Mexico is an amazing destination for travellers from all around the world. The east of the country (Yucatan peninsula) is a paradise of white sandy beaches with turquoise Caribbean sea, while the mainland area (Chiapas region) has all the cultural, authentic and history if you like this kind of things.
This two weeks itinerary is good for:
Young in love couples, honeymoon, if not you can pop up the question there :), mature couples, families with children and solo travellers.
Routes you can go:
If its not too late then land in cancun. The other option is to land in Mexico city. You can easily skip visiting Mexico city, there are much better things to do in Mexico, trust me.
Here are 4 options to start your trip in Mexico after arriving to Cancun international airport:
1. Stay in Cancun.
2. Go straight to Playa Del Carmen.
3. Go straight to Tulum.
4. Go straight to the pier and take a ferry to Isla Mujeres.
1. Stay in cancun:
cancun is amazing but very expensive compare to the other places in the area. If you are looking for all inclusive vacations in cancun then I recommend “Fiesta Americana Condesa”. (Get discounted hotel in Cancun with Booking.com) Tip: the Italian restaurant is by far the most amazing restaurant in the resort.
You will need to book one day before a place, so try sending email to the hotel to reserve you a place in the restaurant so when you arrive you will go there on your first night, it is worth it.
The best attraction in cancun is the “Coco Bongo”, I know it sounds like a strip club but it’s actually a spectacular show with party that start very late (23:00 – 3:00) it cost around 50$ per person and includes drinks (not the best quality of drinks). For extra 5$ You can buy tickets from your hotel with one way shuttle to the club. I suggest taking a nap the day you go to the “Coco Bongo”. I think that if you are under 50 years old you must go there, if you are older and young by heart try to go and you can leave before the party start (around 1:00 am).
Depending on the time of the year, sometime the weather can stop you from going to the beach. In this case you can spend your day in the large shopping mall, you can get there by bus its a 3 minutes drive.
2. Land in cancun and move straight ahead to playa del Carmen:
(1 hour by bus. Just go outside the airports terminal pass the small juice bar (BTW the juice contains alcohol – its a Margarita!!! welcome to Mexico) and turn to the right, you will see an ADO bus terminal. The ride cost between 10$-15$ per person and the bus stops at Playa del Carmen central station that is located near the 5the avenue, in Mexican:Quinta Avenida.
Quinta Avenida is the main street in Playa del Carmen it is one minute walk from the beach and All the restaurants, bars and shopping stores are located there.
If you need a place to stay I highly recommend staying at Playa Palms hotel (Get discounted hotel in Playa Del Carmen with Booking.com). This boutique hotel is not very cheap, I payed 120$ per night for the beachfront room but it was offseason. If you are on a budget you can select a different hotel located on the Quinta Avenida and pay up to half the price.
There are two very nice restaurants I want to recommend you:
1. Ajua Maya – great for dinner, very romantic and the waiters are amazing.
2. Karma Bagels – very nice breakfast it on the north end of the fifth avenue.
Tip: Make sure you buy local anti mosquito spray and bring some aloe vera with you.
3. Go straight to Tulum (hour and a half by bus from the airport):
Tulum is different from Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. This place is tranquil and quite it’s like heaven on earth. The people here watch the environment and because of that all places on the beach area create there own electricity by small windmills and the water in the shower are a little bit salted! I know what you are thinking but I will recommend you two places to stay that are like 5 star hotels, so don’t you worry.
In Tulum there are hotels in the city and hotels on the beach.
Honeymooners – beach, backpackers – city, choose were you are on my scale.
If you stay on the city you can take a taxi or a bus to the beach and back. One of most amazing beaches in Mexico is: Playa Paraiso you can go there every day.
You must understand that there is nothing else to do in Tulum beside resting, eating, beach. No parties/bars/malls, OK?
The two hotels I want to recommend are:
– Mezzanine: located on the beach, small walk from Playa Paraiso.
– El Pez: an amazing place to stay, on the beach with very nice rooms and great restaurants in the area.
4. Go straight to the pier and take a ferry to Isla Mujeres:
You can take a shuttle from the airport to the pier (Tip: try to find more people that are going to Isla and get a shuttle together, try to bargin, they might give you a small discount). When you arrive to the pier buy your tickets to the ferry.
The trip is 20 minutes and some ferries has free wifi!!! So if you didn’t book an hotel in Isla you can do it on the ferry:)
The high end hotel I will recommend in Isla is Ixchel, when you get of the ferry it is located on left side of the island (5 minutes walk). The hotel is amazing but not cheap. 100$-120$ depend on type of room and season. Basically I booked an apartment in the hotel and payed 120$ a night without breakfast. (Get discounted hotel in Isla Mujeres with Booking.com)
I think that Isla is one of the nicest places I have ever been to and a lot of people that goes there come back again and again. The small island was blessed with white send beaches and tourqeez water and the feeling is that somehow the island was not ruined by tourism, so you get nice combination of great views and cheaper food and drinks (don’t go to sleep when there is happy hour on the margaritas).
The biggest street in Isla is also only for pedestrian and contains nice mix of restaurants, local souvenir shops and small bars. You can also find a supermarket (I found it very helpful).
Tip: if you are not staying in Cancun and the weather is bad you can take the ferry to cancun and hangout for the day in the mall.
Tip: there are special deals to get to the Coco Bongo in cancun and get back at 5:00 am on the first ferry to Isla or get a room for the night in cancun and return the day after to Isla, if you are a clabber this is a nice solution to be able to see the show.
1. Chicken Itza: this day trip can be taken from Cancun, Playa and Tulum.
Most tourist companies will pick you up from the hotel at around 8:00 and get you back around 19:00. The trip is all about the Maya tribes and history. If you are looking for more then laying beside the pool all day then I this is the one of the main attractions here. The trip include a simple lunch in a local restaurant, don’t forget to bring umbrella with you.
2. The Dos Ojos connotes: this day trip is amazing, you have two options: snorkel or diving. Because I prefer the solid ground over the water I settled on doing snorkeling and it was fantastic.
The day includes visiting inside a flooded cave system located north of Tulum using flashlights and snorkelling with sea turtles on the Caribbean sea. The company I booked for this trip called: adventure tours and they were great.
Tip: throw in around 10$ and the instructor will be your photographer under the water. The trip includes: transportation from and back to the hotel (8:00-17:00).
3. Xel-Ha: is an archaeological park of the Maya civilization from pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. This place is mainly for children, so if you are looking for water activity go to the connote.
Now what you need to decide is the order of the places and how meny days you will stay. If you are not sure and its not high season (october – march) then I recommend booking the first 3 days and then keep booking as you move. If you are sleeping at pricy hotels then book online, most of the time it is cheaper then booking at the hotel front desk.
So my itinerary for two weeks in Mexico will look like this:
– If you are staying only on the beachside then I recommend: 4-5 days Isla mujeres, 4-5 days Playa or cancun, 3-4 days Tulum but you need to chose on your own what is best for you total: 11-14 days.
– If you plan on going to San cristobal then I recommend starting at Playa or cancun for 3 days then Tulum for 2-3 days, then go to San cristobal for 5 days and come back to Isla mujeres for 3-4 days total: 13-15 days.
Have an amazing trip! don’t forget to comment and add from your knowledge after you return.