A month in Mexico
15.01.2016 - 10.02.2016 29 °C
CANCUN - PLAYA DEL CARMEN - TULUM - VALLADOLID - CHICHEN ITZA - MERIDA - PALENQUE - SAN ANGUSTINILLO - MAZUNTE - PUERTO ESCONDIDO - MEXICO CITY
Must Do in Mexico :
- Check the beach in Cancun
- Akumal to swim with turtles
- Go to one or two Cenote during your Roadtrip
- Palenque Ruins
- Mazunte/ San Agustinillo.
- Puerto Escondido
I didn't have the time to go to Oaxaca, we heard a lot of good things about this city, if you have the time check it out.
Cancun 15 th to 19 th of January.
10 pesos = 0,50 cent euros.
Cancun has 2 separate distinct area : the Downtown and the entertainment Hotel Area ( along the Beach)
Something simple : if you want to immerse into the real local culture which also mean cheaper food and souvenir, downtown area is for you.
It would be also easier to connect with people, as they will not harass you to buy stuff compare to people around the hotel area.
If your plan is to lie down on the beach all day long during your holidays, then better to go around the Hotel area , but be aware pretty much everything would be more pricey.
We arrived on the 15th after being stock 3 hours in a plane at the airport due to a tropical storm in Miami.
Once you get to Cancun airport, the ADO company bus would be the cheapest option (5 dollars) or, you can negotiate a shuttle for 10 dollars to go to Downtown if ADO is not available.
If you want to go to the Hotel area (near the beach ), then you have to find another shuttle company, but do not worry there is a lot of them.
Our hostel HOSTAL HAINA was good, 10 dollars a night ( 200 pesos ) with free wifi, hot shower and breakfast included
We stayed there 4 nights.
A small night market is located just next to it, where you can buy tasty Mexican food for few couple of pesos.
3x tacos el pastor for 15 / 5x for 25 / Burrito 35 / cheap souvenirs at night.
During day time you can explore the Market 28 which is not that far from this area (open from 10am to 8pm)
To go to the beach : bus R1 , 10.5 pesos, stop at the main spot “Playa forum”
This is the nightclub area with the most beautiful beach
For information, the Coco Bongo club is one of the most famous nightclub in Mexico.
For Isla de Mujeres : go near Ado station, cross the street behind (small bridge in between), take a bus where“Isla de mujeres “is written on it, It will cost you 8 pesos
The round trip Ferry to the island takes 20 min and cost 124 pesos.
Once you will get to the island, you can rent a golf cart for 350 pesos for 2 hours / 600 a day.
We went south at the very end of the island and had a drink with a beautiful view of the cliff with a small Maya site.
Most of people stay for a couple of days.
Playa del Carmen 19th to 22th January
From Cancun, it cost 60 pesos by bus.
We heard so many good things about PDC that we were quite disappointed to be honest.
The beach is not nice as the one in Cancun.
The fifth avenue is obviously cool but we did not feel any Mexican atmosphere, it was more like Miami on a cheaper way.
We booked a studio in a hotel with a swimming pool on the roof for 150 USD for 3 nights.
We haven’t been to Cozumel as the weather wasn't sunny, for information the price to go to this island was 300 pesos (15 USD ).
If you would like to do some charity work, you can help dogs and cats in Playa => http://playaanimalrescue.org/
Tulum 22th to 25th
Playa to Tulum via Collectivo : 40 pesos
Ado bus : 62 pesos (bus schedule on ADO website )
Our hostel was " CHE TULUM" , try to book via hostelworld it is cheaper than Booking.com
Must do in Tulum:
Walk around Tulum and have a coffee at Ki Bok.
Go to see the ruins and then, go to El Paraiso beach that is easily accessible from the temple.
Cenote Dos ojos :
Take a collectivo from Tulum (cost : between 20 and 25 pesos one way)
Entry : 200 pesos
Renting a bike in the park: 80 pesos
Advice :Take your own snorkelling gear with you
Akumal : : Swim with wild turtles :D b (Free)
30 pesos one way via collectivo
Free entry ( you don’t need a life jacket, it's a scam )
If you need to rent snorkelling gear, it will cost 18 USD.
Tulum to Valladolid : 108 pesos by bus.
(Book in advance on the ADO website, it's cheaper but you need a Mexican credit card, try to ask your hostel or travel agency)
Valladolid and Merida are not my favourite cities in Mexico, so if you ask yourself if you can skip it, do it .. Palenque / San Cristobal de las casas / Puerto escondido are so much nicer on my opinion.
Hostel cinco dalles ; 110 pesos a dorm
Walk around the city and check the cenote that is right in the city centre..
