Are you searching for the Best Places to Visit in Yucatan? Are you thinking of a trip to North America and wondering what to explore in Yucatan? We’ve got you covered. There is a reason why the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is undoubtedly an extraordinarily stunning and popular tourist destination around the globe.
In addition to being packed to the brim with white sandy beaches, Mayan ruins, and ancient cities with cobblestone streets, it’s also home to some of the most popular resorts across North America – I’m sure you’ve been to Cancun or Tulum!
I’ve had the privilege of having visited this region several times. So I will present unique activities on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The list includes well-known destinations like Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Chichen Itza; however, I’ve added a few lesser-known places to keep things interesting.
With this to think about, let’s dig into the water, and my experiences in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula can inspire yours!
Espita is one of the best places to visit in Yucatan. Espita is a tiny colonial town in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is considered a destination that is not a tourist destination due to the absence of tourist infrastructure.
Although it isn’t home to any tourist sights, there are numerous picturesque spots to explore. It is the ideal spot to feel the local culture. The tour experience is tranquil, and visitors are bound to be captivated by the location after their trip.
You’ve probably heard about the well-known Chichen Itza; this archeological site was granted by UNESCO the status of world heritage and is considered one of the seven wonders of this world! It’s not a surprise that Chichen Itza, a Mayan city from the year 550, is among the top activities to visit on the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula! It was believed to be the home of more than 35,000 people at its height!
Chichen Itza is most well known for its home of El Castillo – the main temple of Chichen Itza, which is 24 meters (79 feet) over the Main Plaza and is octagonal, that has four sides comprising 91 stairs to make an overall complete 365 steps (the total number of day in a calendar year). It’s believed that El Castillo acted as a calendar to people of the Mayan people. It’s an authentic demonstration of the Mayan people’s knowledge of the planets and earth.
You’ll recognize the city of El Castillo from images taken in Chichen Itza! But Chichen Itza is also home to the Great Ball Court, the most significant court in Mesoamerica and measures in size 168 to 70 meters (551 and the length of 230 feet.) The game played here was known as Pitz.
To get there, Chichen Itza is best done by renting an automobile. You can reach Chichen Itza with a rental car or by organizing a tour. If you can drive yourself, there is a 2.5-hour drive to Cancun, about two hours and 20 mins to Playa del Carmen, and two hours from Tulum. Be ready for a long day regardless of where you start! For adults, the entry fee to Chichen Itza is 571 MXN ($29 USD). You can visit the park from 8 am until 5 pm every day. At the moment, it is best to make reservations early to avoid disappointment. The limit for visitors is 3000 per day.
Concerning cenotes, One of the major attractions on the Yucatan Peninsula is these unique underground waters and fresh water. In the Yucatan, there are thousands of cenotes. However, some are incredibly unique and popular to visit.
Il-Kil is among the most well-known and stunning places, and it’s situated near Chichen Itza. It’s frequently visited during the Chichen Itza day trip. The cenote was used to offer sacrifices by people of the Mayan people who resided within Chichen Itza, and bones and pottery were discovered at the bottom of the cenote.
The tour departing from Cancun includes two cenotes. Since it is only necessary to split your time between two cenotes, you will be able to enjoy their beauty of them as well as the refreshing waters. There are also zip lines to explore, a Tequila tasting, and tacos for snacks.
Isla Mujeres is among the most beautiful islands of the Yucatan. The island is just a 15-minute ferry ride from Cancun (from Playa del Carmen, You will have to go 1.5 hours to Cancun for the ferry ride and another two hours from Tulum). However, regardless of the distance, it’s a fantastic day or night excursion from any of these locations.
There are a handful of ferry ports close to Cancun with departures towards the island, like Playa Tortugas and Playa Caracol. But, I made it there through a company called Ultramar, located at their Puerto Juarez ferry terminal, which is just 10 minutes away from the hotel area. For the round trip ferry ticket, tickets for the route to Isla Mujeres are only around 350 MXN ($22) and departs every 30 minutes between 5 am and 11 midnight. The schedule is the same for returning.
Isla Mujeres is famous for its white-sand beaches that have quiet and clear water. And, even without snorkeling equipment, You will see gorgeous colorful fish swimming around you on all the island’s beaches. Playa Centro is the most accessible beach and is only two meters from the ferry terminal. You can hire an outdoor deckchair for just 250 pesos ($12.80) and sip a fresh coconut beneath the palm trees.
It’s worth renting an electric golf cart to explore the island, specifically to get to the remote beaches, such as Na Balan beach. There’s a beautiful restaurant at Na Balan beach where you can sample traditional Yucatan meals, including the delicious lime soup.
