Road Trips to Take in Mexico

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Road Trips to Take in Mexico

Friends going on a road trip. (Photo via iStock/Getty Images Plus/simonapilolla)

Do you have any vacations plan for 2023?

For those who like to drive, we recommend these road trips that you can do by car in Mexico, enjoying the landscapes and attractions of each one in a different way.

Beach, Sun, and Sea

First stop: Cancun

Cancun – Playa del Carmen – Tulum: Total driving time 2 hrs and 132 kilometers (82.5 miles)
This tourist paradise is located on the Yucatan Peninsula and is known for its beaches, numerous resorts, and nightlife. Its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters are the perfect pretext for a tour of its hotel zone.

But if you are looking for a quieter place with the same Caribbean beauty, you can visit Punta Nizuc, famous for its coral reef, which attracts divers and snorkelers in search of a great variety of marine life. Or Isla Blanca is another option, with a broad tongue of white sand that separates the Chacmuchuc lagoon from the Caribbean Sea.

If you want to start your vacation deliciously, we suggest breakfast at Cüa. Its buffet includes the delicious flavors of Yucatecan gastronomy, such as cochinita pibil and omelets prepared to taste, as well as a wide variety of bread, desserts, freshly made juices, and coffee.

Suppose you still have time to stay a couple more days and make an extra stop by car. In that case, we recommend visiting Isla Mujeres, which has positioned itself as a tourist alternative to the Riviera Maya. It is much more relaxed and allows you to enjoy the same charms of the Caribbean Sea.

Second stop: Playa del Carmen

Cancun – Playa del Carmen: 75.6 km (47 miles)

Start your engines towards Playa del Carmen, but before reaching this vibrant city, make a stop at the Cenotes Route in Puerto Morelos, where along this road, you can find ecotourism parks where you can not only dive into the crystal clear waters of the cenotes but also choose options such as zip lines and bike tours.

We recommend you visit Cenotes Zapote Ecoparque, where you can see four different cenotes. Any entrances have access to 2 open cenotes, and a subway cenote (Cavern) with more than 10 thousand years old.

Finishing your adventure through nature, a little less than an hour away is waiting for you, the night scene of Playa del Carmen. You can choose between a romantic dinner or a night of dancing between restaurants and bars. Fun is guaranteed.

Stroll along Quinta Avenida, day or night, and enjoy the wide variety of hotels that offer terraces with a life of their own to enjoy a sunbath in the pool during the day or a few drinks at night.

Third stop: Tulum

Playa del Carmen – Tulum: 64.4 km (40.2 miles)

This paradise has one of the most sacred archaeological sites in Mexico, known as the ancient Mayan city of Tulum.

A few minutes away from the federal highway, several kilometers of virgin beaches, such as those of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere and Boca Paila, where adventure is your thing, this is the ideal option for you and your friends.

For this Road Trip, we recommend a minimum stay of 2 days and renting a car in the economy category, which has the versatility of being a four or 5-seater, automatic or standard. You can choose from various options, but the approximate daily cost is only 65 dollars.

Road Trips to Take in Mexico

In Valle de Guadalupe, Baja, California, you will find the best Wine Route that you cannot miss. The region has just over 100 years of development.

Between Wines and Ecotourism Parks

First stop: Tijuana

Tijuana – Valle de Guadalupe – Ensenada: total driving time 2 hrs with 20 minutes and 153 kilometers by car (95 miles).

Tijuana is a Mexican border city in southern California. Its gastronomic, cultural, and artistic boom has positioned it as one of the best cities to visit as a family, couple, or with friends.

Thanks to places like the Tijuana Cultural Center, the official headquarters of the Baja California Orchestra, and the Hipano-American Guitar Center. In addition, it offers different disciplines such as art collections, an aquarium, a hall for events, and a cinema to enjoy the seventh art.

If you are looking for the famous Rosarito-style lobster taco, just 41 kilometers away and less than 1 hour by car, you will find Puerto Nuevo. Enjoy this regional delicacy with a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean and the Baja California horizon in any restaurant with a terrace.

Second stop: Valle de Guadalupe

Tijuana – Valle de Guadalupe: 109 km (68 miles)

In Valle de Guadalupe, Baja, California, you will find the best Wine Route that you cannot miss. The region has just over 100 years of development and has become a prime tourist attraction.

On this road trip, you will find a diversity of vineyards and wineries that produce approximately 90% of the wine in all of Mexico, many of them with the highest quality recognition. A glass of wine from this place is impossible not to accept.

For a delicious breakfast, we recommend you not to miss Doña Estela’s kitchen, famous for its great seasoning, where the food goes from the garden to the table, because when you get to the parking lot, you can see a small farm with sheep, pigs, and cows, which are cooked that day in the early morning to offer you the best dishes.

Breakfast options include hot bread, eggs with machaca, tatemado (smokey) lamb, enchiladas, fresh cheese, gorditas, handmade tortillas, hot chocolate, coffee, juices, and hot corn cakes, among many other delicacies.

Third stop: Ensenada

Guadalupe Valley – Ensenada: 42.2 km (26.2 miles)

It is a spectacular destination with national parks, valleys, wineries, delicious gastronomy, beautiful beaches, trails, ranches, spas, and many more places to visit with your loved ones.

La Bufadora, the second largest marine geyser in the world, is located 37 km south of Ensenada. Here you can admire its beauty, buy handicrafts and enjoy its gastronomy.

But if you are looking for a place for the little ones to enjoy on your road trip, you should visit the famous Pai Pai Park, which has more than 15 attractions, extreme sports, and the presence of feline species, primates, and various birds.

The total drive to visit these three places is 2 hours and 20 minutes and 153 kilometers. If the whole family is going to travel, we recommend the SUV category so that the trip is more comfortable and the dirt roads of Valle de Guadalupe do not damage the car. The cost per day for this car is 85 dollars.

Road Trips to Take in Mexico

San Miguel de Allende is a colonial-era city known for its Spanish Baroque architecture, active art scene, gastronomy, beautiful seasonally decorated streets, and cultural festivals.

The Magic of the Villages

Peña de Bernal

Mexico City – Peña de Bernal – San Miguel de Allende: total driving time is 4 hours and 50 minutes and 349 kilometers by car (218 miles)

Peña de Bernal is a monolith of 433 meters and is considered one of the highest in the world. You can ascend one of its faces by car or ATV to a lookout point and, from there, continue on foot to reach the top. Just don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes.

There is also the option of climbing or rappelling for those adventurous souls.

Peña de Bernal – San Miguel de Allende: 116 km (65 miles)

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende is a colonial-era city known for its Spanish Baroque architecture, active art scene, gastronomy, beautiful seasonally decorated streets, and cultural festivals.

The parish church of San Miguel Arcangel has become a representative icon of this place, as well as the Aurora Factory, a spectacular art, and design center where you can see canvases, sculptures, and handcrafted products of native artists. We suggest setting aside two days to visit this magical town.

Visiting these points is a 4-hour drive with 50 minutes and 349 kilometers. The economic category can be ideal if you rent a car for these sites since it has 4 or 5 seats. Select if it is automatic or standard and on average per day, pay only 50 dollars.

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