Ultimate 2-Week Yucatan Itinerary in Mexico Ultimate 2-Week Yucatan Itinerary in Mexico

Ultimate 2-Week Yucatan Itinerary in Mexico

Embark on an incredible journey to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula: the Caribbean dream destination. From driving past the stunningly turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya to exploring ancient ruins and colorful colonial streets, there’s no shortage of amazing things to do in this part of Mexico. Add the region’s delicious (street)food, remarkable large cenotes, and vast jungles, and you’re set for quite the adventure. Discover all the best spots with this ultimate 2-week Yucatan itinerary.

Two weeks in the Yucatan Peninsula

The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico has an incredible range of destinations, from bustling tourist hubs like Cancun and Tulum to historic colonial cities like Valladolid and Merida. Though you can get around with public transportation, this Yucatan itinerary is best traveled by car, allowing you to hop between the region’s beautiful beaches, cenotes, and Mayan ruins. 

yucatan itinerary valladolid Uayma Church

Day 1: Arrival in Cancun

Start your Yucatan adventure in popular Cancun, known for its beaches, numerous resorts, and buzzing nightlife. As an iconic spring break destination, the city on the Caribbean coast immediately reveals one of the biggest draws to the region: the stunning turquoise sea. 

yucatan itinerary cancun beach mexico

Take some time to recover from your flight by heading to the beach and grabbing some food at one of the restaurants. You’ll find the best beaches in the Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone), a long strip of soft sands and high-rise hotels. 

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Tip: If you have time, it’s also an option to travel directly to Tulum. The boho town has an airport, though it’s much smaller and has fewer flights than Cancun. 

Where to Stay in Cancun 

In Cancún, the buzzing Hotel Zone is the perfect place for beach lovers, with pristine shores and vibrant nightlife. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a bit more authentic local experience with traditional markets and restaurants, choose a hotel in downtown Cancun

yucatan mexico itinerary hotel

Day 2-3: Tulum

Just 2 hours south of busy Cancun, you’ll find the slower, laid-back town of Tulum. With incredible white-sand beaches, jungles, Mayan ruins, and unique hotels, it makes the perfect destination to unwind on your Yucatan travel itinerary. 

tulum statue yucatan itinerary mexico

Soak up the sun on the famous Tulum Beach that lies in front of the resorts of the Hotel Zone. With incredibly blue water and powdery sand, it’s a real slice of paradise and one of the main reasons people visit the Caribbean town.

mexico tulum beach yucatan itinerary

Afterward, depending on where you’re staying, have dinner in the Hotel Zone or head to the vibrant Tulum Centro for some yummy tacos. Downtown Tulum also makes the perfect place to go boutique shopping or find some cool souvenirs!

mexico itinerary tulum cafe

Tulum Cenotes and Ruins

Take your time to explore the area; head off on a half-day trip to hidden cenotes (also the best way to cool down on your Yucatan itinerary!) or walk amongst the ancient Mayan ruins that sit perched on the coast’s cliffs. You can tour the Tulum pyramids on your own or book a tour to learn more about the Peninsula’s rich history.

cenote yucatan itinerary mexico

How to Get to Tulum

Tulum is only 2 hours away from Cancun and is easy to get to by bus, car, or taxi. Rent a car in Cancun and drive south along the stunning coastline. Alternatively, hop on one of the ADO buses that leave for Tulum at the main bus terminal downtown (book your tickets here). Traveling by bus is generally the cheapest way of getting around the Yucatan in Mexico.

yucatan itinerary transport

Where to Stay in Tulum

Tulum has new accommodations pop up everywhere in town, with many dotted along the coastline (Hotel Zone). Prices are a bit higher here, but hotels include different amenities and have direct access to the beautiful beaches. You can also find good apartments and hotels downtown (Centro). 

hotel yucatan itinerary mexico

Day 4: Day Trip to Sian Ka’an

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is the largest protected area on the Caribbean coast in Mexico, home to many animal species and stunning landscapes. Take a day to explore the jungle marshes, mangroves, cenotes, and vibrant blue lagoons in this protected UNESCO site.

