An excellent way to get to know the Yucatan Peninsula is by car. I recommend renting a car to friends who come. What roads will you find, where to rent a car, is it safe, is gasoline expensive? 

Driving through the Yucatan Peninsula:

La Yucatan Peninsula it is an area safe to travel it in auto, with well-conditioned roads y well marked. The tourist destinations are clearly indicated, even the minors: if a community runs a cenote, you will see a sign on the road, even if the indication is made of wood.

Drive with prudence and enjoy the Peninsula


What kind of roads are there in the Yucatan Peninsula?

At Lóleo Eventos, Yucatan Peninsula There are two types of roads, of quota and the roads free.

  • ROADS OF FEE (with tolls): there are two payment roads in the Peninsula, the one that connects Mérida with Cancún and the other Campeche with Champoton. The latter is a section of 40 km and costs around 60 pesos.
  • FREE ROADS they are the rest, without any payment. All the roads that connect the main towns such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Chetumal, Escárcega, Campeche, Mérida, Progreso, Peto, Ticul, Tizimín…. They are good roads and well signposted. The back roads is where you can find some section with holes and less help signs on the road. They are not an impediment to travel by car.
Tips for driving through the Yucatan Peninsula 1

Main roads of the Yucatan Peninsula:

Mérida-Cancún fee highway:

One of the most expensive highways in the country, 2 lanes per address, fast and safe. It has a single gas station approximately half way. In the rest area you can eat and go to the bathroom. In the areas of the collection booths there are also clean toilets. You can not pay by card, carry cash. Distance: 241 km Price from Cancun to Mérida: 407 mxn (Mexican pesos). If you want your invoice of the fee, click is located here.

Prices per trips: Cancun-Valladolid 258 pesos / Valladolid-Chichén itzá 63 pesos / Chichén Itzá-Mérida 82 pesos / Mérida-Valladolid 149 pesos

A few months ago they inaugurated a stretch of quota between Valladolid y Playa del Carmen-Tulum. The sections are from "Estación Tintal" located at the junction of the new branch New Xcan to Playa del Carmen of 262 pesos and 153 pesos the next section to Valladolid.

Free highway Mérida-Cancun:

The other option is to drive for free (without tolls). They wait for you between Cancún and Mérida 43 populations and 146 buffers. Single-lane road, with some very wide sections, most of them reaching Chichén Itzá. The toll road is the fast track between Mérida and Cancun, it saves you between an hour and an hour and a half, but if you're not in a hurry, go your own way: passing through these towns you will get a glimpse of the tradition and the flavor of the land . It is much more entertaining, and you can always discover a corner where you can peek. I leave you a link of what Interesting stops to do in the free from Merida to CancunEnjoy, traveler.

Federal Highway 307 Cancun-Playa del Carmen-Tulum-Chetumal:

This is one of the busiest roads in the Peninsula is the one that runs through the Riviera Maya, one of the areas that brings together tourism and points of interest. 130 miles of Caribbean await you between Cancun and Tulum. A dual lane road, with good signs and many returns in case you pass your entrance. There are a couple of fixed municipal police controls at the entrances to Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

From Tulum to the south it becomes a one-lane road. Here the tourist influx goes down, you already leave the Riviera Maya and it shows. The road is perfectly signposted and the destinations more tourist like Mahahual, Chetumal, Bacalar and archaeological zones are well indicated.

This road takes you to Belize. From Cancun to Belize there are about 5 hours and a half.

Federal Highway 186 Chetumal-Escárcega:

This one-lane road, most wide stretches and with good visibility, leads you through the south of the Peninsula, linking the states of Quintana Roo and Campeche. In this area is where we surely find the most interesting old Mayan cities of the Peninsula. Calakmul, Becán, Balamkú, Kohunlich, Dzibanché await you ... go wonders.

Federal Highway 180 Champoton-Campeche-Mérida:

This section of the Peninsula is also perfectly communicated and signposted by the federal highway 180. The different points of interest are marked on the road. Between Campeche y Champoton You can go for the toll: 40 km and pay around 60 pesos. Between Campeche and Mérida, federal highway 180 is the main one, well signposted.

Rent a car in Peninsula Yucatan:

For rent a car you will need to have more than 18 years (some companies over 21 years, and others from 25), a Driver's license (driving license) and credit card. I leave you the Tips for driving around the Peninsula in case you're thinking about doing it

There are many national and international car rental companies, you can find them at airports, in the main cities or on the internet. Rental companies facilitate delivery to hotels. My choice is book the car via internet because it is usually cheaper. I recommend booking the car months before, especially if you travel in peak times such as Christmas, Easter or summer. They tend to increase prices as the date approaches, just as it happens with airline tickets. You do not need an 4 × 4 to travel the Peninsula, the roads are good and safe.

Reserve your car at Rentalcars, They give you comparative prices between companies and opinions of customers.

The famous caps:

The buffers They are used as speed bumps, being located mainly at the entrances and exits of the towns of the secondary roads and in rural areas. It is the effective way to stop the speed of traffic that tends to divide the towns on both sides of the road, where children play, people walk and dogs lie down to rest ... you must be careful crossing the villages. What of eat the caps is something habitual, some are not seen by badly indicated or positioned ... others are so exaggerated that almost the scales, be careful especially with low car ... a whole world of buffers.

