2 weeks in Mexico: The Perfect 14-15 days Itinerary


Mexico Itinerary: 2 Weeks – Best Things to Do in 14, 15 or 16 Days

Want to visit Mexico in 2 weeks?

Great idea!

Mexico is a huge country with a countless number of impressive archaeological, cultural, and natural sites.

To help you organize your trip, here is my 14 or 15 day itinerary in Mexico to see the best sights of the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.

The trip starts with the Yucatan Peninsula in Cancun, and then takes you inland to Ek Balam, the famous Chichen Itza, Merida, and Campeche.

On the second part of the trip, you will arrive in Chiapas where you will discover Palenque, Bonampak, and Yaxchilan.

Then, you will visit San Cristobal de las Casas, Balamkú, and the ancient Mayan city of Calakmul hidden in the jungle.

Finally, you will return to the Riviera Maya to enjoy the famous beaches of Tulum, before heading to Cancun.

At each stage I will share with you all my practical tips and my best recommendations for accommodation, according to your budget.

Let’s get into it: What are the best things to do in Mexico in 2 weeks?

1) Cancun (1 day)

Since there are many direct international flights to Cancun, this resort city with its beautiful beaches is the perfect starting point for this itinerary.

For your 2 weeks road trip in Mexico, I recommend renting a car: this way you can travel at your own pace and discover all the secrets that this country has to offer.

And if you prefer to travel by public transport, I also provide you with all the information you need to organize your trips between the different stages of the itinerary.

So, go to your hotel to drop off your luggage and enjoy Cancun because you are leaving tomorrow!

Here are my suggestions for activities in Cancun:

  • Enjoy Cancun’s beaches such as Tortugas, Los Delfines, Playa Langosta, Playa Linda, Playa Caracol, and Playa Marlin.
  • As for cultural visits, I recommend the Mayan Museum and the archaeological site El Rey.
  • Snorkeling or diving at the MUSA (Underwater Museum of Cancun). – you can book the tour here!

Cancun is also considered the best place to party in Mexico!

You can go to the City Nightclub (the biggest nightclub in the country!), the famous Coco Bongo Club, or just stroll around the Party Zone on Kukulcan Boulevard to make your choice.

You can buy your tickets to the Coco Bongo Club here or Xoximilco Cancun if you want to discover the Mexican fiesta culture, with mariachis, typical food, and open bar.

Spend the night in Cancun.

My Advice
Cancun is full of amazing things to do and see: don’t miss my ultimate guide to The 30 best things to do in Cancun! 

Arrive at the hotel from Cancun airport:

  • By car: the airport is 30 min from the hotel zone (Carretera Punta Nizuc – Cancun) and 25 min from downtown Cancun (Carretera Cancun – Tulum/Mexico 307 towards Labna).
  • By public transportation: ADO buses leave directly from the airport to downtown and the hotel zone
  • By air-conditioned cab: for a safe and reliable transfer from Cancun airport to your hotel, book your cab now!

Where to stay in Cancun

  • Mayan Monkey Cancun: hostel with a festive atmosphere in Cancun’s hotel zone, very close to the beach and bars. Terrace, outdoor pool, bar with happy hour, air conditioning, ping-pong, good wifi. Private rooms and dorms, from only 24$usd!
  • Bed and Breakfast Pecari: if you are looking for more comfort, I recommend without hesitation this establishment. It is a beautiful Bed and Breakfast located in a quiet street near the city center and the ADO bus station, with a relaxation area by the pool, spacious rooms, and a good breakfast, starting at 50$usd per night!
  • Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites: rooms, suites, and villas for 2 to 12 people with direct access to the beach. Outdoor pool, children’s pool, gym, restaurant, beach bar. Breakfast included, starting at 218$usd per night.
  • The Royal Sands Resort & Spa: spacious rooms and suites with ocean views, in the heart of Cancun’s hotel zone. Large outdoor pool, gym, spa, fine restaurants, sports bar and many activities. All inclusive, starting at 485 $usd per night

My tip
For more options, you can visit my article about the best hotels and resorts in Cancun and find your perfect hotel. Here is the link: Where to stay in Cancun?  

