacred cenotes.

sacred cenote in Chichen itza sacred cenote in Chichen itza

For the Maya, cenotes were the link between the world of the dead (underground) and their world. They made offerings including human sacrifices. On the way to the cenotes, as everywhere in the site, many exhibitors of memories will follow one another. Mexicans do not force the purchase. They are kind and respectful.

# Cenote Ik Kil

From the Doralba Hotel you can walk to Cenote Ik Kil. The cenote is very beautiful with its lush vegetation, its vines and the small waterfalls that surround it but I do not necessarily recommend its visit.

Cenote Ik Kil

This was a big disappointment for me. The place is much too touristy! Admission will cost you 150 pesos. It is located right in the middle of a hotel complex. It is beautiful because in the open air but it loses 90% of its charm with its concrete layout. It is in my eyes a municipal cenote! It is perfect for families with small children. Swimming is supervised by lifeguards. You will have the opportunity to jump or dive in places dedicated and supervised by them. As a result, it is very noisy.

Cenote Ik Kil Cenote Ik Kil Cenote Ik Kil Cenote Ik Kil

Many lockers will be at your disposal to deposit your personal belongings. If you ever lose the key, it will cost you 250 pesos. The life jacket is mandatory. I let you find out and make your own opinion. Have a nice visit.

# Hacienda Oxman

The Oxman cenote can be visited during your visit to Vallodoid. It is very busy but the spot is still in the wild unlike the cenote Ik Kil. We loved jumping in and swinging rope from the platform and finally ending with a dip in the water.

Oxman cenote Oxman cenote

The place is very well appointed and authentic. The cenote is crowded but looks less like a municipal pool. There is a hacienda, a restaurant and a swimming pool adjoining the cenote. The place is young and trendy. It will cost you 120 pesos. Possibility to privatize the cenote to launch the drone but useless and without interest for my part.

# The charming Valladolid

Welcome to Valladolid ! This charming colonial city will not leave you indifferent. It is located not far from Chichen Itza,

Valladolid! Valladolid! Valladolid!

It is an essential crossing point during your viyage in Yucatan. It benefits from many assets such as its main square named Parque Francisco Canton Rosado, the Monastery of San Bernadino de Siena, the Cathedral of San Gervasio, the Church of San Servacio and many others.

Valladolid! Valladolid! Valladolid!

I leave you the pleasure of informing yourself alone about the history of each monument. My goal is to help you in the programming of your road trip and not to give you a history lesson, which you will have the pleasure of discovering for yourself during your visits. Valladolid, I also let you stroll and stroll through the streets while admiring the many colorful facades of colonial-style houses. The city center is very lively with many restaurants, cafes, shops for shopping or hotels.

# Where to eat in Valladolid?

Without hesitation, I recommend the restaurant El méson del Marqués ! It is located right in the heart of the city. The setting with colonial décor is really beautiful. The hacienda exudes a relaxing atmosphere with its vegetal patio, arcades and the soft sound of water coming from the central fountain.

El méson del Marqués! El méson del Marqués!

The restaurant is very classy with quality service and the food is excellent. You will enjoy the show of the waiters for the flambé dishes right in front of your eyes and just for you! Try the brandy flamed chicken and for dessert the apple flambéed pancake!

El méson del Marqués! El méson del Marqués! El méson del Marqués! El méson del Marqués!

You will tell me some news. We also tried the octopus which was just as divinely good. For covid, the servers have very strict hygiene rules. In addition to the hydroalcoholic gel, they will serve you with a charlotte, a mask and a visor. Rest assured about this. they even take your temperature before you sit at a table. We were so conquered, that we went back the next day to try their breakfast. El méson del Marqués! El méson del Marqués! El méson del Marqués!

The restaurant will offer you early in the morning a soft and peaceful awakening. The only downside, as in all Mexican restaurants, is the fact that the waiters are very quick to barely get rid of your finished plate. Be careful, in Mexico it is important to always give a tip that will be added to the note. You will decide for yourself on the CB terminal if you want to leave 10, 15, or 20% of the bill. Enjoy your meal!

Day 11: Suytun and Ek Balam

# The beauty of Suytun cenote

During your visit to Valladolid, do not miss the magnificent Suytun cenote. It is only a 15-minute drive from the city center.

Suytun cenote

I advise you to get there early to avoid the tourist crowds. Access is limited to 1 hour for 150 pesos. This is the most instagrammable and spectacular cenote!

