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Mexico Road Trip in the Yucatan For Families

  • Highlights
Our fully customisable, 12-day self-drive tour has been designed for families travelling with children of all ages. Your tour starts and ends in Cancún, Mexico's beach capital, taking you on a cultural and adventure-filled journey back in time through the must-see highlights of the Yucatan's Mayan ruins, lagoons, cenotes, and jungles.  Kids and teens will love...• Zip-lining ov...

Our fully customisable, 12-day self-drive tour has been designed for families travelling with children of all ages. Your tour starts and ends in Cancún, Mexico's beach capital, taking you on a cultural and adventure-filled journey back in time through the must-see highlights of the Yucatan's Mayan ruins, lagoons, cenotes, and jungles. 

 

Kids and teens will love...

• Zip-lining over the crystal-clear water of mysterious cenotes

• Learning the ancient secrets of how Mayan chocolate was made (and sampling some)

• Taking a boat trip through Celestún's glistening lagoon to spot flamingos 

Parents will love...

• The perfect balance of family-friendly activities and down time

• The freedom of having a rental car (with booster seats for little ones if required)

• The safety of 24:7 on-the-ground assistance

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Customizable tour itinerary

This tour idea is fully customizable

This itinerary has been crafted by our Local Agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and your interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Cancún - Arrival & Welcome

Upon arrival in Cancún, head over to the rental car office to pick up your vehicle. Then, you and your family can set off on your Yucatan adventure, starting with your hotel in Playa del Carmen, where you can either relax for the rest of the day or explore your surroundings on foot. 

Total drive time: 1 hour


Day 2: Playa del Carmen - Free Day

Today, you and your family will be able to relax after your plane journey by spending the day at Playa Del Carmen, one of the most beautiful and child-friendly beaches in Mexico! Either take a dip in the crystal-clear water or visit one of the many restaurants and boutiques around your hotel.

Free time all day


Day 3: Playa del Carmen - Tulum & Punta Laguna

After breakfast, you and your family will drive off to visit the archaeological site of Tulum, located on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Explore the ruins and temples of this unique site, before cooling off in the ocean underneath. Next, continue on to the  beach town of Tulum for a delicious lunch.

In the afternoon, your journey continues in the direction of Coba, Punta Laguna, where a private guide will take you through the stunning nature reserve. You and your family will have the unique opportunity to meet the descendants of this wonderful pre-Hispanic culture and participate in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage. You'll also enjoy the unforgettable experience of paddling on a beautiful lagoon in the middle of a jungle, and zip-lining over the crystal-clear water of the cenotes. At the end of the day, drive back to your hotel in Playa del Carmen to relax.

Total drive time: 3 hours

Visited:
TulumPunta LagunaCoba

Day 4: Playa del Carmen - Sian Ka’an National Park

After breakfast, drive south to the phenomenal biosphere reserve and UNESCO World Heritage site of Sian Ka’an. This protected national park is more than 5,000 km², and offers a wide range of vegetation from tropical rainforests and mangroves to marshy landscapes.

Take a walk through the jungle to explore the pristine ecological area, home to the Maya ruins of Muyil and the temple of Xlapak. You'll also have time to take a refreshing dip in a lagoon surrounded by mangroves and observe the exotic birds and wildlife. At the end of your visit, you'll reach the subterranean Cenote Escondido, where you and your family will have time for some snorkelling and a swim. After a delicious lunch, you'll then drive on to your new hotel in Bacalar.

Total drive time: 4 hours

Visited:
Playa del CarmenSian Ka’an

Day 5: Quintana Roo - Laguna Bacalar

After breakfast, enjoy a relaxing day admiring the beauty of the lagoon, also known as 'the lagoon of seven colours' for its many tones of blue. We recommend a boat trip on the lagoon exploring the mangroves and unique flora and fauna of the region. For a small cost, you and your family can take a kayak out into the lagoon on your own and explore the turquoise waters, looking out for local wildlife, or stop off at the mud flats for some natural spa treatments.

Alternatively, why not visit the San Felipe fort to enjoy a local seafood lunch? The fort was built in 1729 after the town was ransacked by pirates.  There are also several archaeological sites near Bacalar that are worth a visit, such as Kohunlich. In the afternoon, continue on to Chicanna to your hotel lodge located in the lush jungle.

​Total drive time: 2 hours

Visited:
Laguna BacalarChicannáQuintana Roo

Day 6: Quintana Roo - Calakmul Ruins

After breakfast, set off to visit the fascinating archaeological site of Calakmul. This site is located in the almost untouched Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Get your cameras ready and explore the numerous pyramids and buildings of this impressive Maya city.

At its height in the late Classic period, it is estimated that Calakmul had a population of over 50,000 people and rivaled Tikal in Guatemala. Far from the mass of tourists, this archaeological site is an incredible site to explore. Afterwards, continue to Campeche.

Total drive time: 4 hours

Visited:
CalakmulCampeche

Day 7: Campeche - Chocolate Museum & Uxmal

After breakfast, take some time to discover the little fishing village of Campeche with its colourful houses and extensive boardwalk, or simply relax in one of its many plazas and enjoy a trip back in time in this charming colonial city. Afterwards, you and your family will drive to the famous Chocolate Museum, located next to Uxmal.