Cancun beach

2) Ek Balam and Chichen Itza (1-2 days)

After enjoying the warm waters of the Caribbean, I suggest you visit the impressive Mayan cities of Ek Balam and Chichen Itza.

In the morning– Head to Ek Balam, which was an important administrative center and an authentic cultural capital of the Mayan Empire.

There are 40 structures including temples and palaces, but the most important and imposing building is the Acropolis: with its 30m high peak, it is the largest pyramid in northern Yucatan.

Climb to the top of the pyramid as the view over the buildings and the surrounding jungle is breathtaking!

My advice
If you are traveling by car, I recommend you make a refreshing stop at the cenotes of Dzitnup (Xkekén and Samulá) or X-Canché before heading from Ek Balam to Chichén Itzá.

Another option, easier if you go by bus, is to make a short visit to Valladolid, a charming and colorful colonial city.

In the afternoon – Head for Chichén Itzá, which was the main religious center of Yucatán in the 10th century.

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, it is a must-see on a two-week trip in Mexico.

What to see in Chichen Itza:

  • The Kukulkan Temple or “El Castillo”, is the main building of Chichen Itza and one of the most important pyramids of the Mayan world
  • The astronomical observatory or “El Caracol” from where the Mayas studied the stars
  • The Mayan ball game, an important ritual game that ended in sacrifice, and which has the largest playing field in Mesoamerica
  • Nights of Kukulkan: this is a night show of sound and light (starting at 7 or 8 pm, depending on the season)

I recommend reading Chichén Itzá: the definitive guide + My tips

If you go on your own, it is best to finish the day in Mérida and spend the night there.

If you go with a tour from Cancun, you will be taken back to your hotel in Cancun. The next day you can take an ADO bus from Cancun to Merida (4h30).

Getting to Ek Balam and Chichen Itza from Cancun:

Ek Balam is 173km from Cancun.

  • By car (2h50), take the 180 or 180D (with tolls), then the 295.
  • By public transportation, you must take an ADO bus bus to Valladolid (2h10), then a cab at the corner of Calle 44 and 35 (colectivo or private 250 pesos, 30 min).
  • Chichén Itzá is 68 km from Ek Balam. By car (1h), take route 295 to return to 180D towards Mérida, then 79 (exit Chichén Itzá/Pisté).
  • By public transport, from Valladolid take an ADO bus or colectivo (the stop is located next to the bus station) that will drop you at the entrance of Chichén Itzá (50 min).

Getting to Mérida from Chichén Itzá:

By ADO bus (2 hours, leaving at 4:30 pm, tickets can be purchased at the Chichén Itzá store) or, if you go by car (1h25) taking highway 180D.

My advice
If you are not traveling by car, a practical option is to visit Ek Balam and Chichen Itza with a guided tour.

I recommend this tour with pick up at your hotel, with entrance fees, breakfast and lunch, and a stop at the Hubiku cenote. Excellent value for money, book it here:

Where to stay in Mérida

These are my suggestions of hotels in Mérida:

  • Nomadas: the best hostel in Merida with a very nice atmosphere, located in the center of Merida. It has a swimming pool surrounded by hammocks and plants, possibility of classes (yoga, cooking classes, etc.). Starting at only 18$usd per night!
  • El Gran Hotel: ideally located in the very center of Merida, right next to the cathedral. It is a very charming hotel, where time seems to have stopped with its colonial look and beautiful woodwork. There’s a restaurant, the rooms are spacious and the wifi works well. Good value for money, starting at only 59$usd per night!
  • Hotel Hacienda Merida VIP: this small, luxurious hotel is the ideal place to spend a few romantic days in Merida. Located in the historic center, it is an elegant hacienda-style building, illuminated by candlelight at nightfall. Here you will find a charming swimming pool, comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and a bar. Starting at 165 $usd per night
  • Hotel Boutique Mérida Santiago: this is a small, comfortable hotel with a colorful hacienda look, modern and with a traditional Mexican touch. There’s a swimming pool with sun loungers and umbrellas. With excellent homemade breakfasts and spacious rooms, it is the ideal hotel if you are looking for comfort without falling into luxury. Starting at 197 $usd per night
Pirámide de Kukulcán, in Chichen Itzá

