Road trip Mexico: The best itineraries for 10, 15, 21 days and 1 month


Visiting Mexico by car: The 4 best road trip itineraries

You’re planning a road trip in Mexico and you’re looking for the best itinerary?

You’ve come to the right place!

Mexico is a huge country that covers an area as big as several European countries combined.

Renting a car is the best way to explore this vast land full of stunning natural and archaeological sites, and stop whenever and wherever you want!

To help you plan your road trip in Mexico, I have prepared 5 itineraries for different durations: 1 week, 10 days, 2 weeks, 3 weeks and 1 month.

And at the end of this guide, I will also give you my list of the best accommodations in Mexico depending on your budget as well as my best tips to enjoy the perfect road trip.

Quick note: if you want to only visit the Yucatan Peninsula during your road trip, you should rather read my other article: Road Trip in Yucatan: The 5 Best Itineraries.

How to choose the best airport for your road trip in Mexico?

The answer depends on how much time you have and what you want to see. You have two main options: start in Mexico City and end in Cancun, or make a loop from Cancun if you only want to explore the Yucatan Peninsula.

You can also do the trip in reverse (Cancun to Mexico City), but personally I think the best way to finish a trip to Mexico is relaxing on the beach 😉

Both Mexico City and Cancun airports have many flights from North America and Europe, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding airline tickets to Mexico!

To get the best deal on plane tickets, I recommend you use our comparison tool in partnership with Skyscanner: It is the best way to pay the lowest price for your international flight and your domestic flights in Mexico!

Rent a car for your roadtrip in Mexico

The best way to discover Mexico and enjoy your stay is to rent a car!

I always use to rent a car, because:

  • 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
  • Rentalcars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

To find your rental car at the lowest price, just click on the green button:

Road trip to Mexico: 10 days

This is the itinerary I recommend you to see the most in a 10 days road trip in Mexico:

To see the complete itinerary with all the details for your 10-day road trip in Mexico, click here: Recommended 10-Day Itinerary in Mexico.

1) Mexico City (2 days)

Mexico City is a wonderful place to visit, with so much to see and do in just two days.

Some of the best things to do in Mexico City in 2 days are:

  • Explore the historic center with the Zocalo, the cathedral, the Templo Mayor, Diego Rivera’s murals in the Palacio Nacional, and the Casa de los Azulejos (House of Tiles)
  • Watch the spectacular show of the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico
  • Browse the San Juan market for exotic foods
  • Visit the famous National Museum of Anthropology and Chapultepec Castle in Chapultepec Park. Buy your tickets here!
  • Discover Frida Kahlo’s Blue House in CoyoacanGet your tickets here! (prior booking is required)
  • Enjoy a boat ride on the Aztec canals of Xochimilco
  • Wander around the trendy neighborhoods of La Roma and La Condesa
  • Experience the lively atmosphere of Plaza Garibaldi
  • Have fun watching Mexican Lucha Libre (wrestling)

Read also: My Ultimate Guide to Mexico City!

If you have some extra time, you should definitely visit Teotihuacan, one of Mexico’s most impressive archaeological sites.

This tour from Mexico City is a great choice, as it includes the hotel pick up, a morning guided tour (to avoid the crowds), as well as a tasting of mezcal, tequila and pulque, three typical Mexican drinks. You can book it here:

Check out: My Complete Guide to Visit Teotihuacan!

Mariachis in Xochimilco

2) San Cristobal de las Casas (3 days)

Head to San Cristobal de las Casas in the State of Chiapas from Mexico.

Day 1 – Discover the city and its attractions.

Day 2 – Visit the stunning El Chiflón waterfalls and the Montebello Lakes National Park, two of the most amazing places in Chiapas.

The journey is quite long, so you may want to join this day tour, which includes hotel pick-up. You can book it here:

You may find these articles interesting:

Day 3The Sumidero Canyon: visit its viewpoints and enjoy a boat ride from Chiapa de Corzo’s dock. – Book the Sumidero Canyon tour here!

