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Itinerary help

Wilmette, Illinois
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Itinerary help
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We are thinking about going to Merida for a winter break. We have 6 full days, not counting arrival/departure. Should we base ourselves in Merida for the entire time and take day trips or should we split the time with another place? We are traveling with 3 tweens/teens. Not interested in AI at all, and I am concerned about safety and crowd control in Tulum. We’ll be renting a car.

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Merida, Mexico
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With six days, I'm not sure I'd dedicate any time to the Caribbean coast (e.g., Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum) especially if not interested in AI. I'd only go if your kids really want to do one of the X parks (e.g. Xcaret, Xplor).

If you want beach time, you could rent a beach house near Merida for two or three nights. While the beaches aren't as spectacular as on the Carribbean, they're still pretty great. You can rent a whole house with a pool that is right on the beach. Look anywhere along the coast north of Merida (from Chuburna in the west to Dzilam de Bravo in the east) or in the towns of Sisal and Celestun. Sisal is trying to market itself as an ecotourism destination so there may be some activities that would appeal to your kids (if they need something more than the beach and pool). Celestun is famous for its boat tours to observe the large numbers of flamingos.

Other places worthy of one or two nights are the towns/cities of Valladolid and Campeche. Valladolid is a charming small city close to the Maya archeological sites of Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. Campeche is larger and really nice. Valladolid is a logical place to stay if flying in or out of Cancun.

There are also ecotourism cabins and fancy haciendas in the vicinity of Merida that might appeal as a getaway destination.

Wilmette, Illinois
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Thank you. Can I take day trips to any of these places from Merida? Or will it be too far of a drive? I guess with 6 days, I am debating if it’s worth changing accommodations or just stay in one place.

Limbo
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With six days, I too would be on the fence about staying in one place and doing day trips or splitting the stay. Being based in Merida, you could easily do many day trips under two hours each way. For me, it would all depend on how much you like the beach. If you could take it or leave it, then I would stick to Merida and do one of the beaches the other poster mentioned as a day trip. If you love the beach, I would do two or three nights there as suggested...just such a different and nice experience waking up and going to bed on or very near the water.

Merida, Mexico
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Everywhere I mentioned can be done on a daytrip. Given that I live in Merida, I'm used to traveling to these places and then returning home. The beaches north of Merida are between 40min and 1h 30min away from the Centro. Sisal and Celestun are 1h 15min. Campeche and Valladolid are about 2h away (in opposite directions).

Other worthwhile day trip visits: Uxmal, Mayapan, X'Cambo, Dzibilchaltun (archeological sites), Sotuta de Peon (museum), Temozon Sur, Ochil (haciendas), Noh-Mozon, San Antonio Mulix, Santa Barbara (cenotes), plus countless places I have not yet been.

I agree with gbchay's sentiment about the beach. Even though I live in Merida, my family and I love renting a house on the beach because of the unique experience of having the ocean in your backyard. However it's not for everyone. Also, I neglected to mention that at various spots along the Gulf there are places to go tubing, kite surfing, sailing, etc, if looking for adventure.

Edited: 26 August 2021, 21:54
Wilmette, Illinois
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Thank you. This is so helpful!

Midland, Michigan
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yn10;

My last visit to Merida, on March 2020 was difficult because of Covid. Nevertheless I managed to enjoy many aspects in the city and surrounding areas. You seem to be interested on the beach towns nearby. Think about visiting some of the Haciendas and Cenotes. I was able to do that at Sotuta de Peon and Yunku. Both house beautiful Cenotes (sinkholes, caves with underground ponds) where you could take memorable swims.

Sotuta also has a good restaurant and offers tours that walk you through the sisal rope and bag manufacturing. Until about 1960, this was a very important part of the local industry.

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