I am in love with this land so it is very easy for me to be loaded with reasons for traveling through the Yucatan peninsula. We summarize them in 13 reasons, you will see how you fall in love with the Peninsula.

In one of the always celebrated and desired visits from friends, to whom you transmit your love for the land you inhabit, we were photography kids looking at the sky on a Caribbean beach when the fantastic Veri told me "Who's blau més maco, oi Sandra?" (what a beautiful blue, right Sandra?). He commented on it with his affectionate scorn for the number of times I had repeated the same phrase to him for days without realizing "what a beautiful blue."

This has been, without even hear it in Mexico again fall in love with the blue, its vastness and its infinite nuances. For this and many other reasons bewitched me this land, you will be you the next to surrender to its charms?

We are going to take a walk to travel around the Yucatan peninsula and show its wonders.

traveling around the yucatan peninsula
Who blau me maco

13 REASONS TO TRAVEL THROUGH THE YUCATÁN PENINSULA

Since we came to live in 2007 I have been fortunate to travel around the Yucatan Peninsula on numerous occasions, either leading, going out to explore or enjoy going out and sightsee. In each output have been falling in love unconditionally this piece of land that has me captive. I am going to list you the powerful reasons for my love, I hope you enjoy our 12 reasons to travel through the Yucatan Peninsula.

1- Know impressive ancient Mayan cities

Personally, it is a luxury to live and soak up the Mayan civilization in situ, one of the great ones in the History of Humanity. Traveling the Yucatan Peninsula you can find some of the most incredible ancient cities of the Maya world. Here await cities like Chichén Itzá, the beautiful Uxmal, the colossal Calakmul (my favorite of the Peninsula), the attic of Coba, Ek Balam, beauty silent Mayapan, Kohunlich, Edzná, the Dzibanché amazing and so many other amazing archaeological sites .

I have the vice while I visit the archaeological zones of visualizing how were the ancient Mayan cities, how they lived, customs, beliefs and rituals. We have been forming in this ancient world by reading, taking workshops and listening. I am fascinated by the contribution of the Mayan in astronomical and mathematical knowledge, it is simply crazy. Maya epigraphy is surely the most beautiful scripture I know, and seeing glyphs in archaeological sites is something that excites me.

The good thing is that each archaeological zone gives you a vision, you can visit dozens of archaeological zones when traveling through the Yucatan peninsula and they are different landscapes and sensations. You do not get tired.

For those interested in Mayan culture in museums, the most complete museum on the Mayan theme is the Great Museum of the Mayan World in Mérida. In cities like Campeche, Chetumal and Cancun you also find Mayan-themed museums.

traveling through the yucatan peninsula
Chichen Itza, Yucatan
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Calakmul, Campeche
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Uxmal, Yucatan

2- Enjoy great diversity of fauna in its natural habitat

Another of the great attractions de traveling through the Yucatan peninsula is the varied and attractive that you can enjoy wildlife in their natural habitat. Living so close to nature is priceless for many travelers, they are luxury opportunities. 

During these years I have been fortunate to see dolphins a few meters from the coast in Puerto Juárez, howler monkeys walking through the jungle, hundreds of bats in caves and cenotes, crocodiles in the lagoon behind my house, starfish snorkeling on beaches, turtles copulating on the shoreline, bull and cat sharks diving the Caribbean Sea, giant manta rays, tapirs and deer in Calakmul, armadillo in Tizimín walking our dogs.

By jungle and mountain roads it is easy to see coatis, skunks, maybe deer, capybara elusive, opossums and other medium-sized mammals. Another relatively easy animal to see is the crocodile, the great dominator of the Mayan area. Animals such as the puma, anteater, armadillo or jaguar, although they reside in various areas of the Peninsula, it is unlikely to see them.

I have enjoyed this variety of fauna without passing any limit of remote or lost places. Many experiences have been in the surroundings of our house, that coatis, turtles, iguanas and ospreys are my neighbors in the neighborhood, I love it. These things happen here, and that for me is priceless.

