We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving - Cancun - San Cristobal

Menzies Creek
Level Contributor
33 posts
25 reviews
Save Topic
Driving - Cancun - San Cristobal

Hi Everyone,

I posted another topic regarding 2 weeks that my husband and I are going to spend going from Cancun - Merida - Palenque - San Cristobal and then back up to Cancun (flight home To Australia leaves from Cancun). It will be during mid to late December.

He is experienced with overseas driving (me not) and wants to hire a car to give us freedom should we want to go see other places, move on from a town and move around etc.

Can someone please tell me if it is safe to drive this route, safe to leave the car overnight in towns, are the roads good or any other general advice when it comes to hiring a car and driving this route?

The bus was definitely the cheaper option but he would prefer the car hire.

Thanks everyone :-)

Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
Level Contributor
44,681 posts
141 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving - Cancun - San Cristobal

I responded to your other post but as far as leaving a car parked on the streets, I am not sure I would do that. In most of Merida, I would do it but in other places it depends. The streets can be narrow with many parking restrictions which may or may not be clear. And miss one and you have the unpleasant experience of your car being towed.

Merida, Yucatan
Level Contributor
1,733 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving - Cancun - San Cristobal

It is a safe route in the sense that you shouldn't be robbed, or worse while driving.

I would also say that it is safe with regard to the road itself. The stretch from Palenque to SCDLC is tortuous in terms of the twists and turns, but if you remain alert you will be fine. There are no perilous drop-offs, though beware of unexpected speed bumps and potholes. You may also see kids hanging a rope across the road to get you to slow down and buy their fruit. Don't be alarmed. If you don't like twisty roads, take the Villahermosa-Tuxtla route.

Just about all hotels in Palenque & SCDLC have parking lots. If you stay in downtown Merida you will need a lot as there is no on-street parking, or again, look for a hotel that can provide parking.

You have picked some great places to see, I'm sure you'll love the experience.

Edited: 28 August 2014, 03:07
Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
Level Contributor
44,681 posts
141 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving - Cancun - San Cristobal

Good advice from londoner, as always. As for myself, I would not drive the Palenque to San Cristobal portion. But it is a really spectacular drive in the way of scenery. I prefer to enjoy it from an ADO bus. As londoner mentions. if you want a less twisty drive, the Villahermosa to Tuxtla route is still scenic much much less twists and turns. Now it is my usual route since I use the Merida to Tuxtaa ADO Platino which operates on that route.

Also, don't think because the distance is short that it will be a short, fast drive. For example, for the distance from Palenque to San Cristobal of only 190 km, ADO schedules it at about 5 hours with only one stop. Of course, in a car, a bit faster but do get an early start.

Merida
Destination Expert
for Merida
Level Contributor
1,402 posts
102 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving - Cancun - San Cristobal

Of course, it all depends on what you are comfortable with. But I have driven the route from Merida to San Cristobal and back with my husband, and we loved it. The road between Palenque and San Cristobal is windy and goes through farmland, jungle and mountains. You pass through lots of small villages, and it is wonderful to have your own car. Also, once you are in San Cristobal, it is nice to have your own transportation to be able to go to other small towns outside of the city. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. That's just my two cents.

yucatanliving.com

Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
Level Contributor
44,681 posts
141 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Driving - Cancun - San Cristobal

Good input from YL. I will add, that I make most of the trips to San Cristobal solo and would not do it on that basis. But with a partner, it could be enjoyable. I especially find it fascinating to observe the dress in each village since most all have their own costumes and usually all the women wear the same---and sometimes the men.

Menzies Creek
Level Contributor
33 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Driving - Cancun - San Cristobal

You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for all the advice.

My husband said he will drive the Palenque to San Cristobal portion as he is much better in those sorts of conditions. I will stick to the easier roads in other towns ;-)

Thanks Robert for the distance vs true time.... that is a good indication to help us plan. We have all the time in the world to get there so definitely not going to rush it.

Thank you Londonder and YL for your inputs too... good to hear from others that have done it and also about what we might encounter.

Definitely sold on the driving idea... now just have to find a good hire car company in Cancun :-)

7. Re: Driving - Cancun - San Cristobal

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 30 August 2015, 05:17