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Villa Ixchel
Beachfront Vacation Rental on the Caribbean Sea in Mexico

Getting Around

How to get there.

To get to Villa Ixchel, fly into the international airport at Cancun.  From there it is about a 1-hour ride (73 kilometers or 46 miles) by car or taxi to Puerto Aventuras.  If you are driving, as you leave the airport area, exit right, following signs for Riviera Maya, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum.  You will go south on this road, Route 307 (also known as Carreterra Chetumal), and continue straight through the towns of Puerto Morelos and Playa Del Carmen.  About 15 kilometers south of Playa Del Carmen you will start to see signs for Puerto Aventuras.  The entrance is approximately at Kilometer 269.5 (you will see kilometer markers as you travel).  Take the exit on the right just past the Super Chedraui store.  You will go around the circle and under the highway to reverse directions on the side road.  The entrance to the community is on the right, immediately past a small cluster of shops and the the Pemex gasoline station.

Take the entrance road (Boulevard Puerto Aventuras) a short distance until it opens out into a large paved area, where you will see the Information Center in front of you.  Turn right on Bahia Yanten.  You will quickly reach a circle, where you will go around 270 degrees to take a left onto Punta Matzoma.  At the end of Punta Matzoma, take a right and look for the sign on the left for Villa Del Mar II.  (It is the third complex down.)  Park in the lot.  Villa Ixchel, Condo 108, is the furthest unit on the right side of the complex on the ground level.

Make arrangements ahead of time with Lisa and Andrew Leigh of Sol Maya Vacation Rentals to get your keys to the unit.  If you are arriving after hours, you may pick up your keys at the desk in the lobby of the Omni Hotel.  To get there driving, when you get to the Information Center, go more or less straight about another 100 yards or so.  You can park along the street or in the parking lot in front of the lobby.  Once you get your keys, backtrack to the information center, and go down Bahia Yanten road as described above.  (It will be a left turn if you are coming from the Omni lobby.)

Should you Rent a Car?

If you want to get around to the various attractions in the Riviera Maya, it may make sense to rent a car.  You can rent a car at the airport in Cancun, where most major car rental companies have facilities.  If you don't want to deal with the 1-hour trip between the airport and Puerto Aventuras, or if you only want to use a rental car for a portion of your stay, you can get from and to the airport by hired car or taxi.  You can rent a car in Puerto Aventuras or Playa Del Carmen when you want to.  There is an office of Executive in Puerto Aventuras (they can bring a car to you), and Hertz and others have offices in Playa Del Carmen.

You can check the internet for prices on rental cars.  All the major companies have English-speaking agents.  You are required to add liability insurance to your rental contract.  However, collision insurance is an expensive add-on.  You can purchase trip insurance that includes $25,000 to $50,000 no-deductible collision coverage, plus many other travel protections, at a much lower cost than the add-on collision coverage from the car rental companies.  Use your own best judgment on this.  (See Travel Insurance below.)

The use of taxis in Cancun and the Riviera Maya in our experience is safe.  They are generally used by tourists without worry.  It isn't a problem to use taxis at taxi stands, or to flag them down in the streets.  In Puerto Aventuras there are always taxis in front of the Omni Hotel, and there are always taxis at the major stores and tourist attractions waiting to take you home.

You can arrange for a car pickup at the airport with Andrew and Lisa at Sol Maya Vacation Rentals if you would rather not get your own taxi.

Driving in the Riviera Maya is fairly simple and straightforward. Route 307 is multi-lane road extending from Cancun all the way to Tulum (south of Puerto Aventuras) -- making for much faster, safer travel compared to the old 2-lane road.  The main things to watch out for are the speed bumps in the more densely populated areas.  Generally these are well marked, but if you are not familiar with the road, follow local drivers, and watch when they slow to a crawl.  New overpasses in Puerto Morelos and Playa Del Carmen now greatly expidite the through traffic headed to Puerto Aventuras.

The advantage of having a car for part or all of your vacation is that it gives you the convenience of exploring, going to various attractions, or running quick errands.  However, if you want a vacation without the hassle of a rental car, you can still enjoy everything on foot in Puerto Aventuras, or using taxis.  You can also arrange to have a car and driver available when you want them.

Travel Insurance

It is recommended that you purchase a travel insurance policy for your party before you leave on your trip.  These policies are generally very reasonable in price, and they provide extensive coverage and protection for travel, including cancellations due to illness or weather, baggage loss, and medical.

One of the major benefits of these packages is that replace the overpriced collision coverage offered by the rental car companies.  Policies typically include $25,000 to $50,000 of no-deductible collision coverage.  Depending on what kind of car you are renting, you can decide how much coverage you need.

A company I have used that offers extensive coverage at a reasonable price is CSA Travel Protection (www.csatravelprotection.com).  However, you can shop around on the internet, or talk with Sol Maya Vacation Rentals in Puerto Aventuras who can recommend companies.  I do not endorse one company over another.