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Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

Surrey,
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Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

Hi,

I am about to book flights and had pretty much decided on two weeks in either Akumal or Tulum. I'm finding it hard to get the right accommodation for myself and my two daughters (16 and 25) though so I started looking at other forums and am now interested in Merida (which was an initial option). I'm wondering whether 2 weeks in a beach resort would be overload (although we're ok to do day trips out)

Which is nearest to Chichen Itze and is a week in Merida and a week in Akumal or Tulum a good mix? We don't want to race around to fit everything in but we do like to see plenty and want to see ruins, jungle, swim with dolphins etc etc as well as spend some time relaxing on a beautiful beach.

The more I read the more stuck I get!

Thanks for any help

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1. Re: Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

Merida is the antithesis of a beach vacation. But if you wish to see Maya ruins -- Chichen Itza, Uxmal -- it is by far the best central location. When you throw in haciendas, museums, flamingos, for day trips Merida can't be beat. But in Merida you are pretty much on your own; it is less tourist-oriented than either Tulum or Akumal.

The amount of time you split between Merida and the Maya Riviera really is based on your personal preference. If you are a beach person, spend more time there; if you are more the explorer, spend more time in Merida.

Have a great trip!

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2. Re: Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

Its a perfect blend and they are only 3 hours away by car.

On the way between them you can also visit Coba, Valladolid or Izmal.

I personally recommend starting early on the day of transfer and visit Valladolid for a few hours and have lunch there. Then continue to your destination.

Have a great trip!

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Valladolid
Valladolid
Yucatan, Mexico
Surrey,
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3. Re: Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

Thank you for the replies, I didn't get the email report so apologies for the delayed response.

So you think it's better to see Chichen Itza/Coba etc from Merida than to travel from Akumal? We have considered making Akumal our base and staying in Valladolid for a night or two then finishing on Isla Mujeres as an option. We like cities though and want to see the other sights you've both mentioned so maybe it's easier to go from Cancun airport to Merida and see them from there for 5 or 6 nights(?) before heading to Akumal?

Thanks again, we're so excited now the flights are booked!

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Chichen Itza
Yucatan, Mexico
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Chicago, IL
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4. Re: Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

We've done both Merida and Akumal in a two-week stint a couple of times, staying outside of Merida at the Hacienda San Jose and coming into town every other day. After six days, we spent the night in Valladolid and were able to see all that entails in one day and then move on to Akumal, where we chilled out for the remainder of our time.

While I love Merida for a lot reasons, it is a bit congested, traffic and people-wise, and that is coming from somebody who lives in a big city. It is great for a base to see ruins, Izamal, and the little pueblos that dot the landscape. One year we did stay in town at Luz en Yucatan, and found it (with 2 adults and 2 children) nothing short of perfect. You could hardly tell you were in an urban area once inside the compound, and really friendly and helpful staff.

In Akumal, we've done condos and the Akumal Caribe Hotel, but favor the condo just for the space they provide and the cooking facilities. Lots to do in and near Akumal, most of which we get to as early in the day as possible, which I would suggest to anybody visiting ruins and other touristy sites just to beat the crowds and the heat.

We did Isla Mujeres one year, and it was fine, but the beaches were nothing spectacular and after a couple of days you've seen nearly everything, although the Hotel Secreto was one of the nicer hotels I've visited in the Yucatan.

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5. Re: Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

You say: "So you think it's better to see Chichen Itza/Coba etc from Merida than to travel from Akumal?"

Chichen Itza is only 1:30 hr drive from Merida. Do visit on the way to Merida or from Merida.

Coba is only 45 min drive from Akumal. Do visit on the way to Merida or from Akumal.

One or two nights in Valladolid sounds perfect, you can visit Chichen Itza and Ek Balam from there.

Isla Mujeres is good as well for one or 2 nights.

Suggested itinerary:

Arrive to Cancun and if not to tired drive to Merida (3.5 hours and $397 pesos toll road each way).

In Merida visit the city (day tour), cenotes (day tour) and haciendas day tour).

On the day you leave Merida get an early start and drive to Chichen Itza (1.5 hrs and $84 pesos toll road), spend the day and then continue your drive to Valladolid on the free road so you can see some Mayan villages but before it gets dark since its a 2 way road.

In Valladolid spend one day to see the city and one day to go to Ek Balam.

On the day you leave Valladolid go to Akumal via Tulum (free road) and you can stop at Coba. Or just continue straight to Akumal and go to Coba on another day... You do need some rest right?

From Akumal you can visit Coba, Tulum, Playa del Carmen with a short drive.

Driving is very safe on all roads but keep it wise traveling by day

Happy travels!!!

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Yucatan, Mexico
Akumal
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Riviera Maya, Mexico
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Valladolid
Yucatan, Mexico
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Quintana Roo, Mexico
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Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
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6. Re: Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

Sounds like a perfect itinerary, YG. We've been to Akumal and are currently planning our first visit to Merida. Akumal is an excellent base for exploring Coba and Tulum. And Akumal Bay is filled with sea turtles--you can see them by snorkeling right off the beach.

"We did Isla Mujeres one year, and it was fine, but the beaches were nothing spectacular..." I respectfully disagree, fancode. Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Yucatan. I submit the following evidence:

…photobucket.com/albums/j395/DMartin216/Isla…

Edited: 25 January 2013, 15:51
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Traverse City...
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7. Re: Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

Nobody's offered this yet, so I will. You won't really need a car in Merida. and certainly not for a week. Take the very affordable and comfortable ADO bus from Cancun to Merida, then rent the car when you're ready to work your way over to Akumal....

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8. Re: Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

Good point. I had considered renting a car in Cancun but it was pointed out that Merida is a city of 800,000 people and traffic and parking can be a hassle. We've ridden the ADO buses before and they are clean, comfortable and affordable. That's what we'll be doing.

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9. Re: Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

Speaking for myself, I always get a car in Merida. I don't find much trouble getting parking, because I almost always use private lots downtown which usually have plenty of space.

I prefer the car as a way to get around, but I've been driving in Merida for almost a decade. I remember being frightened to death the first couple of trips.

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10. Re: Merida and Akumal a good blend for two weeks

Merida is not bad to drive, try Mexico city. If you are going to rent a car for any part of the trip then rent it for the entire trip. It gives you much more flexiblity than the bus. MHO but with this sounds like a nice trip, go ahead and spend a little more for a car. You never know what else you might see or do by having the car available.

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