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Jo Fitzsimons is a freelance travel writer who has visited over 60 countries. is the place where she shares destination details, travel itineraries, planning and booking tips and trip tales. Her aim: to help you plan your travel adventure on your terms and to your budget.

29 Responses

  1. Lindsey
    Lindsey at | | Reply

    Hi Jo,
    I also have found your blog very informative and have made extensive notes. We are travelling Christmas and will get around in a rental car. Can we expect bad traffic outside of main towns that will extend the journey times mentioned by you and others? The whole Yucatan peninsular is bigger geographically than I imagined and staying only in Playa for our whole stay will make a trip to Merida and Uxmal toooo long a day I fear. What do you think?

  2. Alison
    Alison at | | Reply

    Hi Jo. Great article! I’m travelling to the area next month and have been really confused about where to base myself for the various attractions. Your blog really helped. I’m in two minds about whether to hire a car some of the time and do the attractions myself, or use guided tours. What are your thoughts? Is it safe to drive? Do you have any recommendations for guided tour companies (I’ve read a lot of horror stories!!!)? Thanks for your help and happy travels!

  3. Sasha
    Sasha at | | Reply

    Hi, I was wondering if this was the route you took while traveling through the Yucatan. I will be going in May and I will be flying into Cancun, but I’m not sure which is the best place to start. I plan to go everywhere on this list except Cozumel.

  4. Ridley Fitzgerald
    Ridley Fitzgerald at | | Reply

    It’s awesome to know more about what to do in Yucatan peninsula. I definitely want to try Cancun out, even if I end up hating it instead of liking it. Like you said, we need to at least explore it once! We’re planning next year’s trip, so I’ll remember this.

  5. Chris
    Chris at | | Reply

    Incredibly helpful in determining what the key must dos are as I begin planning a short Cuban-Mexican trip for later this year (probably only in Mexico for around 6 days). I found this more useful than the equivalent (free) articles available on lonely planet, Trailfinders and others!

  6. Abra Cooper
    Abra Cooper at | | Reply

    Your post was very helpful to stumble upon, thank you for all useful information as I attempt to plan our 3 week vacation with our 3 teens! We’ve never been to this area and I was hoping to find out how much Spanish is spoken there, or if one can always find English speaking assistance? My husband and I speak well in Spanish and our monolingual English kids need to be forced into using what little Spanish they know – so we want them to suffer and learn a little, is what I guess I’m trying to say. Lol

  7. Jessica Lee
    Jessica Lee at | | Reply

    I’m so happy to have come across your blog! Getting insight from a female solo traveler is awesome and much appreciated. I’m wondering if you would use the above destinations as a route for the Yucatan. I’m heading there in March and feel like I could go so many different directions! Thanks!

  8. A
    A at | | Reply

    I love this post, it’s so amazing and so true. I live here at the southeast Mexico, More precisely: Cancun.
    Just an observation. Hope it doesn’t bother you… but by Yucatan Peninsula it is understood it’s ONLY Yucatan (a State), and you mention Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and Cozumen, those are part of another state, which is Quintana Roo.
    You will love Campeche when you visit. It’s a marvelous place.

  9. Brittany Maria
    Brittany Maria at | | Reply

    I loved reading your guide to the Yucatan! I travel there every year and always explore more cities, towns and villages each time. I am heading to Merida and Campeche next month and am really looking forward to seeing these colonial cities. I loved swimming at Casa Cenote and Gran Cenote, both near Tulum. Valladolid is probably my favourite city in the Yucatan (so far) and I love that it’s less frequented by tourists. It’s a great city to just wander around through the streets and makes a great base for exploring Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. I highly recommend Ek Balam as well; it was definitely my favourite ruin!

  10. garyheyes2013
    garyheyes2013 at | | Reply

    Great article. Thanks – The beaches have been invaded by seaweed and are not inviting. Not sure if this is on Cozumel as well.

  11. lilly sol
    lilly sol at | | Reply

    thanks so much for this very informative and straightforward guide! going to Mexico in a few weeks, can’t wait to try some of your recommendations!

  12. Johann Kotze
    Johann Kotze at | | Reply

    Great article! I’m baffled why people don’t rave about Calakmul more.

    I haven’t been there yet, but will do so in November. It is a place that will probably bring you the closest you will ever come to feel like Indiana Jones and feel like you’ve gone back in time to the Maya empire.

    Add on that the possibility of seeing rainforest wildlife then you’ve got me hooked!

  13. Maria Vazquez
    Maria Vazquez at | | Reply

    Joe, I love your article! Especially the mosquito warning and the ADO bus. Great help! I do have one quick question, I’m really not good swimmer… well, actually, I don’t swim at all haha but the shark and turtles trips sound amazing. Do you think it is possible for me to do it and check it or I shouldn’t and sign up for swimming classes ASAP.

    Thanks for the help!
    Maria Vazquez

    Ps: have you visited Taxco? Puebla? So much beauty!

    1. Maria Vazquez
      Maria Vazquez at | | Reply

      SORRY! I spelled your name wrong. A million apologies. I am very enthusiastic about this trip that I’m writing like a maniac.

  14. Katie
    Katie at | | Reply

    Hey Jo! Really enjoying your posts, probably spent over an hour going through them. Not only is it informative but it is creative in its delivery, setting yourself apart from the undeniably vast sea of travel blogging! I was wondering if you could suggest the best way to get to Tulum from Cancun airport, ADO bus? Cheers and happy travels ~

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