3) Campeche (2 days)

Day 1Merida, Uxmal & Kabah

In the morning, start the day off by visiting the beautiful colonial city of Merida, capital of the state of Yucatan.

Visit the Plaza Grande and its historic buildings with free admission such as the Macay Museum, the Cathedral and the Montejo Mansion.

Then head to Calle 64, the best place to admire its colorful houses.

A visit to the local market is also a must to discover the best of traditional Yucatecan cuisine.

In the afternoon, continue your 15 days trip in Mexico to Uxmal, one of the largest cities in the Yucatan Peninsula.

This Puuc-style Mayan city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands out for the richness of the details of its constructions.

The archaeological site is dominated by the Pyramid of the Magician, built in honor of the rain god Chaac, but there are other interesting attractions such as the Palace of the Governor, the Nunnery Quadrangle, and the Great Pyramid.

After finishing the visit of Uxmal, we will go to Kabáh, another Puuc-style Mayan archaeological site, smaller and much less touristic.

Mon conseil
I recommend visiting Kabáh only if you follow this 2-week itinerary by car or by taking a tour, as there is no public transportation between Uxmal and Kabáh.

Regarding public transportation there is one exception: on Sundays, a bus leaves Merida at 8 am and passes through the 5 archaeological sites of the Puuc road (Labná, Xlapak, Sayil, Kabáhand Uxmal). Each stop takes about 30 minutes, except Uxmal 2 hours.

The bus returns to Merida at 4 pm.

In the late afternoon, head to Campeche to spend the night there.

Getting to Uxmal and Kabah from Mérida:

Uxmal is 80 km from Merida. Kabah is 20 km from Uxmal.

  • By car: take Federal Highway 261 towards Santa Elena (1h10).
  • By public transportation: 1 departure at 9h05 with the second class bus at the TAME terminal, 1 return at 15h
  • Book a tour: this is the best option if you don’t have a car, as it includes pick up at your hotel in Merida, a guided visit to Uxmal (with some free time) and Kabah:
The Pirámide del Adivino in Uxmal

Day 2 Campeche and Edzná

Continue your 15 days road trip in Mexico by discovering the historic center of the city of Campeche, capital of the state of Campeche.

Start at the Baluarte San Francisco. Walk along the city walls, contemplate it from the top, and take great pictures!

Continue to the Baluarte San Carlos to visit the city museum, or head straight to the Museum of Maya Architecture, which contains some magnificent treasures.

Stroll around the main plaza where you will find the cathedral, El Palacio cultural center, and Casa No. 6.

The trip through Mexico continues to Edzná, one of the most important Mayan sites in Yucatán.

It was one of the most developed pre-Columbian cities in Mexico, with great political, economic, and religious power!

Among other monuments you will discover the Gran Acropolis with the Pyramid of the Five Floors (Piramide de Los Cinco Pisos), the Small Acropolis, the Temple of the Masks, and the Palace.

In addition to being well preserved, Edzná receives relatively few tourists, making it possible to throw yourself into the past by getting immersed in its atmosphere.