The foot of Velo de Novia Waterfall, El Chiflón, Chiapas

3) Palenque (1 day)

The journey from San Cristobal to Palenque takes about 5 to 5h30 so here is my suggestion for making the most of your day:

  • In the morning: stop by the sites of Toniná, Agua Azul, and Misol Ha on your way.
  • Have a lunch break when you reach the city of Palenque
  • In the afternoon: explore the Archaeological Site of Palenque (3 hours)

4) Merida (2 days)

Day 1 – Today you have an 8-hour drive ahead of you.

Depending on your arrival time, explore the city of Merida, the capital of the Yucatan State.

Day 2– Since this 10-day road trip in Mexico by car does not allow you to see everything, I offer you two options:

Option 1: The site of Uxmal one of the most beautiful Mayan sites in the Yucatan. You can also visit the Chocolate museum and the site of Kabah.

Option 2: Celestun is the best place to see flamingos in Mexico! You can spend the day there (beach, ecotourism, etc.)

A colony of pink flamingos in the Celestun reserve.

5) Chichen Itza and Riviera Maya (2-3 days)

Day 1 – In the morning, visit the city of Chichen Itza, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. – Here’s My Definitive Guide to Chichen Itza + Tips!

To avoid the long lines and crowds, book your tickets to Chichen Itza with skip-the-line access here:

In the afternoon, discover the colonial city of Valladolid

Day 2Visit Tulum: the ancient ruins, the stunning beaches like Playa Paraiso and Playa Las Palmas, the amazing cenotes, and more.

Those articles might interest you:

Day 3 – You will have wonderful day in Akumal, the best place to swim with turtles in Mexico!

The beautiful reptiles are protected and that’s why it is mandatory to be in a small group tour with a guide to see them.

You can book the tour here:

You can also enjoy its beautiful beaches and snorkeling in Akumal Bay, Half Moon Bay and Yal Ku Lagoon.

tulum playa
A beach in Tulum

Road trip in Mexico: 2 weeks

For a 2-week road trip in Mexico, you will the most beautiful places in Yucatan and Chiapas: Cancun, Chichen Itza, Merida, Campeche, Palenque, Bonampak and Yaxchilan, San Cristobal de las Casas, Balamku, Calakmul and Tulum.

1) Cancun (1 day)

After picking up your car in Cancun, you can start enjoying your trip: the beaches, the archaeological site El Rey, the Mayan museum.

You can also dive in the MUSA, which is the largest underwater museum in the world, with about 500 sculptures! Book your diving tour here!

If you are looking for some fun nightlife in Cancun, here are some options:

  • City Nightclub (the biggest nightclub in the country!)
  • The famous Coco Bongo Club (get your tickets here)
  • Xoximilco Cancun to enjoy a Mexican party with dancing, mariachis, Mexican food and open bar (beer or tequila). Buy your tickets for Xoximilco here:

xoximilco cancún
Xoximilco Cancun

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

Day 1 Start your 15-day road trip through Mexico by visiting Ek Balam, which was an important capital of the Mayan culture.

After the visit, you can cool off at the Xkeken and Samulá cenotes (which are next to each other), or Cenote X-Canché

In the afternoon, discover Chichén Itzá, a UNESCO world heritage site: the temple of Kukulcán, the astronomical observatory, the Mayan ball game, and more.

  • For more information, take a look at my Complete Guide to Chichen Itza.
  • Chichen Itza can get very crowded. To avoid the long lines, get your skip-the-line tickets here:

The famous site of Chichen Itza in the state of Yucatan

3) Merida, Uxmal and Kabah (1 day)

Start your day by exploring Merida: the Plaza Grande (where you can find the Macay museum, the cathedral, the Casa de Montejo, and the best part is that they are all free😃!), the colorful colonial houses on 64th street, and the local market.

In the afternoon, visit Uxmal, a Maya site famous for its stunning Puuc-style architecture, and then Kabah just 20 min away. You can read: My Complete Guide to Uxmal and Kabah

Head to Campeche for a night stay.

