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.

Self Drive round the peninsula!

Wickford, United...
Level Contributor
28 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
Self Drive round the peninsula!

I'm from the UK and plan to hire a car and visit all the sites by ourselves. Has anyone done this and is it easy to do?!

Many thanks,

Nicola

Davie, Florida
Level Contributor
11,187 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Self Drive round the peninsula!

many hundreds do it everyday. if you have adequate skills keeping between the ditches you are good to go, they do have.....what do you call them? roads, thats it roads.

Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
7,706 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Self Drive round the peninsula!

Yes they do. Most in good shape. Just get a good map and look to the specific forums for the areas you might have questions about. Read up on driving in Mexico. As with any country it has it's do' s and don'ts. I'd really invest in an actual BOOK for reference and pack it. But, not necessary.

Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
Level Contributor
43,616 posts
136 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Self Drive round the peninsula!

And do drive on the right side of the road. Thats a good start.

Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
7,706 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Self Drive round the peninsula!

Ya, my trouble driving on the left really only happens when pulling out of driveways on to the street. If all the traffic is going one way you will too but second nature is to pull out and get in the "normal" lane (and then have to swerve over to the correct lane :)

Cape Cod
Level Contributor
1,926 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Self Drive round the peninsula!

Driving around the Peninsula is one of my favorite things to do. I've driven all over, including some of the most remote areas. A few words of warning:

- Get all the insurance you can. Your policy back home or your credit card coverage will do you no good in Mexico if you are in an accident.

- Corrupt police can be found pretty much from Cancun south along the coast. Obey the speed limits (speed traps, really) and traffic laws and you should be fine. Outside the coast police are either nowhere to be found or not-so-corrupt.

- If you've driven in rural Wales or Scotland (maybe even rural England, although I would not presume to know), Mexico can be like that. You have to be cautious, because animals or people can pop out from the side of the road without warning. Add to that the danger from other drivers -- expensive cars traveling way too fast, or broken-down vehicles driven by people with zero training -- and you have no choice but to always drive defensively.

- It's hot, so keep water in the car.

- Many gas stations appear to be run by experienced con men. Learn the various tricks that are used to rip you off.

- Don't drink and drive, especially around urbanized areas. A few gringo friends of mine have reported problems with occasional police roadblocks.

Despite all these warnings, I think driving yourself is the very best way to explore Yucatan. It's really the only way I travel down there. Have a great trip!

Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
Level Contributor
43,616 posts
136 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Self Drive round the peninsula!

All good advice from EJ. I love driving in Scotland and Wales but it can be a challenge. But while I love to drive in this area, Scotland and Wales are much more scenic.

Merida, Yucatan
Level Contributor
1,723 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Self Drive round the peninsula!

When Robert says drive on the 'right' side of the road, he means not on the left. As you and I know, Airwavesblue, outside of the UK, they generally drive on the WRONG side of the road. Keeping to the left is right for an Englishman.

Besides that, you'll be fine. Yucatan has generally light traffic (not Cancun, though).

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
9,422 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Self Drive round the peninsula!

I also think it's a great idea to explore the Yucatan peninsula by car. We did a 2 week circle tour in October heading from the Cancun airport to Valladolid, Merida, Campeche, Calakmul, Bacalar and ending in Tulum. Wayfinding was pretty easy with a good map, we rarely used the GPS. We enjoyed all our stops and could easily repeat the same route next year with a whole different set of adventures.

The only 2 incidents we ran into were the gas station ripoff scheme at the Pemex north of Valladolid between the city and the toll road. We didn't fall for it only because they were so obvious and we had run into variations before. Also be sure and carry your passport or a copy of it at all times. There were a number of roadblocks and we got caught at 1 outside Merida where 1 of our group did not have her passport or copy with her. They finally let us go after 20 minutes but it looked a little ugly there for awhile and we're clearly a bunch of old geezers, not drug traffickers.

The people, food, and sites were amazing. Loved the range of smaller inns and B&Bs we stayed at and would recommend all of them (if I every get around to writing up the hotel reviews). Hope you have a great trip.

Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
Level Contributor
43,616 posts
136 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Self Drive round the peninsula!

Londoner is correct. That is what I meant. The right side is right here in the Yucatan, the left side is "right" in the UK.

Cape Cod
Level Contributor
1,926 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Self Drive round the peninsula!

The original poster expressed a desire to see "all the sites." I assume they mean the sites that are off main roads and not out into the bush. I would not recommend taking a rental car off paved roads.