Getting to Edzná from Campeche:

  • By car: take the China-Hool highway to get to highway 188 (47min)
  • By public transportation: take a local bus near the market on Calle Chihuahua (1h)

Where to stay in Campeche

  • Melisa Hostal: very well located hostel in a beautiful typical house in the center of Campeche, friendly staff, with a small pool, access to a kitchen, and very clean and comfortable mattresses. Bed in shared room, from only 20 $usd per night
  • Casa Serena Beautiful Colonial Loft: a spacious apartment in the center of Campeche that offers excellent value for money. With air conditioning, a living room, kitchen, terrace, good wifi with breakfast included. Sleeps 2 to 4 people, starting at 125 $usd per night
  • Boutique Hotel Casa Don Gustavo: an elegant 18th century manor house completely restored on a pedestrian street in downtown Campeche. A beautiful blend of modernity and colonial decor, with comfortable air-conditioned rooms. Wifi, outdoor pool, jacuzzi and a very tasty à la carte breakfast await guests. Starting at 65 $usd!
Edificio de los Cinco Pisos Edzná
The Edificio de los Cinco Pisos in Edzná

4) Palenque (2 days)

Day 1 – The ruins of Palenque

To continue this 15-day road trip through Mexico, we leave the Yucatan Peninsula to explore the state of Chiapas.

Strategically located between the mountains and the coast, Palenque was an important trading post, which allowed it to establish strategic relationships with other major cities such as Tikal in Guatemala.

Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, today it is one of the most important destinations in Mexico.

The city is hidden in the jungle and offers a unique scenery with the sound of monkeys screeching in the background.

It is estimated that only 10% of the site is visible, but there is still a lot to see in Palenque:

  • The museum of Palenque, which is very complete and allows you to understand the importance of the site and its local culture.
  • The Palace, the largest complex in the city with houses, courtyards, etc…
  • The Temple of the Inscriptions and its pyramid that housed the funerary chamber of the Governor K’inich Janaab’ Pakal whose impressive reproduction is in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
  • The Temple of the Cross Complex, which includes the Temple of the Cross, the Temple of the Sun, and the Temple of the Foliated Cross

You can read my guide: How to visit the archaeological site of Palenque

Entrance fee to the ruins of Palenque: 80 pesos (museum included)

Night in Palenque

Getting to Palenque from Campeche:

Palenque is 360 km from Campeche, so it is best to leave early in the morning.

  • By car: take highway 180D, then highway 186 towards Villahermosa (4h30).
  • By public transportation: 6 hours, departures with ADO and OCC buses at 00:30, 2:35, 11:00, 21:45, 23:30. It is better to prioritize night buses to avoid wasting the day. The bus station is a 10 minute walk away from downtown.

The ruins of Palenque are only 9 km from the city of Palenque.

  • By car (16 min): just follow the Palenque Archaeological Zone Highway.
  • By public transportation: colectivos run constantly back and forth between the city and the ruins, 25 pesos.
Palenque Archaeological Zone in Chiapas

Day 2– Bonampak and Yaxchilán

In the surroundings of Palenque are also located the archaeological sites of Bonampak and Yaxchilan.

Bonampak, “painted walls” in Mayan, has beautiful murals from the 8th century. Its Temple of the Murals consists of three rooms depicting the daily life at the time (priests and nobles, war and prisoners, human sacrifices, dancers, traditions, etc.).

These murals are priceless as they are the most complete representation of a pre-Hispanic civilization discovered to date! Yaxchilan, located on the banks of the Usumacinta River, was an important city that dominated the region.

It is famous for its sculptures considered masterpieces of Mayan art. The site has palaces and temples around the main square with a terrace overlooking the river.

  • Bonampak: entrance to the Lacanjá community is 30 pesos and entrance to the archaeological site is 80 pesos. Please note that you cannot access the archaeological site by car, you must take the community van to the entrance (400 pesos round trip for 1 to 4 people)!
  • Yaxchilán: entrance to the Frontera Corozal community is 30 pesos, entrance to the archaeological site is 70 pesos

Visiting Bonampak and Yaxchilán from Palenque

  • You can visit both sites on your own (by car, not public transport), but the roads are not very well marked and most of the trip is through the jungle, so there is NO network signal.
  • In addition, Yaxchilán is NOT accessible by car. You have to reach Frontera Corozal by highway 307, and then embark on a boat (40min) on the Usumacinta river (round trip 1000 pesos for 2 persons, or 2000 pesos for 6 persons).
  • It is also important to note that highway 307 should be avoided after dark!

