2 Weeks in Mexico: Ultimate Yucatan Peninsula Itinerary
Are you visiting Mexico for the first time and looking for the perfect Yucatan Peninsula Itinerary?
We’ve put together a 14-day Yucatan Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary that covers the popular attractions, Pueblos Mágicos (magical towns), and some hidden gems.
Mexico is one of the best countries in the world, with its fascinating culture and history, heavenly food, ancient Mayan ruins, mystical cenotes, and tropical beaches.
A Yucatan Peninsula road trip is the best way to explore Chichen Itza, the Yellow City of Izamal, the best cenotes near Valladolid, the lagoon of seven colors in Bacalar, and Tulum’s instagrammable places.
Our Yucatan Peninsula itinerary includes the best places to visit, how to get there, where to stay, and the best things to do.
You’ll also find all the useful tips and information you need to plan your Yucatan Peninsula road trip itinerary.
- 2 Weeks in Mexico: Ultimate Yucatan Peninsula Itinerary
- Where is the Yucatan Peninsula
- How to Get to the Yucatan Peninsula
- How to Get Around the Yucatan Peninsula
- Best Time to Visit the Yucatan Peninsula
- Do I need a Visa to travel to Mexico?
- Is the Yucatan Peninsula safe?
- How much does it cost to visit the Yucatan Peninsula?
- The Ultimate 2-Week Yucatan Peninsula Itinerary
- Day 1: Arrive in Cancun
- Day 2: Travel to Valladolid
- Day 3: Chichen Itza, Cenote Ik Kil
- Day 4: Exploring Valladolid
- Day 5: Izamal, Merida
- Day 6: Travel to Bacalar
- Day 7: Bacalar Lagoon Boat Tour
- Day 8: Los Rapidos
- Day 9: Chilling Out in Bacalar
- Day 10: Travel to Tulum
- Day 11: Discovering Tulum’s Instagrammable Places
- Day 12: Best Cenotes near Tulum
- Day 13: Chill Out in Tulum
- Day 14: Return to Cancun
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Where is the Yucatan Peninsula
The Yucatan Peninsula is located southeast of Mexico, between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
The Yucatan Peninsula is Mexico’s most visited area, a vast coastal region with many things to do.
Most people know the Yucatán Peninsula as just Yucatán, which is misleading as the Peninsula is made up of three Mexican states: Yucatan, Campeche, and Quintana Roo.
Recommended Post → Best Places to Visit Yucatan Peninsula
Mérida is the capital of the Yucatán, Chetumal is the capital of Quintana Roo and San Francisco de Campeche is the capital of Campeche.
Popular Yucatan Peninsula resorts destinations such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are in Quintana Roo.
Did you know that the Yucatán Peninsula is home to Mexico’s famous Mayan Riviera?
See also → Best Things to Do in Bacalar
How to Get to the Yucatan Peninsula
The Yucatan Peninsula is easy to reach, and there are several ways to get there.
Depending on where you want to start your Yucatan Peninsula itinerary, there are a few international airports from which to choose.
International airports in the Yucatan Peninsula
- Cancun International Airport (CUN)
- Merida International Airport (MID)
- Cozumel International Airport (CZM)
- Chetumal International Airport (CTM)
Read more about Mexico → How to Renting a Car in Cancun
If you are staying in Mexico City or can get a cheaper connection from here, you can fly first to Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and then to Cancun. It takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes to fly from Mexico City to Cancun.
Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights to Mexico.
Most travelers to Mexico arrive at Cancun International Airport, as you can get cheap flights to Cancun. There are many direct flights to Cancun from Mexico City, Europe, the U.S., and other international countries.
See also → Things to do Yucatan Peninsula
How to Get Around the Yucatan Peninsula
The best way to get around the Yucatan Peninsula is to rent a car or take an ADO bus.
For nearby attractions or day trips, you can join a group or private tour, travel by taxi or Colectivo (shared minivans), or rent a bike.
Book Yucatan and Quintana Roo tours through GetYourGuide, where you can get great prices. There is a free cancellation option if you change your plans.
Yucatan Peninsula by car
We did this 14-day Yucatan Peninsula itinerary by rental car and enjoyed exploring the sights at our own pace. We have a complete guide to safe renting a car in Mexico, which includes how to avoid Mexican scams and some Yucatán Peninsula driving tips.
