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posted on July 25th, 2018

This summer we’re highlighting sizzling international locales, where guests can now book cars on Turo! For local, insider travel tips from awesome Commercial Hosts, check out all of the guides here, and visit this page to see all the places around the globe you can book on Turo.


Jordi R. lives and operates his small business Mex Rent A Car in Guadalajara, Mexico, but most of his guests book cars in Cancún in Quintana Roo on the Caribbean side on the country, so he’s there often to enjoy himself and to take care of business. “It’s an attractive place, whether you’re there for work or pleasure. The city has a cool vibe and there’s beauty everywhere,” Jordi says.

Jordi understands that some people go to Cancún just to relax on the beach, but for the more adventurous, having a car allows you to see way more of the Yucatan Peninsula. “Some of the coolest sights are farther away,” he says. “Public transit can be tough to navigate for some people, taxi services are pretty expensive, and if you take a tour you have to stick to a schedule.”

Jordi also notes that it can be stressful when you first arrive at the airport and are not quite sure where to find your car, and that the Turo app makes it easy to get connected. “It’s been nice to so easily get in touch with guests to find out where they are, answer questions, and find out if they need anything.”

Jordi’s 2018 Mini Cooper

For his top three must-see locations around Cancún, Jordi suggests booking a sporty convertible, like this Mini Cooper, to make the most of the drives. “The drive along the coast south from Cancún to Tulum is very scenic,” he says. “A convertible is perfect for that, as long as you keep in mind that it does rain and you do have to be ready for showers.”

Jordi’s top 3 highlights around Cancún

XCARET

If you drive about 75 kilometers (46 miles) down the coast from Cancún, you’ll find Xcarat, which was once an ancient Mayan trade hub. “This was one of the most important cities for Mayan culture,” Jordi reports. Currently, there is a theme park, Xcaret Park, at the site, which allows visitors to explore the ancient ruins, an also go on some outdoor aquatic adventures, most notably snorkeling in underground rivers and caves.

COBA

Nestled in the jungle about 132 kilometers southwest from Cancún and just north of Tulum, Coba is the site of early Mayan ruins, clustered around two lakes. Coba is best known for a group of temple pyramids on the grounds connected by raised stone walkways. The Ixmoja pyramid, which is 42 meters high, is one of the largest on the Yucatán peninsula and intrepid explorers can climb all the way to the top. “These are some really spectacular ruins,” Jordi adds, “and they’re located in a very peaceful setting.”

CHICHEN ITZA

“It’s one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, so you know it’s special,” Jordi says. About 200 kilometers west of Cancún, Chichen Itza was the biggest pre-Columbian Mayan city in the Yucatán, and it’s home to a series of impressive temples and structures with an unusual fusion of architectural styles. Perhaps the most famous sights are the Pyramid of Kukulkan, which many people visit on the spring and fall equinoxes to see the snake shape cast onto the pyramid by the sun, and the Sacred Cenote, a deep, water-filled cave that acted as a well and sacrificial site in the city. Jordi suggests getting there early to beat the inevitable crowds.

The chillest place near Cancún

When it comes finding a place to hang with friends, but escape the frenzy that Jordi calls “spring break vibes”, he’s a big fan of Playa Del Carmen. You can hit the beach, go shopping, and also walk around 5th Avenue to check out hype and chill bars, trendy nightclubs, and the area’s finest restaurants — from stands to foodie delights. “You can just relax or you can also really impress someone here,” Jordi adds. Playa Del Carmen is also known as a fantastic place to scuba dive and snorkel, and Jordi has spotted an occasional celebrity on the beach — “mostly Mexican soccer players,” he says.

What to eat in Cancún

Cochinita pibil (Image: Serious Eats)

“There is one specialty that you can get in other parts of the country, but honestly, it just won’t taste as good,” Jordi shares. That dish is a Yucatán specialty called cochinita pibil, which is a sweet, smoky pork flavored with achiote peppers, bitter oranges, and tons of spices, but it’s less spicy hot, than earthy. It was originally cooked by the Mayans in a big pit lined with hot stones, which you can imagine is harder to pull off these days, but can still find plenty of places to taste these tender, barbequed pork flavors.

You also wouldn’t be surprised to learn that seafood is a specialty in Cancún and the Riviera Maya. “Every beach has a little hut out there on the water, and that’s where I go to get something fresh and delicious. I like really shrimp, myself,” Jordi says.

The Cancún dream car

What is the one car that Jordi dreams of sharing with guests so they can make the absolute most of Cancún? “A Ferrari or Lamborghini. Any model with a convertible top. It’s sleek, it’s exciting, it’s perfect for the weather.”

Kamala Puligandla is a writer and an editorial assistant at Turo. She is always on the hunt for a strange story, a great snack, and the perfect outdoor spot to consume them.