Mexico highlights and our Yucatan itinerary

Let us introduce you to country number 60 on our list, as well as the beginning of the CA Grande journey, Mexico, and our Yucatan itinerary.

In this series of posts, we share the highlights of our visits to the countries in the Central America Grande journey. It’s hard to put everything that impressed you about a country in a single post, but we’d love to give you some good and brief introduction. If something sparked your interest, let us know that you want more details and we’ll do our best to elaborate on that in a separate article. We will start with Yucatan highlights and our itinerary on the peninsula.

The region

The journey took us to the Yucatan peninsula, mostly in the Quintana Roo province and a bit in the Yucatan province. We started in Cancun, then we jumped over to Valladolid and Chichén Itzá, afterward, we continued to Akumal, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel island. We continued further south along the Riviera Maya to Tulum, then jumped to Cobá and ended in Laguna Bacalar.

Travelers having lunch at the Mercado 28 in Mexico Cancun

Weather and Nature

We knew we’re going to Central America in the rainy and also end of hurricane season so few showers per day were no surprise to us. The heat was close to unbearable but we stayed hydrated, put lots of sunscreen and wore breathing clothes. When tropical storm Nate was announced to get closer and potentially cause troubles, we decided that we can change plans and head in a different direction if necessary.

Light rain at Laguna Nichupte, Cancun, Mexico

We didn’t have to. Nate didn’t really hit the ground around Cancun so we could continue south freely, as it was moving north. Except for the fact it ruined our plans for Isla Mujeres, we didn’t have to change our Yucatan itinerary because of the weather. The day for Isla Mujeres was the one they preventively closed the marinas. Also, lots of restaurants and venues chose to close, also pretty much everything to do with water. The Maya Museum was also close due to bad weather (yes, Mexican museums are kind of lazy).

Walking on the georgeous Delfines beach in Cancun Mexico

Other things specific to the region are the mosquitoes. We didn’t have much trouble until we reached Tulum and Bacalar lagoon. Mosquitoes made a party and we were the main dish. But this is how it works in the jungle, around the ruins, at the seaside in a tropical environment.

The people

Our hosts everywhere were super friendly, helpful and fun. We got the best tips and positive mood everywhere. In an eatery at the market, a bartender went so far just to please us and introduce us to the country. We felt welcome!

Inovative retro cargo car in Cancun Mexico

When it came to transportation, we had to bargain a lot when the prices weren’t fixed. Somehow they see a foreigner and they want to charge more. We had to bargain actually everywhere, where the prices weren’t fixed. And we didn’t like the fact that just being a foreigner entitles you to higher costs. And we speak Spanish! Imagine what happens to people that can’t speak the language.

If we exclude that bad colectivo drivers and small business owners (read festival stall merchants) that thought few pesos more will make them happier, we felt completely fine with all the people we met. By the way, we didn’t cut a deal on one of those amazing embroidered Mexican dresses and we regret it. Mexico seems to attract only good travelers so we were happy to even hitchhike with some or do little trips with others. We felt empowered with good advice and many travel stories.

Our Yucatan itinerary

Our time in Mexico started by landing in Cancun. Although some people find Cancun a bit too touristy in a negative-resort way, we found its special spots. For few days around we felt like locals, exploring the beaches, the streets, the shopping venues. We even ventured further afield to Valladolid and Chichén Itzá. Tropical storm Nate ruined our plans to visit Isla Mujeres, let’s see if we manage to get to it on our very last day of Central America Grande. Btw, Nate didn’t cause any troubles in the Cancun area, or at least as far as we know, and we checked a lot.


Chichen Itza

Riviera Maya

We continued south along Riviera Maya to swim with turtles in Akumal, find the local vibes of Playa del Carmen and sail to Cozumel island for some snorkeling. It was all beautiful and we even became part of a bachelorette party on the snorkeling boat the reef near Cozumel.

Next time we’ll spend more time on Riviera Maya and explore hidden gems like Xpu-Ha beach.


We headed to Tulum to visit the picturesque seaside Maya ruins and then chill under the shadows in a cool hostel garden. We got lucky to be part of an annual Festival – Fiesta Maya Tulum. We enjoyed traditional dance, bull-friendly corrida, and many shopping and eating stalls.

Next time we’d love to do a day trip from Tulum to Rio Lagartos and its lovely flamingoes.

Coba ruins

We ventured to Cobá ruins to get the real Indiana Jones feeling of walking in the jungle and climbing rough pyramid steps. Well, we did use a bike taxi for a while (it was so hot and we got really tired).

Bacalar Lagoon

The last stop in Mexico we put in our Yucatan itinerary thanks to the people we hitchhiked with. We found Laguna Bacalar just a magical piece of paradise and we couldn’t have wanted a better finish of our stay in Mexico.

We rode to Chetumal to take a boat to Belize. There came the uncomfortable surprise of an exit fee which is usually included with the plane ticket but we couldn’t find it in our receipt so we paid and got ready for a fresh start in Belize Cayes (islands).

If you are exploring further afield in the Yucatan, check out Faith’s article on things to do in Merida – the safest city in Mexico.

Yucatan in a few words

Well, highlights of Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico for us included:

  • The food ( o my god those tacos, burritos, nachos, enchiladas, panuchos, quesadillas, …) – Yucatan food for the win!
  • The Maya ruins – the story, the atmosphere, the experience
  • Swim in cenotes – those amazing natural swimming pools full of life
  • The overwhelming Caribbean coastline – we love water, we love the Caribbean!
  • The smiles of everyone we met – there’s something in the air that makes people smile (and sometimes sing), or maybe there’s something funny about our faces!

So these were our highlights from roughly nine days in Mexico. We’re so excited and even putting this article together makes us smile and appreciate our time in this part of the world. Hasta la vista, Mexico!

Highlights of Yucatan Peninsula Mexico
Pin us!

Have you ever been to the Yucatan peninsula? What surprised you the most? Do you have a favorite spot?

Do you like this post?

Travel with us and share our journey on Instagram! Do you want to support us – learn how here!

Keep up with our latest travel adventures and projects!
Subscribe for our Traveletter!

7 Responses

  1. hotmamatravel

    I love visiting Mexico. Great food, lovely people, historical sites and always a good time.

  2. Mexico is truly amazing! The Mayan Ruins is my favorite, would love to try the other activities from your list on our next visit to Mexico.

  3. I really love the Yucatan! It’s one of the first places I ever took my kids to, and you are so right, the food, the atmosphere and the attitude there are all infectious. We loved Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Exploring the ruins was just magical.

  4. It’s been a few years since I was in that area. I remember the fabulous food and that clear water. Some of the best beaches around.

  5. One of our favourite areas of Mexico, lovely stuff… video of Chichen Itza takes me back, thank you!

  6. […] After our second overnight bus of the trip, which was as freezing and uncomfortable as the first one, we arrived in Cancun – our first stop on the Yucatan Peninsula. […]

  7. […] Tulum has transformed into a popular place and is one of the highlights of the Yucatan Peninsula, you can now find accommodations in the beach area that cost up to $1,000 per night. Still, there […]