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18 Jan 2016
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Vacation Tips

Now this is exciting! A new highway has opened up in Playa del Carmen and takes you to Nuevo Xcan, a small pueblo that is the gateway to Isla Holbox. A 2.5 hour drive from Playa to Isla Holbox has just been cut to an hour! This new highway also decreased the drive time to Merida and Valladolid by 40%. What was close to a full day trip is now a possible half day trip, depending on your intentions.

Old Route to Isla Holbox from the Riviera Maya Coast

In the old day, we traveled south from Playa del Carmen, the roundabout close to Coba, headed to Nuevo Xcan and then up the road to Chiquila. Friends tried out the route from Playa to Cancun, over the Nuevo Xcan and the time was the same. The old route is fun, passing through mayan villages, dodging hidden topes (speed bumps), and stopping by roadside restaurants for roasted chicken or tacos. But it was a drive, a three hour drive no matter which way your looked at it.

Highway from Playa del Carmen to Holbox

New Route to Isla Holbox, Valladolid and Merida from the Riviera Maya Coast
Now there is a new route on a pristine highway from Playa del Carmen to Nuevo Xcan with options to travel to Valadolid and Merida on the free highway or the toll road.

Before we let you know how to find the highway and what to expect, we need to let you know that this is a toll road. The cost is 92 pesos for the privilege of using the highway. You pay at the end of the highway so don’t be surprised when you see two little booths manned by employees. A toll ticket is not required so no, you did not forget to obtain a toll ticket.

When you exit the toll booth you will be left with a few choices to carry onto your next destination. The signage is done very well, with your route of choice easy to find and follow. If you are carrying on to Valladolid or Merida you will have two choices. You can take the Libre which is the free highway (our preferred choice) or the Cuota with exits only at Valladolid and Merida. The Cuota is a toll highway so when you exit you will be asked to pay yet another toll. We had to pay 190 pesos from Nuevo Xcan to Valladolid and when we inquired what the price would be to Merida we were told the price would be the same.

To find the new highway in Playa del Carmen, look for the road Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrienta which is where the new Home Depot is located. Travel west on this road and it automatically turns into the toll road, after traveling about 4.5 miles/8 kilometers through the suburbs of Playa. The highway is officially called Highway 305 and there are road signs pointing you in the right direction off Highway 307.

Enjoy this new adventure and the places you’ll go on the new toll highway out of Playa!