4) Campeche and Edzná (1 day)

Enjoy the beautiful historic center of Campeche: visit the Baluarte San Francisco, Baluarte San Carlos, the Museum of Mayan Architecture, the main square with the cathedral, the cultural center El Palacio and Casa no6.

In the afternoon, explore Edzná, one of the most important Mayan sites in the Yucatán, which is still not very crowded by tourists. You can read: My Complete Guide to Visit Edzná!

campeche yucatán
campeche yucatán

5) Palenque (2 days)

Day 1 – Today you will start a new part of your 15-day road trip through Mexico, as you leave the Yucatan Peninsula and head to Chiapas.

You will need to wake up early, as you have a 5-hour drive ahead of you!

Explore the Archaeological Site of Palenque, which was once an important trading center thanks to its strategic location between the coast and the mountains.

Day 2 Bonampak and Yaxchilán

  • Bonampak is famous for its frescoed murals, the most complete representation of a pre-Hispanic civilization discovered so far!
  • Yaxchilan boasts its sculptures that are masterpieces of Mayan art.

The roads are poorly marked and the signal (for GPS, etc.) in the Lacandon jungle is very weak. Besides, to get to Yaxchilan you have to leave your car and take a boat on the Usumacinta river.

So I suggest you take the guided tour from Palenque, which includes pick-up from your hotel, entrance fees and boat, plus breakfast and lunch.

You can book here:

The Mayan Ruins of Palenque

6) San Cristobal de las Casas (2 days)

Day 1Drive from Palenque to San Cristóbal de las Casas (5h)

On the way you can stop by the waterfalls of Misol Ha and Agua Azul, as well as the Mayan site of Toniná.

Day 2 – Tzotzil villages and San Cristóbal de las Casas

Start the day by visiting Zinacantán and San Juan Chamula, two traditional Tzotzil communities.

You can book the tour from San Cristobal (click here!) which includes demonstration of handicraft techniques and tasting of pox, a liquor from Chiapas.

Go back to San Cristobal de las Casas and explore:

  • Calle Real de Guadalupe with its restaurants and cafes
  • The Church of Guadalupe
  • The Textile Center of theMayan World with its 500 textile pieces from Chiapas and Guatemala
  • The handicrafts market
  • The zocalo with the cathedral

Check out My Complete Guide to San Cristobal de las Casas!

The Cathedral of San Cristobal in Las Casas. Photo Marcos Ferro

8) Balamkú and Calakmul (2 days)

Day 1 – Continue your 2-week road trip in Mexico to the archaeological site of Balamkú hidden in the dense jungle.

It’s a long drive, it will take you round 9 hours.

So, if you leave very early, you will have time to visit Balamkú, or else you will have to go straight to Xpujil to spend the night.

Day 2 – Today you will visit Calakmul, which is a Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

I suggest you arrive as soon as the site opens to give yourself enough time to explore Calakmul (because there is so much to see!) and drive to Tulum (4h) the same day.

Ancient Maya City of Calakmul

9) Tulum (2 days)

The Tulum region has the most beautiful beaches on this road trip in Mexico for 14-15 days!

Day 1 – Start with the archaeological site of Tulum, then head to a cenote to refresh yourself. Check out My List of the Best Cenotes in Tulum!

Take a stroll along the beaches of Tulum and find your favorite beach: Playa Paraiso, Xpu-Ha, Xcacel, etc., there are plenty of options!

Day 2Explore the Sian Ka’an reserve, a paradise of biodiversity

You will have to choose between two access points:

tulum wooden sculpture
The famous “Art With Me” sculpture in Tulum.

10) Cancun (1 day)

This is the end of this 2 week stay in Mexico.

Go back to Cancun to return your rental car and catch your flight home.

Roadtrip to Mexico: 3 weeks

For a 3-week road trip in Mexico, I have created this itinerary from Mexico City to the Riviera Maya.

It will let you discover the main attractions of the states of Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo.

1) Mexico City (2-3 days)

Begin your 21-day road trip in Mexico with Mexico City, the capital.

