Overview & Highlights
This self-drive holiday to Mexico gives you the chance to discover the colonial cities and jungle-shrouded Mayan pyramids of the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as the idyllic island of Holbox and Caribbean beaches of the Riviera Maya with your own car. If you'd rather not drive this holiday can be done with private transfers and guides, just ask us.
Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and Caribbean Coast, with its Mayan ruins, pretty colonial towns, and sandy beaches, is ideal for independent exploration by self-drive hire car. Not only is it economical; it gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace, stopping whenever you want, but with the security of a pre-planned itinerary and hotel reservations. The region has a network of well-signed roads, distances between attractions are relatively short, there are service stations to fill up your car and a huge range of fantastic eateries to fuel yourselves on.
You’ll set off from Cancún airport to discover the peninsula. There, you’ll find vestiges of the once supreme Mayan civilisation. Sites replete with temples and pyramids festooned with sacred carvings were, once abandoned, swallowed up by a rapacious jungle but are now gradually being revealed. They’re all rather Indiana Jones. You’ll visit the best-known sites, Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, both easily accessible.
You will also be based near the beautiful colonial town of Mérida, a friendly place to see a different side of Mexico with street markets, restaurants of all types and lively entertainment, should you wish to do so. Alternatively, the sleepy fishing village of Celestún is just a short drive away - famous for its Biosphere Reserve and large flocks of flamingos. Finally, you will drive up to the Gulf coast and take a ferry to laid-back and peaceful Isla Holbox.
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Arrive in Cancún. Collect hire car and drive to your hotel
Drive to Chichén Itzá, Mayan archaeological site.
Explore Chichén Itzá.
Drive to your hacienda on the outskirts of colourful Mérida.
Optional food tour of Merida or visit Celestun
Optional visit to the Mayan site of Uxmal.
Drive to Chiquila and take a ferry to Isla Holbox.
Relax on Isla Holbox; optional swimming with whale sharks.
Day at leisure on Holbox.
Drive to Cancún airport for international flight home.
Things to do
We proudly offer the widest range of activities, excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences across all our destinations, tried and tested personally by our travel experts.
Visit Chichen Itza, ruined Mayan city
Visit Uxmal ruined Mayan temple complex
Walking tour of Merida
Visit an underwater sculpture gallery
Visit the flamingos of Celestun
Visit the Yucatan’s colonial haciendas and bathe in limestone cenotes
Go snorkelling on the Riviera Maya
Swim with whale sharks
Browse our unrivalled portfolio of accommodation . Every option has been carefully chosen by our team of travel experts, so you can rest assured that you’ll relax in utter comfort.
Inspired by this trip
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert
Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.
Alex Walker - Travel Expert
A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.