World of the Maya Mobile – Car Rental Tour

On this Mexico Car Rental Tour you follow the mystic Maya culture throughout the states of Chiapas, Campeche and the Yucatán. On this 10 day tour explore archaeological masterpieces, beautiful and pristine nature as well as charming colonial cities where the Maya clashed with Spanish conquistadores. The mobility of traveling in a rental car gives you the flexibility to visit the sites that most interest you. The possibilities are endless on this magical journey through the world of the Maya!

Day 1
Arrival in Cancún

After arriving in Cancún, please pick up your luggage and go directly to the Rental Car Desk within the airport. They will arrange your transport to the Rental Car office where you will pick up your rental car. With the keys in your hand, you are off on your Yucatan adventure and can drive to your hotel. Overnight stay. (Meals: none)

Day 2
Cancún – Ek Balam – Valladolid – Chichén Itzá

After breakfast, your day starts to the secluded archeological site of Ek Balam, which translates as “shiny jaguar”. The facade of the main pyramid is especially impressive with beautiful artful stucco. At the entrance you can rent bicycles and drive to the Cenote Xcanché, before we recommend driving to the charming colonial town of Valladolid. Explore the cobblestone streets and visit the breathtaking Convent of San Bernardino de Siena built between 1552 and 1560 as well as the main plaza while learning all about the Yucatan´s history. Valladolid was built atop a Maya city and many of the buildings were made from rocks of destroyed pyramids and temples. Afterwards, continue to your hotel in Chichén Itzá, where you can spend the afternoon in your hotel. In the evening, we recommend a visit to the Light & Sound Show in Chichén Itzá. Overnight stay.(Meals: breakfast at the hotel)


Distance: approx. 250 km | Total driving time: approx. 3 1/2 hours

Day 3
Chichén Itzá – Cenote Yokdzonot – Izamal – Mérida

Your first stop today is the world famous archaeological site of Chichén Itzá. In 1988, the ancient Mayan city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and in 2007 declared one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Let yourself be fascinated by the imposing, architecturally impressive buildings of the Mayas and admire, among other things, the famous pyramid of Kukulcán, which as a whole is a calendar turned to stone, and the huge ball court. Afterwards, continue to Cenote Yokdzonot, where you can take a refreshing bath in the bright blue water. Around the Cenote you can find a still typical yucatecan Mayan village, which, with the support of the government, maintains the water hole, looks after the small restaurant and thus ensures the income of the inhabitants. Before arriving in Mérida, visit Izamal the small colonial town, which consists mainly of yellow painted colonial buildings and the old beautiful Franciscan monastery. Overnight stay. (Meals: breakfast at the hotel)


Distance: approx. 150 km | Total driving time: approx. 2 1/2 hours

Day 4
Mérida – San Antonio Mulix – Hacienda Yaxcopoil – Uxmal – Campeche

Today you have earned some time to relax and cool off. Your first stop will be the ancient Hacienda Yaxcopoil, considered one of the most important sisal Haciendas of Yucatan in the 17th century. Feel transported back in the old history while admiring the original furnishings of the former residents and landlords. Afterwards make a quick stop at San Antonio Mulix, where you will find two still undiscovered, quiet and idyllic cenotes which can only be reached via a bumpy and overgrown path of jungle vegetation. A must see off the beaten path secret! Your next stop will be the visit of the archaeological site of Uxmal, which is the Yucatan’s most important archeological excavation, apart from Chichen Itza. The architecture of Uxmal is an example of that present in the Puuc region. The temples have smooth low walls which represent traditional Maya huts and many figures of the rain god Chaac. After a full day continue on to Campeche which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, where you still should have a quick city walk. Overnight stay. (Meals: breakfast at the hotel)


Distance: approx. 280 km | Total driving time: approx. 4 hours

Day 5
Campeche – Palenque

This morning you start with your city walk through Campeche Learn about the San Miguel Fort which protected the city against pirates, the Cathedral, the Zocalo, the boardwalk and the San Román Church. Campeche is a small fishing town famous for its colorful houses and restored testimonies of its colonial past. The historical city center was included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1999. Enjoy the cobblestones streets of this authentic Mexican town far away from the masses of tourists found on the Riviera Maya. Afterwards drive to your hotel in Palenque. Overnight stay. (Meals: breakfast at the hotel)


Distance: approx. 380 km | Total driving time: approx. 5 hours

Day 6
Palenque – Misol Ha – Waterfalls Roberto Barrios – Palenque

Today you start early to the archaeological site of Palenque. It is not the biggest site in Mexico, but it is one of the most impressive as it is buried deep in dense jungle vegetation. The temples and pyramids are covered with vines and create a unique atmosphere. Climb the Templo de las Inscripciones for a spectacular view of the jungle canopy. Archaeologists estimate that there are still 1200 temples yet uncovered. Afterwards the tour continues to the waterfalls of Misol Ha, which at its highest point reaches 40 meters. On a tiny, winding path, you can walk behind the water curtain created by the falls for a refreshing experience. Afterwards your tour will take you to the waterfalls of Roberto Barrios. These little-known and treasured by tourists streams are characterized by their crystal clear, turquoise water, which form natural swimming pools. Afterwards you will go back to your hotel in Palenque. Overnight stay. (Meals: breakfast at the hotel)


