Renting a car in Playa & Ixmoja Pyramid

We woke up from a refreshing night’s rest in our chic hotel room in Playa del Carmen. What a great location to celebrate turning 30 with your best friend! Though we had a bit of a disappointing breakfast, we had high hopes for the day ahead!

The lobby of hour hotel: SOHO PLAYA

My friend Christy rented a car from Hertz through AAA. Like everything else in Playa, we think we might have unnecessarily paid more for an upgrade we did not really need. While I do not regret renting a car, I would love to offer a few words of wisdom and tips to make your experience run as smoothly as possible:

  • When renting, make sure to choose automatic (unless you prefer manual). Most people drive automatic cars in the United States, but Mexicans tend to drive manual so it is what they will automatically offer when renting cars.
  • If you do it through AAA, you will have to pay a big deposit because you are basically rejecting the rental’s insurance. We had no problem getting a refund after returning the car.

    The best way to see Quintana Roo is by driving to all the adventure spots.
  • Being in this area, you will have many tour companies that will take you to main attractions and give you guided tours. This will be more expensive than renting a car and visiting the locations on your own. But the car will obviously give you so much more freedom.
  • If this is your first experience being in a car in Mexico, you may not want to be the person behind the wheel! Your safe driving might actually make you a bad driver on the road here. If you are a nervous driver, you might want to sip a margarita and lie down in the backseat. Driving could potentially taint your experience of this beautiful country, especially if you aren’t a flexible person. You need to drive by the rules of where you are, and in Mexico…that may mean that lanes will be treated as a suggestion, and that you may roll at a 4 way cross rather than come to a full stop!

Once we got on our massiv, upgraded SUV we headed 2 hours South of Playa del Carmen to visit the stunning Mayan Ruins called: Coba.

Walking through the jungle to get to the pyramids

In the heart of the jungle, you will walk or bike around to different pyramids. The main attraction is the tallest pyramid, Ixmoja. Climbing up its 42 meters (148 feet) is quite a physical challenge as the steps are incredibly steep, and scarily smooth from all the people that climb to the top every day. You can hold on to a thick rope, or climb on all fours, but be careful not to slip! The effort is worth the view of the jungle, as you will be sitting way above the tree tops.

The beautiful view from the top of Ixmoja. Can you see the pyramid to the right?

It was a challenging way up, but even harder task to go down! If you are really afraid of heights, you might want to skip out on this one.

That last leap looks easy, but it was a physical challenge!

We recovered from the heat and exercise at one of the restaurants on-site. It felt so good to eat a fresh lunch which included plenty of guacamole and a strong margarita!

I have to admit the margarita really got to me! Alcohol after climbing pyramids on a hot day has three times its power. Drink responsibly, folks.

On our way back, the drive was easier as the highway is really just a straight road back to Playa. Given that we were hoping to have a very early day the next morning, we stopped by La Comer supermarket for an easy breakfast to eat in our hotel room.

Victory shot on top of Ixmoja pyramid.

Traveling to a place this hot, you need to put on sunscreen on the clock AND stay very hydrated! It was amazing to be able to walk into our AC room and drink Liquid I.V.

First time trying these, but they were absolutely essential during out trip.

This electrolyte drink mix was a lifesaver each night when we got back from an exciting day in the Sun!

What’s your experience traveling to really hot weather destinations, and how do you make sure you are taking care of your body while enjoying every bit of your vacation? Write it in the comments below. Sto by next Saturday (or better yet, subscribe!) for more Quintana Roo and 2 bucket list experiences done in one day!

Happy Travels



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