See a jaguar would touch the lottery. That lucky for me I hope someday, you want to win the lottery.

traveling through the yucatan peninsula
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calakmul monkeys

 3- Visit beautiful colonial cities

Traveling through the Yucatan peninsula and combine nature with visits to colonial cities is a combination that many seek. Colonial cities welcome us with their beauty and comforts with open arms to the traveler.

On the Peninsula you find several colonial cities of unique beauty. The original Valladolid, the cultural Mérida, the exquisite Magical Town of Izamal or the one declared by Unesco Cultural Heritage of Humanity: San Francisco de Campeche, the most beautiful.

All the colonial cities of the peninsula are extremely entertaining, both for their beauty and for the street environments and cultural offers. Each one has its what, they are unique. They are people who like to the traveler for the beauty, tranquility and services. Ease of cross them on foot, with various options for visits to museums, churches, exhibitions, palaces, which can entangle with offerings from local restaurants and international food, and nice cafes with free wi-fi, which is indispensable for the traveler nowadays.

It is easy to join cultural activities where you can mix with the locals and chat for a while in a friendly way. Perfect plan for the walker of these lands, this offer all these beautiful cities.

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Convent San Antonio de Padua in Izamal
traveling through the yucatan peninsula
San Francisco de Campeche
traveling through the yucatan peninsula

4- Enjoy the paradisiacal beaches of the Mexican Caribbean

Whether you are beachy or not, the landscapes of the Caribbean coast of Mexico are a major cause for traveling through the Yucatan peninsula, they will captivate you. Turquoise colored beaches and calm waters that look like pools, palm trees, white sand. The mailing whole unfiltered.

It's a real pleasure to walk, swim and enjoy these beautiful beaches. In most restaurants offer rents beach lounge chairs with food services to enjoy the beach with amenities. From Cancun to Tulum you find some of the best beaches of the Mayan Riviera, especially in the coastal strip that goes from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. Isla Contoy, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and Holbox are not far behind with some beaches where you dream of waking up.

Less touristy than its neighboring Riviera Maya we also have Mahahual or Xcalak. The coast of the Gulf of Mexico, where Holbox, El Cuyo, Las Coloradas and the Emerald Coast are located, is beautiful that remains quiet and we only enjoy a few.

There are different coastal towns where you can choose your style of travel and accommodation. There are several interesting options to sleep on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, give yourself that whim. Vividores! 😉

Isla Holbox Quintana Roo
13 good reasons to travel the Yucatan Peninsula and fall in love with the destination 1
Best beaches in Mexico

5- Surrender to the beauty of the cenotes

I am absolutely cenotera, I live in love with cenotes. For me the traveling through the Yucatan Peninsula It represents something unique thanks to the cenotes. There are thousands of cenotes registered in the Yucatan Peninsula, they are of different types so you have a choice: cave-type cenotes are surely the most spectacular, although some open are impressive as well, there are more touristy, others rustic, some almost inaccessible .

My recommendation is that you visit a cenote, so since I cannot leave you an endless list, I recommend you visit some Cenotes of Quintana Roo and many others Yucatan cenotes.

Currently the cenotes are used as recreational spaces, but in the ancient and current Mayan world The cenotes are an essential part of the Mayan cultureBeing the main supply of fresh water, as well as being an essential part of the rituals and cosmology of the Mayan people, they are sacred places. Treat them like the treasure that they are, don't mess them up with body creams if you're going to bathe in them.

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Mayan cenote ceremony
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6-You will fall in love with its people:

Traveling through the Yucatan Peninsula will take you to the most beautiful of all the roads of the trip: you will fall in love with the people of the Peninsula. If you have the time to populate, stop to eat local food on the way, attend local festivals, fairs such as Tizimín, eat an ice cream in the square while a group of girls rehearse a dance for the school festival, drink a mototaxi to move around the towns, buy, eat and smell in the markets. Those details are what bring us closer to daily local life and open beautiful human doors for you.

An essence that some travelers wistfully seek is to attend events, parties, daily activities or local fairs that make us experience the authenticity of places up close. For those of us who like to savor these little things, in the Yucatan Peninsula your path becomes fantastic as it is a land that loves to celebrate, and you will constantly find events and fairs where you can mingle with the locals.

