I am in love with this land so it is very easy for me to tell you many reasons to travel around the Yucatan Peninsula, but I summarized the article to the 12 most powerful.

In one of the always celebrated and desired visits of friends, whom you transmit your love to the land you inhabit, we were les nenes de fotografía 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?), mocking with his affectionate sarcasm of the amount of times that I had repeated the same phrase during those days without realizing it.

And so it is, without even perceiving it, in Mexico I fell in love with blue again, its immensity and its infinite nuances. For this and many other reasons this land bewitched me, will you be the next to surrender to its charms?

traveling around the yucatan peninsula

Reasons to travel to the Yucatan Peninsula:

Since we came to live at 2007, I have had the good fortune of traveling through the Yucatan Peninsula on numerous occasions, unconditionally falling in love with this piece of land that captivates me. I'm going to list the powerful reasons of my love, I hope you enjoy it.

1-You will meet some of the most beautiful ancient Mayan cities:

Personally it is a luxury to live and soak in situ of the Mayan civilization, one of the biggest in the History of Humanity, which encompasses all humans. Yucatan Peninsula It has some of the most incredible ancient Mayan world cities. Cities like Chichén Itzá, the beautiful Uxmal, the colossal Calakmul (my favorite of the Peninsula), the attic Cobá, Ek Balam, the silent beauty of Mayapan, EdznáThe surprising Dzibanché and many other incredible archaeological sites to visit. I enjoy imagining as I go through them how were the ancient Mayan citieshow they lived, know their deed, customs, beliefs and rituals, his contribution to the world in astronomical and mathematical knowledge, is simply a chulada.

The most complete museum of the Mayan theme is the Great Museum of the Mayan World of Merida, in cities such as Campeche, Chetumal and Cancun you also find Mayan-themed museums.

traveling around the yucatan peninsula
travel yucatan
travel to the yucatan peninsula

2-You will enjoy great diversity of fauna in its natural habitat:

Another great attraction is the varied and attractive wildlife that you can enjoy in its natural habitat, living so close to nature is priceless for many travelers. I have been lucky to see during these yearsdolphins a few meters from the coast, monkeys of hiking through the jungle, skunks in the middle of Mayan ruins, hundreds of bats in caves and cenotes, Crocodiles in the lagoon behind my house, sea ​​stars swimming on the surface, turtles copulating along the coast, Sharks bull and cat diving, giant stingrays ... of all this I have been able to enjoy without passing any limit of remote or lost places. That coatis, turtles, iguanas and ospreys are my neighborhood neighbors I love, and these things happen here, and that for me is priceless.

travel yucatan peninsula

In the Peninsula you have fantastic opportunities to contemplate the Pink flamingo in its natural habitat in the Reserve of the Ria Lagartos Biosphere or in the Celestún. You will be able to easily observe birds such as buzzards (vultures), toucans, parrots, momotos, cardinals, Eagles and the usual marinas like pelicans y frigates. The experts ornithologists they have good opportunities to straw in the Peninsula, where the 52% of the birds of all Mexico reside.

Ría de Celestún, Yucatán, Mexico.
Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Observe the spider monkey and the saraguato It is usual in several places of the Peninsula, who sees monkeys in their daily life? In places like Punta Laguna It is almost certain that you will see them, and in other natural habitats such as archeological zones of Calakmul, Dzibanché, Balamkú, Anthill o Kohunlich, where they walk like Pedro for his house.

Saragosse monkeys Calakmul

Through the jungle paths it is easy to see coatis, skunks, maybe the elusive deer, capybara, zarigueyas and other medium mammals. Another relatively easy to see animal is the crocodile, great dominator of the Mayan area. Animals like puma, anteater, armadillo o jaguar, although they reside in several areas of the Peninsula, it is unlikely to see them, that would be to touch you the lottery. That luck I hope for someday, it's the lottery I want to win (the one in the image is a jaguar in captivity).


Swim with the whale shark, or with turtles in Akumal Bayor have a more adrenalinic encounter diving with the bull shark, are others of the experiences fascinating that you can live in the Peninsula.

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3-You will visit beautiful colonial cities:

Combine nature with visits to colonial cities where the beauty and comforts offered welcome the traveler with open arms, it is a combination that many seek. In the Peninsula you will find several colonial cities of unique beauty, like the authentic 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.

Campeche, Yucatan, Mexico
Izamal, Yucatan
Mexico, Campeche

All are populations that like the traveler for beauty, tranquility and services. The ease of walk them on foot, with various options of visits to museums, churches, exhibitions, palaces, which can be intertwined with the offers of local restaurants and international food, and nice coffee shops with Wi-Fi connection, something essential for the traveler at present. It is easy to join cultural activities where you mix with the local and chat for a while amicably. Perfect plan for the walker of these lands, this offer all these beautiful cities.

