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sandykayak


Aug 17, 2005, 11:56 AM

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cancun & environs trip

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hi, i don't come to this forum very often but an ad for a "getaway package" to cancun caught my eye and I "bit." (I HATE paying the $150 single supplement! why can't they build smaller, single rooms?)

I was at Lake Chapala (I have a house en www.elparque.info/) in april and am going back for Thanksgiving but I have a yen to do some exploring.

so...will spend Thurs and Fri (10/6 & 7) at the Hotel Flamingo Cancun - hope to slide down to Xel-Ha again. This is not my first trip, so I just want to do some snorkeling, kayaking, and Xel-Ha.

Then (and this is where I'm looking for ideas) I thought I might take a public bus to Merida, with a stop at Chichen Itza - or are the ruins far from the bus get-off?

I have an invitation to visit friends in Veracruz, so I was thinking of maybe continuing by bus - i want to see the area. spending two days/one night with them, and then flying back to cancun on the tuesday

first, any comments (ie how long) on taking the bus from merica to veracruz?

second, any other comments

tx
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque



sacc3850

Aug 17, 2005, 7:29 PM

Post #2 of 15 (2227 views)

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Re: [sandykayak] cancun & environs trip

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Date: 8/17/05 10:00 PM EDST
Hola, Sandy. Drove this area in January to March this year on two month jaunt. 7980 miles from Virginia and return, and had a ball. Go "Lujo" service from Merida to Villahermosa which takes eight hours on "UNO", and costs 602 pesos. At Villahermosa, switch to "ADO", for Veracruz, which takes seven hours and costs 335 pesos. Both "Lujo"(Luxury) services leave their respective cities from about 10:30 PM to 11:00 PM, so if you do not want to lay over all that time, suggest that at Villahermosa you switch to First Class instead of "Lujo", and continue straight through to Veracruz during daytime. Web sites for "UNO" and "ADO" are www.uno.com.mx and www.adogl.com.mx and tickets can be purchased on line. In Merida suggest Hotel Posada Toledo at 57th and 58th streets, right in heart of the "Centro". Nice, clean, English spoken, and only about $ 35 per night. Wide selection of good restaurants close by. In Villahermosa, suggest Resturante Tabasco, really great food, and in city center. If laying over in Villahermosa, suggest Hotel Miraflores. Definitely upscale, and only about $55 USD equivalent. Also, at Posada Toledo, ask for one of the five newer rooms(additions) on the third floor. Nicer, and price the same. Buen viaje! Buen suerte! sacc3850


sfmacaws


Aug 18, 2005, 12:27 AM

Post #3 of 15 (2220 views)

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Re: [sandykayak] cancun & environs trip

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I think you'll have a better time if you eliminate either Merida or Veracruz, it's a long ways for such a short time. You can fly to Veracruz from Cancun for a couple days if you want to spend the money or you can visit Merida and also Chichen and have more than enough to do and see. The ruins are a half day excursion as it is a walk in to them and they cover a lot of ground, so lots of walking to see everything. You can get a bus to chichen early in the morning, leave around noon when it gets crowded and take the bus on to Merida. You will love that most lovely and charming of cities. I recommend the Gran Hotel on 56th, it is in an old hennequen mansion and the details and the furnishings are gorgeous. Ask for the 2nd or 3rd floor overlooking the small plaza - instead of the street. It is a block from the cathedral and the main square and in the center of the old city. It wasn't expensive the last time I stayed there, you can call and ask, you should be able to google the number...if not email me, I have their card here somewhere. If you like mayan ruins, take a day trip from Merida to Uxmal. It is one of the finest in the peninsula, second only to Tikal and Palenque but just as magnificent in its own way. Or, take a bus to Celestun and go up the river to see the flamingoes, truly an unforgettable sight.
Have a great time,


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




sandykayak


Aug 18, 2005, 8:30 AM

Post #4 of 15 (2210 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] cancun & environs trip

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thank you both...i thought VC might be stretching it.... back to the drawing board
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


sandykayak


Aug 18, 2005, 10:31 AM

Post #5 of 15 (2201 views)

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Re: [sacc3850] cancun & environs trip

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thanks for posting the bus URLs... Merida to Villahermosa 11 hours plus 7 more to VC is waaay too much.

so now i'll just concentrate on the chichen and merida portion.....
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


RickS


Aug 18, 2005, 12:47 PM

Post #6 of 15 (2196 views)

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Re: [sandykayak] cancun & environs trip

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Sandy, you might consider using this itinerary:

Take a Lux bus (ADO) from Cancun direct to Merida…. approx. $250 pesos… about 5 hours. Stay in either of the places mentioned by Jonna or sac3850 (or if you prefer to stay in a B&B, check out www.casaana.com for a wonderful, 4-suite place run by two nice Cuban [via Miami] ladies… 4-5 blocks from centro). You will LOVE Merida! Music/dancing every night on one square or another. Take the 2-hour open bus tour (not something I usually recommend, but here it’s great!) Walk the Paseo de Montejo, their Champs Elysee, and visit the numerous museums.

