Scheduling Your Time

Nobody likes to be rushed on their vacation. On the other hand, nobody likes to be bored or impatient either. Here are some time planning tips.

Times to Note

Scheduling a 1-Week Vacation

You will probably have to sacrifice one of: shopping, the beach, sightseeing tours, or partying. My recommendations: do the tours to Chichen Itza and Xcaret; buy most souvenirs on the rest stop before Chichen Itza; party first and do the tours later, as you have to reserve the tours 1-2 days in advance; but if the forecast is uncertain for later in the week, move the tours up and party later.

Scheduling a 2-Week Vacation

With 2 weeks, you have time to hit all the high points. Plan on at least 3 tours out of 4 possibilities: Chichen Itza, Tulum/Xel-Ha, Xcaret, and jungle tour/snorkeling. There are several options for this last one: in the lagoon, to Isla Mujeres, or to Cozumel. I recommend doing Tulum/Xel-Ha first, as it combines Mayan ruins with snorkeling and gives you a good idea of what other tours you may be interested in.

Look ahead at the 4-day forecast and make sure to pick days with good weather for both Chichen Itza and Xcaret. For snorkeling, it is perhaps more important not to go the day after bad weather, as the ocean bottom gets stirred up causing poor visibility.

Slot shopping in on any days when nothing else is planned and the weather is cloudy. Schedule beach time for other unplanned days when the weather is clear.

Combining Tours and Nightlife

Because the tours tend to start early, around 8 AM, you don't want to be too tired from partying the night before. So your choices are: tour and party the same day, then rest the next day; or group together a bunch of "tour days" and a separate bunch of "party days". If you have enough time, I recommend the second choice as some of the tours (Xcaret and Chichen Itza) will take the whole day and can be quite exhausting.