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Road Trip in Mexico : Itinerary

road trip in Mexico

Article mis à jour le 12 Dec 2023

Road Trip in Mexico – 2 weeks itinerary

road trip in Mexico

As you may have seen on Instagram, our recent road trip to Mexico was a revelation. We went on a 2 weeks road trip in Mexico, in Yucatan and Quintana Roo, two regions in the eastern country. Mexico is about 4 times bigger than France ! So, you won’t be able to visit everywhere in just 15 days, you will have to make difficult choices.

Day 1 : CANCUN


Days 3-4 : HOLBOX


Day 6 : IZAMAL

Day 7 : MERIDA


Day 10 : BACALAR


Before you start planning your trip to Mexico, we recommend that you order an eSIM card in advance so that you have an internet connection at all times. Firstly, this will make things much easier if you get lost or need information. Secondly, it will prevent you from being ripped off by local operators, as happened to us… Finally, Holafly lets you keep your French number so you can always be reached. A much more practical solution !

→ Order your eSIM card on Holafly to be connected anywhere in the world ! You’ll get a 5% discount thanks to our promotional code : AMOUREUXDUMONDE.

Itinerary Road Trip in Mexico

Here is the itinerary of our road trip in Mexico, during the first part of our trip. We hope to provide you with some good options about what to do in Yucatan. In 15 days, we made 2,200 km on rather pleasant roads. Please note there are tolls in Mexico !

For car hire and petrol prices, see our article Practical Tips for Travelling to Mexico.

✈️ To book your plane ticket at the best price, go to Ulysse.

We recommend that you compare the best offers and book your flights on Ulysse. You can take advantage of a €10 discount on your first flight booking on Ulysse by registering via our link with our promotional code : PVWYP4ESA !

trip to mexico

CANCUN – Day 1 

After spending a night at the London airport and a 10 hours and half flight, we finally arrived in Mexico ! We headed to our first hotel, the Live Aqua Beach Resort for a little rest (yes, already !). We were welcomed like VIPs ; it was so cute. You would have liked as much as we did the rice sculpture for the trip lovers they had made on the bed (for those who missed it, here is a picture).

Cancun is a mix of Las Vegas and Miami: tall buildings, hotels, places to party. If you want to relax in a gigantic resort and enjoy an all-inclusive package, Cancun is the place to go. If it’s not part of your travel plans, we still think it’s good to spend a day or two there just to admire the excessiveness !

amoureux du monde

amoureux du monde


After a stunning sunrise on the Cancun beach, head to Puerto Juarez pier. Isla Mujeres is a small island only 25 minutes by boat from Cancun. We went to a hotel more than stunning : Icaco Island Village, with magnificent decorations. On Isla Mujeres, it is possible to rent golf carts to get around. It’s quite new and funny (500 pesos for the 2 hours or 23€).

All in all, we were disappointed with Isla Mujeres. We were expecting a small paradise island, as we had read on some blogs. However, we had been sold the Playa Norte as being one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. We soon realized that the mass tourism phenomenon had passed by. No virgin beaches (beach chairs and beach clubs everywhere) and very limited access to the sea. It’s very frustrating because the shades of blue that border the island are absolutely amazing but yet pathways have been privatized by hotels, restaurants, or secondary villas. If you look for authenticity, don’t go to Isla Mujeres. On the other hand, the mood in the evening in this small-town center is very pleasant and warm.

➳ The ferry cost us 300 pesos return (13€) per person. There is one every hour and the journey takes 25 minutes. To park your car, stop at the parking lot just before the pier, price for 24 hours: 135 pesos (6€).

❤️ If you don’t want to spend the night on Isla Mujeres, this catamaran day trip from Cancun is perfect to discover the island and its surroundings!

→ You can also book this excursion which combines swimming together with whale sharks and visiting Isla Mujeres.

amoureux du monde

isla mujures meñique

HOLBOX – Days 3-4 

Back to Cancun. After a 2 hours’ drive, we arrive in Chiquila to take the fast boat to Holbox.


Where to buy dream catchers at a good price ? Mexican dream catchers are just gorgeous. On your way from Cancun to Chiquila, stop in the small village of Kantunilkin and go directly to the craftsman’s workshop. You will find it on the roadside when arriving from Cancun to Chiquila, at the rim of the village on the right (impossible to miss). Prices will be at least half those you would get in the shops! Bargain a bit, but not too much : Mexicans are not as keen on haggling as Asians. It’s a family business and their dream catchers are of a remarkably high quality.


amoureux du monde

How do I get to Holbox?

