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Exploring the Yucatan plus a few days on the beach

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Ann Arbor, Michigan
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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Exploring the Yucatan plus a few days on the beach

I posted this question on the Playa del Carmen forum but haven't gotten many responses and am realizing (after reading posts here) that I probably should have asked it here... I apologize for the "double post".

I'm trying to plan a trip to the "Yucatan" for February. This will be our 4th trip to Mexico. On a previous trip to Playa del Carmen, we rented a car and drove to Merida for the night and stopped at Chichen Itza and Valladolid on the way back -- and we really LOVED the area. So, this time, I'd like to spend a little more time exploring the area. I've been trying to figure out whether it would be better to base ourselves in Merida and take day trips or stop in different towns each night. I'm leaning toward Merida -- perhaps about 4 nights?

We would like to end the trip on a beach somewhere for 2-3 days. I'm not a fan of all-inclusives but my husband is... I'm thinking a place like Petit Lafitte in Playa would be a good compromise.

We're an adventurous family of three (with a 12 year-old son.) I would really appreciate any suggestions, recommendations, etc. for places to see (we love the ruins), places to stay. We have no qualms about being off the beaten path and usually like a mix of rustic and luxury. We would really appreciate good (local) food.

Btw, the "beach" portion doesn't have to be in Playa. In fact, somewhere where there aren't rows of beach chairs as far as the eye can see would be preferable.


Cozumel, Mexico
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1. Re: Exploring the Yucatan plus a few days on the beach

I think your plan to spend several nights in Merida is a good one. If a weekend fits in, many activities for a family. I would suggest you visit Ek Balam--my favorite ruin site in the area. If you want to try nice , off the beaten path accomodations, you might look at Genisis Retreat near Ek Balam. A really interesting place.


Detroit, Michigan
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2. Re: Exploring the Yucatan plus a few days on the beach

You might want to take a look at Tulum or Akumal. Small towns with real restaurants, nice beaches, less touristy than PDC. Good swimming, snorkeling, cenotes/ zips activities and accoms. About 2 hours or less, respectively, down the highway from CUN.

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3. Re: Exploring the Yucatan plus a few days on the beach

Merida is a wonderful city. Merida will keep you busy for more than 4 days. The beach from here (where the locals go) is on the Gulf and is called Progreso. It is less than 30 minutes away. Many say that the water is not as lovely as the Carribbean, but it is much prettier than I am used to and I would call the beach area kitchy. I had a blast here. The beach is across from restaurants and they have tables set up and will bring you food and drink under palapas. Ask them for some lounge chairs and they will give you some. I had some great fish day after day. There is a nice little ruin between Merida and Progreso. There is so much to see in the Yucatan you can run yourself to death and be driving on the roads too much.

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4. Re: Exploring the Yucatan plus a few days on the beach

I would suggest two nights in Merida and two nights somewhere outside of Merida, to get a real feel for the countryside, which is a totally different animal from the city. My suggestion would be the Flycatcher Inn near Uxmal. You're close to Uxmal as well as Muna (and Hacienda Santa Rosa... a great place for lunch and from there you and your 12 year old can go explore some un-renovated haciendas). The town of Santa Elena is next door to Flycatcher. AND Kristine, who runs Flycatcher, is a wealth of information and ideas. You will be REALLY glad you went there if you go. I have nothing to do with them... we don't even do their website. But I've stayed there a few times and it really has a lot to offer. www.flycatcherinn.com is their website.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Exploring the Yucatan plus a few days on the beach

I was just going to suggest Flycatcher as well. You can see many ruins from there. I loved little Santa Elena town.

6. Re: Exploring the Yucatan plus a few days on the beach

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