Izamal or Yellow City
Izamal or Yellow City is one of the best places to visit in Yucatan. Izamal is known best by the name of “Ciudad Amarilla,” or the Yellow City, because almost every structure in the town is painted yellow. It’s a fascinating city with many tourist attractions worth visiting, including the famous Convento de San Antonio de Padua.
It is the world’s second-largest Christian Convent, second only to the Vatican. All of the atrium’s walls are painted yellow. According to popular belief, the combination of colors is believed to stop mosquitoes from coming in. But it is also believed that the color scheme reflects that of the Sun in the form of Kinich Ahau (the Sun god of the Mayans).
Another thing to do on your way to Izamal is to go to Izamal’s Kinich Kak Moo Pyramid. It is among the giant pyramids built during the reign of the Mayans. Tourists need not be concerned about extra costs since there is no entrance fee.
Visit Las Coloradas
Within the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, just 3 hours away from Cancun, There is an incredible spot where the ocean waters turn vibrant pink on a massive scale.
It’s all about salt production. It’s all down to salt production. Las Coloradas Pink Lakes are used in the industrial-scale production of sea salt. When the water evaporates, the salinity triggers an explosion in the growth rate of plankton, red algae, and brine shrimps, which tint the lake’s reddish pink.
When you own an automobile, the lakes can be visited (and a tiny town of the identical name) and stroll along their shores, taking bizarre photographs of the pink water. It’s a fantastic scene – and also, it’s what is the real reason why flamingos appear pink!
There are even Flamingos around the area, as well. Las Coloradas has become Instagram popular recently, and it’s impossible to swim in the water. However, it is still possible to snap photos.
Puerto Morelos, sometimes referred to as Hacienda Morelos, is a smaller beach town in Yucatan, letting visitors see more fantastic parts of the Peninsula. Its simplicity makes it distinctive compared to other beaches like those found in Costa Rica. It’s a hidden gem that takes visitors to a completely different level.
The village isn’t an area that is crowded as there aren’t five-star hotels within the vicinity either. Therefore, visitors can enjoy their time in a serene setting. In addition, it also has several souvenir shops, which mostly feature Mayan and Mexican artifacts.
Puerto Morelos. Hacienda Morelos is an excellent spot for snorkeling excursions. Scuba diving on this island allows tourists to observe the reef that guards Puerto Morelos’s town. It is a component of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the world’s second-largest coral reef system.
But, it is remembered that nobody can contact the reefs as they are fragile and could cause them to be destroyed.
Whale Sharks At Isla Holbox
Whale Sharks At Isla Holbox is one of the best places to visit in Yucatan. Whale sharks are among the most extensive marine fish, with a length of up to 40 feet in length and weighing up to 22,000 pounds. Also, you can take a swim in the water with them! But you don’t need to be concerned about them eating you since they are fond of plankton.
Being able to swim alongside a 30-foot-long sea creature, which is the equivalent of the size of a car, was an unforgettable experience. They’re massive! It’s pretty awe-inspiring…
Whale shark snorkeling excursions are available from Cancun; however, if you desire a true adventure, I suggest doing it in the Isla Holbox, a tiny idyllic island just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Party It Up In Cancun
Any excursion to the Yucatan is only complete with a stop in the renowned beach town of Cancun. Its long, sandy beaches, endless rows of hotels, and world-class nightlife make it a must on everyone’s spring break bucket list. It’s fun to go to the city for a night to dance in one of its bars.
Have a wild night of fun out within The Hotel Zone. Hotel Zone. Cancun isn’t just a party destination, although the endless beach appeals to everyone; Gran Museo del Mundo Maya (Mayan World Museum) is the most extensive collection of Mayan artifacts. There’s plenty you could do and see in Cancun.
Sea Turtles Of Akumal Beach
Sea Turtles Of Akumal Beach is one of the best places to visit in Yucatan. Akumal is a renowned nesting site for sea turtles. Swimming with sea turtles is now the most popular activity within the area. The protected bay provides ideal conditions for snorkeling. Sea turtles are plentiful, and you can swim here without joining an excursion.
So, grab your snorkeling equipment, rent a car, and drive to Akumal to discover how it feels to swim alongside sea turtles. Akumal is situated within Playa del Carmen and Tulum, located 104 kilometers (65 miles) from Cancun.
If you’re interested in diving into the waters of a Cenote, Cenote Dos Ojos is situated within Akumal and Tulum. Dos Ojos Cenotes (Spanish for two eyes) is among the ideal places to dive into the Cenote within the Yucatan.
All destinations are awesome! According to my opinion, Isla Mujeres is the best to start. I hope you have enjoyed our list of the Best Places to Visit in Yucatan.
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