From Merida you can easily catch buses or combos to many places of interest. Jonna mentioned Celustun and the flamingos; or check out Izamal, the ‘yellow city’ (if you do, you could stay overnight at www.macanche.com ). Do a ‘Hacienda Hopping’ tour for a day to see restored, some elegantly, henequen haciendas/plantations. Maybe even check out Uxmal as Jonna suggested.

If you have any extra day or two, grab a bus to Campeche, a World Heritage City. Bubba didn’t like it, but I think that opinion was in reference to it as a place to live.

When you’ve exhausted your Merida stay, catch a First Class bus back to Chichen Itza. Actually I would stay in nearby Valladolid, a small, quaint city-town that still preserves a special colonial flavor, and do the tour of Chichen from there. I second Jonna’s recommendation to go out early and leave before it gets too hot and the masses arrive. I recommend the Meson del Marquez hotel on the square in Valladolid. They also have wonderful food. Then you can catch a First Class bus back to Cancun.

If you haven’t already found it, check out: http://yucatantoday.com/destinations/eng-merida.htm. If you find you need a car while in Merida to more easily see the surrounds, I highly recommend Mexico Rent A Car, a family run business on Calle 57, for the very best rates and new cars.

Sorry I got carried away. Enjoy your trip!


sandykayak


Aug 18, 2005, 12:54 PM

Post #7 of 15 (2193 views)

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Re: [RickS] cancun & environs trip

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Please feel free to get as carried away as you want!! That was great.

First, I am fluent in Spanish, 2nd) I'm a budget independent traveler - ie the Lonely Planet sort :)

I have Moon Handbooks: Cancun and (separate) Yucatan

Plus LP's all of Mexico... and the DK Publishing Eyewitness Guide for Mexico, which has some neat photos and maps.

Have printed the info you have all given and will hit the books.

tx again
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


sfmacaws


Aug 18, 2005, 10:16 PM

Post #8 of 15 (2173 views)

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Re: [RickS] cancun & environs trip

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Valladolid is worth a visit and the Hotel Meson del Marquez is very pretty, if nothing else have lunch there. Another option would be to spend the night next to the ruins at the Club Med hotel on the park grounds. I know, a Club Med, but it is small, very nice and has a pool and patio where they serve dinner. The main reason though is that you can get up early and walk into the park. You will get a lot more out of the visit when the heat is not so intense and the crowds are not shoulder to shoulder. The tour buses start arriving around 11am and you could be done and ready to get the bus to Valladolid (45 km away)for a wonderful lunch. Check out the church on the square in Valladolid for a larger than life size statue of Jesus with long, human hair blowing in the breeze. One of my favorites, the hair is black and obviously came from one of the indigenous women. I always wonder what the story was behind her hair going to Jesus. Also just outside of town is the cenote Dzitnub (cheap cab ride) which is also worth a stop. You pay a small sum and walk down a narrow crack through the rock into a huge cavern filled with absolutly clear turquoise water. One hole in the ceiling lets a shaft of light into the middle of the water. There are stalactites and stalagmites and the water is cool and refreshing, wear a suit under your clothes and dive in. It's much nicer than the cenote right in town, cleaner as well.

Still, if I had to pick one Mayan ruin in the area to visit it would be Uxmal. A trip along the Puuc route south of Merida in a one day car rental, stop at several ruins or just go to Uxmal and then have lunch at the Restaurante Suiza in Oxkutzcab. The ladies there are famous for their mole.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




sandykayak


Aug 19, 2005, 10:22 AM

Post #9 of 15 (2161 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] cancun & environs trip

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thanks, jonna.

i was reading the Lonely Planet info and it really sounds neat around there...as long as there are swimming pools and cenotes for this water baby, she'll be fine.

Are the coastal waters as nice as cancun way?