Whether it’s relaxing in a hammock with your feet in the water of Laguna de Kaan Luum or walking through the jungle and past ancient Mayan ruins, Sian Ka’an offers a refreshing addition to your 2-week Yucatan itinerary. Cool off in the huge open cenote, float down man-made canals, and explore the Muyil ruins by booking an organized tour

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Ultimate 2-Week Yucatan Itinerary in Mexico
sian kaan mangroves yucatan itinerary

Note: Due to the harsh chemicals in many sunscreens and bug sprays, you’re not allowed to wear them in the reserve (and many other places in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula). Instead, choose a non-toxic bug spray and reef-safe sunscreen.

sian kaan yucatan mexico itinerary

Day 5-7: Bacalar (Highlight of Yucatan)

Discover the magical town of Bacalar, one of the highlights of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. This beautiful destination is known for its freshwater lagoon with shockingly turquoise water and vibrant downtown. Though it’s growing in popularity, it remains somewhat of a hidden gem, making it a must-see on your Yucatan itinerary.

Spend a few days exploring the different corners of Bacalar and its surroundings, from deep open-air cenotes to powerful streams and the lagoon of seven different colors. Once you get to Bacalar, unwind at one of the beach clubs (Balnearios) at the lagoon’s edge and witness the beautiful sunset from the fortress downtown.

travel mexico bacalar sunset

Kayak, Paddleboard, or Boat Tour on the Lagoon

Kayaking on the Bacalar Lagoon is easily one of the best things to do on a 2-week Yucatan itinerary. You can rent kayaks (or paddleboards) around the lake, including many Balnearios (200 – 300 MXN). Head out early to explore the island crops and ancient stromatolites.

For a similarly relaxed experience, you can book a boat tour on the lake. There are many companies all around the lagoon offering 2-hour tours in a lancha (small boat) or ponton (pontoon). However, you can also hop on a sailboat or small catamaran for 3-4 hours. (Book your tour here)

boat tour bacalar yucatan travel itinerary

How to Get to Bacalar

If you’re renting a car in Mexico, make your way further south to Bacalar. From Tulum, it’s about a 3-hour drive through beautiful jungle roads. 

You also have the option to travel on the ADO bus that departs directly from Tulum. Though time-consuming (5+ hours), the buses are comfortable, safe, and easy to use. The bus drop-off in Bacalar is about 15 minutes from the town’s center. 

Where to Stay in Bacalar

The best place to stay in Bacalar is in the heart of town, where you find most hotels, restaurants, and the Bacalar park. From here, it’s only a short walk to the stunning lagoon. You can also book a boutique hotel or guesthouse directly on the lagoon, with private piers and stunning water views.

street art bacalar mexico

Day 8-9: Valladolid: A Yucatan Itinerary Must

On day 8 of your Yucatan travel itinerary, head to the beautiful Valladolid, which is full of color, culture, and history. When you arrive in the afternoon, explore the city’s rainbow-colored alleys and indulge in some delicious Yucateco dishes for dinner.

colorful streets valladolid yucatan itinerary mexico

The next day, wander around the charming pastel streets, and explore the majestic San Servacio Cathedral, while you hunt for a yummy breakfast spot. From the restaurant patio, you can easily take in all the surrounding colonial architecture and lively marketplaces. Afterward, use the warm afternoon to cool off in the crystal-clear waters of nearby cenotes. (Join this cenotes tour)  

cenote zaci mexico yucatan

How to Get to Valladolid

The colorful city of Valladolid lies about 4 hours away from Bacalar, meaning it’ll take a good chunk of your day to get there. You also have the option of the ADO bus to Valladolid. Note: There’s not always a direct bus route from Bacalar to Valladolid, so browse your options on the ADO site in advance.

mexico valladolid church 2 week yucatan itinerary

Where to Stay in Valladolid

From colorful hostels to beautiful boutique hotels, there’s accommodation for every type of traveler in Valladolid. Most lie close to the center, making it easier to explore all the sites. What’s more, many include a delicious Mexican breakfast, too!