Two companies take turns every other half hour: one red and one blue. Take the red one for much more modern and comfortable boats. The journey takes about 25 minutes and costs 180 pesos (8€) one way per person. To park your car, many parking businesses have developed in the village. They will hail at you, hundreds of meters before the port. Don’t stop at the first one, keep going all the way! There is one on the right of the main roundabout, two minutes away from the pier. We paid pesos (4.5€) for each 24 hours.

Holbox is our favorite place of this road trip in Mexico. That’s where our journey really began. This island, still preserved from mass tourism, gathers everything we want to find on a trip: beautiful beaches, no roads, almost no cars and a special mood. Here too, you can rent golf carts, but we advise you to rent bicycles, much more economical.

❤️If you want to visit Holbox but you only have one day, we found a one- day trip to discover the island! Reservation & information

➳ Our must-sees in Holbox :

  • Hearty and delicious breakfast: A Mar Café, price €.
  • Tapas and cocktails in a trendy restaurant: Luuma, price €€€.
  • Lunch in a trendy restaurant: Basico, price €€€.
  • Drinking with music: Hot Corner – a must for parties, it’s so crowded that people end up sitting in the street in front of the bar. We were there on a Thursday and the Tequila and Rum cocktails were free for the girls before 11pm.
  • Discover the natural treasures of the mangroves of Holbox Island with a kayak ride. Book it here!
  • Sunset in Punta Coco. By bike, it will take you 20 minutes from the center to reach the western tip of the island. Once you reach the end, you’ll see how beautiful Holbox is. Have a cold beer at thesmall stand on the beach so you can enjoy the day falling into a hammock. Don’t miss Holbox’s sunsets!
  • Dream beach: Punta Mosquito. A sandbank surrounded by crystalline waters and a virgin beach for more than 30 km, does it ring any bell ? This place is absolutely beautiful. Cycle to the eastern tip of the island until you reach the beach. Leave your clothes next to your bike because you will have to cross a hundred meters to reach the sandbank (depending on the tides, the water can reach up to your neck). Go a little before 10am, but not too early either so that the sun is high enough and the water is clear.

➡️ Check out the best places to sleep in Holbox.

We leave Holbox with a heavy heart, with the promise to return there one day.

amoureux du monde

holbox Mexico

RIO LAGARTOS – Day 5 : road trip in Mexico

Allow a 2 hours and 45 drive from Chiquila to Rio Lagartos, a small fishing town in northern Yucatan. We slept at the Mercy Inns hotel, well located and not expensive at all (30€ per night) but a bit noisy.  They offer good prices for boat trips. The famous Pink Lake is 25 minutes away by car!

Las Coloradas, big disappointment

It is true that the pink color of this lake is incredible. But to be honest, we didn’t find the place so charming. A business has developed around Las Coloradas. People are soliciting you from everywhere to sell you excursions, parking slots… which makes the beginning of the visit a bit unpleasant. You will be told that the lake is “private property” and that to walk along, you will absolutely need a guide. When you get there from the land, there are places not accessible, so the visit is greatly reduced. Negotiated price: 75 pesos p.p. (3€50)

Is it necessary to visit Las Coloradas ?

Don’t do like we did, don’t be naive to expect a place in the middle of nature. In truth, Las Coloradas is an industry: not only a money machine for tourists but also the huge salt factory rather spoils the landscape. We advise you to book the boat trip, which should undoubtedly be more enjoyable. Find people at your hotel to share the boat with you, otherwise it is awfully expensive. During the excursion, you will see bird species and be less disturbed by the industrial side of Las Coloradas. Price: 1,100 pesos (50€) for two, decreasing if there are more of you.

Photo Tip : to get this beautiful pink color, we went there around 11 am so that the sun would be high enough (same as Holbox!)

amoureux du monde

road trip in Mexico

IZAMAL – Day 6 

Izamal is a tiny Mexican town, all in yellow. It’s very pleasant to walk around for an hour or two. Since it is located on the way between Rio Lagartos and Merida, you could stop there to have lunch for example!


road trip in Mexico

MERIDA – Day 7

What to do in Merida?

We liked Merida a lot, indeed it’s a very pleasant city. Take advantage of it to do a typical activity, like this Mexican cooking class! You will learn more about the culture of Yucatan, with a visit to a traditional market and through contact with the locals.

Update 2023 :

Did you know? Mexican cuisine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is renowned for its diversity, bold flavours and use of fresh ingredients such as corn, chillies, beans, avocados, tomatoes and spices🤤.

