The Yucatan Peninsula is one of the best places in Mexico to rent a car and explore independently. Because the peninsula might be home to some of the most-visited attractions in Mexico! But it is easy to get away from the crowds once you’ve got your own wheels! So put on your seat-belt and let’s explore on this self-drive Yucatan adventure!
On this sample itinerary we’ve combined some of the Yucatan’s best-known sites with a few of its lesser known wonders. Start with a visit to the magnificent ruins of Chichen Itza! Then, continue to Merida, the capital of the Yucatan and one of our favourite Mexican cities! With stunning colonial architecture, a rich cultural scene and some of Mexico’s best cuisine, we’re sure you will fall in love too!
From Merida the road takes you to the UNESCO Heritage listed city of Campeche, another colonial gem. After exploring the walled city, you’ll be heading into the heart of the Peten Basin. This jungle clad region contains a wealth of little-visited ruins. Not to mention the famed wildlife of the region, including howler monkeys and tropical birds.
From there you’ll head out to the Caribbean coast to finish with a few days lounging on the white sandy beaches of the Riviera Maya. Alternatively, if you’re still keen for more adventures, why not head to Cozumel or Isla Mujeres for a day of snorkelling? Or for history buffs there are several Maya ruins nearby.
But for the perfect self-drive Yucatan, contact one of our Travel Specialists! Because everyone is different and there are countless ways to self-drive the Yucatan! We’ll design the itinerary and book your accommodation – you just hit the road and enjoy. Ask about a stay at one of the beautiful historic haciendas along the way!
Transfer to your hotel on arrival. Stay overnight.
Your guide will accompany you to pick up your rental car this morning. Drive to Chichen Itza (about 3hrs) where your accommodation is confirmed. We suggest a stop in Valladolid en route.
Make sure you’re up early to explore Chichen Itza before it gets too hot! Chichen Itza’s most impressive sights and structures are located in the central zone. Here you’ll find the Ball Court, several platforms, temples and the spectacular Pyramid of Kukulkan – a massive 25m stone representation of the Maya calendar.
Drive to Merida (around 2hrs). After checking into your hotel explore Mexico’s second-largest historical centre.
A day at leisure to explore the extraordinary ruins of Uxmal – one of the largest archaeological sites in the Yucatan (around 1.5 hrs drive). Highlights include the Pyramid of the Magician and the Quadrangle of the Nuns.
Drive to Campeche (around 2.5hrs drive). Spend the afternoon exploring the walled city centre and beautifully restored buildings.
Drive to the Calakmul Biosphere this morning (around 3hrs) and check into the Puerto Calakmul Hotel.
A day at leisure to visit the main archaeological sites of the region: Calakmul, Xpuhjil, Becan, Chicanna, Balamku, Hormigueros and Rio Bec.
Drive to Tulum in the morning (about 4hrs). We recommend a stop en route at the spectacular Laguna Bacalar to see the ‘lagoon of seven colours’
A day at leisure to relax on the beach or visit Tulum ruins, the only Maya ruins built on the coast.
Drive to Cancun Airport and return your rental car.