Here’s what you can do in 2 or 3 days in Mexico:

If you want to know everything about Mexico City, check out My Ultimate Guide to Mexico City!

mariachis plaza garibaldi méxico
mariachis plaza garibaldi méxico

2) Cholula and Puebla (1 day)

Leave Mexico City and head to the State of Puebla.

Start by visiting Cholula where you will find the largest pyramid in the world, with a volume 4 times bigger than that of the Great Pyramid of Giza!

Next, head to the beautiful city of Puebla, whose historic center is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Puebla has a lot to offer, for example:

  • The magnificent Puebla Cathedral, the second largest in Mexico
  • The Palafoxiana library, the 1st public library in the Americas
  • The Amparo museum with its nice rooftop terrace
  • El Parian market, where you will find talaveras and other typical handicrafts
  • The colorful facades of the Calle de los Sapos
  • Discover the secret tunnels (17th-19th centuries) that connect the Ovando Bridge and the Historical Passage 5 de Mayo

Check out my article on The 25 Things to Do in Puebla, where I share the best attractions and activities in and around this beautiful city!

calle de los sapos puebla
Calle de los Sapos in Puebla

3) Oaxaca (3 days)

Continue your 3-week road trip in Mexico to the state of Oaxaca, famous for its cuisine and cultural diversity.

Day 1 Visit Oaxaca de Juarez, the beautiful capital of the state

  • Discover the church and ex-convent of Santo Domingo de Guzman, which houses the museum of cultures and the famous ethnobotanical garden of Oaxaca.
  • The Mercado 20 de Noviembre, Oaxaca’s most popular market, with its grilled meats aisle nicknamed “Pasillo de Humo”.
  • Stroll along the Andador Turistico, the main square, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Oaxaca, and the Government Palace.

I suggest you also read: The 20 Best Things to Do in Oaxaca (city)

Day 2 – See Oaxaca’s wonders: the world’s largest tree by trunk volume, Santa María del Tule; the artisan village of Teotitlán del Valle; the Zapotec ruins of Mitla; and the mineral springs and waterfalls of Hierve el Agua.

You can book this tour from Oaxaca that includes all these attractions, with a visit to a mezcal distillery where you can sample the local spirit, made from the agave plant.

Day 3 – Today you can explore Monte Alban, a site that was inhabited by the Olmecs, Zapotecs, and Mixtecs for over 1500 years.

You can join this great tour to Monte Alban from Oaxaca that also includes:

  • A visit to San Antonio Arrazola to see how the colorful Alebrijes (traditional Mexican folk art) are made.
  • A stop at the former Dominican monastery of Cuilapam de Guerrero.
  • A tour of San Bartolo Coyotepec, famous for its “barro negro”, or black clay pottery.
traje tipico oaxaca
traje tipico oaxaca

4) San Cristobal de las Casas (3 days)

Day 1 – Travel to San Cristobal de las Casas, a charming colonial city in the state of Chiapas.

It’s a long journey of about 9 hours, so you should leave early to have some time to explore the city.

Day 2 – In the morning, head to El Chiflón Waterfalls. You can admire all 5 waterfalls along a scenic trail (1h-1h30 visit).

Continue to the Montebello Lakes, a huge Biosphere Reserve located on the border with Guatemala.

The drive from San Cristobal to El Chiflón and Montebello is long and challenging, so I recommend booking this tour (click here to book!) that includes hotel pick-up, transportation, entrance fees, and the guide.

Day 3 – Since this is your last day in the region, I suggest you choose between two options:

  • Option 1: The Sumidero Canyon, a breathtaking canyon that you can explore with a boat tour on the Grijalva River and then enjoy the views from its scenic overlooks. – Book your Sumidero Canyon tour now!
  • Option 2: the traditional villages of Zinacantán and San Juan Chamula, where you can learn about the culture and customs of the indigenous communities. – Book your visit to the villages now!
Demonstration of traditional weaving techniques in Zinacantán

5) Palenque (1 day)

Today, explore Palenque, one of the most important ancient cities in Mesoamerica!