Suytun cenote Suytun cenote

People line up just for the cliché. From the beginning, you will be amazed! You will benefit from an overview of this superb underground cavity. Its rounded platform in the center gives the cenote a sacred atmosphere. Just above it, the sun’s rays penetrate through a well of light. This glow seems to come from the afterlife. It’s like a blessing from God! This light makes the water of the cenote a mesmerizing blue. The stalactites above your head are also impressive and beautiful. The Suytun cenote has a more than magical décor! If you want to swim, wearing a vest is mandatory. The water is cold. I wish you a good refreshment and a nice visit!

# The archaeological site of Ek Balam

On the way to the north of the Yucatan Peninsula. It will take you only 35min by car from the Suytun cenote to Ek Balam. The entrance fee is 423 pesos. This Mayan archaeological site is very well preserved but quite small. The Mayan architectures are very beautiful and well renovated. The frescoes and bas-reliefs on the largest pyramid are exceptional.

archaeological site of Ek Balam archaeological site of Ek Balam archaeological site of Ek Balam archaeological site of Ek Balam archaeological site of Ek Balam

From the top of its 35m, it offers a very nice 360-degree view of the jungle and the site of Ek Balam. This Mayan city has a total of 3 pyramids.

archaeological site of Ek Balam archaeological site of Ek Balam

This makes us think of a mini Calakmul. Ek Balam has its own cenote called X Canché. A visitation fee of 170 pesos will be requested. Having already visited many cenotes during my road trip, we skipped it. Apparently, it would be really very beautiful. Count 1 hour of visit. After enjoying Ek Balam, we suggest you continue the route is to take the sea air to Las Coloradas and Rio Lagartos.

Day 12: Rio Lagartos and Las Coloradas

# The Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve

Rio Lagartos is a charming little fishing port. It is the starting point for many boat trips to discover the Rio Lagartos Biosphere Nature Reserve.

Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos

Many guides will ask you and offer you an excursion of at least 2 hours. The price of the boat is 1000 pesos. You will embark with 6 people max on the boat. This allows you to reduce the cost of the excursion. Otherwise, opt for a private boat just for you. It’s up to you! The Captain will make you discover the fauna and flora. The fishing port of Rio Lagartos is full of seagulls, pelicans and cormorants who will shout and fly around you on the lookout for a crumb of food. The show is magical! This will amuse both adults and children.

fishing port of Rio Lagartos fishing port of Rio Lagartos fishing port of Rio Lagartos fishing port of Rio Lagartos fishing port of Rio Lagartos fishing port of Rio Lagartos

It is 8am, when the lagoon is the quietest and least windy. At this time, you have a good chance of enjoying the sun. On the way to beautiful adventures and encounters with many species of birds such as cormorants, pelicans, fishing eagles, flamingos, espatila rosa, herons and seagulls as well as crocodiles!

Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve

The captain provides fish (hidden in his boat) so that you can feed the raptors and crocodiles. It’s a lot of fun! This allows you to have beautiful photo shots and see them as close as possible.

Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature ReserveRio Lagartos Nature Reserve

During your tour, you will disembark from the boat and meet the pink flamingos. This beautiful meeting is deserved! You will sink into a clay mud up to the calf. This course is a lot of fun! This event worthy of a Koh Lanta will be rewarded by the beautiful discovery of a group of pink flamingos. You will have to stay away from them and be as discreet as possible so as not to disturb them. Great experience!

Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve   Rio Lagartos Nature ReserveRio Lagartos Nature Reserve Rio Lagartos Nature Reserve

Then, head to the Maya baths! You will feel like a Mayan by covering yourself with white clay. It’s a natural spa! The goal is to let the clay dry completely to benefit from the effectiveness of the ancestral virtues of this clay bath.

maya rio lagartos bath maya rio lagartos bath maya rio lagartos bath

You will dry in the open air while you go to the Gulf of Mexico and make a 1st rinse in the turquoise blue water that awaits you. maya rio lagartos bath maya rio lagartos bath

Nice excursion that I recommend even if the price remains a little high.

# The salt pans of las coloradas

Las Coloradas is a huge salt production and exploitation site. The pink color of the ponds is due to the shrimp and pink algae that grow in this very salty environment. This candy pink color is beautiful and amazing!