restaurant valladolid mexico itinerary

Day 10: Chichen Itzá

Close to Valladolid lies Mexico’s most famous Mayan site: Chichen Itzá. Perched between the jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula, it’s impossible to visit the nearby city and not take a morning to visit this stunning complex. 

mexico yucatan travel itinerary chichen itza

Made up of multiple Mayan ruins, Chichen Itzá is one of the largest Mayan cities to have ever existed and the most visited ancient site in Mexico. Rent a car or motorbike, or join a tour to Chichen Itza to visit the iconic historical remains, wandering between massive step pyramids and stone pillars. 

chichen itza mexico 2-week itinerary

How to Get to Chichen Itzá

Chichen Itzá is about a 45-minute drive from Valladolid. Once you’ve arrived, most people spend about 2-3 hours walking around the large archeological site, either self-guided or on a guided walking tour.

chichen itza mexico

Afterward, hop back in your vehicle and use the afternoon to explore some of the other beautiful sites in the area: the quaint town of Uayma, the Ek Balam ruins, or the Insta-famous Cenote Suytun.

mexico cenote suytun 2 week yucatan itinerary

Day 11-12: Isla Holbox

On the last leg of your two-week Yucatan itinerary, explore the sleepy beach town of Holbox. Here, soft sandy beaches and calm waters make the perfect location to soak up some last sun before returning home from Cancun. 

isla holbox beach yucatan mexico travel guide

Relax on the island, lounging in a hammock with a delicious cocktail in hand, and listen to the sound of the waves. Days are slow here, but you can easily fill it up with some more excitement by going kayaking in the mangroves or cruising down the coast to Punta Mosquito. As you travel, take in the colorful murals spread across the little beach town, swim in the Caribbean Sea, and spot flamingos on the horizon. 

travel itinerary mexico isla holbox town

How to Get to Holbox

From Valladolid, it’s about a 2-hour drive to get to Chiquilá, the port town where you can hop on a ferry towards Isla Holbox. Two ferry companies operate between the island and Chiquilá, leaving every 30 minutes all day long. The journey across only takes 15 minutes, and a roundtrip to Holbox costs about 400 MXN (23.30 USD). 

If you’re driving, you can park your car in Chiquilá, which costs about 200 MXN (11.61 USD) per 24 hours. Tip: Though it’s usually not a problem, it’s recommended to remove all your belongings from the car (learn more about travel safety).

yucatan itinerary isla holbox

Where to Stay in Holbox

The peaceful atmosphere of Isla Holbox and its beachy location offer some incredible stays, from luxe eco-lodges to chill hostels with hammocks on the sand. The best area is right in the center near the ‘Holbox’ letters, close to all the things to do and many restaurants.

beach hotel isla holbox mexico yucatan itinerary

Alternative Option: Visit the City of Merida

If Valladolid has got you excited about colorful alleys, colonial architecture, and vibrant local music (and you want to see more), opt to visit Merida instead of Holbox. This city, known as the cultural heart of the Yucatan Peninsula, is rich with lively markets, Mayan heritage, and colonial streets. 

2 week yucatan itinerary

Dive into the delicious cuisine on lively patios while music plays and people dance in the background. Blending ancient history, rhythm, and modern energy, Merida is a must-see for those craving more local culture.

mexican traditional dance

Day 13: Return to Cancun

On your last full day in Mexico, grab a delicious coffee on Isla Holbox in the morning and ferry back to the mainland after. Once you get to Chiquilá, pick up your car from where you parked it and drive back to Cancun.

Tip: Take this day to relax before flying out the next day, stroll through Mercado 28, and shop for some last souvenirs.

cafe mexico

How to Visit the Yucatan in 2 Weeks

Your 2-week Yucatan itinerary starts and ends in Cancun or Tulum, both of which have airports. 

Find flights to Yucatan ✈️
flight mexico

Getting Around the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

For the ultimate freedom, we recommend renting a car in Mexico to complete your Yucatan itinerary in 2 weeks. This also gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace and explore every destination you’d like. Besides, it’s often much faster and cheaper than taxiing or taking a tour.