To get from San Cristobal de las Casas to Palenque, you will need to travel for about 5h30

For some stops on the way, try: the ruins of Toniná, the waterfalls of Agua Azul, and the spectacular Misol Ha.

misol ha
misol ha

6) Campeche (1-2 days)

Keep going on your 21-day road trip through Mexico and visit the charming colonial city of Campeche.

In 1 or 2 days in Campeche, you can wander around the city walls, see the museum of Mayan architecture, walk along the waterfront facing the Gulf of Mexico, taste Chocol’Ha chocolates, and much more!

7) Merida (2 days)

Spend 2 days in Mérida on your 21-day Mexico road trip. You can:

  1. See pink flamingos in Celestun’s biosphere reserve on a boat tour (1h30-2h30). Admire these birds and their habitat.- Book your Ceslestun excursion here!
  2. Explore Merida, Yucatan’s capital and Mexico’s safest city. Enjoy its colonial architecture, markets, cuisine, and culture. Read My Complete Merida Guide!
  3. Visit Uxmal, an ancient Mayan ally of Chichen Itza. Also see the chocolate museum and Kabah, another Mayan city. – Book the Uxma and Kabah tour here!

8) Chichen Itza and Valladolid (1 day)

Visit Chichen Itza, the world’s most famous Mayan site. Marvel at Kukulkan’s pyramid, the Warriors’ Temple, the Observatory, and more – Buy your fast-track tickets to Chichen Itza here!

Then, cool off in a cenote. There are many cenotes near Valladolid, and you can choose one with my Guide to the 21 Best Cenotes in Valladolid.

Discover Valladolid, a beautiful colonial town with a rich history and culture. You can visit the Francisco Canton park, the San Servacio church, the San Roque museum, the lovely Calzada de los Frailes, and the San Bernardino Convent.

calzada de los frailes valladolid
Calzada de los Frailes, Valladolid

9) Holbox (2-3 days)

Spend a few days on Holbox island on your 20-21-22 day Mexico road trip.

In 2-3 days, enjoy Punta Mosquito and Punta Cocos’ sandy beaches, a boat tour (to Isla Pájaros, Laguna Yalahau and Isla de la Pasión), and more.

10) Tulum (2 days)

Day 1 – Leave Holbox and head to Tulum, in the Riviera Maya. Visit the amazing ruins of Tulum, its stunning cenotes, the Beach Strip and its sandy beaches.

Check out my guides:

Day 2 – Explore the Sian Ka’an reserve, south of Tulum. You can choose between:

  • Punta Allen (1 day) which offers a more complete experience. You will be able to see the beach of the Sian Ka’an coast, take a boat trip to see dolphins, etc. Book the tour to Punta Allen
The archaeological site of Tulum facing the sea

11) Playa del Carmen (2-3 days)

Day 1Start with a visit to the Rio Secreto caves, an incredible guided tour to navigate an underground river with a guide.

It is mandatory to book in advance:

Next, head to Xpu Ha, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Riviera Maya. You can also visit the Cenote Azul, which is very close by.

Day 2 Cozumel Island

To get to Cozumel, you have to take the ferry from Playa del CarmenGet your ferry tickets here!

There is a ton of things to do and see in Cozumel, I suggest you make your choice among these options:

To read: My complete guide on The 15 Best Things to Do in Cozumel!

Day 3 Spend the last day of your roadtrip in Mexico in Playa del Carmen.

You can enjoy the beaches and stroll along Quinta Avenida.

I invite you to read my articles:

Road trip in Mexico: 1 month

One month in Mexico lets you see many attractions at a relaxed pace.

Some must-see places in Mexico with my itinerary are:

  • Mexico and Teotihuacan
  • Oaxaca: Monte Alban and Hierve el Agua
  • Chiapas: Sumidero Canyon, San Cristobal de las Casas, the Tzotzil villages, El Chiflón, Montebello, Palenque
  • Calakmul
  • Bacalar Lagoon
  • Mérida and the flamingos of Celestún
  • Chichen Itza
  • Ek Balam and the pink lakes of Las Coloradas
  • Tulum: the city of Cobá, swimming with turtles in Akumal, Sian Ka’an

And let’s not forget the cenotes and beaches!