Traveling with respect and affection, you will have beautiful talks and laughter in these lands of peaceful and reserved people. I have had intimate encounters in my ways, they make places people and the countryside and Mayan villages is a pleasure walk.

Another opportunity to get closer to the interior is to take advantage of the offer of ecotourism in the Yucatan PeninsulaA good way to dive deeper to know the more traditional interior and manners. In inland towns such as Ek Balam, Cobá or Santa Elena are places where the traveler chooses to spend the night due to their good offer of services and privileged surroundings.

In some towns of the Peninsula I feel that time has stopped and I seem to recognize my grandfather among the gentlemen wearing a hat, ironed pleated trousers with a marked stripe in the middle and the starched shirt unbuttoned so that the classic cotton tank top appears white interior. Traveling is wonderful 💚🌎

Yucatan man, Mexico
Ek Balam, Yucatán
traveling through the yucatan peninsula

7- explore the fascinating depths of the Earth

The particular formation on limestone rock of the Yucatan Peninsula, makes it a very permeable soil. This soil is ideal for creating caves and grottoes thanks to the water that filters through the rock.

Knowing caves in these years here has been a discovery. There are many caves that you can visit with a guide, some very easy to navigate, to which you must crawl on the ground for meters. You can choose an adventure adapted to your level, there are dozens of caves that tourism in Yucatan offers. TO

I am half excited with this subject of the bowels of the Earth, I am increasingly curious about the guts of the earth and all the secrets they keep. I have discovered that here are our wrinkles from history, and it is something fascinating. In some of the most interesting caves in the Peninsula from Yucatán you will discover fantastic things like dozens of hands painted in the caves of Santa Rita, pure magic underground.

Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatan are leading destinations for caving and caving at a professional and amateur level. Go down to the underworld and be amazed, you will not regret it.

Yucatan peninsula caves
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Xmail Photo courtesy of Fátima Tec Pool
Grottos Santa Rita Yucatan

8- For the diversity of natural landscapes

I must confess that I miss the mountain: in the Yucatan Peninsula the maximum elevation is 314 meters above sea level. Despite not having that longed for mountain landscape, the diversity of landscapes of the Peninsula soften my morriña. And we have the mountains close to Chiapas.

The contrasts between the idyllic Caribbean beaches to the pink saline coasts of the north of the Peninsula, the dreamlike areas of mangroves and their water eyes (springs) crystalline, to the low forest that grows as we travel south, where we find ourselves in the tall vegetation that covers the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. Together with the other three Biosphere Reserves of Ría Lagartos, Ría Celestún y Sian Ka'an, the Peninsula contains a rich diversity of flora and fauna, with natural landscapes called paradisiacals.

Each cenote is a unique corner of formations and particular beauty, it is like walking through different landscapes. And continuing underground, the incredible galleries offered by the caves of the Peninsula, also calm my mountain nostalgia.

Traveling through the Yucatan Peninsula it is to cross large fields of cultivation in Campeche, roads that circumvent lagoons, huge cattle ranches in the north, coasts that take you along the turquoise sea, asphalt roads that go into the high jungle and countless populations where you see life happen. You will entertain yourself.

Cenote Kin Ha
Cenotes
traveling through the yucatan peninsula
High jungle
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Coastal springs in the mangrove

9- Dive in one of the mecca of the scuba diving

The Mesoamerican Reef is the second largest on the planet. Runs about 1,000 kilometers from the island of Contoy, Mexico, bathing the coasts of Belize and Guatemala to Honduran waters. The coast of the mexican caribbean sea It is one of the mecca of scuba diving. If we add the cenotes, the attraction is indisputable for thousands of divers who arrive year after year to marvel at these waters.

El Caribbean Sea offers a spectacular array of wildlife, with funds fantastic coral reefs and crystal clear waters in enviable indeed. The prices to get the Padi Open Water diver are not unattainable, they are around 360 usd, so you can encourage yourself to take your course or at least do a baptism for about 70 usd. The menu cenotes in the Yucatan and Quintana Roo is irresistible, charm eventually fall in love with the diver like nothing else.

The addicts know cenotes, and no wonder, for me one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever done in my life.