In the evening, don’t forget to visit the open-air food market: the Mercado 60. The decoration is just beautiful, and you have a great choice of food to satisfy everyone!

trip to mexico

➳ Cenotes to see near Merida


What is a cenote? Cenotes are chasms, water holes forming after a cave collapse. In Mayan times, they were considered sacred and were the only source of water available in the jungle. There are nearly 5,000 of them in the Yucatan peninsula.


At one hour’s drive from Merida, you will be able to see :

  • The cenotes X’Batun and Dzonbaca

    There are two cenotes at the same place, in the small village of San Antonio Mulix. At the entrance you will pay 50 pesos per person (2€). Don’t rent bicycles: you can reach the cenotes by car. Drive directly to X’Batun (take right at the intersection) because it is the most beautiful and it is open air. We stayed barely 2 minutes in Dzonbacal because already at 11am it turned into the public swimming pool: this cenote is partially in a cave, so the swimmers stay at the edge, but still, it’s very pleasant.

  • Cenote Kankirixche: same style as Dzonbacal, 30 pesos (1.30€).
  • Other beautiful cenotes, to be discovered on a day trip from Merida, with a guide: booking here

cenote Mexico

VALLADOLID – Days 8-9 

We found that Valladolid center was similar to the one in Merida, but smaller. We spent two days in Valladolid to put down our luggage after 7 days without stopping.

➳ The Chichén Itzá temple

This gave us the opportunity to visit Chichén Itzá, the Mayan temple classified as one of the 7 wonders of the modern world (nothing less!). Go there 15 minutes before the opening at 8 am to be the first and be able to run for being able to take photos of the temple without anyone. Admission costs 232 pesos (10.20€) per person.

➡️ Buy your skip the line tickets for Chichén Itzá

what to see in Mexico

amoureux du monde

Discovery of the cenotes near Valladolid

On the second day, we left to visit Ek Balam temple and its X’Canche cenote. The price for the temple visit is 180 pesos (8€) per person – on this one you can climb, so enjoy! As for us, we were too hot, so we preferred instead to enjoy the Cenote. If I remember well, the entrance cost 70 pesos (3€) per person with the bike rental. It is about 2 km far, so avoid doing it on foot: the sun is beating down! X’Canche is super fun and as we are 3 kids with our girlfriend @stefy.heart, we stayed there 1 hour jumping into the water with the rope.

cenote mexico

Another cenote not to be missed : Suytun ! Located 15 minutes from Valladolid, this cenote is a must ? On the other hand, it is a victim of its own success so it is better to arrive a little before the opening to be the first. At 9:10 am you will already queue to take pictures … Admission is 120 pesos per person and the life jacket (for hire) is compulsory if you want to swim!

Other cenotes to Valladolid : Oxman (abseiling in the cave), Zaci (downtown Valladolid), Samula and XKeken.

BACALAR – Day 10 

Where to sleep in Bacalar?

You absolutely must not miss Bacalar if you make a road trip in Mexico! The Bacalar lagoon is located 3 hours driving from Valladolid. Yes, indeed, it’s far, but really, it’s worth the detour. We stayed at the Aires Bacalar Hotel which we recommend you a 100%. It is very well located, and the decoration is crazy! Price: 50€ per night.

If the hotel is full or you don’t like it, we have also tried and validated this one. Quiet, nice rooms, parking, good food and drinks.

hotel Bacalar

hotel in Bacalar

What to do in Bacalar?

Bacalar is bordered by a 40 km long lagoon with 7 shades of blue. Luckily, the place is not yet a tourist spot, which makes it very peaceful and restful.

To discover Bacalar’s wonders, we took a boat trip (reservation here). We understood that the lagoon was fed by huge cenotes and we could swim there. We also tried to find a small Mayan temple in the heart of a deserted islet, but the access was difficult because of the vegetation. This was such a great experience!

bacalar mexico

You can also go to the Cenote Cocalitos to swim, have a drink and enjoy the swings! Access price: 35 pesos per adult (1.70€).

road trip in Mexico

Not to be missed in Bacalar: Los Rapidos. Entrance costs just 50 pesos (€2) and kayak hire, which really is essential, costs 250 per person (€10).

➳ Other activity to do in Bacalar:

There, you can enjoy stand-up paddle, a sunset… these two combined attractions will give you for sure a great time on the Bacalar lagoon. Prices & Reservation

➳ Where to eat in Bacalar:

La Piña with its tropical decoration (price: €) – La Playita by the lagoon with a special mention for the burger (price: €€). These two great addresses are just a 5-minute walk from the Hotel Aires.

The rest of our Mexico road trip itinerary

For part 2 of the itinerary for our trip / road trip to Mexico : see this article !

➡️ Travel guide for Mexico, our other articles :

road trip au Mexique

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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