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General itinerary suggestions

Boulder, Colorado
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General itinerary suggestions

Hi all,

First time on this forum. My wife and I are planning a trip to the YP and the Tulum area in mid-to-late July. We will have 9 days total. We are in our mid-30s and are active. We enjoy the outdoors and nature. Swimming, snorkeling, viewing wildlife and hiking are among our favorite activities. We enjoy a little beach time but get bored beyond a few hours in the sand. We don't love cities, however, we do like soaking in a little culture and eating out. Not really into shopping and our "nightlife" generally consists of a couple of cocktails at an outdoor bar. The following is a general outline of our plan. We will have a rental car for the duration of our trip.

Day 1:

12:30 arrive in Cancun airport. Go through customs, etc., get rental car, drive to Puerto Juarez/park. Take ferry to Isla Mujeres. Check in to hotel in north end of island, get acquainted with the area.

Day 2:

Swim with whale sharks via tour from Isla Mujeres, log in a little beach time at the end of the day. Stay the night at hotel.

Day 3: Check out of hotel, take ferry back to Puerto Juarez. Pick up rental car, drive to Tulum, check into hotel in the pueblo of Tulum, explore the city a bit.

Day 4: Tulum area: Cenotes/beach/ruins/Sian Ka'an/any other suggestions?

Day 5: Tulum area: Cenotes/beach/ruins/Sian Ka'an/any other suggestions?

Day 6: Check out of Tulum pueblo hotel, grab lunch, drive to/check in at jungle eco-cabana on route 109.

Day 7: Tulum area: Cenotes/beach/ruins/Sian Ka'an/any other suggestions?

Day 8: Tulum area: Cenotes/beach/ruins/Sian Ka'an/any other suggestions?

Day 9: Check out of eco-cabana, drive back to Cancun airport, head home.

A few questions:

1) Is our itinerary doable? Beyond the whale sharks, we don't want to spend much time on Isla Mujeres, but even so, are we still rushing it?

2) I was thinking that staying in Tulum pueblo before staying in the jungle outside might be nice because we can familiarize ourselves with local restaurants and grocery stores on foot. Once in the jungle, we will be reliant on our rental car, so I thought it would be helpful to already know the area a bit to avoid parking hassles, etc. Would you suggest we go pueblo and then jungle (as I currently have planned), or go jungle-pueblo?

3) As far as the 6 nights of accommodation in the Tulum area go, I currently have a 3-3 split for pueblo-jungle. Is there enough to keep us busy in the pueblo to keep the 3-3 split or should I change it to 2 pueblo, 4 jungle? We'd like to explore Coba and the smaller towns in between Coba and Tulum as well, if time permits.

4) Any must-do suggestions or ideas for the Tulum area that I have overlooked?

Thanks in advance for any input.

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Tulum
Tulum
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Cancun Airport
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Cancun, Mexico
Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico
14 replies to this topic
San Diego...
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1. Re: General itinerary suggestions

Hi,

1.) Your itinerary is doable. Isla Mujeres is quite small and can be explored in a day or so. Another option would be to rent a golf cart and drive around the island.

2.) Staying in the Pueblo is an interesting idea. I think you're good to go to stay in the pueblo first then venture out into the jungle.

3.) Keep the 3-3 split there is enough to do in the general region to explore Tulum Ruins, Coba, and several cenotes such as Gran Cenote, Sac Atun, Multum Ha, Choo Ha, etc.

4.) Maybe take a drive south to visit the turquoise waters of Lake Bacalar? Perhaps you can do some SUP or explore another cenote down there.

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Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Tulum
Tulum
Riviera Maya, Mexico
New Jersey
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2. Re: General itinerary suggestions

I would just take a transfer up to Puerto Juarez rather than park your rental car up there wasting money for a day. And I would book two full days on Isla in case the weather makes it so you can't do your shark trip on the first day. That's a lesson I learned years ago--they won't go out if it's too rough, and what a bummer if you've gone all that way and can't go out. So plan two days on Isla, it's a neat place. Rent a golf cart and head to the southern tip to see the sculpture park, visit the turtle hospital/sanctuary. Then, I'd probably take the bus down to Tulum and rent your car down there. Bus or cab from the ferry to the main bus depot in Cancun centro, then pick up the ADO bus to Tulum, it'll be pretty fast and comfortable and cheap, like 2 hour ride.

