It is a very long trip, but it surely deserves to be done - the ruins, the jungle, the ambiance is something that I will never forget. It is possible to do it in a single day, but it will be a very hard day, so I suggest a overnight trip.
Details of the site may be seen in my Uxmal page
It is not a "must see", but the capital of Yucatan desserves a visit. Futhermore, Merida is a good place to stay while visiting Uxmal or Dzibilchaltun
This is the closest we got to really experiencing Mexican culture while in Cancun. Parque Las Palapas is located near La Habichuela. It's a traditional plaza where locals gather to play music, relax, eat and converse. There is a small ferris wheel and carousel for children to ride. Local vendors sell churros and fried bananas. And the best thing is there's rarely a tourist in sight. To get away from it all even if just for a moment take the time to visit this little gem in the heart of downtown Cancun.
Soon to be converted into another 5 star resort unfortunatly...Mahaual beach is just beyond far of your expectations.... calm water you feel like you are in a pool ,,,hardly no waves at all.. pristine water you can see your feet as well as that turquose color characteric of the region... powder like sand, and what it´s best no big hotels to distroy the view,,, this little village seems to be hold in time as not a lot of people lives there,, if you walk a little bit from the main beach you´ll find yourself and no one elses around, however still massages ,seafood and beer can be found.
If you enjoy biking as much as I do, and if there's one day that you really want to take it easy and relax and not take one of those day trips around Cancun, I highly recommend that you bike along the hotel zone....
My friend and I borrowed our bikes and helmets from the hotel (Royal Sunset) since we purchased the all inclusive program. The staff organizes bike tours departing from the hotel, but you can borrow the bike on your own just as long as you take it back to the hotel in 1 piece and before 5 PM. This was my friend's idea, and it was a great one.
There is a bike track starting at the Royal Sunset hotel and all the way to the end of Kukulcan Boulevard (going towards downtown). We rode along this bike track - which I hadn't heard about till now - quite in peace, with a few obstacles in the way, but I must say it's pretty well preserved and you have wonderful sights while riding, such as the lagoon, a few green areas, big luxury houses, magnificent hotels, etc.
If you don't want to lose your breath half way before the end of the Boulevard, you better have a better physical condition than myself, or just take it very easy and ride slowly, there's no rush!! Enjoy the road.... The distance we rode was of about 11 KM one-way (so it was 22 KM. in total). We rode for about 2-2:30 hours.
Important TIP!!! Make sure you take with you a bottle of water (you can always stop and buy one but there aren't that many shops on the way), perhaps a towel (because you will sweat a lot) and rub a good amount of sun block on your skin.... it was a bit cloudy when we made this journey but I was hot and got burnt anyway, so it might be even tougher if you choose to bike-ride on a very hot and sunny day.... Put your sunglasses on, and don't forget to wear your helmet! ;-)
NOW YOU'RE READY TO GO!!! Have Fun
La Casita is Children's home for Girls (there is a Boys one near by as well) and if you have kids with you while on vacation IMHO you should take them there with gifts of toys, clothes, school supplies or just cold hard cash and donate to the home. They will give you a tour of the facility and where the children learn and sleep. Not only will you be helping the kids at the home, but you will show your kids about goodwill and how good they have it. It's a humble way of making a point to your kids.
As an author of a travel book, What's Cheap and Free In Cancun" I get to visit many, many locations throughout the Cancun area. My absolute favorite is a little place called Paradise Beach in Tulum. This area is off the beaten path and very, very cool.
Located just south of the Tulum ruins, right on the beach, there is a wide, white sandy beach lined with palm trees. A local "bar" whose electricity is provided by a generator and is open from about 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, will rent you a lounge chair for $2.50 a day. Under a beautiful palm tree I find myself looking at the view of the tourquise water and dosing a lot. Bar service is offered by two waiters or you just walk the 10 yards to place your order.
During February of 2006 while visiting Paradise Beach, we saw a famous Argentine model posing for photos. WHAT A VIEW! Certainly this little beach has been a backdrop for many a photo shoot.
