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Road trip in Mexico : continued

road trip in Mexico

Article mis à jour le 13 Dec 2023

Road Trip in Mexico : Part 2

This is the second part of our Mexico itinerary. For part 1, check out this article ! As a reminder, we spent 15 days on a road trip in Mexico in the Yucatan peninsula, which brings together two regions : Yucatan and Quintana Roo. So here’s the next part of our road trip, with a more relaxing focus…

mexico route

Where to sleep to visit the East Coast during your road trip in Mexico ?

We recommend spending several nights in Tulum ! It is quite central and there are many things to see around !

Here are several options:

  • The most economical but slightly off-center: The Chill Kanil.
  • The most lively and well located in Tulum City: The Mayan Monkey Hotel & Hostel Tulum. This hotel is prohibited for those under 18. Ideal for meeting people, partying, working in the coworking space or simply enjoying the bar in the pool 😎
  • The most luxurious in Tulum Beach: Zorba Tulum Beach. Ideally located by the sea, these villas are truly incredible 🤩 The welcome, the decor, the amenities, the pool, everything is perfect! For a rental with friends or family, this is the best!

amoureux du monde

viva resorts

What to do around Playa Del Carmen ?

1. The cenotes

Just a 30-minute drive away, you will find many cenotes, including THE most beautiful (in our opinion) in Mexico.

To visit the cenotes, you can rent a buggy: book it here!

✧ Cenote AZUL

The cenote Azul is entirely open-air. It consists of several basins. But above all, the water is just of an incredible color… Officially, this place opens at 9 am. But here’s a little trick we’ve tested twice: go before it opens, access will be open. We went there at 8.30am and we could still enjoy a good half-hour of bliss in this little spot of paradise… You will even find small fish offering you a fish pedicure in the ponds. Price: 100 pesos (4,5€) per person.

Warning! After 10am, the cenote Azul turns into a public swimming pool. As it is for sure the most beautiful in Mexico, it is invaded by tourists. Really, the world belongs to those who get up early 🙂

cenote azul

cenote azul

✧ Cenotes Garden of Eden and Cristalino

Just before the cenote Azul, have a look at Jardin Del Eden and Cristalino, both superb too! You can almost visit the three of them on foot as they are so close to each other. Access to the cenote Cristalino costs 150 pesos (7€) per person and Eden 100 pesos. Remember to look at the opening days of the cenotes where you want to go, as some of them are closed on Sundays.

If you have to make a choice, we advise you to go absolutely to the cenote Azul and in priority to the cenote Jardin Del Eden (bigger, lots of fish).

✧ Cenote Calavera

Visiting this cenote was pure anxiety for me (Aurelie). This huge black hole where just one ladder is protruding, is really scary. On top of that, there are lots of bats in the cave that scream and flap their wings… Well, just like a horror movie!

Whether you are brave or a big freak like me, go visit the Calavera cenote for its unusual side. Though it is located near Tulum, it is much less known than the others and so there was nobody there. It is possible to jump from 4 meters high in a small hole and climb up the ladder… sensations guaranteed! Price: 100 pesos (4,5€) per person.

cenote calavera

2. Visit Tulum

Selection of hotels in Tulum here

Well… Tulum is the “bobo chic” temple ! We did not know what really expect when we discovered Tulum. Though it is very touristy, there are some nice sides about it. For those who like bohemian decoration, there are so many stylish places that you don’t know where to start with. Clearly, if you get the opportunity to stay in one of the luxurious hotels in Tulum, you will spend a great vacation.

Algae was a problem during our visit. There were algae everywhere, which was a huge stain on the paradise beaches. However, if you wish to visit Tulum, here is the list of things not to be missed :

What to do in Tulum?