The salt pans of las coloradas The salt pans of las coloradas The salt pans of las coloradas The salt pans of las coloradas The salt pans of las coloradas

However, be sure to make this visit by a sunny blue sky if possible! Otherwise, you may be disappointed and not see the expected colors. Las Coloradas is privately owned. It will cost you 300 pesos to claim to walk in the middle of the salt pans. I find this price really excessive! Possibility to make beautiful shots at the entrance of the site. The aerial view of the salt pans is amazing! Be careful, it is forbidden to fly an ash tree inside the site because it is a private property. We took a few shots from the outside and were not disappointed with the beauty of the scenery. The color contrast between Las coloradas on one side and the ocean on the other is beautiful and breathtaking.

aerial view Las Coloradas aerial view Las Coloradas

# Where to stay in Las Coloradas?

We offer La casa de Jade which is a haven of change of scenery and tranquility.

the casa de Jade accommodation

The very cozy cabins are tastefully decorated. They are semi-open and closed by a mosquito net. You will have the feeling of sleeping under the stars. The sea is a few minutes walk from the accommodation. To fall asleep, you will be lulled by the sound of the waves in the distance and the wind. The site is well laid out with hammock, swings, dream catchers etc … a tropical Zen garden with white sand will welcome you.

the casa de Jade accommodation the casa de Jade accommodation the casa de Jade accommodation

You will enjoy walking barefoot in the sand. Little more, each cabin has private sanitary facilities with a key and a padlock (shower and toilet). You will experience a moment of escape when you shower: the shower head is a pretty shell. You will take yourself for a vahiné! It’s a real moment of very exotic escape!

the casa de Jade accommodation the casa de Jade accommodation the casa de Jade accommodation

Every detail of decoration is studied down to the very decorative mosaic of the floor. Your host Mauritio offers to cook for breakfast and dinner. The meal is plentiful and good but expensive. On the other hand, do not hesitate to sip some cocktails, comfortably installed in a hammock. They are really delicious. Be careful, do not forget the mosquito repellent. The host is not very talkative and may seem cold but he is good advice if you question him. It’s time after this boat tour and salt works tour to reach Holbox. You will have to go to Chiquila! Count 2h30 drive. Attention! On this stretch of road the time zone changes again. You will lose 1 hour. For example, at 4 p.m. it will be 5 p.m. In Chiquila, you will drop off your car at the car park for 100 pesos per day. The Chiquila-Holbox crossing takes only 20 minutes. The ticket costs 440 pesos round trip/person.

Chiquila crossing Chiquila-Holbox

Days 13: Holbox!

# La isla Holbox

Holbox is renowned for being a very lively and colorful island, with its street art around every corner and its many hotels, restaurants, street food stalls, souvenir shops and craft market. It is a small town with a hippie and relaxed atmosphere where life is good.

La isla Holbox La isla Holbox La isla Holbox La isla Holbox La isla Holbox

Holbox is a small clay island easily floodable in case of heavy rains. The roads are bumpy with big holes. Some places are difficult to practice during bad weather. We saw ourselves crossing flooded roads barefoot! Renting a buggy car can be very useful and fun. Be careful not to drive too fast so as not to splash pedestrians.

La isla Holbox

At Holbox, you won’t be bored! It is a tourist island. Many excursions will be offered from the island such as diving with whale sharks at a certain time of the year or the discovery of bioluminescence. Possibility also to call on an organized tour to get to the islands next door. Due to lack of time, we did not do it. The main activity at Holbox is still idleness by the sea while sipping a cocktail in hand! The seaside is heavenly and as far as the eye can see. Editor’s note: We loved our time at Holbox. We were lucky enough to be there at a time when there were quite a few tourists. A priori the site can lose its charm when there are many people because the village is really small. For those who want a wilder and less touristy place, we had very good echoes of Isla Mujeres.

# Where to stay in Holbox?

Many hotel complexes are available to you by the sea but we preferred to opt for an Airbnb because much cheaper and touristy. We can advise you the accommodation Casa Mech. You’ll love staying there. It is very well located, a few blocks from the city center and the seaside, and quite far from noise pollution. The place is very quiet. The host Morris and his sister are really welcoming and speak perfect English. Morris is a great host!

accommodation Casa Mech a Holbox accommodation Casa Mech a Holbox accommodation Casa Mech a Holbox

Every morning at 8am, at the reception, it will provide you with coffee and some pastries from the region for breakfast. The very welcoming room has a king size bed. You will love its decoration in addition to its impeccable cleanliness. The air conditioning is appreciable and the mosquito nets with windows very useful. Do not hesitate to go to the rooftop because there is a small swimming pool. I can only 100% recommend this accommodation!