1) Mexico City (2-3 days)

Begin your 30-day Mexico road trip in Mexico City.

Some things to do there are:

My advice
A great way to explore the city is the tourist bus that shows you the main attractions.

You can buy tickets for the bus here,  valid for a day on 4 itineraries:

The Palace of Fine Arts Mexico City
The Palace of Fine Arts or Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City

2) Oaxaca (4 days)

Day 1 It takes about 5h45 to drive from Mexico City to Oaxaca de Juarez.

If you prefer to make a stop on the road, you can spend a night in Tehuacan and visit the Helia Bravo Hollis Botanical Garden in the Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Biosphere Reserve.

Day 2 Visit the city of Oaxaca: the convent of Santo Domingo de Guzman, the museum of cultures, the ethnobotanical garden, the 20 de noviembre market, the Calle Macedonio, the handicraft market, etc.

Day 3 Visit Monte Alban, a major archaeological site in Mexico and an Oaxaca road trip highlight.

Stroll through the surrounding villages: Cuilapam de Guerrero to visit its Dominican convent, San Antonio Arrazola or San Martin Tilcajete to discover the alebrijes manufacturing workshops and San Bartolo Coyotepec for the “barro negro” pottery.

You can also book the Monte Alban Tour with hotel pick-up in Oaxaca. It includes the villages route:

Day 4 – Visit Santa Maria del Tule, Teotitlan del Valle, the site of Mitla and Hierve el Agua. – Book the Hierve el Agua tour now!

The archaeological site of Monte Albán

3) Tuxtla Gutierrez (2 days)

Day 1 Today you will travel from Oaxaca to Chiapas. It will take you about 8 hours to reach the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez.

You can go to the Marimba Park, where people gather to dance (from 6 pm to 8 pm) to the rhythm of the marimba.

Day 2 Discover the Sumidero Canyon, a must on your 1 month road trip in Mexico.

Drive along the scenic route of the viewpoints, then enjoy the boat ride on the Grijalva River from the pier of Chiapa de Corzo.

Then visit the traditional town of Chiapa de Corzo before returning to Tuxtla Gutierrez.

If you prefer, you can join the Sumidero Canyon Tour (click here to book!) with pick up at your hotel,  the boat, the viewpoints and free time in Chiapa de Corzo.

4) San Cristobal de las Casas (3 days)

Day 1 Spend the day visiting San Cristobal de las Casas, the charming cultural capital of Chiapas.

Day 2 El Chiflón and Montebello Lakes are two magnificent sites you can’t miss on your road trip in Chiapas!

Leave early in the morning because the trip is long.

Start at El Chiflón to see its 5 turquoise waterfalls: El Suspiro, Ala de Ángel, Velo de Novia, Arcoíris and Quinceañera.

Then continue on to Lagunas de Montebello National Park which is home to 59 lakes! I suggest you go to Lake Tzizcao, then Lake Pojoj, Cinco Lagos and Lake Montebello.

  • I recommend this small group guided tour with hotel pick up, visit to El Chiflón and Montebello Lakes:

Day 3 The Tzotzil villages of Zinacantán and San Juan Chamula

These towns are 20 minutes away from San Cristobal. For a guided tour with more information, you can Book it here!

museo na bolom san cristobal
museo na bolom san cristobal

5) Palenque (1 day)

Today you will visit Palenque, a Chiapas road trip must-see!

You can drive from San Cristobal de las Casas (5h30) or stop at Toniná, Agua Azul waterfalls, or Misol-Ha.

6) Calakmul (1 day)

Discover the great Mayan city of Calakmul, declared a Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Then, head to Xpujil and spend the night there.

7) Bacalar (2-3 days)

Next, visit Bacalar, famous for its stunning 7-color Lagoon.

