We will be traveling on the "Pride" on March 30 and were thinking of renting a car in Playa to go see Tulum and still get back to Cozumel in time to do some shopping. Our family is concerned about the safety issue of going off on our own. Any comments about this?
There are pros and cons. Going off by yourself lets you go where you want and see what you want to see. Not going with a ship's excursion means that if you miss the ship (say, something mechanical with the car), the ship won't wait for you but they will if you're on a ship's excursion.
I do not recommend any US citizen driving a vehicle in Mexico, even if the car rental firm offers insurance. Mexico does not recognize your US insurance, even where the policy might provide protection. US policies may offer protection for up to 75 miles from the US and Mexcico border but Mexico does not recognize such insurance.. If you are involved in an accident under Mexican Law you are presumed to be quilty even if you are not at fault. You may never make the ship , even if the rental firm has provided insurance because it takes time for the authorities to determine who is at fault. The rich American or the poor Mexican.
I suggest you contact a Mexican Consul office and learn about driving in Mexico. It can be enlightening. From my years of going to Mexico, I cannot even recommend a taxi.
I don't know if Hanna's years of going to Mexico are the same as mine, but we just finished driving almost 3,000 Km. in the Yucatan peninsula without even a white-knuckle moment.
Mexican drivers are among the most polite in the world.
Over the past 16 years, we have driven all over Mexcio with no problem whatsover other than hitting unmarked "topes" and most of those are in Cancun. I'm still reseating some of my fillings from one on the Avenida Tulum.
I lived in Puerto RIco, home of famous wild drivers, for four years and was never anywhere close to an accident.
I take offense to Hanna's comment about "rich Americans" v. "poor Mexicans." Not. This is negative profiling of the highest order and Hanna should think again. There were plenty of those "poor Mexicans" driving BMW's, Porsches, Mercedes, Explorers, etc.
It does not reflect well upon one to make such blanket statements.
I say, there is little to fear expect the fear that the ignorant and underknowledged will fling about for us to read.
Nope......thats my story and I am sticking to it. The last thing I would want is to have an vehicle accident in a distant land. In all my years of travel I honestly believe an American's story of what happened will come in second to the locals version <G>.
Sorry, pal, but I don't buy the scare. And I don't buy the worry, either.
I'm not going to spend my days on tour buses, breathing other people's germs, going where I might not want to go, doing what I might not want to do and being forced into the "official" stops for shopping just for "safety.".
Mexico isn't all that distant. On any given day, there are probably a lot more Americans driving on the Tourist Corridor (now cutely re-named the Riviera Maya) than there are Mexicans. I think the Americans are more dangerous, actually.
Our travel experiences would be a LOT poorer if we did not strike out on our own. Other people just don't have a comfort level with it and I say, "Whatever works."
In reality, we are not talking Russian Roulette or a crap shoot.
My husband and I are thoughtful, careful travellers, tend not to do anything stupid except forgetting a map once in a while, and have never, ever had a problem.
That attitude doesn't float everyone's boat, but it certainly has led us to some magnificent experiences that the tourists don't have.
Okay, plain and simple, the Yucatan IS NOT like the border towns of Texas, New Mexico and Az and Calif. There is no reason not to rent a car in this area. I have done it many times and never had a problem and have never heard of anyone else that has. Unless you have a personal experiance you wish to relate to back up your claims, then they are only opinions and we all know about opinions. At this point I must make the warning that nobody should take any heed of any legal advice given over the internet or any semblence of advice of a legal manner. If I see actual legal advice given, it will be deleted as it would be wrong to allow it to stand and give anyone the idea that we approve.
Now to the original question, Sandra, my only concern is that you would not have enough time to accomplish this task. You will have to take a ferry from Coz to PdC, rent a car, drive to Tulum, see the ruins, drive back and turn the vehicle in, catch the ferry and go from downtown San Miegel to the pier. The ferry is on a half hourly schedule and if you miss it by a few minutes then you are talking about an hour just sitting. Ships tour is really the way to go OMHO.
Thanks, Jim, for what you said about the self-proclaimed "legal" and "insurance" experts. Not that it helped Sandra all that much.
As you said, [i]experiences</> are more than welcome here and I welcome others' experiences always. Blanket statements, particularly about other foreign nationals, are always in poor taste and serve absolutely no useful purpose.
I will admit that I am a self-procalimed "expert" on the subject of Mayan food, but I submit that's a little bit different. Not everyone gets off on the idea of blood sausage. But I can tell you where to get it.
All of our experiences are from "yesterday." Even if it's just a week ago, things might have changed. Maybe the blood sausage factory closed down while I wasn't watching.
A street that was closed two weeks ago in Cancun was open a week later. For all I know, it's closed again THIS week, but I am certainly not going to make a "fact" statement about that street. Except to state the name of it and the direction it runs.
I caution all readers to take what anyone (and that includes me) says with a grain or a box of salt. Gather information carefully and evaluate the sources. The REAL experts back up their statements with real-life experiences and make it clear that today's deal may be different than yesterday's.
There is nothing more embarassing than recommending a FABULOUSO restaurant to find out that it's gone out of business when your recomendees go there on your say-so. Just two months later.
Don't let the few who would terrify you take the upper hand. Let them wear the belts and suspenders.
A tour guide is full of information that you would otherwise not have access to, unless instead of looking at the sights you are reading about them. We enjoyed our tour to Tulum, led by a self-proclaimed Mayan descendent (?). This was on a tour from the Ritz in Cancun, not a ships tour, but I would imagine they are very similar.