# Where to eat at Holbox?

If you want to start or end your day in style, I can only recommend my favorite Holbox restaurant “Painapol”! It was recommended to us by Morris, our host, and we do not regret following it. Their breakfast is renowned for being hearty, healthy and delicious. The plates for dinner are incredibly beautiful with top food!

restaurant "Painapol" restaurant "Painapol" restaurant "Painapol"restaurant "Painapol" restaurant "Painapol"

Special mention for their mocktails which are just excellent with an infusion of edible flowers and fruits! The presentation is very girly!

restaurant "Painapol" restaurant "Painapol"

The staff there is welcoming and cool. We tested other restaurants but none matched Painapol. I recommend 100% too!

# Punta Mosquito

The isla Holbox offers you a beautiful and long walk to walk in the water to Punta Mosquito. Start from the holbox pier and take the wide and beautiful white sandbank that leads to Punta Mosquito. Count all the same 1h30 to go to this little blue paradise located at the tip of the island. Unfortunately, you can’t get there directly along the beach.

Punta Mosquito Punta Mosquito

The only access is the sea! it’s a bird conservation area! The area is protected and closed to the public. Possibility to see pink flamingos in certain seasons, but also horseshoe crab (a kind of crab 450 million years old with blue blood). Promise me not to touch or pick up anything! Lead by example and do responsible tourism to preserve this natural place. The place is quiet, peaceful is away from everything. You will land in front of the Caribbean Sea and clear your mind. A real moment of relaxation awaits you! I advise you to bring your eco-responsible sunscreen. Protect your skin while respecting the ocean! More and more, brands are mobilizing to protect our planet and the oceans (Biotherm water lover, Avene etc ….). These major brands donate funds to finance environmental actions such as beach cleaning with each tube sold. So do a good deed for our planet! Be careful, I advise you to check the tides before leaving because the water can quickly reach the thighs. The ride can be tiring for children or the elderly because it can be quite sporty in this case. Bring a small snack and water as there is really nothing on site. Punta Mosquito is isolated from the hotel zone. It is a portion of the island that is very wild and as its name suggests with many mosquitoes because swampy.

# Punta Coco

To get to Punta Coco 3 possibilities are available to you. Either you rent a small gulf car, or you go there on foot or the possibility of going there by small boat. Arrive in Punta Coco, land at Playa Orion. It’s my favorite!

playa Orion a Punta coco

Once again, you will be facing the Caribbean Sea! The place is out of the way, peaceful and wild! In Punta Coco, possibility to see pink flamingos at a certain time of the year Have a “coco frio” or a beer at the small beach bar and sit or swing on the swing to the rhythm of the waves. We had the beach to ourselves. Pure happiness! Little tourist passage to the playa Orion.

playa Orion a Punta coco playa Orion a Punta coco playa Orion a Punta coco playa Orion a Punta coco

Admire the sunset until nightfall while listening to the sound of the waves rocking you. Wait peacefully for the dark night to witness the bioluminescence! Not only is holbox’s sky beautifully starry but so is the sea! And yes, at the coconut tip of the island you will admire the magical spectacle that the Caribbean Sea offers you every evening. Difficult to immortalize the moment by video or photo but it will remain forever in a corner of your head. Feel free to walk in the water to amplify the bioluminescence sparks. This phenomenon is due to microscopic algae. This experience will close your trip to Mexico with a multitude of stars and memories forever etched in your head!

Day 14: Return to Cancun

Now it’s time to return to Cancun. You have to take the ferry back and then pick up your car. It will take you 2h15 of travel to reach the city center. But we might as well take the opportunity to carry out a last formality necessary at the beginning: perform a PCR test. I advise you to do it at the airport: it’s cheaper than in any other laboratory, without an appointment and fast! We had the result in less than 30min. There was just 10min waiting. We still advise you to do it the day before or a few hours before your flight and not at the last minute. In addition the airport is only 20min from the city center. There is a test center in each of the terminals. For our last evening before the return flight, we dined at Porfirio’s. This restaurant with a very chic décor offers a magnificent view of the lagoon. And the sunset is simply to die for! We highly recommend this place to end your stay in style. This time, it’s really the end of the journey. We loved our stay at the Yucatan. We would have liked to have more time, to be able to do the underwater museum of Cancun, to visit other cenotes, to take more time in Holbox, to go to Isla Mujeres, to take a guide to hope to see a jaguar, to go see the turtles in Akumal or to take an insta photo at the laguna kaan luum. As you can see, there are so many things to do and see! Mexico is an exotic destination, with an adorable population, which we totally recommend. Here is a short video if you are not yet convinced:

If you want to discover even more activities and places to visit in Yucatan, we invite you to click on the banner below:

I hope you enjoyed this new trip with me. I look forward to seeing you soon for new adventures with a new Myoxybubble destination! Feel free to leave your comments on this article and share your own experiences (the form can be found a little further down). Need advice to organize your trip? Contact!


