4x to do in Yucatán, Mexico
The Yucatán peninsula in the south-east of Mexico is a unique place. It consists of 3 Mexican states: Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Campeche. On the peninsula, you will find archaeological sites and historical cities. In this blog, we will take you to the Yucatán Peninsula and show you what you can do.
Discover the nature of Yucatán
Celestún is a city on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Here you will find the bio reserve Celestún. The reserve is more than 147,000 hectares in size, and this is where the flamingos come to overwinter. In addition, there are around 300 other species of birds, as well as reptiles such as crocodiles, snakes and turtles. An ideal way to discover all this flora and fauna is to take a boat trip through the reserve.
Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
Sian Ka'an is a bio reserve south of Tulum and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. With its 652,000 hectares, the area covers about 10% of the state of Quintana Roo. The Mesoamerican barrier reef that belongs to the reserve is one of the largest coral reefs in the world. This means that you will find flora and fauna here that are found almost nowhere else in the world.
A cenote is some sort of watering hole, often part of an underwater cave system. Cenotes can be found all over Yucatán, and the natural phenomenon is truly unique to this area. You can choose to just visit the cenotes, but you can also swim, dive and snorkel here.
Diving and snorkelling
Diving in Mexico is a possibility for everyone: from beginner to advanced. The Yucatán peninsula, in particular, is perfect for this. Playa del Carmen, Akumal and Puerto Morelos on the Caribbean Sea are real pearls. After Brazil and Colombia, Mexico has the richest animal life in the world, which you also notice when you go diving. Coloured fish large and small, corals, rays and turtles are just some of the underwater wildlife you can encounter.
MUSA in Cancún
Between Cancún and Isla Mujeres, you will find the MUSA, an underwater museum. At the bottom of the Caribbean Sea, you will find as many as 500 life-size sculptures that aim to protect the endangered coral reefs. It is a special experience to see these statues while diving or snorkelling.
Swimming with whale sharks is possible from June to September in Yucatán, and from November to April in Baja California. Mexico's waters are warm and rich in food, making whale sharks feel right at home. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world, which makes them somewhat intimidating, but not dangerous. A unique experience!
Immerse yourself in the Maya culture
There are still many remains of Maya culture to be found on the peninsula of Yucatán. Tulum, Chichén Itzá and Uxmal are archaeological gems.
Tulum is located on the east coast of Mexico and is part of the so-called Riviera Maya; an area along the Mexican coast with beautiful seaside resorts and ancient Mayan structures. Tulum is located on cliffs that are 12 metres high and the ruins that can be found there are unique. This is because the buildings are built along the coast. Tulum is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful Mayan sites in the world.
Chichén Itzá is the most important and most famous Mayan site in Mexico. Since 1988, this site has also been on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. One of the most famous buildings of Chichén Itzá is the so-called step pyramid 'El Castillo'. The Maya city is a so-called active archaeological site, which means that archaeologists are still making new discoveries in the area.
Uxmal is located in the state of Yucatán, south of the city of Mérida. Like Chichén Itzá, Uxmal is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In Uxmal, you will find pyramids, palaces and sculptures from the Mayan era, among other things. The thing that makes this city unique is the fact that, unlike many other pre-Columbian cities, its layout is based on astrology.
Visit historic cities
Besides nature and history, you can also discover the culture of Mexico by visiting one of the historical cities on the peninsula.
Mérida is the most important colonial city on the Yucatán peninsula. Every Friday, the ancient Mayan ball game 'pok-ta-pok' is re-enacted in Merida. At the central square in the city centre, you will find restaurants, churches, markets and museums. The layout of the city, with its narrow streets and authentic buildings, ensures that you will be transported into the history of Mexico.
Campeche is known as the walled city and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1999. In addition, the city is known for its legends about pirates. You can visit the old forts, as well as the different museums in the historical centre of the city. The city has restaurants where you can eat excellent fish dishes.
Valladolid is the oldest city in Yucatán. The city has a central square and is full of colourful colonial houses. Everywhere you will find small souvenir shops and restaurants and eateries serving authentic Mexican food. Near the centre, you will find the Zaci cenote, where you can take a refreshing dip.
Travel through Mexico?
Would you like to travel through Yucatán yourself and discover more of this beautiful peninsula? Take a look at the travel itinerary that we have developed for you as inspiration, or contact us for a tailor-made travel proposal. send an email to email@example.com or call us on +31 73 610 62 04. We are happy to help.