2 routes from Cancun to Merida without paying tolls

If you’re looking for a more fun way to get from Cancun to Merida but you don’t want to ride a boring and straight toll-road, MotoTravel has you covered!
Once you’re past Nuevo X-Can on the Quintana Roo – Yucatan border there are quite a bunch of options for more fun and adventurous routes.

I’ve been to Merida from Cancun a few times, and every time I took a different route. For a mid-week roadtrip I followed a rural route to Merida through the Northern part of Yucatan and spend a few days in Merida before heading back via a more southern route. Along the way to Merida I passed through several small and developing towns with old Spanish era churches and squares. Some with a market, others with just some shops.
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The historic ruins of Ek-Balam and Coba

Living in Cancun for a while also means a lot of historic sites can be visited. For this adventure I had made a route to visit Ek-Balam and Coba with a quick stop in Valladolid.
This turned out to be a nice day with lots to see and do.

We left early-ish in the morning from Cancun, filling up with fuel and heading out to the ruins of Ek-Balam, which is in north of Valladolid in Yucatan. Not one for tollroads we of-course sought out smaller roads and streets to make it extra fun.
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Bored in Dumaguete – Time for adventure!

Two adventures in one? Not quite. But yes. If you like a short adventure and see some waterfalls and scenic views these are 2 nice smaller adventures to explore. Each track will take a few hours. First let’s tackle the longer one. Negros Island in the Philippines is one of the bigger islands in the country which makes for some great exploring.

I often went for a ride, just heading into the mountains and see how far I could go before the roads got too bad. Which in many places was pretty soon.
Sometimes the fun would end pretty quick with the road at a 30+ degree angle, or just stopping. Other times it was just going to a little farm or stopped at a single track-like walking path into the jungle.

But other times I would just find a nice route. Below you can read about 2 of the nicer ones that don’t have you backtrack and just go in a nice circle over the southern bit of Negros Island.
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A weekend in Sipalay

Escape the hustle and bustle of Dumaguete for a few days and relax on the golden beaches of Sipalay. Sound good? Let’s go!
On this adventure we went to Sipalay City, a Municipality on the other side of southern Negros for a few days.

Sipalay is, I think, a fun and relaxed escape from the city and with its nicer beaches than what you find in or near Dumaguete a great option for a getaway.
At the time I had a girlfriend, we regularly went on little vacations like this. This trip was in July 2018.
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A roundtrip through the Philippines – Part 2

Between 2015 and 2019 I lived in the Philippines. I ‘learned’ how to ride motorbikes there. And discovered I really like riding around and exploring things on my own terms. In 2017-2018 having travelled around the country a bit by bus I changed over to doing so on a motorbike.
This two part story of our roundtrip through the Philippines is a summarized version of events and highlights. This is part two.
Joining me on this adventure is Jeanette from FloatingCoconut.net.
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A roundtrip through the Philippines – Part 1

Between 2015 and 2019 I lived in the Philippines. I ‘learned’ how to ride motorbikes there. And discovered I really like riding around and exploring things on my own terms. In 2017-2018 having travelled around the country a bit by bus I changed over to doing so on a motorbike.
This two part story of our roundtrip through the Philippines is a summarized version of events and highlights. This is part one.
Joining me on this adventure is Jeanette from FloatingCoconut.net.
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My big regret on long-term travel

Going on adventure is a big deal and it is big fun also. It usually is. But inevitably after a while you get tired of it. Tired of the grind of riding hours on end. And most people, me included, just don’t take the time to enjoy the adventure anymore. The only objective is to get to the next location that day.

Sure you’ll enjoy the moment and probably enjoy the views, the road, or whatever gives you your rush. I like the scenic bits. Maybe a hint of danger and excitement. And on a good day I can immensely enjoy my rides.
But then later on, when the adventure is over and you look for a photo of something along the route you notice the bad days easily.
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Mexico’s Canyon del Sumidero is a grand adventure – Part 2

This is Part 2 of our Canyon del Sumidero Adventure. To read part 1, click here.

Taking a boat tour through Canyon del Sumidero

After navigating the city and to the boat docks we contemplated which company to use. Google Reviews were of not much use since there are thousands of reviews and everything seemed fine. So we just went with the nearest one. Just outside Tuxtla Gutierrez. You can also get the tour further up the river in a little town called Chiapa de Corzo.

The place we used was an efficient setup, which is fine. But it also means you have to turn off your brain and just follow where they point you to. Which is a bit dumb and impersonal. We were directed from the parking space past the entry booth, to get a life-vest and into a boat in less than 2 minutes. All the while not really knowing what we were supposed to do or why and in what order. Just follow the pointing fingers.
Entry is about 540MXN for 2 persons. This includes a boat ticket, canyon ticket and taxes or something. We didn’t really get it and it’s not very well explained. But if you have the time to read the signs you can see how it all works. We didn’t get much time to look around, just follow the pointing fingers.
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Mexico’s Canyon del Sumidero is a grand adventure – Part 1

If you’re visiting either the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez or San Cristobal de las Casas you should probably also visit the Canyon del Sumidero. This is a massive canyon towering above the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez with a large water reservoir at the end. Mexico’s CFE has a hydroelectric dam there.

We visited the Canyon in 2 ways. The touristy and common way is to hire a boat and go down the river which we did as a sort of part 2. But a little less common is a land route along the top of the canyon with some stunning views. We went up the land route first. This route takes you about 400-500 meters above the river and gives a great impression of how high the canyon really is. I have made a simple route to ride and off we went…

On top of Canyon del Sumidero

In the neighborhood of ‘La Esperanza’ you’ll find the entry gate to the Sumidero Viewpoints. In Mexico they call those Miradores. So here it’s Miradores del Canon del Sumidero. Entry onto the road is 50MXN per person. After that you’re let loose on the long winding road. Once you reach the top of the mountain range there are 5 miradores spread out over the area, along the canyon.

Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy when we were there, so at first we didn’t actually get to see much. Watching the clouds move about was fun too, and occasionally they would let up and give us a glimpse of the canyon below.
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A week in Cristobal de las Casas

On our way to La Paz in Baja California Sur we’ve spent a few days in San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas Mexico. This city was high on our list of places to visit for its historical city center. And historical it was. Most of the older buildings have been preserved and repurposed for modern things like restaurants, shops and coffee shops. Some are turned into museums.

Exploring the historical city center

First, let’s start with the less attractive things in the city. Most of the touristy things are either closed off, walled off or only open on specific days. All of which poorly advertised. For example the main cathedral and adjoining gardens/grounds are walled off for maintenance or something. The whole cathedral is off limits for tourism. You can barely see the building because of the construction-site-wall surrounding it. Which makes taking pictures a near impossible task.

Next to that, with the current feminist protests going on in the country most walls, flat surfaces and and especially religious or government buildings or construction walls are ruined by feminist propaganda graffiti. The city is littered with angry cries for justice, equality and the destruction of men and their ways. Which makes the city and especially the bits tourists want to see an ugly sight. In general it’s not all bad, but you know, it’s on every street corner.
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