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Merida - are weekends much better?

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Budapest
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Merida - are weekends much better?

Hello,

I arrive in Cancun on Sunday(July 22) at 1pm and was thinking about taking the 3pm bus to Merida and start my 8 days in the Yucatan there and head back to Cancun as I visit different places.

This is what I was thinking for an itinerary:

Sun: arrive Cancun 1pm; 3pm bus to Merida

Mon: Uxmal, Dzibilchaltun & cenote

Tues:Chichen Itza & Ekbalam & Valladolid (overnight there?)

Wed: Coba & Tulum

Thurs: Xel-Ha & Xcaret

Fri:Cozumel

Sat: Cozumel - diving

Sun: Cancun

Tues: Depart 9am

This might be too many ruins; I am still deciding on these.

My main questions right now are:

1. Is it reasonable to think I can get off the plane at 1pm (I am arriving from Guatemala) and catch the bus at 3 pm?

2. Is it better to reverse my itinerary, so I am in Merida for the weekend?

Any other advice is welcomed as well.

Thanks in advance.

Indianapolis...
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1. Re: Merida - are weekends much better?

Weekends are nice in Merida because there is entertainment on Saturday nights, plus Sunday has an all-day festival in the main square with food, entertainment, etc.

There is transport directly from the Cancun airport to Merida at 1:30 (bus) and 3:00 (shuttle). If you couldn't make either, you can always bus downtown and there are buses from there every 30 minutes or so.

I think you're really shorting yourself on time in Merida with your itinerary. It's a fantastic place and it looks like all you'll have is a few hours Sunday night after you arrive, and maybe some downtime on Monday? I think you have way too much planned, but I FWIW I am a traveler who likes to stay in 1-2 places and really get to know them as opposed to trying to see everything in one trip.

Cozumel, Mexico
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2. Re: Merida - are weekends much better?

Agree with Peter, sounds like too much planned. I would reverse it for the weekend in Merida but do try to add more time for Merida. Its one of the areas most interesting places to visit.

Minnesota
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3. Re: Merida - are weekends much better?

I agree with the others about Merida. Stay in the main square area (El Castellano is a nice hotel within walking distance). Sunday afternoons/evenings are wonderful there. There's street vendors, live entertainment, beautiful church, museum, etc.

Skip Dzbichaltun and the cenote. Okay but nothing special. Uxmal is worthwhile. Chichen Itza, Coba and Ek Balam are all good. Pick two of the four.

Pick either Xel Ha or Xcaret. Not both. Look at their websites and see what you really want to do.

Don't plan too much. You'll need a vacation to relax after your vacation.

Cheryl

Budapest
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4. Re: Merida - are weekends much better?

Thanks for the advice. I was wondering if I was packing too much in.

Sounds like I should head to either Playa de Carmen or Cozumel for 3-4 days: one day of diving, and a couple day trips to ruins(tulum & coba) and an eco park.

Then head over to Merida for 3-4 days and see Chichen Itza, Ekbalam & Valladolid( I heard this is a nice town to see...opinions?) from there.

Is that any better? I really don't need to lay on the beach all day or at all for that matter(I live by a beach an never go to it to lounge around). I love the idea of spending more time in Merida. I would love to experience as much music, dance, art, and handicrafts as I can (along with some ruins ;).

I welcome more advice. Thanks.

Cozumel, Mexico
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5. Re: Merida - are weekends much better?

Sounds much better to me. And so much of the things you like are available in Merida, many without costs. You might take a look at www.yucatantoday.com or www.yucatanliving.com for a bit more information on the area.

Minnesota
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6. Re: Merida - are weekends much better?

You can also stay in Playa del Carmen and take the ferry over to Cozumel to dive for the day. It's a 30 minute ferry ride.

Cheryl

Minnesota
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7. Re: Merida - are weekends much better?

Valladolid is a good place to stop for lunch, wander the square, see the church. Alternatively stop at Izamaal on the way to Chichen Itza. Either one. Both have churches. Izamaal has a gorgeous yellow church, horse and carriage rides in the square. I prefer (personally) Izamaal.

I didn't mention Tulum previously. Some people think it's just amazing. It's pretty. Right on the water with a beach but not much, frankly, in terms of ruins. I'd put it on the bottom of the ruin list.

Cheryl

Minnesota
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8. Re: Merida - are weekends much better?

Sorry....on the way to Merida stop at Izamaal....it's after Chichen Itza, not before it from Cancun. If you're staying in Playa del Carmen then Valladolid is only a good stop if you are doing Ek Balam.

Cheryl

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Merida - are weekends much better?

Definitely dont stay in Merida as a base for visiting Chichen Itza and Valladolid. Makes no sense.

I would spend a night or two in Merida, just visiting Merida (or maybe a hacienda on the outskirts for a break from ruins) - then go to Uxmal either for the day, or overnight there. Then move on to Valladolid and overnight there to see the town and visit Chichen Itza.

Dont make yourself too crazy trying to catch a specific bus to Merida - they leave pretty regularly.

suitcaseready.com

Victoria, Canada
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10. Re: Merida - are weekends much better?

I have been to Ek Balam, Chichen Itza and Tulum, I enjoyed them all, but my fave was Ek Balam. We spend a couple hours and then spent a little time at the cenote, not the world's best cenote but pleasant and not busy - excellent on a hot day.

I enjoyed both Merida and Valladollid - so it depends on whether you prefer cities, ruins, centoes or whatever.

As for Xcaret or Xel Ha, we spent the whole day at Xel Ha from opening to closing and still could have spent longer. I can't imagine doing both in one day - it would be too rushed for me.

Enjoy your choices!