Recommended Post → Before Renting a Car in Mexico, You Need to Know
The driving will make this Yucatan Peninsula itinerary much easier and more flexible. But if you don’t know or don’t want to drive, you can still do this route without a car and travel by ADO bus.
You can book a car safely through Discovercars, which compares prices and offers full insurance.
Yucatan Peninsula by ADO bus
Public transport in Yucatan and Quintana Roo is excellent, and you can easily get from one place to another. ADO is the largest and most popular bus company in Mexico.
The Mexican ADO buses are safe, air-conditioned, comfortable, and cheap. On the ADO official website, you can find information on timetables and current prices.
ADO buses are usually quite cold due to the air-conditioned, so you should bring a pullover.
Best Time to Visit the Yucatan Peninsula
The Yucatan Peninsula has a tropical climate, hot and humid all year round. February and April are ideal months for a Yucatan Peninsula road trip itinerary.
The best time to visit the Yucatan Peninsula is between December and April. This period is the dry season, with pleasant temperatures and little rainfall.
However, these months are also the peak season in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, which means high prices and crowds.
In high season we strongly recommend booking accommodation and tours in advance. Use Booking to find the best hotels.
Read more → One Day in the Yellow City
In May, the temperatures are hotter and heavy rains can occur, but if you are traveling on a budget, it is the perfect month to visit Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.
The rainy and hurricane season usually starts in June and ends in October.
Good to know
Plan your trip for early November if you want to enjoy the Día de Muertos celebrations (Day of the Dead in Mexico).
Do I need a Visa to travel to Mexico?
Probably not. Most travelers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, or Europe don’t need a visa to travel to Mexico.
When you arrive in Mexico and go through Customs and Immigration, you will be issued a maximum 180-day (6-month) FMM tourist card.
Good to know
You can enter Mexico without a Covid-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test. However, always check the entry requirements!
Is the Yucatan Peninsula safe?
The Yucatan Peninsula is one of the safest destinations in Mexico. Although, some areas of Mexico are still worth avoiding because they are not safe! We found driving in the Yucatán Peninsula safe and easy, so we highly recommend renting a car in Cancun, Mexico.
Small thefts can happen like in any other country. So take care of your valuables, don’t show your expensive camera, and don’t leave your smartphone or passport in the car!
Read more→ The most common scams in Mexico
But the chances of kidnappings and drug cartel deals are minimal, so don’t worry about safety on the Yucatán Peninsula.
There are many checkpoints between cities, lots of police cars in the tourist areas, and unlike the city centers, there are few cars on the highways.
In our experience, Mexican people are very kind.
Good to know
You shouldn’t drink tap water in Mexico!
How much does it cost to visit the Yucatan Peninsula?
Mexico is a cheap country, but its popularity and luxury resorts make the Yucatan Peninsula more expensive than some other parts of Mexico.
Budget travelers will spend around 40-65 USD per day.
Depending on the mode of transport you will be using to travel around the country, which accommodation you prefer and how much you are willing to pay for restaurants.
Recommended Post → Best Cenotes near Valladolid, Yucatan
The Ultimate 2-Week Yucatan Peninsula Itinerary
Yucatan Peninsula Itinerary Map
Day 1: Arrive in Cancun
Welcome to Mexico! We hope you had a great flight and are ready to explore the charming Yucatán Peninsula.
Cancun is the best place to start your Yucatan Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary, as there are cheap and direct flights to Cancun.
Once you arrive at Cancun International Airport, you can easily rent a car at the airport or pick up your pre-booked car.
See also → How to Renting a Car in Cancun
A standard rental car with full insurance costs around 30-40 USD/day.
Depending on when you arrive in Cancun, you can choose to continue your trip to Valladolid or spend one night in Cancun. We don’t recommend that you drive at night!
Read more → Driving Tips for Yucatan Peninsula
You can take a private or shared airport shuttle and taxi to reach downtown Cancun or the Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone). It is good to know that Uber is not available in Cancun!
As our flight arrived in Cancun in the evening, we decided to pick up our car on arrival. Then we stayed at an apartment close to the airport and traveled to Valladolid the next day.
In Cancun, we stayed in the Suites Moon River, which was only 10 minutes drive from the airport.
Recommended Post → How to Get from Cancun Airport to Valladolid
If you are traveling by car, you should download an offline map and get a local sim card to drive to your hotel without any problems.
There is no sim card vendor at Cancun airport, but you can get one at any OXXO shop.
We recommend you buy the Telcel sim card as the internet was excellent during our 2-week trip.