You can take a catamaran tour (click here!) with music and drinks, or a stand up paddle tour at sunrise (book it here!)

cenote bacalar
cenote bacalar

8) Merida (3 days)

Day 1 – Visit Merida, the capital of the Yucatan.

Wander around the Plaza Grande, Casa de Montejo, the cathedral, the Macay museum, Paseo Montejo and Parque Santa Lucia.

For a foodie treat in Mérida, try this gastronomic experience that includes a market visit and a Yucatan cuisine cooking lesson. Book it here:

Day 2Uxmal, Kabah, the Chocolate Museum

Today, visit Uxmal, a Mayan site with the Pyramid of the Magician, the Great Pyramid, the Governor’s Palace, the Mesoamerican ballgame court, and more.

See the Choco-Story chocolate museum near Uxmal’s entrance. Enjoy a tropical garden, a Chaac ceremony, and Mayan chocolate.

Kabah, 20 minutes away, is also worth a a quick visit.

If you prefer, you can book a Uxmal and Kabah tour from Mérida (click here!)

Day 3Watch the flamingos at the Celestun Biosphere Reserve

Afterwards, you can enjoy the beach, stroll through the town of Celestún and do ecotourism at Jaltún Park.

For a hassle-free Celestun trip with Merida pick-up, book this tour (click here!). It includes the boat ride to see the flamingos and lunch on the beach.

9) Valladolid (3 days)

Day 1 Visit Chichen Itza, the most powerful city in the Yucatan Peninsula! Read my article on Chichen Itza

My advice
Chichen Itza can get very crowded. To avoid long lines, book your fast-track tickets to Chichen Itza here:

In the afternoon, visit the yellow city of Izamal: Itzamná Park, 5 de Mayo Park, the neighborhoods of San Ildefonso, Los Remedios and El Gallito, and the Convent of San Antonio de Padua.

Don’t miss the pyramids (free admission!) Kinich Kakmó (112 ft) and Iztamatul (72 ft) that offer a beautiful view of the surroundings!

izamal calles
izamal streets

Day 2 Visit some cenotes in Valladolid. There are many amazing ones to choose from! See my TOP 21 of the Cenotes of Valladolid

Explore Valladolid’s colonial city: What to See and Do in Valladolid?

Day 3Visit Ek Balam, and the biosphere reserve of Rio Lagartos, where you can admire the famous pink lakes of Las Coloradas.

10) Tulum (4 days)

Day 1 Start the visit of Coba, which was a major Mayan city, and admire Nohoch Mul (137 ft), the second highest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Then head back to Tulum. Stroll along the Beach Strip (restaurants, bars, stores) and enjoy the beaches.

Day 2 Visit the Ruins of Tulum, go down to the beach of the ruins and then cool off in a cenote.

You can also book this Tulum tour (ruins and cenote) with pick up at your hotel. Book it here:

cenote tulum
cenote tulum

Day 3 Spend the day in Akumal, the best place to swim with turtles in Mexico!

Sea turtles are protected: you need a guide and follow rules to not disturb them.❤️

Take the tour from the beach or this complete tour with hotel pick-up in Tulum. It includes snorkeling with the turtles, a cenote and a grotto.

Book it here:

Day 4 – Don’t miss the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve on your 30-day Mexico road trip.

You have to choose between two entrances:

11) Holbox (2-3 days)

Head to the port of Chiquilá to take the ferry (20 min) to reach Holbox.

Enjoy an island paradise with sandy beaches and no mass tourism near Riviera Maya!

12) Cancun (1-2 days)

Enjoy the last stage of your 1-month Mexico road trip! You can:

Check out my complete guide: Top 30 Things to Do in Cancun

hotel zone cancun
Hotel Zone (Hotel Zone), Cancun

Where to sleep in Mexico during your road trip?

Click on each itinerary to find the best hotels for each stage.

