The realization of being "only" 10 hours away from Playa del Carmen helped us get going on Day 5 of our drive from Los Angeles to the Mayan Riviera. We took advantage of the free breakfast buffet included with our hotel stay and left Villahermosa via Autopista 180 toward Mérida/Campeche.
Determined to make it to Playa still with daylight, we rushed through fishing villages along Campeche's coast, with only a quick stop in Champotón for a to-go order of yummy 'pescadillas' (fish quesadillas).
From my seat on the passenger side, Campeche sort of reminded me of Thailand's islands with clear waters, colorful tuk-tuks, friendly-looking people, relaxed street dogs, and fresh fruit and vegetable stands along the highway. It all made me want to go back when I have more time to explore the area.
We barely hit any traffic and despite the rain season, the roads were in very good condition. From Mérida we continued east on Autopista 180 toward the quaint town of Valladolid -- a good place to stop for a traditional Yucatán-style meal and locally made chocolate -- and later connected with Autopista 305D to Playa del Carmen.
DAY 5: FROM VILLAHERMOSA TO PLAYA DEL CARMEN
DISTANCE DRIVEN: 523 miles / 842 km
TOTAL DRIVE TIME: 10 hrs
LODGING: Fiesta Inn - 10 Avenida & Calle 28, Playa del Carmen