Day 2: Travel to Valladolid
Good morning! It’s time to start your Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico itinerary! Check out from your hotel, have breakfast, and travel to Valladolid, Yucatan.
You can get from Cancun to Valladolid in about 2.15 minutes on the 180D toll highway, which costs 363 MXN.
Make sure you start with a full tank, as there are no gas stations on the highway!
Read more → Best Things to Do in Valladolid
Be sure to have enough Mexican pesos as you cannot pay the highway toll in USD or by credit card.
This road is very well maintained, comfortable and safe to drive on.
Once you arrive in the colorful colonial town of Valladolid, check in to your hotel. Afterward, have lunch at one of the authentic restaurants or try the street food, which is delicious and cheap.
More about Mexico → Valladolid itinerary
To avoid Mexican sickness, choose street food vendors where many locals eat.
Then explore the city of Valladolid, walk along the Calzada de Los Frailes, see the cathedral, visit the monastery of San Bernardino de Siena and swim in the Cenote Zaci.
See also → Best Cenotes near Valladolid
Day 3: Chichen Itza, Cenote Ik Kil
The most popular destination in Mexico is Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Plan your Yucatan Peninsula itinerary to allow enough time to explore the famous Mayan ruins.
Chichen Itza is only a 50-minute drive from Valladolid.
We suggest arriving in the morning because you can avoid the crowds of tourists and enjoy a stroll around the ruins without the burning sun.
Read the full Post → Ultimate Guide to Visiting Chichen Itza
Don’t forget to buy Mexican souvenirs! We visited many places on the Yucatan Peninsula, but Chichen Itza had the best souvenirs.
After Chichen Itza, you should visit Cenote Ik Kil, which is about a 10-minute drive away.
Cenote Ik Kil is a beautiful open cenote with long tendrils of vines and green plants that offers fantastic photo opportunities.
Take a few photos from above and then go down and swim or jump into the turquoise water from the platforms.
Learn more at → Guide to Visiting the Cenotes
Day 4: Exploring Valladolid
If you are looking for where to stay in the Yucatan Peninsula, the best choice is Valladolid.
Recommended Post → Valladolid itinerary for 3-days
Start your day with a short visit to Uayma, just 20 minutes from Valladolid.
After that, you can visit the stunning cenotes around Valladolid. We recommend that after Uayma, you go to Cenote Suytun as it is less crowded in the morning.
Did you know that Cenote Suytun is one of the most photographed places in Mexico?
See also → Best Cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico
Then go to the Cenote Oxman and have lunch there, then visit the other beautiful cenotes around Valladolid or spend your time in the city center.
Enjoy traditional Mexican dancing in Valladolid’s main square, shop from street vendors and see the beautiful church.
Day 5: Izamal, Merida
It’s time to say goodbye to Valladolid and continue your Mexico trip. Our next destination on the Yucatan Peninsula itinerary is the Yellow City of Izamal.
Izamal is only a 1.5-hour drive from Valladolid, and as you can explore in a few hours, it is well worth a visit.
Spend a short time in Izamal, climb the Kinich Kak Moo pyramid, walk the yellow streets, visit the Convento De San Antonio de Padua and shop in the local market.
Recommended Post → Top things to do in Izamal
After exploring Izamal and taking lots of Insta-worthy photos on the streets of Izamal, drive on to Merida.
Mérida is the capital of Yucatán state, the perfect place for digital nomads and budget travelers. But there is no shortage of expensive restaurants, trendy boutiques, parties, and popular events.
Read the full Post → Best Things to Do in Merida
Day 6: Travel to Bacalar
Ready for the best part of your Yucatan Peninsula itinerary? Bacalar is a stunning place in Quintana Roo, famous for its lagoon of 7 colors and known as the Maldives of Mexico.
From Merida to Bacalar, the journey time by car is 4-5 hours depending on traffic. Since you’re about to take a long trip, read our driving tips for the Yucatan Peninsula.
Depending on when you arrive in Bacalar, try to catch the sunset at one of the docks (balnearios).
Recommended Post → Best Things to Do in Bacalar
Day 7: Bacalar Lagoon Boat Tour
A sailing trip is the best way to explore the beautiful Bacalar lagoon.
The Bacalar sailing tour takes about 3 hours, depending on the weather conditions. When we did the sailing tour, we had great windy weather, which was ideal for the activity.