Izamal, Yucatan

4-For the incredible beaches of the Mexican Caribbean:

Seaside or not, the landscapes of the Caribbean coast of Quintana Roo, state where you are Riviera Maya, they will captivate you. Beaches of turquoise colors and calm waters that look like swimming pools, palm trees, white sand ... a pleasure to be able to walk, bathe, lie down and enjoy these paradisiacal beaches. In the majority of beaches, the restaurants offer rents of beds with food services to enjoy the beach with amenities.

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De 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, where there are very beautiful crescents. Isla Contoy, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and Holbox Do not stay behind with some beaches where you dream of waking up. Less touristy than its neighboring Riviera Maya we also have Mahahual or Xcalak. La coast of the Gulf of Mexico, where is it located Holbox, El Cuyo, The Coloradas and the Emerald coastIt is a preciousness that remains quiet and we enjoy only a few.

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The all-inclusive hotels, where many tourists stay, are on the seafront, some with better beaches than others. Those who do not like this type of hotel, you will find other interesting ones sleeping options on the shores of the Caribbean Sea and give you this whim. Vividores! 😉

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5-You will be rendered to the beauty of the cenotes:

I am absolutely cenotera, I live in love with the cenotes. There are thousands of cenotes registered in the Yucatan Peninsula, they are of different types so you have to choose: the cave-type cenotes they are surely the most spectacular, although some open ones are impressive too, there are more touristy, others rustic, some almost inaccessible. My recommendation is that you visit yes or yes some cenote, so since I can not leave you an endless list, I recommend you visit some Cenotes of Quintana Roo as well as in Gran Cenote, Kin Ha, Multum Ha, Mul'ichi Ts'on'ot, 7 Bocas, Two eyes, Lucero Verde and many others Yucatan cenotes as well as in X-Ca'anajaltun, Chooj Ja ', Popcorn, Hubiku, Lol Ha,Yokdzonot, Xtogil, Oxman, Yaaluzdzil, Kankirixche, Cuzamá, Calcuch, X-Batún, Dzitnup, I Kil, Wrong list like all, but at least you have a few to choose from.

12 good reasons to travel the Yucatan Peninsula and fall in love with the destination 5
12 good reasons to travel the Yucatan Peninsula and fall in love with the destination 6
12 good reasons to travel the Yucatan Peninsula and fall in love with the destination 7

At the moment the cenotes are used like spaces of recreation, but in the old and present Mayan world The cenotes are an essential part of the Mayan culture, being the main supply of fresh water, besides being an essential part in the rituals and cosmology of the Mayan people, they are sacred places. Treat them like the treasure they are, do not dirty them with body creams if you go to bathe in them.

Mayan cenote ceremony

6-You will fall in love with its people:

You will see how you will fall in love with the people from the Peninsula village, stopping to eat on the road in local food stalls, attending local parties, Fairs such as Tizimín, eating an ice cream in the square while a group of girls rehearse a dance for the school festival, grabbing mototaxi for the people, just for the pleasure of trying it, buying the markets. Those details are what bring us closer to everyday local life and they open you beautiful human doors. 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, the places are made by their people, and in the Mayan countryside and towns it is a pleasure to walk.

Yucatan man, Mexico
Ek Balam, Yucatán

An essence that we melancholy seek some travelers is to attend events, parties, daily activities or local fairs that make us live closely the authenticity of the places. For those of us who like to savor these little things, in the Yucatan Peninsula your road becomes fantastic as it is a land that you love to celebrate, and you will constantly find events and fairs where you can mix with the local.

Fair of'Day of the Three Kings' Amusement park

Another opportunity to get closer to the interior is to take advantage of the offer of ecotourism in the Yucatan Peninsula, a good way to get to know the more traditional and traditional interior. In towns of the interior as Ek Balam, Cobá o Santa Elena They are places where the traveler chooses to choose because of its good offer in services and privileged surroundings.

Circus in Teabo, The Convent Route, Yucatan, Mexico

In some towns of the Peninsula I feel that the time stopped and I seem to recognize my grandfather among the gentlemen wearing a hat, trousers pressed with a marked stripe in the middle and the unbuttoned shirt unbuttoned so that the classical cotton T-shirt appears white interior. Wonderful travel 🙂

7-You will explore the fascinating bowels of the Earth:

The particular training on limestone rock of the Yucatan Peninsula, it is a very porous soil, ideal for the creation of caves and caves, in addition to the aforementioned cenotes, which are part of the surprising entrails that you can enjoy. Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatan are leading destinations for Speleology and speleobuceo at professional and amateur level.

