Scenic Drives in Mexico

By Soren Rivero

From exploring ancient Mayan Ruins to diving into underground cenotes, there’s no shortage of excitement in Mexico. But the destinations are only half the fun – the journey is equally entertaining, which is why taking a scenic drive in Mexico is a must.

Whether you want to cruise by the beaches of Cancun or the Jalisco Coastline in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has plenty of gorgeous driving routes to explore. If you're wondering about the best scenic driving routes in Mexico, then get ready to fill up your tank and learn!

Beach & Beyond: Yucatan w/ Cancun

Located on the eastern tip of Mexico is the tropical and cultural hot spot known as the Yucatan. This popular vacation spot in Mexico is unique starting with The Yucatan Peninsula, which separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea.

The Yucatan Peninsula is best known for its tropical climate consisting of incredible forests and radiant beaches. Consider reserving a lot of time to spend outdoors in nature here.

Yucatan is also quite famous for its deep ties to native culture – specifically, the Mayan people. One of Yucatan’s main attractions are the various Mayan ruins you can find scattered around the area.

Taking a scenic drive through Yucatan is an excellent way to experience most of what the area has to offer at your own pace. You can explore the ecologically and culturally diverse region by visiting incredible sites, cruising past the beaches, and stopping at cenotes for a quick dive.

The Journey

You’ll start your adventure in Cancun, one of Mexico’s most popular vacation cities. Consider visiting one of the best beaches in Cancun like Playa Delfines or Playa Forum, as it's a great way to start a scenic self drive vacation.

Marvelous Mayan Attractions: Cancun to Chichen Itza

Once you’re ready to continue your adventure through Yucatan, enjoy a ~2.5 hour drive from Cancun to the Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Along the way, have one of your riding partners take pictures of the diverse landscapes comprising various trees and other plantlife, rocky hills, and stone architectures. Consider stopping by one of the small cities along the way, such as the colonial city of Valladolid, colorful Leona Vicario, or see the cenotes in Tekom.

Limestone City: Chichen Itza to Uxmal

Take a ~3 hour drive west of Chichen Itza to plunge into Mexico’s native history at the next destination: Uxmal. This city is mostly associated with its great pyramids built way before Spanish colonization. Uxmal also hosts a well-preserved wall, made almost completely of limestone.

The drive over is when you’ll pass by the largest quantity of cenotes in Yucatan. One highlight in particular outshines the rest: Reserva Estatal Geohidrológica Anillo de Cenotes. Consider stopping to take pictures of the stone buildings, straw canopies, palm trees, or take a swim in one of the many cenotes. Admire the city of Abalá before arriving in Uxmal, another city popular for sinkholes and jungle trees. Don’t forget to take pictures of the hacienda in Yaxcopoil along the way!

The “White City”: Uxmal to Merida

Yucatan’s capital city of Merida presents something much different than the rest of the state. An hour drive away from Uxmal, Merida creatively mixes modern day innovations with an old world feel that you can’t miss. What’s especially notable about this city are the vibrant, colorful buildings that burst with personality. You’ll also come to appreciate the city’s wide use of limestone, which gives Merida the nickname of the “White City”.

Getting to Merida from Uxmal is easy and peaceful. Along the way, you’ll see numerous small towns each with their own unique charm. Outside of the cities, enjoy scenic forests and semi-flat plains. Once you get closer to Merida, pass through winding roads on tall hills offering sensational views!

Beaches + More: Merida to Cancun

Finish your journey through Yucatan back in the coastal city of Cancun. Re-experience the magic from all of your routes so far on this ~5 hour drive as you enjoy a scenic cruise through beaches, urban cities, and tropical backgrounds.

Other Scenic Drives in Mexico

Puerto Vallarta to Boca de Tomatlan

Located in Puerto Vallarta, the coastal region of Boca de Tomatlan is a scenic pathway definitely worth exploring. Start in the main city of Puerto Vallarta then head south. Pass by the white-sanded beaches of Las Glorias and admire the colonial architecture in the 5 de Diciembre. Make a stop at the Parque Lazaro Cardenas for some family-friendly fun, then continue on to see the gorgeous coasts of Boca de Tomatlan.

Monterrey to La Biznaga

Want something other than coastal views? Start this next scenic drive in Mexico in the capital of Nuevo Leon: Monterrey. Journey through the city’s urbanized streets before heading just south of the capital towards La Biznaga. Right outside the city is the mountainous area that belongs to Huasteca Ecological Park. You can explore the mountains via bike or through a route designed for cars. Pass through the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park, known for waterfalls and rocky hills, then land in the quiet, floral La Biznaga.

Ready to experience the most scenic driving routes in Mexico? Book your Mexico vacation and enjoy epic drives along endless scenic paths at your own pace.



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