The price for the sailing tour starts from about 650 MXN/person. You can book a boat tour in the city center, at the harbor, or online.
See also → Where to Stay in Bacalar
On the way, we stopped several times at beautiful places where we could swim, snorkel, or sunbathe on the boat.
After the sailing tour, have lunch and visit the most beautiful cenotes of Bacalar. Spend a few chilling hours at the Cenote Cocalitos, swim and snorkel, or enjoy hanging a hammock.
Day 8: Los Rapidos
Visiting Los Rapidos is one of the best things to do in Bacalar. The crystal clear waters in different shades of blue and impressive stromatolites make it the best place to visit in Mexico.
You can swim in the beautiful blue lagoon, snorkel, and rent kayaks at Los Rapidos.
There is a great restaurant where you can eat delicious Mexican food or reserve a sun lounger to enjoy the scenery.
Los Rapidos is about 15 minutes from the center of Bacalar, and you can easily visit it by taxi, colectivo, or car.
You can combine a visit to Los Rapidos with Laguna Bonanza, where you can picnic, swim and snorkel in the crystal clear water.
Recommended Post → Guide to Los Rapidos, Bacalar
Day 9: Chilling Out in Bacalar
On this day, visit Fort San Felipe and then spend the day relaxing.
At Fort San Felipe, you can learn about the Bacalar’s history and enjoy the fantastic views of the Bacalar lagoon.
You can rent a kayak and paddle across the lagoon to the shipwreck at the Pirate Channel or chill out at one of the beach clubs in Bacalar.
The Blúe Beach Club offers delicious meals and drinks, tropical backdrops, and fantastic photo opportunities.
More about Mexico → Discover a Hidden Gem in Bacalar
Day 10: Travel to Tulum
Continue on your Yucatan Peninsula itinerary to Tulum, one of Mexico’s most visited places. From Bacalar to Tulum, the journey takes around 2.5-3 hours, depending on traffic. To make the most of your day, we recommend visiting the Muyil ruins and Coba ruins on the way.
Then it’s time to get that famous Tulum vibe. Stroll around the charming streets, and in the afternoon, visit Palma Central for a fantastic atmosphere, delicious food, and cold drinks.
Read our → Tulum Guide
Day 11: Discovering Tulum’s Instagrammable Places
Good morning Tulum! Rent a bike and discover the most beautiful places in Tulum.
Bike rental at Tulum Beach is 15 USD for 24 hours.
We don’t recommend visiting Tulum Beach by car, as parking is expensive and spaces fill up quickly.
We’ve put together a complete guide to Tulum’s best Instagrammable spots, with tips and a map to help you plan your Tulum itinerary.
Recommended Post → Most Instagrammable Places in Tulum
Day 12: Best Cenotes near Tulum
Our Yucatan Peninsula itinerary gives you a full day to explore the most beautiful cenotes in Tulum.
If you want to visit them all, probably 1-day is not enough, as they are all so gorgeous (and some are expensive), so it is not worth taking a short time.
Best cenotes in Tulum
- Gran Cenote
- Cenote Aktun-Ha
- Cenote Calavera
- Cenote Azul
- Cenote Dos Ojos
- Cenote Zacil-Ha
- Cenotes Casa Tortuga Tulum
Recommended Post → Best Cenotes in Tulum
Day 13: Chill Out in Tulum
As this is your last day in Tulum, we recommend you visit the attractions you missed or spend the day relaxing on Tulum’s beautiful beaches.
Our favorite beach in Tulum was Playa Xpu-Ha. But Akumal, Playa Ruinas, and Playa Paraiso are also worth a visit.
Go to a restaurant and eat delicious Mexican food, or go shopping. Tulum has many places to shop for fashionable dresses, handcrafted gifts, and souvenirs.
See also → Top Things to Do in Tulum
Day 14: Return to Cancun
It’s time to leave Mexico! Our Yucatan Peninsula itinerary ends where it began. Go back to Cancun airport, return the car and fly home.
We hope you enjoyed your visit to Mexico. This Yucatan Peninsula itinerary includes many things to do, but you cannot visit all of the Yucatan Peninsula attractions in two weeks.
However, if you have more time than 14 days in Mexico, here are some additional destinations you can add to your Yucatan Peninsula road trip itinerary!
- Playa del Carmen
- Isla Mujeres
- Isla Holbox
We hope our two weeks Yucatan Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary will help you plan your next trip to Mexico. If you have any questions or thoughts, let us know in the comments below.