Due to all the above reasons, the best option is to reach the site on a day tour from Palenque.

I recommend this tour, which includes hotel pick-up, a guide, and entrance to the sites and river cruise. It also includes breakfast and lunch! A complete tour, which you can book right here:

Night in Palenque.
Bonampak murals. Photo Mando Barista

Where to stay in Palenque

  • Mitico El Castillo: the most unusual hotel that looks like a movie decor. It’s a castle that houses a room, a shared room, a swimming pool, and a kitchen. This is the best cheap hotel in Palenque, starting at only 14 $usd for a bedroom or 38 $usd for a room!
  • Cabañas Kin Balam Palenque: another budget hotel in Palenque that has the advantage of being in the jungle, with fruit trees and exotic animal sounds and within walking distance of the ruins. Includes a pool and a restaurant, starting at only 24 $usd for a dorm or 43$usd for a private room!
  • Adriana Villas: an oasis of tranquility ideal for couples, with rooms and villas in the jungle, a swimming pool, hammocks, large gardens, and a rooftop terrace. With delicious breakfasts included, starting at 80 $usd per night!
  • Chan Kah Resort village: ideal for relaxing during a family trip to Palenque, offering excellent value for money. Bungalows for 2 to 4 people, 2 large natural pools, a bar, restaurant and spa, from only 100$ usd for a bungalow!

5) San Cristobal de las Casas (2 days)

Day 1 – In the morning, leave in the direction of San Cristobal de las Casas, one of the great must-sees of a 2-week trip in Mexico.

To avoid rushing, I suggest dedicating the whole day to the trip.

Along the way, you will find several must-see places in Chiapas, such as:

  • Misol Ha: this is a beautiful hot waterfall where you can bathe – you can even go behind the waterfall to explore the cave! Entrance is 30 pesos, entrance to the cave is 10 pesos
  • Cascadas de Agua Azul: located in a biosphere reserve, these small waterfalls of opaque blue water offer a magnificent spectacle and a perfect place to take pictures. Entrance fee is 80 pesos (2 different tickets of 40 pesos)
  • Toniná: a Mayan city with a 75m pyramid; it is higher than the pyramid of the sun at Teotihuacán. The view from the top is magnificent! Entrance fee: 70 pesos

Getting to San Cristobal de las Casas from Palenque:

  • By car: take Highway 199 via Ocosingo (5 hours). Misol-Ha and Agua Azul are on Highway 199. In the case of Tonina, you will have to turn onto Highway 218 in Ocosingo.
  • By public transport, direct to San Cristobal: bus departures at 5am and 8 am (200 pesos – 368 pesos, 9h trip).
  • By public transport, with stops: to go to Misol-Ha (50 pesos) and Agua Azul (80 pesos), take a colectivo in the direction of Ocosingo and tell the driver where you are going. To get to Tonina, take a colectivo (15 pesos) from Ocosingo.

Day 2 – Visit San Cristobal de las Casas and its surroundings. It’s a colonial city bursting with color and is a must stop destination on a 2 week stay in Mexico! Start the day visiting two traditional Tzotzil villages:

  • Zinacantán is known for the beauty of its colorful and flowery handicrafts. You will learn about the traditional weaving techniques. Also, don’t miss the church of San Lorenzo in the main square.
  • San Juan Chamula is known for its mystical church. Once inside, you will be able to contemplate an impressive religious syncretism (Catholic and Mayan). Please show respect and do NOT take pictures, it is frowned upon by the community!

Return to San Cristobal de las Casas.

