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Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

Park City, Utah
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Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

Hi all,

My husband and I are traveling with our two small girls. I've been instructed by my husband to plan a relaxing vacation so I have booked us five nights on Isla Holbox. Before we are arrive there, however, I've got two days to get in some sightseeing. We were in Puerto Morelos last year, had a blast, and visited Tulum. This year I'm hoping to get to see Chichen Iza. In the process of planning I have found that it also might be fun to see the colonial architecture in Vallidolid and visit a cenote (Xkeken perhaps?). In searching these forums for accommodation recommendations, however, I've become quite fascinated with Ek Balam and am considering staying at the Genesis.

Here is my rough itinerary:

Day 1 -Fly into Cancun at 12:45 pm, transfer (somehow) to Genesis. Hopefully arrive by 4 pm. Eat, relax, explore Ek Balam

Day 2 - Get to Chichen Iza as early as possible, spend several hours there, then back to Vallidolid to explore and visit a cenote. Have nice dinner and then back to Genesis.

Day 3 - Transfer from Genesis to Chiquila and ferry to Holbox. (I'm guessing this will be about a four hour journey).

My questions:

1) Is this too much for a husband who needs to relax? Or will he be so impressed by this area that he won't care (: ? Keep in mind he does have five relaxing nights ahead of him.

2) Do we need to rent a car? I was hoping for bus travel but my hopes to stay at the Genesis might make that tough.

3) Is the Genesis a practical place for us to stay? We are able to rough it so the lack of amenities aren't a problem. We don't speak a lot of Spanish though and I read this might be a problem.

4) Any other ideas on accommodations? Two kids - small to moderate budget (can spend between $100 - $150 but don't have to).

Thanks!

Colo Spgs
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1. Re: Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

I am not familiar with Genesis but Ek Balam probably closes at 500 PM.

Be at C. Itza at 800 AM

The cenote Ik Kil is close to C. Itza and I found that cenote very nice. I have also been to Dzitnup near Valladolid.

Can't help with the hubby issues.

Southern California
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2. Re: Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

Never stayed there, stayed Hotel Meson de Marques, looked up their website, looks nice, but some of the rooms have shared baths, make sure you book a private bath if you decide to stay there. Ek Balam is great.

Indianapolis...
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3. Re: Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

I just can't see day 1 working out the way you hope, particularly if you go by bus. If you arrive at 12:45 pm you could be standing around an hour before even getting out of the airport (just depends). You'd then have to catch a bus to the downtown bus station, that's a 30 min ride, and the bus comes every 30 minutes. So you could walk out and catch it immediately, or you could sit and take an hour to get downtown. Then you'd have to catch a bus to Valladolid. Valladolid buses leave at 1:00 (no way), 2:00 (nope) and 5:30 -- too late for your plans.

I'm not even sure it's doable with a car. Even if you could get there at 4:00, as Co Pilot says, the ruins will close shortly after you arrive.

Best thing seems to be to concentrate on getting to Valladolid, then do either Ek balam or Chichen Itza the next day.

Park City, Utah
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4. Re: Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

Thank you very much for the feedback - logistics like closing times and buses are exactly the things I need help with. It sounds like maybe we should just focus on Vallidolid and Chichen Iza this time and stay in Vallidolid. Oh well, hopefully we will be back someday and can explore Ek Balam and all the other areas. So much to see in such a short life!

Thanks for the cenote suggestions, Co Pilot. I will look into those - any thoughts on the best one for children? Hubby issues made me smile. Lots of issues between an avid site-seer and a cerveza/hammock lover! We manage though (:

Off to research more Vallidolid accomodations....

Colo Spgs
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5. Re: Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

Here is my gut impression. Isla Holbox and logistics (transportation) seem iffy and less than stress free.

I would do more research into the logistics issues and decide if they are really what you want.

Puerto Morelos or anywhere along the coast or Isla Mujeres would be far simpler travel wise and you can still do one day trip to see C. Itza, a cenote in that area and Ek Balam.

Edited: 20 November 2012, 23:42
Colo Spgs
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6. Re: Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

Here is a view of Ik Kil from an upper observation point:

http://tinyurl.com/7zwwppr

It is an open cenote whereas Dzitnup I think is more closed/covered. There should be pictures of Dzitnup on the internet. I will guess that Ik Kil would be better. Try both if you can.

When I went to C. Itza from Valladolid, I use a colectivo. I would not recommend that for you. I paid 250 pesos one way for a taxi back to Valladolid.

If you can hire a taxi for the day at a reasonable (if you do not rent a car), I still think that C. Itza, a a cenote and Ek Balam are viable in a day. Tours do it from the Cancun area and they have a higher driving time.

You may have to drop off the hubby and kidlets after C. Itza/cenote and then go on to Ek Balam.

Indianapolis...
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7. Re: Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

I like Valladolid and have been there twice this year. I think it would be a reasonable place to base yourself for a day or two. The square is nice and there are lots of little restaurants and hotels right around there. The only downside I see is that tour buses stop there and there will be periods of the afternoon when it is wall to wall tourists. You may not may not care about that, just a forewarning.

There is a very nice swimmable cenote right in Valladolid, cenote Zaci. The cost is maybe $20 pesos -- under $2/us. It's a few blocks east of the square, has easy to access stairs, etc. Last time I was there there were quite a few kids swimming.

Ek balam is a very short ride away by cab or collectivo. Chichen Itza is a bit further.

I stayed at Hotel Meson de Marquis and found it ok. Last trip I went a little cheaper at Hotel Colonial la Aurora and would not recommend it.

Cape Cod
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8. Re: Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

If you have a car, your itinerary is fine. If not:

Relaxing to me means minimizing transportation. Getting to and from Isla Holbox is a bit tricky and can be somewhat stressful. I would do whatever I could to reduce stress.

Genesis is a bit too far out of the way for my comfort. I'd stay where I could know I could get a cab, such as Valladolid or Chichen Itza, and I'd recommend Chichen Itza, but only if you stay at either the Hacienda Chichen or the Mayaland, which to me are very relaxing places and within walking distance of the Chichen ruins.

If I was you, I'd head to the Hacienda Chichen after arriving and spend the night. The next morning get up and see Chichen, and over the day visit Ik Kil, Balancanche, and whatever else catches your fancy. Spend another night and then spend the next day getting to Holbox.

There are a lot of logistics you need to know, but only if you don't have a car. Do your research.

Have a great trip!

Colo Spgs
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9. Re: Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

Consider getting the Mayan Adventure map/guide from

cancunmap.com

Cozumel, Mexico
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10. Re: Rough two day itinerary- Valladolid, Chinchen, and Ek Balam

Good advice from several who know the area well, such as Peter and EJ. I lived in Valladolid and they know the area well. As EJ says, a car would simplify things.

As EJ mentions, the tour buses can be a problem in the center of Valladolid now. But they tend to stay around the square at the shops paying the commissions to the the tour operators. Get a bit away from the square and few tourists.