16 days in Yucatan Peninsula Itinerary

16 days in Yucatan Peninsula Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Yucatan Peninsula route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Merida
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Izamal
— 1 night
Drive
3
Chichen Itza
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Valladolid
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Playa del Carmen
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Tulum
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Sian Ka'an
— 2 nights
Drive

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Merida

— 2 nights
Yucatan's busy capital, Merida remains a mid-sized urban center offering an impressive list of cultural activities, eclectic nightlife, and a chance to see tropical examples of French and Italian architecture.
When in Merida, make a side trip to see Uxmal in Uxmal, approximately Uxmal away. There's much more to do: make a trip to Ruta Puuc, admire the landmark architecture of Paseo de Montejo, sample the fine beverages at Posheria Merida, and pause for some serene contemplation at Cathedral de Merida.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Merida day trip planning site.

Cancun to Merida is an approximately 3-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a shuttle. When traveling from Cancun in August, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Merida: temperatures range from 41°C by day to 27°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Izamal.

Things to do in Merida

Historic Sites · Museums · Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trip

Izamal

— 1 night
Izamal is a small city in the Mexican state of Yucatán, 72 km (about 40 miles) east of state capital Mérida, in southern Mexico.Izamal was continuously occupied throughout most of Mesoamerican chronology; in 2000, the city's estimated population was 15,000 people. On the 5th (Thu), delve into the distant past at Piramide de Kinich Kak Moo, then explore the ancient world of Zona Arqueologica de Izamal, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Convento de San Antonio de Padua.

To find maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Izamal trip planner.

You can drive from Merida to Izamal in an hour. August in Izamal sees daily highs of 41°C and lows of 27°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can go by car to Chichen Itza.

Things to do in Izamal

Historic Sites

Chichen Itza

— 3 nights
Featuring the largest archeological site of the ancient Mayan civilization, Chichen Itza remains one of the most visited tourist destinations in Mexico.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Fri): explore the ancient world of Plataforma de Venus, then delve into the distant past at Chichen Itza, then take in the dramatic natural features at Cenote Ik kil, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Cenote Yokdzonot. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Sat): explore the ancient world of Temple of the Bearded Man, explore the ancient world of The Ossuary, explore the ancient world of Las Monjas, then explore the ancient world of La Iglesia, then explore the ancient world of D'zitnupt Cenote, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Chinchorro Reef.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Chichen Itza trip itinerary app.

Getting from Izamal to Chichen Itza by car takes about 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 39°C in August, and nighttime lows around 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Valladolid.

Things to do in Chichen Itza

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Valladolid

— 2 nights

Sultana of the East

One of the gateways to the ruins of Chichen Itza, Valladolid boasts plenty of historic charm and offers a range of tourist-oriented services that ensure pleasant holidays in this area.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Sun): steep yourself in history at Ek Balam and then explore the fascinating underground world of Cenote Xkeken. On your second day here, make a trip to Palacio Municipal, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia De San Servacio, then admire the masterpieces at Casa de los Venados, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Convent of San Bernardino of Siena, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Cenote Zaci.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Valladolid road trip planning site.

You can drive from Chichen Itza to Valladolid in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In August, daily temperatures in Valladolid can reach 39°C, while at night they dip to 31°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can go by car to Playa del Carmen.

Things to do in Valladolid

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trip

Playa del Carmen

— 2 nights
The tourist hub of the popular Mayan Riviera, upscale Playa del Carmen remains the jewel of Mexico's Caribbean coastline.
On the 10th (Tue), take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports. On your second day here, get outside with Outdoor Activities and then find something for the whole family at Xcaret.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Playa del Carmen trip planner.

You can drive from Valladolid to Playa del Carmen in 2 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Traveling from Valladolid in August, expect Playa del Carmen to be a bit cooler, temps between 35°C and 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to drive to Tulum.

Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Theme Parks

Tulum

— 3 nights
The only Mayan site built to overlook the ocean, Tulum remains a coastal paradise preserving the last vestiges of a pre-Hispanic civilization.
Step out of Tulum to go to Coba and see Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá, which is approximately 48 minutes away. Spend the 15th (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's still lots to do: explore the ancient world of Tulum Archaeological Site, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, explore the fascinating underground world of Cenotes Sac Actun, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Tulum Tower.

To see maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Tulum trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Playa del Carmen to Tulum in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 35°C in August, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Sian Ka'an.

Things to do in Tulum

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trips

Sian Ka'an

— 2 nights
Start off your visit on the 16th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.

For where to stay, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Sian Ka'an trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Tulum to Sian Ka'an with the Route module. On the 17th (Tue), you're off to home.

Things to do in Sian Ka'an

Parks · Wildlife
Highlights from your trip

Yucatan Peninsula travel guide

4.4
Ruins · Scuba & Snorkeling · Zipline
A trip to Yucatan Peninsula takes visitors to the southeastern section of Mexico, an area that housed the legendary Maya civilization before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century. Much of the region's population traces its origins back to this old culture, and in many of the smaller settlements residents continue to speak the Maya language in addition to Spanish. Yucatan Peninsula tourism thrives largely thanks to the popularity of Cancun, a modern resort town on the so-called "Mayan Riviera." Away from the white-sand coastline, this part of Mexico treats visitors to some of the finest examples of Mayan pyramids and temples, offering a glimpse into the continent's pre-Hispanic history.