For lunch, nothing like the pedestrian street Real de Guadalupe, which is home to nice restaurants, many of them with terraces.

After lunch, head up to the Guadalupe Church, then head to the Textile Center of the Maya World (Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya). It houses a collection of 500 magnificent pieces of Maya textiles, mostly from Chiapas and Guatemala.

You can also take a stroll through the handicrafts market, which is located next to the entrance.

Finally, don’t miss the Zócalo, the city’s lively central square.

Spend the night in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Getting to San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán from San Cristóbal:

  • By car: for San Juan Chamula, take the highway Puerto Caté-San Cristóbal (23 min), and the height of Zinacantán turn off at km9 to Calzada Juárez/Zinacantán (24 min).
  • By public transport: by colectivo (15 pesos) departing from the municipal market.
  • By day trip: this is the option I have personally chosen and the one I highly recommend. Not only because of the ease of transportation, but also because the guide provided us with very interesting information about these communities, which are quite closed to the outside world.

I suggest this tour to Zinacantan and San Juan Chamula from San Cristobal.

The price includes transportation and a visit to both villages, a demonstration of traditional textile and tortilla making, as well as a viruela (brandy) tasting. You can book it here:

Where to stay in San Cristóbal de las Casas

  • The Coffee Bean Hostel: a very cozy hostel with nice common areas, a restaurant and bar, a garden, terrace with hammocks, pool tables and several breakfast options, starting at 12 $usd in a shared dorm!
  • Parador Margarita: only 3 blocks from the main square and the bus station, it is a small haven of peace with a garden and very comfortable beds. Wifi and breakfast are included, only 46 $usd per night!
  • Hotel Diego de Mazariegos: a magnificent 18th century mansion with a preserved Mexican colonial style, a charming interior courtyard with a fountain and classic decoration in warm tones. The hotel has two restaurants and a bar. Wifi and breakfast included, from only 73 $usd per night!
  • Casa Lum Hotel Boutique my favourite accommodation in San Cristobal de las Casas! It is a small and sophisticated hotel decorated between modernity and traditional design. Includes a great restaurant, a terrace with a panoramic view over the city and a garden. A few steps from the main square, it is the ideal place for lovers, from 164 $usd per night!
The Catedral de San Cristóbal in Las Casas. Photo Marcos Ferro

6) Balamkú and Calakmul (2 days)

To continue this 14-15 days stay in Mexico, you will have to retrace your steps a bit to get back to Cancun.

Day 1 – Visit the archaeological site of Balamkú

It is surrounded by a dense jungle, containing several constructions, among them the House of the Four Kings.

Its main attraction is the Frieze of the Four Kings, a 16 meter long piece representing the universe and its balance with jaguars, snakes, and a lizard.

My advice
Balamkú is a 9-hour drive from San Cristóbal. If you leave early, you can do the visit the same day because the site is quite small and you can go around quickly.

But if you are running late, go directly to Xpujil. The next day, you can combine the visit to Balamku with Calakmul, if you wish.

Spend the night in Xpujil.

Getting to Xpujil from San Cristóbal de las Casas:

The main town near Calakmul is Xpujil, which has a gas station and hotels.

  • By car: back to the 199 Highway (towards Ocosingo and Palenque) then follow Villahermosa – Chetumal/Mexico 186 (10h)
  • By public transport: take an OCC or AD bus. San Cristobal – Palenque (9h) then Palenque-Xpujil (6h)

Day 2 – Visit to Calakmul, biosphere reserve and UNESCO World HeritageSite.

Calakmul was one of the most powerful cities of the Mayan world and at its peak had more than 50,000 inhabitants in a territory of 20 km².

It is an incredible place to explore, as there are very few tourists and you are allowed to climb to the top of the pyramids– a great way to feel like a real adventurer!

In Calakmul, you should not miss Structure II, a 50m pyramid, which is one of the most important pyramids in the Mayan world.