Here are the best accommodations in Mexico’s Main Destinations:

Mexico City

  • Hostel Mundo Joven Catedral (historic center): one of the best hostels in Mexico City. Clean dorms and rooms, amazing rooftop terrace with bar, great atmosphere and an exceptional view over the cathedral and the Zocalo, starting at 15$usd for a dorm and 32 $usd for a private room!
  • Hotel Villa Condesa (Condesa): if you are looking for a romantic hotel in Mexico City, this is a little oasis in the heart of La Condesa. It is an elegant house with small green terraces and tastefully decorated rooms. Rooms are spacious, breakfast is very good and the service is particularly attentive. Around 160$usd per night!
  • Casa Goliana (Roma Norte): high-end hotel with the best value for money in its category, located in an early 20th century house, typical of the Roma area. Rooftop terrace, comfortable rooms, very attentive staff, and good breakfasts. Around 190$usd per night
  • Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City (Juarez): this 5 star hotel is one of the best hotels in Mexico City, ideal for a business trip or a romantic stay. Located on Paseo de la Reforma between Colonia Juarez and Roma Norte. A large indoor garden, gym, swimming pool, spa, restaurant, and bar, Around 640$usd per night!

My advice
For the best areas and hotels in Mexico City for all budgets, check out my complete guide: Where to stay in Mexico City?


  • 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?

Playa del Carmen

  • Che Playa Hostel & Bar Adults Only: great hostel to meet other travelers and party, with a rooftop terrace that has a bar and a small pool, with several offered activities. Clean, with good wifi and a great welcome. From only 13 $usd for the dormitory or 37 $usd for a private room!
  • Hotel Lunata: a charming hotel with hacienda style decoration, which is hidden on Quinta Avenida, very close to the beach. Quiet, with a garden, rooms with balcony, and has very friendly service. From only 82 $usd per night!
  • Porto Playa Condo Beach Club: here you will find a spacious apartment ideal for a family, with fully equipped kitchen, living room and terrace. The hotel has a large swimming pool, a gym and a restaurant, starting at 172 $usd per night!
  • The Reef Playacar Resort & Spa: located on the beautiful beach of Playacar, just a few minutes from Fifth Avenue. Ideal for a romantic stay, with a beautiful tropical garden, two pools, a gym and a spa. 200 $usd with the “all inclusive” formula.
  • Hotel Xcaret Mexico All Parks All Fun Inclusive: it is definitely the best hotel in Playa del Carmen! Ideal for couples and families with children as this luxury hotel offers an exceptional package including meals and access to its parks (Xcaret, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xenses, Xoximilco, Xel-Ha and Xenote). Starting at 860 $usd per night, all inclusive.

My tip
Check out my comprehensive guide to find the perfect hotel or resort for your stay. Here’s the link: Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen? 

San Cristobal 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 favorite hotel 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!


  • 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!

My tips for visiting Mexico by rental car

Doing a road trip in Mexico by car is definitely the best way to explore this country!

Here are some of my latest tips for your road trip in Mexico:

  • Don’t drive at night: roads are poorly lit and there is a higher risk of accidents. Also, many areas of Mexico are not safe during these hours.
  • Expect checkpoints by police, army, or locals. Don’t panic, they are routine.
  • Sometimes people take over checkpoints to protest. Give them a coin to pass.
  • Watch out for speed bumps, called “topes”. They are high and can damage your car.
  • You need a valid driver’s license in Mexico. An international one is not required.
  • Choose toll roads, called “de cuota”. They are better and safer than free roads.
  • Get a TAG (electronic toll plate): the app lets you recharge it (AndroidIphone) or at a point. It also helps you calculate your road trip budget (tolls + gas)!

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

To rent a car, personally, I always use, 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
  • Rentalcars 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 Choose the Right Moment for Your Mexico Road Trip

The best time for a Mexico road trip depends on the region.

Generally, November to February is good: less rain, heat, and humidity.

Avoid the rainy season (May to October): more rain, cloudy water, and possible hurricanes (especially in September).

My advice
 You can still go to Mexico in the rainy season. Many travelers enjoy it.

But remember, the weather is unpredictable. 

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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Mexico Road Trip Itinerary
Mexico Road Trip Itinerary

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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