Alternatively, you can book a taxi or private transfer or hop on the bus to get around. Though traveling by bus takes a bit longer than by car, the ADO bus network in the Yucatan Peninsula is very good, affordable, and comfortable.

Our Favorite Accommodations for a 2-Week Yucatan Itinerary

Depending on your budget, there are many options for accommodation in the Yucatan, Mexico. For example, exclusive hotels, seaside resorts, lively hostels, or downtown apartments. Here are our favorites:

accommodations yucatan itinerary

Is the Yucatan in Mexico Safe?

The Yucatan Peninsula is generally considered safe for travelers, with popular areas heavily patrolled by police to maintain security. However, like any other travel destination, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone at night. Luckily, due to its popularity, you’re rarely ever completely alone. You can also get a Mexico SIM card for added security and convenience.

shop mexico

What to Know Before Your Yucatan Itinerary

Before you make your way through Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and explore its stunning jungles, towns, and coastline, it’s important to keep the following factors in mind. That way, you can confidently travel while respecting its unique cultural and natural landscapes.

  • Learn a few words in Spanish. Despite its growing popularity, some people in Mexico don’t speak English. However, local Yucatecans are known for their warmth and hospitality, especially towards visitors who show interest in their culture.
  • Get a Telcel SIM card. Getting a local SIM is great for staying connected during your Yucatan itinerary of 2 weeks. The best mobile data company is Telcel; for only 200 MXN (~12 USD), you have 30 days of unlimited data for social media and 5GB for all other browsings. The card itself costs only 80 MXN (or you can buy an e-sim in advance).
  • Tipping is very common in Mexico. Sometimes, it’s already included in the bill, so make sure to check this before paying!
  • Drinking alcohol on the street is illegal. Luckily, there are plenty of restaurants and bars with beautiful patios to enjoy an alcoholic beverage on. 
beach bar mexico
  • Bring a reef-safe sunscreen and non-toxic bug spray. Many areas in the Yucatan Peninsula are protected zones (cenotes, Sian Ka’an). To preserve this beautiful nature, they ask you not to wear any sunscreen, but sometimes a reef-safe option is allowed.
  • Watch out for topes if you rent a vehicle. These inconspicuous ‘speed bumps’ are often found in and around towns and don’t always have a sign indicating them. They’re pretty high and can really pop out of nowhere – so keep an eye out!
  • Don’t forget to try the different ‘antojitos’. These small dishes (mostly tacos and other small plates) are a must-try when traveling through the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Best Time to Visit the Yucatan Peninsula

The Yucatan Peninsula sees a warm tropical climate year-round, though the dry season offers more comfortable temperatures and less rainfall. This period is the best time to visit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and runs from the end of November to May (also the peak tourism season). 


The rainy season (May – October) sees more rainfall and has a higher chance of hurricanes, though travel is still possible with some planning. Keep in mind that some destinations, like Isla Holbox, are better to visit during the dry season to avoid mud and flooded streets.

How Much Do 2 Weeks in the Yucatan Cost?

Planning a 2-week Yucatan itinerary is guaranteed to be an adventure full of stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and vibrant local culture. Over the years, this particular area of Mexico has become incredibly popular, with many travelers seeking the Peninsula’s Caribbean atmosphere. However, costs can fluctuate depending on your travel plans and the season you visit. Here’s a quick overview of the average costs:

Costs of Traveling in Yucatan

Travel on a budget in Yucatan, from $480 − $560 USD weekly per person, mid-range $1050 − $2510 USD, and high-end from $2460 − $3650 USD. However, costs depend on factors like accommodation, transportation, and activities. We did not include flights. Check flight prices here

* Average daily costs
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Tip: Access to ATMs and the ability to use credit cards can vary, especially in more remote areas. Because of this, it’s good to carry enough cash with you on your Yucatan travel itinerary. Note that it’s best to withdraw in Mexican Pesos, though, in more tourist areas, US dollars might be accepted. Just make sure to double-check the exchange rate provided.

15/04/2024 https://www.saltinourhair.com/mexico/yucatan-itinerary/
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