There, you'll have the chance to learn about the history of chocolate and the importance it played for the Mayas. Of course, you'll also get to sample the traditional chocolate drink. If you're still feeling adventurous, head to the archaeological site of Uxmal just next door, second only to Chichen Itza as one of the most important Mayan sites in the Yucatan. Afterwards, drive on to the ecological reserve of Cuxtal to your new hotel. 

Total drive time: 3 hours

Visited:
CampecheUxmal

Day 8: Cuxtal - Hacienda Sotuta de Peon

After breakfast, you and your family will spend the morning visiting the precious little Hacienda. The first stop will be the machine hall and the production site, where the owners still produce high quality sisal products. Afterwards, take a carriage ride through the agave fields to a Maya dwelling. The visit gives you a closer look into the traditions and lifestyle of the Maya people nowadays, as well as in a historical context.

At the Hacienda you can also visit an idyllic and mystic cenote, where you can take a refreshing dip in the crystal clear water (towels provided on  location). Back at the Hacienda, you'll have time for a delicious lunch in the local restaurant and to relax at the pool before heading to Mérida.

Total drive time: 1 hour

Visited:
MéridaHacienda de Sotuta de Peon

Day 9: Mérida - The Mysterious Calcehtok Caves

Today, you and your family will be picked up at your hotel in Mérida after breakfast and driven to Calcehtok, the largest cave system in the Yucatán. From here, your hike begins through  impressive rock formations to the Calcehtok Caves, where you'll be served a small snack and some refreshments. Then, continue on and descend down into the spectacular underworld of the caves. These caves were once considered a Maya refuge and ceremonial centre.

After your hike, continue towards the village of Chochola. On the way there, you'll stop at a cenote to take a quick dip in the cool water. Upon arrival in Chochola, you'll have the opportunity to refresh yourself in another cenote, to exchange with your local guide, and to relax with a tasty regional lunch before being driven back to your hotel in Mérida for the night.

Total drive time: 1 hour

Visited:
Mérida

Day 10: Mérida - Flamingos In Celestún

Get ready for total immersion in nature! In the morning, set off towards Celestún Beach where you can observe one of the biggest flamingo colonies in the world during a boat trip through the mangrove swamps. After your tour, stroll along the beach and experience the amazing flora and fauna, relax in the warm Mexican sun, or sit back and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch before driving back to your hotel in Mérida.

Total drive time: 3 hours


Day 11: Mérida - Chichén Itzá & Cenote Yokdzonot

After breakfast, you and your family will drive to Chichén Itzá, the most famous and best preserved excavation site in Mexico. This Modern Wonder of the World has been made iconic by its impressive architecture and enormous pyramids. The highlights: the pyramid of Kukulcan, which illustrates a unique stone calendar, and the huge ancient ball court, displaying beautiful ornaments that tell the history of the Maya way of life.

Afterwards, you'll continue on to Cenote Yokdzonot for a refreshing dip! Take a siesta on a hammock or dare to soar across the cenote 100ft above the water on a zipline. At the end of the afternoon, continue on to your hotel in Valladolid.

Total drive time: 2 hours


Day 12: Cancún - Departure For Flight Home

It is time to say 'Adiós' to this beautiful, colourful and friendly country. Enjoy a final breakfast at your hotel before driving back to the airport in Cancún to hand back your rental car and catch your flight home. We hope you and your family have had an amazing time in Mexico and we look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Total drive time: 2 hours

Visited:
Cancún

Cancún Playa del Carmen Tulum Punta Laguna Coba Sian Ka’an Laguna Bacalar Chicanná Quintana Roo Calakmul Campeche Uxmal Mérida Hacienda de Sotuta de Peon Celestún Chichén-Itzá Yokdzonot Valladolid

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. $1,930 / 12 days
Excluding international flights
AdultsChildren (under 12)
Price per person$1,880$320

Included in price:

  • Accommodation: 11 nights accommodation in family-friendly hotels based on 1 double room and 1 twin room, including breakfast
  • Transport: car rental for 12 days in a category IFAR vehicle (Jeep Patriot or similar), pick up/drop off: Cancun Airport, unlimited miles, 2 drivers, all taxes included, collision damage waiter and theft insurance with a 10% retention, air-conditioning
  • Transfers: all tours and transfers in air-conditioned country-specific vehicles (for day excursions when rental car is not being used)
  • Activities: all activities mentioned in the tour (except optional activities on day 5)
  • Guides: an English-speaking private guide for excursions on days 3, 7, 8 & 9)
  • Meals: breakfast x 11 (in hotels), lunch x 1 (on day 9)
  • 24:7 on-the-ground assistance

Not included in price:

  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Personal expenses and extras in the hotels
  • Travel or healthcare insurance
  • Extended loss damage waiver for rental car (15 GBP per day)
  • Entry: to sites/parks in self-organised excursions throughout the rental car tour
  • Voluntary tips for drivers/guides
  • Fuel costs and motorway tolls
  • Additional meals and drinks

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