Knowing caves in these years here has been a discovery, I'm half flip-flop with this theme, every time I'm more curious about the guts of the earth and all the secrets they keep. In some of the most interesting caves of the Yucatan Peninsula you can discover fantastic things like the dozens of hands painted on caves of Santa Rita, pure magic the subsoil. Go down to the underworld and be surprised, you will not regret it.

12 good reasons to travel the Yucatan Peninsula and fall in love with the destination 8
Xmail Photo courtesy of Fátima Tec Pool

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 lonely mountain landscape, which you find in nearby Chiapas or in Belize, the diversity of landscapes of the Peninsula soften my morriña.

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

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The contrasts between idyllic Caribbean beaches to the pink salt coasts of the north of the Peninsula, the oneiric mangrove zones and their water eyes (springs) crystalline, until the low jungle that grows as we travel towards the south, where we are in the high 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 collects a rich diversity of flora and fauna, with natural landscapes of the so-called paradisiacs. Traveling the Peninsula you will cross large fields of crops in Campeche, roads that draw lagoons, huge ranches of cattle in the north, coastal that take you along the turquoise sea, asphalted roads that go into the high jungle and countless populations where you see life passing by ... you're going to entertain

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Celestun Biosphere Reserve
12 good reasons to travel the Yucatan Peninsula and fall in love with the destination 11
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. Quintana Roo, Mexico

9-For being one of the diving mecca:

El Mesoamerican Reef It is the second largest of the planet, it travels approximately 1,000 kilometers from the island of Contoy, in Mexico, bathes the coasts of Belize and Guatemala to Honduran waters. The coast of the mexican caribbean sea is one of the mechs of submarinosmo, if we add to this the cenotes, the attraction is indisputable for thousands of divers who arrive year after year to marvel at these waters.

12 good reasons to travel the Yucatan Peninsula and fall in love with the destination 12
Photo courtesy of Juanma Cano

El Caribbean Sea offers a range of spectacular fauna, with fantastic backgrounds, reefs and corals in crystal clear waters, truly enviable. The prices to get you the Padi Open Water diver are not unattainable, they are around the 360 usd, so you can be encouraged to take your course or at least make a christening for a few 70 usd. The menu of cenotes in Quintana Roo y Yucatan It is irresistible, its indisciple charm ends up falling in love with the diver like nothing else. I know them addicted to the cenotes, and it does not surprise me, for me one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever done in my life.

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Photo courtesy of Juanma Cano

10-Because it is cool to sleep in a Hacienda:

If in India you can sleep in old palaces of marajás, in Scotland in feudal castles and in Mongolia in guers, in the Yucatan Peninsula we have the Haciendas. The History of the Haciendas is a fundamental part to know this land, here the henequera industry, the flame green gold of the Yucatan. Some of these old haciendas have been renovated in hotels, offering lodging in the old estancias of the Campechean and Yucatecan haciendas.

12 good reasons to travel the Yucatan Peninsula and fall in love with the destination 14
12 good reasons to travel the Yucatan Peninsula and fall in love with the destination 15

Staying in a hacienda mola, without more. Many are high level, consider paying from 200 usd per night, but you find some in your way as the Yaxcopoil, San Francisco Tzacalha or of Sotuta de Peon to mention the ones I know personally, where living luxury is more achievable with prices of 100 usd night.

11-For its unique places on the Planet:

Yucatan Peninsula has several natural treasures curious enough that they 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 like the Eye of water by Dzilam Bravo, where they exit through an opening at sea level about 3500 liters per minute, hanging snakes of Kantemó, one of the only places in the world where to observe this animal, the Bacalar lagoon, which in addition to its spectacular beauty has stromatolites, the first way of life of our Planet, or the famous crater de Chicxulub, one of the possible causes of the extinction of dinosaurs on Earth. These unique chuladas are found in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Bacalar Lagoon, Mexico.

12-Y because in addition ...:

All this range of powerful reasons you will enjoy it in a space that allows you to travel in one or two weeks the most outstanding places of the Peninsula. 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.

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Grutas santa rita, yucatan

The most fantastic thing, as my brother says, is that visits incredible places practically alone, one of the luxuries that many travelers know how to taste. You can travel practically in the privacy of large Mayan cities like Calakmul, watch out millions of bats at the foot of the grotto, believing you are a great adventurer, delving into the caves of Santa Rita, a place that if I were in Europe I usually say that there would be lines to visit it, with hundreds of hands painted of the ancient Maya on the walls of a cenote 10 meters deep, a fantastic place.

When friends come, I speak as if it were my land, what you fall in love with makes it a bit 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 we have left to know and add, an 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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