The Yucatan Peninsula has been one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations for many years. Besides having a great variety of attractions (beaches, Mayan ruins, cenotes, charming cities, postcard landscapes, and a long etcetera) for having one of the best infrastructure in the tourism sector (hotels, roads, high levels of security) in Mexico and America.
How many days do I need to visit the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula?
Surely this is the first question you ask yourself when planning your trip. I will recommend you based on my experience, but I also have in mind that vacation days are what they are, and sometimes they can’t be stretched any further, either by time or by budget.
To make a fairly complete and varied route I would dedicate at least 12 days. Think that one of those 12 days will be gone on the plane trip to get to Mexico and another to get back to your country (especially if you’re traveling from Europe or South America).
If you already want to do as we did a much more complete and relaxed itinerary, then I would say 20 days (of which you would take advantage of 18).
To travel to the Yucatan Peninsula there are no obligatory vaccinations.
However, to travel to any destination the basic vaccination is recommended, which is the following:
- Hepatitis A.
- Triple virus (measles, rubella, and mumps).
Weather and best time to go to the Yucatan Peninsula
The climate of the Yucatan is tropical. That means high humidity and high temperatures. As for the rainy season, there are two distinct seasons:
- Dry season: December to April.
- Rainy season: From May to November.
- The hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30.
- The hottest months are from May to September, and the “coolest” months are from November to February.
The temperature of the seawater also suffers variations, but always in warm values. The coolest would be 25º in the months of January and February, and the hottest 29º in August and September.
High and low seasons in the Riviera Maya: July and August are the vacation months par excellence. In addition, from mid-December to the end of January. The dates around Easter are also high season.
So if you want to avoid large groups of people and higher prices, try to avoid those dates.
Do you need a visa to travel to Mexico?
With a Spanish passport if you are going to stay less than 180 days for tourism or business you do not need a visa.
If your trip is for work or studies, you would need a visa.
How to move around the Yucatan Peninsula?
The problem is when you want to make several visits on the same day, go to more remote places directly, or simply to a place that unfortunately has no transportation. That’s where things get complicated with transfers and bus frequencies or a lack of options.
Private transportation service:
Whether you are staying at an all-inclusive hotel or just want to take a little too much time at a tourist destination, you can easily take this type of service. The transportation from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen has the great advantage that the drivers are experienced, and will get you to your destination without any problems.
Rent a car:
If you are a restless person who wants to know several places, the best option is to use a Cancun Car Rental.
Total freedom to stop where you want and when you want, and save you from having to pass through cities or towns to make a connection with another bus to your destination. On the other hand, the price is “more expensive” and you will have to take into account some things when driving.
To give you an idea, we had 8 days of fully comprehensive insurance for 252 dollars (32 dollars on average per day) in February.
Is it safe to drive in the Yucatan Peninsula?
- Yes. You just have to take some precautions:
- Park your car in secured parking lots.
- Use the main roads or “quota” (toll) highways before the “free” or secondary ones. If you use secondary roads, it is advisable to find out about the risks presented by the route.
- As far as possible, it is better not to drive at night. For safety reasons and because of the risk of finding animals on the road.
- Mexicans drive… without respecting most of the traffic rules and very fast. Overtaking with a continuous line, triple overtaking, not putting the lights on at night or leaving the high beams, etc. You will only have to go “a little” more attentively.
If you go by rental car, take advantage to get away from the most tourist areas, so in addition to lowering the price of your accommodation, you will find greater peace of mind.