  • Go to the Playa Paraiso, really beautiful with its lying palm trees. The sand is beautifully white and so fine! Unfortunately, it was full of algae, we’ll post some pictures after…
  • Drive through Road 15 to marvel at the splendid hotels, restaurants, and beach clubs. Seldom have we seen such amazing decorations!
  • Discover the sublime Caribbean landscapes of Tulum, an ancient fortified Mayan city, as well as the astonishing caves of Río Secreto.
  • Visit the Mayan ruins of Tulum that border the sea. The entrance ticket costs 70 pesos (3€). We advise you to stop at the ticket office next to the Starbucks at the entrance of the ruins to get your tickets: you will pay 1€ more but you won’t have to wait in line. Warning : when we arrived at the parking lot where the guides are, a man tried to make us believe that a guide was mandatory and that the competing parking lots cost 10 US dollars per hour. This is totally untrue. In real, it cost us 30 pesos (1.35€).
  • Eat the best tacos in Mexico at the Taqueria Honorio. This facility is extremely popular with Mexicans and some tourists. Don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy the Taqueria Honorio during your visit to Tulum. The dishes are delicious and so cheap: 1.45€ for a taco, 1.80€ for a torta (sandwich)… In short, paradise! Update August 2019: the Taqueria Honorio has unfortunately closed and has been replaced by a garden with several food trucks (which are delicious according to a reader!).
  • Have a drink on the Ki’bok Night Terrace rooftop. As lovers of rooftop terraces, we went there when we saw it. You can also eat there: the chef cooks sausages and other food on a barbecue in front of you.

playa paraiso tulum

tulum Mexico

tulum ruins

3. Nopalitos Lagoon and Sian Ka’an Reserve

On the road between Bacalar and Tulum, take a swimming break at the Nopalitos lagoon near Muyil which borders the Sian Ka’an nature reserve. First, the shades of blue are gorgeous. Second, it is surrounded by vegetation, which makes it very peaceful. For yoga enthusiasts, classes are given there on paddles. Also, the sand is very muddy, so you get free clay scrubs!

trip in Mexico

road trip in Mexico

It is also possible to visit the Sian Ka’an reserve by boat during your road trip in Mexico. Once in Muyil, go and park at the entrance of the archaeological zone. The visit is broken down into several parts:

  • You will see Mayan ruins
  • You will walk 15 minutes through the jungle…
  • Climb to the 15-meter observation tower to admire the scenery. UPDATE August 2019: Access to the watchtower is now subject to a fee (50 pesos). 
  • You will arrive at the pier.

reserve sian kaan

sian kaan reserve

sian kaan reserve

@stefy.heart at the top of the observation tower (15 m)

If you don’t want to see the ruins, go directly to the lagoon edge by entering Laguna Tours Muyil on your GPS.

Excursion to Sian Ka’an

To take a boat tour in the Sian Ka’an reserve, you have to pay 600 pesos per person, and this is non-negotiable (takes about 2 hours 30). We decided not to do it, first due to the price (yet 90€ for us 3), but also to the weather and the mosquitoes. But it’s a genuinely nice thing to see. Update August 2019: According to a reader, the price is now 1,000 pesos per person for a 1 hour 30 tour! The boat crosses a first lagoon, passes through a small stream to flow into a new much larger lagoon (called Chunyaxché) and then joins a small channel where you can swim in transparent waters surrounded by greenery. After swimming, your guide will ask you to go back overland while he goes up the canal to pick you up in the big lagoon to take you back to the pier.

visit sian kaan

4. Swimming with turtles in Akumal

We were really looking forward to living this experience for the first time. Unfortunately, after asking around, we decided not to do it. We have devoted an entire article to explain the reasons for boycotting Akumal. Indeed, the animal welfare cause is deep to our hearts.

We hope we gave you some good suggestions for your future road trip to Mexico ! As usual, we are happy to answer your questions in the comment section. See you soon ! 🙂

This trip was made possible thanks to the partners indicated with an * in the article, which in no way changes our opinions and feelings.

This article contains affiliate links. If we’ve helped you organise your trip or you’d just like to support us, please consider booking your activities and hotels in Mexico by clicking on our links. We’ll earn a small commission and the price stays the same for you, of course. 🤍

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