Taylor Explores the World

Driving to Merida from Cancun

The drive from Cancun to Merida lasts approximately 3.5 hours, but it feels like forever as there is nothing but low lying jungle, a few highway signs reminding you to buckle up or obey the speed limit, an occasional altar, a couple of junk yards and two toll booths; that is all… the entire trip.  Needless to say after being up all night the previous night it was very hard to stay awake, especially because our car rental had no radio.  I forced myself to stay awake to help poor Leroy, whom I am sure was exhausted also, stay awake.

We took the toll road or cuota, Autopista Highway 180D, it is a simple straight route with nothing to worry about once you are on the cuota.   There are two tolls you will have to pay on the way to Merida, you will not miss them.  The first is called “Tintal”, it lies on the Autopista just before you reach Valladolid; you will have to pay this one if you are going to Merida or Valladolid, the cost is $262MXN per car.   The second one lies outside the city limits of Merida, you will not pay this if you are only traveling from Cancun to Valladolid but if you are continuing on to Merida you will have to pay here also.  The “Chichen Itza” toll costs $152MXN per car.  The total cost between Cancun and Merida for all tolls was $414MXN per car, each way.  I believe there are bathrooms and other basic services at these tolls but I am not 100%.

The Autopista is pretty much deserted.  The speed limits range from 80-110 km (50-68 mph), we followed the posted signs and never had a problem.  Every once in a while a car would go flying by or you would see a work crew cutting the tree branches that dare to cross into the road or painting curbs for non-existent dreamed of city blocks and driveways.  Occasionally, you would see locals’ trikes, most rust rotted yellow, pulled alongside of the road their baskets filled with wooden logs for fires or carving.  

A huge brush cutter must have just been through a large section, the woods were gashed back twenty feet or so and the remains lay where they dropped on the side of the road.   The only wildlife I noticed was an occasionally hawk and tons of vultures, they coated every electrical tower and transformer they could find to perch on.

The roads from Cancun to Merida are marked extremely well, they even have mile-to-go signage; you will not miss your destination.  There were no topes, none.  I now realize that traveling on the Autopista eliminated many since it is a freeway, but I still expected a few.   There were not even any, once off the cuota, coming into Merida as I had anticipated there would be. Not one tope, until you were in the actual city of Merida.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *