posted on April 26th, 2018

Editor’s note: In celebration of last week’s launch of our Commercial Host program, which empowers independent car rental agencies all over the world to share their cars on Turo, we’re highlighting some of the rich new markets that have already developed a thriving Turo presence. Today, all eyes are on Mexico, with its historic ruins and warm romantic moods, now with a booming Turo presence in many of Mexico’s hottest destinations.

A road trip through Mexico is an explosion of color: brightly-hued buildings, turquoise water against white sand beaches, and enormous ancient ruins. Traveling from Mexico City to the Mayan Riviera gives you time to enjoy both new and old in Mexico, from beautiful beaches and bustling cities to pyramids and sculptures that stop you in your tracks.

Day 1

Start in Mexico City, a brash, unapologetic introduction to the country. Though it might be an acquired taste, the city holds charm between its grunge, and exploring it affords a window into Mexican culture. A few highlights include the Aztec ruins in the city center, ancient skulls buried under the Cathedral, and the Zocalo and Presidential Palace with Diego Rivera murals.

Drive from Mexico City to Cordoba, Veracruz, where colonial architecture and mountain vistas make the city ideal for a leg-stretching stroll and quiet first night.

Day 2

In the morning, head towards Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, where you’ll get your first glimpse at the shimmering ocean. Walk the Paseo de las Escolleras, a large cement jetty between the Coatzacoalas river and the ocean, and grab some food overlooking the sea.

Stop at the La Venta archaeological site between Coatzacoalas and Villahermosa for an up-close look at the giant Olmec heads — imposing rock sculptures carved by the Olmec Indians, an influential tribe in pre-Columbian Mexico. Villahermosa, the capital of Tabasco, offers plenty of pounding nightlife, plus a wide riverfront made for lingering.

Day 3

Take a detour along the Ruta de Cacao to visit chocolate plantations and learn about the chocolate-making process from families steeped in the tradition (save room for samples, obviously).

Because nothing preps you for laying out on the beach like a morning spent eating chocolate (right? Am I doing it wrong?), head towards Isla del Carmen next, where beautiful beaches abound. Soak up the sun on white sand beaches like Bahamitas or Tortugueros. If you want to mix it up, take a tour of the Laguna — the country’s largest estuary — for marine animal sightings.

Day 4

Today, the drive is just as beautiful as the destination, as you travel about 150 miles of coastal highway towards Haltunchén. Take your time and stop to picnic along the way (we’re betting you nab a prime Insta too). Your next stop is Campeche, a hidden gem (we mean that literally — it’s walled in). Walls were erected to protect the city from pirates, making for remaining bastions to stroll. Head to the nearby Ednzá ruins for more history, then take your pick from the many local eateries serving up delicious food for dinner.

Day 5

Start the day with a trip to Parque Natural Petenes, 300,000 hectares of wetlands that play home to wildlife from flamingos to jaguars. Then, drive to Merida, where brightly colored houses make up the city center and the Yucatecan cuisine will make your mouth water. Dive into the local scene at the Lucas de Galvéz market, then find a hammock to snooze off the day’s tasty treats.

Day 6

Your next stop is one of the most important Mayan pre-Columbian sites: Chichen Itza. Nestled in the jungle, the spot feels intrinsically wild. Don’t miss the Mayan ball court and the El Castillo pyramid before you hit the road towards Cancun. If you want to beat the crowds, continue along the Mayan Riviera to lesser-known Paamul, where thatched beach cottages are the name of the game.

Day 7

As your trip winds down, it’s all about relaxation. Don’t tax yourself with too long of a drive on your last day, but do make sure to check out nearby Tulum, where the Mayan ruins have been likened to the beauty of Sevilla, Spain (and the beaches aren’t half-bad, either). If you’re still itching for adventure, head to Coba, where you can climb the Yucatan’s tallest pyramid. Not in the mood for more action? Rest those road-trip muscles by logging some hours on the breathtaking beaches while you try to pick a favorite part of the trip.

Virginia is equally enamored with words and globetrotting. Whenever possible, she likes to combine the two through travel writing to help other wanderers discover and fall in love with the world.