Then rent your car in Tulum. Just curious, what eco-cabana on route 109? Is route 109 the road to Coba? Are you out in Marcario Gomez?

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Riviera Maya, Mexico
Cancun
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Quintana Roo, Mexico
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Cancun, Mexico
Cozumel, Mexico
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3. Re: General itinerary suggestions

I was also curious about where you're staying in "the jungle" .

Boulder, Colorado
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4. Re: General itinerary suggestions

Thanks for the replies. Good things to consider.

Hmm. The car rental piece is proving to be a bit tricky. The reason I'm planning on renting the car at CUN and driving to PJ, and then from PJ down to Tulum (basically letting it sit for 3 days at PJ) is that we'll save heaps by renting the car for the entire duration of our stay (from arrival to departure). In fact, it's virtually free in our Travelocity package if we rent it for the entire time. Even incurring 3 days worth of parking fees at Puerto Juarez, I'm not sure how we'd save money by paying to transfer from CUN to PJ, then taking a bus down to Tulum after staying on IM, finding a rental company down there, and renting a car separately for the Tulum portion of our trip. I don't think Travelocity offers car rental for a portion of the trip.

Is the drive from CUN to PJ a difficult trek, one that I shouldn't consider doing?

As for the "jungle" part of our stay, we're planing on renting a cabana through Airbnb to get away from the city life for the last 3 nights. There are lots of properties available lining 109 from Tulum all the way up to Coba.

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Tulum
Tulum
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Southern California
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5. Re: General itinerary suggestions

You need to check the details of your rental car pricing very carefully with Travelocity. It is quite likely they are not including the necessary insurance. A standard small sedan with full insurance through a local company like Easyway, America Car Rental, Avant, etc. should cost about $40-45 per day.

I've read too many stories on here about folks who rented from third party brokers and got to the rental car office only to get a nasty surprise about the actual costs.

Philadelphia...
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6. Re: General itinerary suggestions

Sounds like 8 nights...spending any of them beachfront? Jungle and pueblo are wonderful to explore, but the sundown/sunrise on the beach is Tulum at it’s most magical. Really great advice from other posters. Enjoy!

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7. Re: General itinerary suggestions

"You need to check the details of your rental car pricing very carefully with Travelocity. " Totally agree, You are likely in for a surprise if you believe a thiird party site like Travelocity. Agree. when all is said and done, you will likely pay about 40 dollars per day for a basic car.

New Jersey
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8. Re: General itinerary suggestions

No, the drive is not difficult from CUN to PJ, though there can be a lot of traffic and annoyance. But I will agree with the other posters to be very careful renting a car through a third-party agency like Travelocity. It may well work out just fine, but we've heard a lot of issues over the years with folks showing up and either not having a car for them or none of the right insurances covered, etc. Just curious, how much is Travelocity charging for the car? Do they include insurance?

I don't mean to veer this conversation away from your itinerary, but the car rental piece could be important.

Boulder, Colorado
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9. Re: General itinerary suggestions

These are all good points re: the rental car. I've never rented through Travelocity before so this is the first time I've encountered this. Looks like the base "cost" is $2 per day (yes it seems too low to be true but keep in mind that's bundled with flight and a partial hotel stay), which includes $750k mxn insurance. Additional insurance is $11 per day BUT I was planning on waiving it in favor of insurance provided by my credit card company.

Where in town are the bulk of rental car offices in Tulum located? Is it near the central bus station?

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Riviera Maya, Mexico
Southern California
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10. Re: General itinerary suggestions

Do they rent cars in Boulder, CO for $2 per day?

Liability insurance is mandatory in Mexico and the basic coverage is less than $35k USD so you want the supplemental. Liability is not covered by your credit card insurance, only collision, which will reimburse you a few months later with the proper paperwork if you hit a pole or palmtree or a coconut falls and breaks your windshield. Do you feel lucky? Well, do you?

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