Distance: approx. 145 km | Total driving time: approx. 3 1/2 hours

Day 7
Optional: Palenque – Yaxchilan – Bonampak – Palenque

Early in the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and after a quick breakfast (included) on the way, you are taken deep into the jungle to the ruins of Yaxchilan and Bonampak. Both of these sites were important centers of power for the Maya and are hidden gems rarely visited by tourists. The ruins of Yaxchilan are situated on the Usumacinta River bordering Guatemala and can be reached by boat only. Quite often, visitors come across monkeys which vociferously protect their territory by throwing sticks and screeching loudly. It is important to wear sturdy shoes because the terrain is sometimes unstable. After exploring these ruins you will stop for lunch (included) before continuing on to Bonampak. Here you will have time to marvel at the amazing mural paintings in the temple de Las Pinturas. This site was discovered in 1946 but most parts of the former temples are still hidden under the overgrown vegetation of the rain forest. You will leave the ruins in the late afternoon and arrive in Palenque after 7 pm. Overnight stay. (Meals: breakfast and lunch on the tour)


Day 8
Palenque – Calakmul – Xpujil

Today you will drive deep into the jungle of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve where you will arrive at your hotel in the late afternoon. Enjoy the sunset over the rainforest and end the day listening to the sounds of the jungle while relaxing in your hammock. Overnight stay.
(Meals: breakfast at the hotel)


Distance: approx. 330 km | Total driving time: approx. 4 1/2 hours

Day 9
Calakmul – Laguna Bacalar

Start this morning with a visit to the excavation site Calakmul. Drive about 60 km through the jungle of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. Located in the middle of the rainforest, it is still one of the less discovered archaeological sites and was once the largest and most influential Mayan center of power and the greatest of all Mayan cities at that time. Explore the ruins and temples without the mass of tourists found in other sites. There are over 100 ruins spanning 2 km² and the view from the top compensates for every effort and is simply wonderful.

Afterwards, continue to the idyllic and peaceful Laguna Bacalar, also known as the lagoon of 7 colors. It shines especially in the afternoon in all its blue, turquoise and green tones and invites you to relax in the Mayan hammock. Luckily, this impressive location has been spared from large hotel complexes, and there are only small eco-resorts here, that attach great importance to preserving the pristine landscape. Overnight stay. (Meals: breakfast at the hotel)


Distance: approx. 320 km | Total driving time: approx. 5 1/2 hours

Day 10
Laguna Bacalar – Tulum – Playa del Carmen / Cancún

In the morning continue to Tulum. Explore these spectacular ruins which are situated on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Afterwards take a refreshing dip in the beautiful blue water before returning your rental car in Playa del Carmen or Cancun. If you have booked an extended beach vacation we can arrange a transfer back to your hotel. (Meals: breakfast at the hotel)


Distance: approx. 280 km | Total driving time: approx. 3 1/2 hours


Price details

This Buenos Días Mexico rental car tour includes:
  • 9 nights accommodation in the aforementioned or equivalent hotels
  • Accommodation in double rooms with a private bathroom
  • Meals according to the itinerary above
  • 10 days rental car, category IDAR

– Pick up: Airport Cancún
– Drop off: Airport Cancún  or Playa del Carmen
– Unlimited kilometers
– Taxes
– Full Insurance
– A/C

  • Local taxes


This Buenos Días Mexico car rental tour does NOT include:
  • Entrance fees
  • Voluntary tips for guides and drivers
  • Optional small group tour to indigenous villages on day 9
  • Fuel costs and highway tolls
  • Personal expenses & extras in the hotels
  • Additional meals & drinks
  • Taxis and transfers NOT mentioned above
  • Evacuation costs
  • Optional small group tour to Yaxchilan and Bonampak on day 7
  • Travel and medical insurance (Book here with Travel Secure)

Important information

Important information:
  • We reserve the right to make any amendments to the itinerary as long as the amendments are not essential to the rest of the tour.
  • Please note that the Rental Car agreement is a contract between the renter and the rental car company. Buenos Días Mexico acts solely as a Travel Agent and cannot guarantee short term changes on the part of the service provider nor do they assume responsibility for damages. Please check the emergency numbers which are on your contract signed with the rental car company in case of accidents.
  • Since The rental car company charges a security deposit for each car rental which increases depending on category (600-2500 USD approx), usually 10% of the car value. A credit card is needed with a validity of at least one year and a sufficient limit to cover this deposit.
  • The rental car needs to be returned to the rental car offices as specified in the itinerary. It is not possible to leave the rental car at the hotel. Upon request the rental car company may offer a transfer to the hotel once the rental car is returned. This transfer cannot be guaranteed as it depends on the availability of the company shuttle.
  • All distance is approximated and Buenos Dias Mexico assumes no liability.
  • GPS systems and baby seats cannot be confirmed in advance and are subject to availability when the vehicle is picked up.
  • Hotel selection is subject to availability. If the aforementioned accommodations are fully booked or over booked, Buenos Dias Mexico reserves the right to replace them with equivalent hotels.
  • All of the hotels will be booked in a country specific category which does not always correspond to the international standard. Please note that there is no official hotel certification system in Mexico.
  • Please note that the price of the hotel category corresponds to a 3 star hotel (standard). On request we can also book a 4 bw hotel for you. 5 star category.
  • Small group travel: Please keep in mind that day trips with small groups often requires patience and understanding, because every group has a certain dynamic. Sometimes the group stops at souvenir shops and markets.
  • High Season Travelling (Christmas / New Year’s and Easter holidays): Travelling in Mexico during high seasons presents some exceptional conditions. This means that there may be delays, overbookings and longer waiting times at museums or archaeological sites. We try our best to assure that all services are carried out as confirmed but especially in the states of Chiapas and Yucatan small groups can sometimes convert to larger groups. We kindly ask you for your understanding.
  • All our travel itineraries can be used as inspiration and customized upon request.
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