Advice

Transport

We strongly advise you to rent a car to be autonomous and free. It is also possible to travel by mini-buses that are used by both locals and tourists in backpacker mode. Regarding the car, we had a real dilemma before leaving because many forums reported corruption problems with the police as well as unpleasant surprises with car rental companies, including with internationally renowned agencies. During all our previous trips, we have never used insurance complementary to that of our CB Visa premier and have never had any problems.

This time we opted for security and tranquility. We have taken a recommended intermediary on many forums and blogs: touracancun. Admittedly, it is more expensive than the most competitive rental companies, but you benefit from assistance and follow-up throughout the stay in French. All insurances are included and there are no unpleasant surprises on prices. You only pay when you pick up the vehicle. In addition, in case of attempted corruption during a police check, it is enough to call them in order to put them in touch with the agent and they manage the “problem” in Spanish with him. This intermediary also guarantees that its rental partner will accept credit cards such as debit and credit. However, the deposit will be doubled on debit cards. Without this intermediary and according to the renters, debit cards are not necessarily accepted.

Regarding the roads, their condition is very uneven according to the regions. Between Cancun and Tulum, then Tulum and Bacalar are long straight lines with very wide tracks, American style. In the north of the peninsula, it is necessary to pay attention to the potholes which are numerous and deep and force to slalom, sometimes on the way opposite. Roads can also be flooded during heavy rains, especially in cities. We were able to experience it in Tulum and Merida with water up to the bottom of the box.

We must also be wary of “Tope” which are speed bumps without marking on the ground so very little visible. however, signs indicate them most of the time. They are finally spotted quite easily because they are placed at the entrance and exit of the villages. After several thousand kilometers, we recommend that you take out insurance that covers at least the sills. Regarding the police checks, we had only 2 of which 1 with a quick search of the trunk. We have not encountered and found any problems with corruption (which does not mean that it does not exist). To avoid any temptation, we recommend that you take the usual precautions and do not leave your valuables (cameras etc.) visible. Everything that is set out above must not deter you. The goal is just to inform you. By driving carefully and at your own pace everything will go very well as it has been the case for us. In the end, it is often only the bad experiences that are recounted, which does not objectively represent reality. We remind you again, for us everything went very well.

To come back to touracancun, they surf a little on this fear to sell their service. But in the end they are not more expensive than other rental companies if you take out all the insurance (and I remind you, it is better to take some additional ones given the state of the roads) and have the advantage of speaking French and ensuring a follow-up. It’s up to everyone to make their choice. I’m not here to advertise, I don’t get any commission.

Phone

To use a data plan at a lower price, it is better to buy a local sim card. There is a vodafone shop in the airport terminal upon arrival. If like us you arrive late (with the shops closed) and need data as soon as you arrive, it is possible to buy this sim card before your departure via Holafly. Fast delivery -free 7 to 10 working days, paying 48 to 72h). And for last minute departures, possibility to activate an e-sim in a few minutes before departure.

Money

The currency is the Mexican peso. 1 € is worth about 23.16 MXN, also called Mexican dollar. US dollars are also widely accepted CB is accepted in many places but not everywhere. There are even tourist sites that do not take it while the entrance fee is substantial. There are few distributors outside the big cities. For example for Coba, the nearest distributor is in Tulum, 45min by car. It is therefore better to take precautions and always have a little money on you. It is also possible, in case you have more cash and there are no ATMs in the vicinity, to make a purchase in a store, for example a souvenir at 10 €, to pay 50 € in credit card and the merchant will give you back the “change” by taking a commission.

Cameras / Drones

Drones are prohibited on almost all tourist sites (pyramids, cenotes, Las Coloradas, Sian Ka’an reserve …). Some sites allow it but pay a (substantial) supplement. We took some aerial shots, but by ta