PS.. i liked the "click here to see where we are" function cos I was going to ask you!
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


Ed and Fran

Aug 19, 2005, 6:55 PM

Post #10 of 15 (2148 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] cancun & environs trip

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Another option would be to spend the night next to the ruins at the Club Med hotel on the park grounds. I know, a Club Med, but it is small, very nice and has a pool and patio where they serve dinner. The main reason though is that you can get up early and walk into the park.


Although we haven't stayed at the one at Chitzén Itzá, we did stay (I think on 3 different occasions) at the Club Med run hotel at Teotihuacan. I think the same group also run one at Cobá and (at least used to) run one at Cholula. Nice small hotel. Interesting rooms, very clean, nothing fancy. Very good restaurant. Decent pool. And, as at Chitzén Itzá, right across the street from the ruins.

I have no idea of how they wound up being the operators of this group of hotels, as they seem so different from what you normally think of when you hear "Club Med".

I can find a website for the one at Teotihuacan, but can't seem to bring up a website for the entire group.

Regards

Ed & Fran


toddmc


Aug 21, 2005, 8:39 AM

Post #11 of 15 (2130 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] cancun & environs trip

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Here is the link to the Club Med "Villa" In Chichen
http://www.clubmedvillas.com/...en.php?villa=chichen

Here is the link to all the Club Med "Villas"
http://www.clubmedvillas.com/indexen.php

Todd


sandykayak


Aug 22, 2005, 10:23 AM

Post #12 of 15 (2108 views)

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Re: [toddmc] cancun & environs trip

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thanks ed/fran & todd. I received a PM asking which coastal waters I was referring to. I meant on the Merida side.

The funny thing is that I moved some bookshelves yesterday and came across a 1983 color pix book on Merida/Uxmal/Chichen Itza/Palenque.

Even funnier is that, apart from demographics, most of it is still "current:" ruins must look pretty much the same, plus the churches, "city hall" etc. etc.
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


jacpowell

Aug 22, 2005, 8:09 PM

Post #13 of 15 (2089 views)

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Re: [sandykayak] cancun & environs trip

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It's been a few years (within the last 10, I guess) since I was in Merida and environs. Ixamal is fascinating, and there was an all-day train excursion that was interesting. I don't know if it still runs. I second the importance of going to Uxmal. We went with a small Greylines van tour that picked us up at our hotel in Merida, and the guide was incredibly knowledgeable. Uxmal seems to have more site integrity than Chichen -- easier to understand its layout, etc.

However, Chichen is the end-all, be-all of tourist heaven -- how could you be in the neighborhood and NOT go there? We stayed in the Hacienda Chichen which is where the archaeologists lived when they were excavating the ruins. It's a charming place, just outside the back gate. Another time, we stayed across the street from the Hacienda Chichen in a thatched roof na. Unfortunately, that hotel catered more to tour groups than to couples, and we felt abandoned while we were there. Beautiful grounds, though. (It wasn't the Club Med, which is on the same side of the road as this place, but a little farther from the back gate.)

Campeche was quite foreign to us when we were there. We had no Spanish at all, and we were on our own. However, being in the historic preservation business we were fascinated by the Colonial structures and this (even more than Merida, because Campeche had few tourists at the time) made us want to go to other Colonial cities

The interior of the Yucatan is wonderful -- I would go there more often if it just wasn't so hot and humid. Can't take the heat!

Jackie Powell


roni_smith


Aug 24, 2005, 12:37 PM

Post #14 of 15 (2058 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] cancun & environs trip

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In Reply To
Although we haven't stayed at the one at Chitzén Itzá, we did stay (I think on 3 different occasions) at the Club Med run hotel at Teotihuacan. I think the same group also run one at Cobá and (at least used to) run one at Cholula. Nice small hotel. Interesting rooms, very clean, nothing fancy. Very good restaurant. Decent pool. And, as at Chitzén Itzá, right across the street from the ruins.

A friend of mine, not wanting to weather Emily in her trailer at Paamul, weathered it very nicely at the Club Med in Coba. She and her cat are rather fond of it now.

------
Planning for Mexico Move Blog



RickS


Aug 25, 2005, 3:28 PM

Post #15 of 15 (2035 views)

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Re: [jacpowell] cancun & environs trip

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The train excursion from Merida to Izamal no longer is in operation. It probably added some 'adventure' to getting there. But, public buses make the trip daily (maybe more than once?) making it an easy trip from El Centro. I share your enthusiasm about Izamal. Among a lot of other nice things about it, it is probably the cleanest Mexican town I've ever seen.
 
 
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