By pure coincidence, one of our sons-in-law had been in Cozumel a few days before our arrival, taking part in a diver refresher course with his other buddies in Canada's air force Search & Rescue teams. We were fortunate enough to have a visit from Kevin and his buddy Dan on our second day in Cancun - staying up late to pontificate on life in general. Because they had booked a rental car to drive up from Cozumel, we had a very interesting tour of the 'outback' sections of Cancun. It is a far cry from what you see in the tourist part of town! Row after row of streets with no signs and only the most basic of shelters - it reminded us of some scenes from Africa that we had experienced many years before. There are almost 1 million people living near Cancun because, as one of our guides said, they know they can make a lot more money off the tourists than they can by fishing or farming!
Since we left early from Playa del Carmen on our trip to Tulum, we thought we would stop somewhere enroute for breakfast. As luck would have it, this place wasn't open for breakfast, but was open for lunch. We carried on to Tulum and hade breakfast there, but returned that afternoon.
As well as a restaurant, they had kayaks and snorkeling gear to rent, so we made a day out of it.
It is a little tricky to find this place, drive south from Playa del Carmen, and look for the sign (it is small, and hard to miss).
Carretera 307 north of Tankah, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
I like Captain Rick (in Puerto Adventuras) - where we rent the boat very much.
Pepe in the reception was very nice. HE even asked me how to write his name in Chinese.
We caught a marlin! if the mahi mahi did not break the line, we would have caught a mahi mahi too!
May is really a good season to go!
BUT...never rent a small boat 23' - the gasoline smell is horrible! no space to escape! i can bear the big big waves but not the smell :( finally i vomited!
If you get to Cancun at the right time of year (mid February to mid March, you'll have to check for the exact dates because they change yearly), you can get to see the Cancun Carnaval. This is the largest annual festival in Cancun. There are giant parties downtown where locals listen to 3 days of different music and dance most of the night away. Events happen over more than 10 days. Most vacationers aren't aware it's even going on because it's away from the Hotel Zone. I didn't get to hang out through this one, but we drove past the floats as they were setting up. The cab driver told us it's the most fun event of the year. These girls ran over to pose for the camera and I was lucky to get a shot 'cause we were moving so fast.
Want to see how the locals live in Cancun?
Many of the hotel workers live in the Puerto Juarez neighbourhood, 5 minutes north of downtown Cancun. There's a few small local restaurants, churches, a local beach called "Playa Del Nino", and a ferry terminal to Isla Mujeres. Not much shopping here, and it gets more residential the further you go across from the terminal. Some of the tiny metal shack apartments can show you the reality of poverty in Cancun.
Most of the neighbourhood was in ruins because of an El Nino storm a few years ago, but they've slowly started rebuilding. Most impressive is a new tall white spire with a restaurant on top (shaped kind of like a lighthouse).
Directions: North of downtown Cancun on Avenida Bonampak.
Playa Del Nino is a local public beach about 10 minutes north of downtown Cancun in the Puerto Juarez neighbourhood. It is a little further up the road past the ferry terminal.
On a very hot Saturday or Sunday it can be swarming with locals swimming, sunbathing, playing guitars, fishing, and having picnics. A local's idea of beach weather and a tourist's are two different things, so even when it's hot for us it may still be cool for them and the beach may be empty. It's busier in summer.
There are a few rustic beach restaurants (specializing in seafood) where you can order food or sit and have a drink. I'd be very careful eating anything in these restaurants, they're definitely not meant for a tourist's stomach. These places are also bars in the evening.
I think it's named after an "El Nino" storm which ravaged this area and destroyed lots of buildings several years ago. Translated literally it means "Beach of the Boy."
Friends I was with in Cancún wanted to visit a Water Theme Park (with fake statues underwater, imagine!), so I left them there, took the car and went south.
I ended up visiting lots of fishermen towns and beaches, far from the tourist frenzy.
Very peaceful spots, with no Coca-Cola signs or red hot tourists around.
We took a trip to Cozumel while we were in Cancun. We got there by driving to Playa del Carmen and taking the ferry over. Then we rented a beat-up VW bug to discover the island of Cozumel. Found a fantastic place to go snorkeling, and also an amazing "triple blowhole!"
Our travel agent told described the accomdations here as luxury but they were a bit less impressive...more
I believe that most everyone that posted positivie comments either on this site or Trip Advisor had...more
The hotel is great and everything went fine on my stay. The staff is friendly, the rooms are...more