In many buffers of populations you will find people selling local products, from mango to fish. Well entertained the roads in the Yucatan Peninsula, you can taste all the flavors of the earth, fantastic. If you go attentive and respecting the speed limits, I do not doubt that you will enjoy going through the small towns of the Peninsula.


Caution on the road with:

The secondary roads are not illuminated. For those in rural areas travel at night People on a bike and on foot returning home, be careful. It is one of the reasons why it is not recommended to drive at night if you do not know the area, the visibility will greatly impede your driving.

As we said, go through the villages is to cross the road that divides the town on both sides, where children cross, there are dogs, the tricitaxis, the clueless chicken, the street vendors ... so do not get lost.

The semaphores from amber to red they change very fast. If you skip a red light you'll probably have a municipal nearby willing to fine you, they're like mushrooms 🙂


In Mexico, revisions and controls on the roads, the Yucatan Peninsula is no exception. Normally the checkpoints are located at the same points at the entrances to the towns where you slow down when passing through the checkpoint. Sometimes there are special checkpoints. Just follow the instructions they give you: depending on the type of control you only slow down, others make you get out of the car, others roll down the window and ask you routinely.


Driving with heat and rains:

In the months of heat from April to October, the asphalt gets very hot, so check your tires or it will not be the first tire to explode on the road, no kidding. And with the intense Rain Check your windshields, sometimes they are so concentrated that you hardly see the road. The good thing is that many times the intensity lasts minutes.

Gasoline and gas stations in Mexico:

Petrol is supplied by PEMEX, the national company. There's a lot gas stations In all the territory, you will not have problems to refuel. If you go to remote places such as archaeological sites, caves or any point that you should use dirt roads, go with the full tank. You should know that in many towns in the Peninsula they sell gas in people's houses in case they have to get out of a hurry, you know.

In rural areas of India, families in charge of a blind minor frequently isolate and deprive him/her of the care and attention they provide to their other children; such situation becomes even more severe among lower-caste families, orphans and if the blind child is a girl. gas stations there are services free and often a grocery store. The staff offers to clean the windshield, check the tires and the oil level. You give a few tips for the service. The driver does not get out of the car.

You can pay in cash or by card. If you carry cash better, they explained to me that some gas stations clone cards. Gasoline in Mexico is at a good price compared to Spain, I don't know about other countries. If you want to know the price of gasoline in Mexico, click here

Tips for driving through the Yucatan Peninsula 2

Parking in cities:

Big cities like Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Mérida, Valladolid o Campeche do private parking for cars with surveillance, where they are more protected than on the street. Many hotels offer private parking. If there is a yellow or red line on the sidewalk you cannot park on the street.

In many restaurants in cities such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Mérida they have valet parking, which means that you park and keep the car, something that greatly facilitates the exits to drivers. To the person of valet parking you give a few pesos of tip.

Fines and bites:

This ugly thing that happens, it's illegal and an abuse of authority, but some policemen, when they see a rental car, they see an easy prey for fine. What should you never do? One is to skip the Speed ​​limits, they are very strict. Do not drive talking on the phone, and be very careful with skipping a semaphore in red. If you do not commit any of these infractions you will have a quiet road.

If you are fined, you will see that the bite exists. It consists of paying a smaller amount to the police than the fine amounts, fast and without losing time in papers. «How do we fix this, buddy? »It is usually a good phrase to be told what to do, although if you go by rental car they will guide you to the agreement. My recommendation is: drive attentive to the signals, and in theory they will not fine you ... If they do, I prefer to pay a fine than to give a bite. The pity is that being a tourist they will manage to get paid, and they invent lies to take money from you. Yes, that's how shabby the police in Riviera Maya are. The rest of the Yucatan Peninsula is quieter.

Language to understand us in Mexico:

Here it is drive (he drives) car (car). Whether strike (bursts, clicks) tire (tire) you should look for a vulcanizer (tire workshop) for fix it (fix it) The tank (deposit of gas (petrol) fill it at the gas station, or at la Pemex. The trunk It's the trunk. The car prendes (boot) and I warn you that the indicators (intermittent) drivers do not use them too much.


Cross borders by car from Mexico:

Cross to Guatemala y Belize from Mexico by rental car is not easy, only some car rental agencies make it easy to do so, one is American Car Rental and another one that I know is Price Car Rentals. In private car yes it is simple cross the border Mexico-Belizeor from Cuauhtémoc City (Mexico)-The Mesilla (Guatemala), only the relevant procedures and that the car is in your name.

Combine Yucatan Peninsula with Chiapas:

Many travelers combine their trip by car through the Peninsula with part of Chiapas. For you to have the complete information I leave you the driving tips for Chiapas, a state with special characteristics.

Are you ready to enjoy your car trip through the Yucatan Peninsula? This beautiful land will captivate you, travel by car It will allow you to reach secluded corners, especially cenotes and haciendas. A great option In addition, the roads of the Peninsula are guarded by Green Angels.

Good way,

Travel hacks
the shortest way participate in affiliate program this means that we get a small commission if you buy through these links accessing discounts; in no case does it suppose an additional cost for you and in this way you help us to maintain the blog.

If you prefer, you tell us your idea of ​​the trip and together we organize it.

Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

error: Content is protected !!