Structure I, a 40m high pyramid, also offers a breathtaking view!

After the visit, departure to Tulum for the night.

My advice
I recommend arriving at Calakmul at the topening time at 8am because the sounds of the jungle are impressive.

The visit should last between 3 and 4 hours, so if you arrive early, you can easily get to Tulum before sunset.

If you have time, you can also visit 3 Mayan sites along the way: Becan, Xpujil and Chicanná.

Getting to Calakmul from Xpujil:

Calakmul is inside the reserve, 60 km from the highway entrance. You have two options:

  • By car (2h12) via Calakmul/Villahermosa – Chetumal/CAM 269, then turn left towards Campeche Conhuas-Calakmul Zona Arqueológica.
  • Book the shuttle that makes the round trip to Calakmul, leaving at 7h with a minimum of 3 passengers

Where to stay in Calakmul

Here are some of the best accommodations in Xpujil:

  • Coa de Collar: great budget option in Xpujil with simple, but clean and well-located rooms, close to restaurants and supermarkets. Miguel, the owner, is a tour guide, which is very helpful. From 40 $usd a night
  • Ecohabitat: a small country house surrounded by vegetation. It is comfortable, very clean, with a very nice welcome. In the morning they bring you breakfast on the veranda, or if you prefer they prepare it to take away. Delicious breakfast included, from 70 $usd per night
  • Casa Kaan: comfortable cabins with air conditioning, terrace and kitchen, in the middle of nature. It is an ecological lodging that works with solar energy, has several fruit trees and the residues are used as fertilizer for the vegetable garden. Breakfast included, from 98 $usd
Ancient Maya City of Calakmul

7) Tulum (2 days)

Drastic change of scenery for this great leg of your 13, 14 or 15 days Mexico trip, as we return to the Riviera Maya.

Tulum is a dream enclave, with its long white sand beaches, its famous Mayan ruins facing the Caribbean Sea and its bohemian and sophisticated atmosphere.

Day 1– Start with a visit to the Tulum Archaeological Zone.

Afterwards, go cool off in a Mayan cenote. To help you choose, here is my guide to the best cenotes in Tulum.

For lunch, head to the Tulum Beach Strip, where you can find lots of restaurants and nice stores. Now it’s time to enjoy the beach!

With their fine sand and clear waters, Tulum’ s beaches are postcard-worthy. I recommend Playa Paraiso or Xpu-Ha, or the less touristy Xcacel located in a nature reserve.

At night, Tulum is the perfect place to party and have a drink!

Spend the night in Tulum.

Getting to Tulum from Xpujil:

  • By car: take Highway 186 towards Chetumal and then Highway 307 Chetumal/Cancun (4 hours).
  • By public transportation: there are only 2 bus departures at 11:00 am and 11:55 pm (4h35 hours trip).

Day 2 Explore the Sian Ka’an reserve near Tulum.

At the same time a Natural Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is an immense paradise of biodiversity with an area of more than 5000km².

The two main access points are Muyil and Punta Allen, which offer two very different experiences.

Punta Allen is ideal for enjoying the beach, saltwater lakes, scuba diving in the coral reefs, and even dolphin watching.

  • To get to Punta Allen it is necessary to travel in a high-clearance vehicle. It is also feasible to go by public transportation, but it is long and takes more than a day.
  • The best option to visit Punta Allen from Tulum is to sign up for a day tour. I recommend this tour which includes transfer from your hotel, a boat ride (3h) to watch dolphins and turtles, free time to enjoy the water, and lunch. You can book it directly here:

Muyil offers the opportunity to explore the interior of the reserve and see freshwater lagoons, swamps, and Mayan ruins.

