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Ok, so we're going to Ek Balam in late April on a day off from diving on Cozumel. We'll be driving from Playa del Carmen to E.B.
On my Yucatan road map I see a road heading west by northwest (almost perpenicular to the coastline), out of Playa and eventually runs into Hwy 180, the highway & toll road from Cancun to Merida.
1. has anyone driven this road?
2. is it a 2 lane paved road with jungle on either side, much like the road to Coba from Tulum? better? worse?
3. is it safe?
I don't mind driving all the way up to Cancun and then cutting over, just thought this would be something different.
First you will be amazed by Ek Balam. It has literally rewritten the book on Mayan art. I prefer EB to CI any day.
All the tours to the area use either the Tulum/Coba road or the highway from Cancun so I would assume that the road you are talking about is a much slower route. Since it is a long day to get to EB and back, I would bite the bullet and use the toll road. For lunch/dinner I would hit http://www.mesondelmarques.com in Validolid. Great food at a bargain price.
BTW, the road from Tulum is a designated Federal Highway.
Anyone I've known who's gone recently takes the Coba road to Valladolid. Between tours and individuals choosing this way, there's gotta be a good reason. I'd stick with what's known over hoping a map is correct and gets you where you want to be.
One thing about asking directions around these parts, even if they have no clue what you're asking about, they don't want to disappoint by not being able to provide help so they'll just give you directions to somewhere... not always where you wanted to end up. When you figure out you aren't getting there, you ask again...
All I can tell you is that the local tour guides dont use it.
That's kind of the point, not really to save the 40 miles, I most likely won't save a lot of time because of it being a secondary road, but to see something new. I've already driven both the other routes.
There are a couple of towns or villages along the way and I'm pretty sure this route is taken to get to some cenotes. I just can't quite tell if the road goes all the way through anymore. My map is several years old and it shows it going through, but a map I've found on the internet shows it just stopping a few miles out of Playa del Carmen.
I'm starting to get a sneeky suspicion that it used to, but a section of it might have gotten damaged from one of the hurricances and it hasn't been rebuilt yet.
So I may be stuck driving up to Cancun and over. The higway does by-pass Cancun and it is all good, and some of it brand new. It's a lot further to go to Tulum and take the Coba road from Playa.
At this point I'm just more curious than anything...ok, obsessed. I guess it's just the Columbus in me.
...ask for directions?? What's that?!?
Thanks for the opinions, they are very much appreciated.