It is reachable by all the cities around, we chose to go from Valladolid and it cost us 30 pesos via collectivo.
The entry of the temple is 230 pesos.
There you will find very nice wood made souvenirs.
We stayed in Hostal zocalo : 364 pesos for a double room, good breakfast ( I recommend it )
One day is enough in Merida.
Uxmal temple is close by as well i you want to check it out.
Bus Merida to Palenque : 300 online / 600 otherwise => Yucatan assist travel to print it ( Address : 60 /51 )
PALENQUE 29th to the 30 th night
2 main things to do in Palenque are the ruins and Aqua Azur.
I stayed a night in a hostel " Yaxhin Hostel " that I do not recommend, try the bungalow in El panchan
Palenque Ruins :
Collectivo : 30 pesos
Price to entry in the jungle : 31 pesos
Palenque ruins : 60 or 65
In the city centre of Palenque, there is a small artisanal coffee shop where you can buy some roast as well.
At night, there is a market where you can buy cheap hand made products ,especially AMBER which is the stone of CHIAPAS region.
AQUA AZUR : 1h / 1h 30 depends on the driver
Collective : 40
Taxi once you get there : 20
Entry waterfall : 40 pesos
Very nice cheap souvenirs
If you head to San Cristobal de las Casas, please check if the ADO bus take the 5 h route.
When I was there, I knew it too late that there was a problem between collectivo and ADO company, my bus took 9 hours instead of 5 to arrive in SC...
San Cristobal de las casas : 31 th morning to 1 st Feb night
It is such a live town, you can find so many cafes, bars and restaurants.
2 days in enough to go all around the city.
Our hostel was “ la casa del paco” , the owner is very nice and the prices were cheap : 125 per person for a dorm.
This hostel is 15 min walk from the “ city center “.
The main street of the city is “ real de Guadalupe” ,
Markets are at the end of the street “ 20 de noviembre”
For information, Chiapas is the region of Amber stones; there is an interesting museum about it.
We took a collectivo to go to Chamula.
It is something very special, personally I did not like it, I keep the secret of what it is in case you may want to see it.
This restaurant below was very good :
San agustinillo / Mazunte
This is the place to be , you will enjoy yourself so much there.
How to go ?
Stop at Probulas
Take a Collectivo - Truck toward Mazunte.
Ask the driver to stop at San Agustinillo
Accommodation named PUNTA ELEFANTE at the end of the road : 400 pesos bungalow with ensuite bathroom.
I was surprised and sad to see that they are fishing Sharks there; they came back with 20/25 of them.
Have a look at the Turtle Conservation and Mazunte Beach
Puerto Escondido: 4th feb to the 8 th
One of my favourite place in Mexico, we extended our stay to 4 nights instead of 2.
If I had the time, I would extend it for a week or two.
Accommodation : 250 per night in Ola MARIPOSA, near playa Zicatela ( 100 m )
It is very nice.
Collectivo 7 pesos to the city center
In the night : 35 taxis
2 best beaches : playa Manzanillo and Carrizallillo
In Puerto Escondido, you can help the baby turtles to go back to the sea.
"Free the turtle " ( liberation de las tortugas ) takes place in playa bacocho from 5 PM everyday and it cost a donation of 50 pesos.
To make sure that they still do it ask your hostel.
Go for a 2 h boat trip to see Whales, dolphins and turtles; we only paid 350 pesos.
Other things to do :
Volunteer for this Dog Street association :https://perrosenpuerto.wordpress.com/category/about/
Have a drink on Zicatela Beach , KALLALAH is a nice one .
Check the night market
YOGA : 80 pesos. 2 hours in ONE LOVE ( http://www.hostalpuertoescondido.com/YOGA)
Cinema in Spanish : https://www.facebook.com/Cinema-Zicatela-Puerto-Escondido--455951404572223/
MEXICO CITY 8th to 10th Feb
How to get to the city centre from the airport ?
- Taxis : 224 pesos ( to the centro historico)
- Train, which cost 5 pesos. It is very easy but if you have more than a carry on luggage take a cab.
Must do :
- Walk around the centro historico
-Have a coffee and some patisserie in ESPERANZA PASTELERIA ( Very good and cheap , a Latte is 16 pesos , a chocolate croissant 10 .. )
- Go to Teotihuacan :
Take a bus from the city centre to go to AUTOBUS DEL NORTE, then head to DOOR 8, there you can buy your round trip ticket for 88 pesos to " LOS PYRAMIDAS"
Once you get to the ruins, the entry will cost you 65 pesos, apparently you have to pay for your camera but I didn't pay anything.
Here are some other things to do :http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/city-guides/mexico-city-must-dos/