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Photo courtesy of Juanma Cano
13 good reasons to travel the Yucatan Peninsula and fall in love with the destination 6
Photo courtesy of Juanma Cano

10- Because it is cool to sleep in a Hacienda

If India can sleep in ancient palaces of Maharajas, feudal castles in Scotland and Mongolia in guers, traveling by Yucatan Peninsula offers you the possibility of sleeping in Haciendas. There history of the haciendas It is fundamental to know this land, here the henequen industry developed, the so-called green gold of the Yucatan.

Some of these haciendas old hotels were renovated, offering accommodation in the old rooms of Campeche and Yucatan haciendas.

Staying in a hacienda is cool, without more. Many are high-end, consider paying from 200 usd per night. There are some on your way where living luxury is more affordable with prices of 100 usd per night.

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Hacienda Yaxcopoil, Yucatan
Hacienda San Francisco de Tzacalha
Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, Tecoh, Yucatan, Mexico.

11- Discover unique places on the planet

Traveling through the Yucatan peninsula It takes you to enjoy some extraordinary and unique things of the planet. Yucatan Peninsula has several curious enough natural treasures that move teams of researchers or entities linked to science and adventure such as National Geographic, who have traveled several times to the Peninsula to investigate its most attractive phenomena.

Places such as the Dzilam Bravo waterhole, where 3500 liters per minute come out of an opening at sea level, the hanging snakes of Kantemó, one of the only places in the world to observe this animal, the Bacalar lagoon, which In addition to its spectacular beauty, it has stromatolites, or the famous crater de Chicxulub, causing the extinction of dinosaurs on Earth, are undoubtedly unique places.

These extraordinary coolies are found in the Yucatan peninsula.

Discover 5 extraordinary events in the Yucatan Peninsula

kantemo hanging snakes
Kantemo snakes. Photo courtesy of Dickson Glacier
bacalar stromatolites
Stromatolites in Bacalar

12- Savor delicious traditional dishes

When you try the cochinita pibil made in the traditional way in a Mayan community, when you taste the suckling pig with its fine herbs or the cicada in a market, when you wake up with a few eggs with chaya, when you wander around and eat a roast cake, all these moments They are a great reason to travel around the Yucatan Peninsula.

Within the Mayan gastronomy, the Yucatan area is reputed to be the tastiest gastronomy of all. There are many and varied dishes from the region that take you to enjoy traditional products such as squash, beans and chili, local meats such as venison, vegetables and plants such as chaya or flowers such as jamaica, the touch special in the sour orange dishes and the achiote color.

What Yucatecan dishes await you on your journey?

You can eat at street food stalls in any town and city, in local markets where delicious food is usually sold, in fancy restaurants, at beach bars, on the road. You will find flavor and variety. In the towns almost all the products are local, and they have the authentic flavor of the countryside, rich things.

As in the rest of the gastronomies of the Mesoamerica region, the fundamental basis of gastronomy is the tortilla made from corn. Did you know that Mayan beliefs say that they they are made of corn?

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Chaya empanadas
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Cocoa, food of the ancient Mayan
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Octopus and shrimp ceviche

13- And why travel through the Yucatan Peninsula ...

The most fantastic thing about traveling through the Yucatan Peninsula, as my brother often says, is that you visit incredible places practically alone. It is one of the luxuries that many travelers appreciate. You can go practically on the great intimacy cities Maya as Calakmul, watch out millions of bats walk from cave believing you a great adventurer, dive deeper into the caves of Santa Rita, a place that I was in Europe would rows to visit: hundreds of hands painted of the ancient Maya in the walls of a cenote to 10 meters deep, fantastic.

In this land you will feel like a close traveler, where they will not persecute you as a tourist but will help you as a visitor. That doesn't happen everywhere, and it speaks highly of places to want to travel.

Driving on the Peninsula It is easy, safe, there are good roads and well signposted. The backpackers have plenty of local transport to get around and for the most comfortable, good agencies with tours and excursions that cover the entire Peninsula.

traveling through the yucatan peninsula

When friends come, I talk to them as if it were my land, at the end of what you fall in love with, you make it a little bit of yours. I hope you enjoy this wonderful place as it deserves, you will fall in love. And that we do not talk about food and what remains for us to know and add, a whole adventure ahead.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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