  • Muyil is much closer to Tulum and the visit can easily be done in a short trip. By public transport, take an ADO bus to Chunyaxché and get off at Muyil (20min).
  • You can also take a tour from Tulum. I recommend this guided tour which includes transfer from the hotel, lunch, the ruins of Muyil, and a boat ride on the freshwater lagoons. Book it here:

Where to stay in Tulum

  • Mayan Monkey Tulum: an excellent value for money. Nice modern hostel with a good atmosphere, a pool, bar and garden. Including fast wifi, kitchen access, yoga classes, coworking spaces, and bike and motorcycle rentals. Dorms and private rooms starting at only 24 $usd per night.
  • Casa Almendro: if you are looking for a little more comfort, you will like this small cheap hotel in the center of Tulum. It’s a green oasis with a rooftop terrace with chairs and hammocks. There are king size beds and breakfast is included, from only 50 $usd per night!
  • Diamante K: is a high-end hotel but at a very fair price, which is exceptional in Tulum, especially for a hotel with direct access to the beach in the hotel zone! Bohemian chic atmosphere, including a restaurant, hammocks and beds on the private beach, and a massage service. Bungalows are 207 $usd per night.
  • Habitas Tulum: this small eco-friendly hotel with a chic design is ideal for a romantic stay in Tulum. It is a true oasis of peace, hidden among the palm trees, with a magnificent swimming pool and a private beach. There are also yoga classes on the terrace at sunset. From 371 $usd per night!
  • Kanan Tulum- Adults Only: this is the ultimate option for a luxury stay in Tulum. It is an ecological hotel for adults only, located on a beautiful private beach with hammocks and beds. With a fantastic rooftop terrace with a bar; the hotel also has an excellent restaurant, great rooms and a very friendly welcome. From 566 $usd per night!
The archaeological site of Tulum facing the sea

8) Cancun (1 day)

To complete your 15 days itinerary in Yucatan and Chiapas, you will have to return to Cancun, as it is the only international airport nearby.

If you have time, you can take the opportunity to visit the beaches of Cancun, the archaeological site El Meco, the Mayan Museum, or Kukulkan Avenue.

Getting to Cancun from Tulum:

  • By car: follow Highway 307 along the Riviera Maya in the direction of Cancun (1h50).
  • By public transportation: it is best to take the ADO bus, there are several departures a day (2h). You can also go by colectivo, but you have to take 2 colectivos (Tulum-Playa del Carmen 45 pesos + Playa del Carmen-Tulum 42 pesos) and they make many stops.

2 weeks in Yucatan and Chiapas road trip: My Tips

Here are my last tips to get the most out of your trip:

  • If you prefer a more leisurely trip during your 2 week vacation in Mexico, you can eliminate some of the stops (such as Bonampak, San Cristobal or Calakmul).
  • Before hitting the road, be sure to download GPS maps to your device as there is not always a network signal
  • Avoid driving at night! This warning is even more valid in Chiapas, especially on stretches 199 (between Palenque and San Cristóbal de las Casas) and 307 (between Palenque and Bonampak, Yaxchilán)
  • If you are traveling with the ADO bus, it is best to buy your tickets in advance on the website as they are cheaper than what they would cost you once on site.
  • You should carry cash as many sites do not accept cards and ATMs are not always easy to find!

When to travel to Mexico?

It all depends on your itinerary, as Mexico is a huge and very diverse country. If you are following this 2-week itinerary in Mexico, it is best to go between November and April, as this is also the dry season.

In general, I do not recommend doing the trip during the rainy and hurricane season, which is between July and October (the month with the highest possibility of hurricanes is September).

You want to rent a car in Mexico?

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore Mexico and make the most of your stay!

While it’s not super useful to visit the city, having a car is a must to discover the rest of the country.

To rent a car, personally, I always use Booking.com Cars, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Booking Cars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

How to find the best price for your flight ticket

To save money on flight tickets, you can use our flight comparator for Mexico, in partnership with Skyscanner: it’s the guarantee to pay the best price for your international and domestic flights!

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in Mexico? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Mexico: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Mexico are listed there.

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I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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