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Worth it to drive from Valladolid - Uxmal for day trip?

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San Francisco...
posts: 1
Worth it to drive from Valladolid - Uxmal for day trip?

We are about to be in the Yucatan, staying 4 days in Valladolid first with a car. Later we move on to Tulum for 4 days.

We are already planning to visit Chichen Itza and Ek-Balam while in Valladolid, and of course Tulum ruins in Tulum. I am wondering if it is different enough (and spectacular enough) to make the drive all the way to Uxmal. I understand it is about 2.5 hours each way.

Any thoughts on whether Uxmal is worth the long drive?

La Crosse, Wisconsin
posts: 366
reviews: 34
1. Re: Worth it to drive from Valladolid - Uxmal for day trip?

I have never driven directly from Valladolid to Uxmal. We usually have stopped in Merida. 2.5 hours of driving seems optimistic to me. I would plan for three hours of travel with no stops. Uxmal is an incredible place. It is much less crowded, no vendors on site and you can climb some of buildings. There are interesting artisans in and around Muna, so you will have a full day.

On the other hand you can stop at Coba on you way to Tulum from Valladolid. Again not as crowded as CI with interesting buildings. There is a nice cenote on the west side of Tulum as you come from Coba, so you can have a swim before you get to your lodgings.

Enjoy

Cape Cod
posts: 1,253
2. Re: Worth it to drive from Valladolid - Uxmal for day trip?

Four days in Valladolid? Seems like a lot to me, so a day to Uxmal would be a grand adventure.

A few years ago I did a big loop that included Uxmal and Valladolid that I enjoyed very, very much, but it was a lot of driving. You will end up coming back to Valladolid in the dark, so I wouldn't recommend it for people unaccustomed to driving in the region.

Beginning from Valladolid around 8 a.m. head south on Hwy 295. Drive to Tihosuco and visit the big church in the town center where the back half has fallen to ruin and the chapel is open to the elements. Then visit the Guerra de la Castas (Caste War) museum. Go through it quickly unless you read Spanish as there are no exhibits in English and none of the guides (at least when I've visited) speak English. Be sure to do a little reading about the Caste War before you go.

Just past Tihosuco the highway splits into two 295s. Take the one to the right heading west to Saban, Tabasco, Dziuche. Stop briefly at Dziuche to see the biggest lake in Yucatan, Chicnancanab (Lake of Bitter Waters, I believe it means).

Turn north and head to Oxkutzcab where you will turn off the highway and take the Ruta Puuc route that will take you past numerous ruins but eventually get you to Uxmal.

From Uxmal, head north toward Merida until you get to the Pereferico (the main highway that circles the city. Head east and follow the signs to Cancun. Be sure to take the Cuota (toll road) back to Valladolid.

It's a long, long drive, but there is a lot to see and do, maybe more than you anticipated, so perhaps you might think about stopping for the night near Uxmal and continuing back to Valladolid the next day (taking back roads by Mayapan and other sites).

Have a great trip!

Merida, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Merida, Chichen Itza
posts: 2,057
reviews: 38
3. Re: Worth it to drive from Valladolid - Uxmal for day trip?

I agree with EJ about perhaps spending the night near Uxmal. I like the Pickled Onion but (full disclosure) Valerie the owner is a friend. But I wouldn't recommend it if it wasn't magical.

Is Uxmal worth the drive? If you are at all into all things Mayan, Uxmal is the best site on the peninsula, IMHO.

Cape Cod
posts: 1,253
4. Re: Worth it to drive from Valladolid - Uxmal for day trip?

Mr. Lawson reminds me, I should have mentioned that Uxmal and the other Puuc ruins are unique, if not downright amazing, and worth making the trip. Within a few miles are more amazing ruins than anywhere else in the Maya world, in my opinion. Uxmal was Athens to Chichen Itza's Sparta, the Puuc style more like Art Noveau to central Yucatan's Art Deco. Well worth the trip.

Merida, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Merida, Chichen Itza
posts: 2,057
reviews: 38
5. Re: Worth it to drive from Valladolid - Uxmal for day trip?

And the route that EJ describes (above) is now a must-do on my list! It sounds like a great drive and you will see the Yucatan back country as only a traveler (not a tourist) can on that route.

Cape Cod
posts: 1,253
6. Re: Worth it to drive from Valladolid - Uxmal for day trip?

When you get around to making the loop, drop me a line. I have a few extra suggestions.

7. Re: Worth it to drive from Valladolid - Uxmal for day trip?

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