Region: Yucatan Penninsula / Filter: attraction


At the height of its glory Kabah was one of the largest cities in northern Yucatán. At the entrance to the ceremonial city are the ruins of an arch that marked the start of the great Mayan road connecting Kabah to Uxmal. The Arco Monumental (Monumental Arch) is  int... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

IMG_3742_MAIN_Photo1.jpg

Dotting the stretch of highway between Escárcega and Chetumal is a group of fabulous Mayan ruins in an area called Río Bec. These are some of our favorite archaeological sites in Mexico—not only because they have awesome structures, but also because you are frequ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

IMG_3739_MAIN_Photo1.jpg

Dotting the stretch of highway between Escárcega and Chetumal is a group of fabulous Mayan ruins in an area called Río Bec. These are some of our favorite archaeological sites in Mexico—not only because they have awesome structures, but also because you are frequ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Cenote de Los Sacrificios (Cenote of the Sacrifices): This natural well, reached by a path through the jungle from the central plaza, served not only as a water source for the city but also as a place where offerings were made to the gods. Over the years, a number of archa... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The surface of the land in this part of the Yucatán Peninsula that lies in the state of Quintana Roo is basically a limestone shelf, beneath which flows a network of underground rivers. Occasionally the limestone collapses, exposing the water below and forming natural wells,... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

IMG_3741_MAIN_Photo1.jpg

Dotting the stretch of highway between Escárcega and Chetumal is a group of fabulous Mayan ruins in an area called Río Bec. These are some of our favorite archaeological sites in Mexico—not only because they have awesome structures, but also because you are frequ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

IMG_3679_MAIN_Photo1.jpg

Chichén Itzá is one of the Yucatán’s most popular archaeological sites and attracts hordes of tourists. Being so conveniently close, you can be the first one at the gate in the morning and be able to enjoy the site at its finest in the cool of the morning ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The large ruined city of Cobá lies about halfway between Tulum and Cancún, and is situated 40 kilometers inland from the coast at the end of a good road. It is built around a group of five small lakes that once provided water for a region of perhaps 50,000 people. T... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Cuadrángle de Las Monjas (Quadrangle of the Nuns): Just beyond the Pyramid of the Soothsayer in the ruined city of Uxmal is a broad courtyard surrounded on four sides by large, richly embellished buildings. This large quadrangle reminded the Spaniards of the cloisters of... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Dotting the stretch of highway between Escárcega and Chetumal is a group of fabulous Mayan ruins in an area called Río Bec. These are some of our favorite archaeological sites in Mexico—not only because they have awesome structures, but also because you are frequ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The first major flourishing of the magnificent Mayan city of Edzná occurred during the late Pre-Classic period (450 B.C.–A.D. 300). Long before the other Puuc sites were established, this city was home to a large population that tilled the fertile soils of the valley. I... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

El Caracol (The Snail): Located a bit away from the central plaza and reached by a ten-minute stroll, is a second set of buildings. Be sure not to miss the path, as here you find one of Chichén Itzá’s highlights: a fascinating, very unusual domed structure t... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

At the height of its glory Kabah was one of the largest cities in northern Yucatán. El Palacio (The Palace) isa  30-room, two-story building standing on a hill was perhaps a palace housing the nobility of Kabah. ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The  highlight of the small and appealing archeaological site of Sayil is El Palacio. It  is a three-story, stone palace with more than 90 rooms. The base structure is crumbling, but the two upper stories are in much better condition. The middle level, by far the most eye-... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The first major flourishing of the magnificent Mayan city of Edzná occurred during the late Pre-Classic period (450 B.C.–A.D. 300). Long before the other Puuc sites were established, this city was home to a large population that tilled the fertile soils of the valley. Its... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The small port city of Campeche, located on the Gulf of Mexico, 178 kilometers southwest of Mérida, makes a great outing. Few tourists know about Campeche, but it is a jewel, well worth a visit both for its intimate glimpse of the Spanish Colonial period and for its small muse... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Juego de Pelota (Great Ball Court): This dramatic ball court is the largest in Mesoamerica and while there are 12 other ball courts at Chichén Itzá, this one is spectacular. The game was played as a ritual performance, as well as a sport, and is one of the hallmarks of... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Juego de Pelota (Ball Court): Like most Mayan cities, Uxmal had its ceremonial ball court. Spectators watched from two thick walls, one on each side. This is a particularly well-preserved ball court and shouldn’t be missed. ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Dotting the stretch of highway between Escárcega and Chetumal is a group of fabulous Mayan ruins in an area called Río Bec. These are some of our favorite archaeological sites in Mexico—not only because they have awesome structures, but also because you are frequ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

IMG_3744_MAIN_Photo11.jpg

Dotting the stretch of highway between Escárcega and Chetumal is a group of fabulous Mayan ruins in an area called Río Bec. These are some of our favorite archaeological sites in Mexico—not only because they have awesome structures, but also because you are frequ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The town of Chetumal is not special, but its Museo de La Cultura Maya (Museum of Mayan Culture) is stunning—small, but exquisite and tasteful, and no expense seems to have been spared to create a jewel. The floors are made of gleaming green marble and classical music play... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

This extensive Mayan site has towering pyramids, palaces, ball courts, and numbers of elaborate causeways. While this Puuc-style city has been mapped and some of its great buildings have been uncovered and preserved, many of its structures are still unexcavated. The site lies somewh... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

At the height of its glory Kabah was one of the largest cities in northern Yucatán. Palacio de Los Mascarones (Temple of the Masks) has over 250 intricate stone mosaic masks depicting the rain god, Chac, adorn this entire structure. These grinning faces with trunk-like n... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Mérida, founded by the Spaniards in 1542 upon an earlier Mayan city, is worth a visit to enjoy its rich Colonial heritage. The city is laid out with all streets converging at a large, pretty, central plaza called the Plaza Grande or Plaza de La Independencia. Facing onto this p... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Pirámide del Adivino (Pyramid of the Soothsayer): This is a most unusual, extremely dramatic building with rounded sides, and steps leading up on two sides to a temple crowning the top. From the summit, which is nearly 28 meters high, there is a stunning view of Uxmal an... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Mérida, founded by the Spaniards in 1542 upon an earlier Mayan city, is worth a visit to enjoy its rich Colonial heritage. The city is laid out with all streets converging at a large, pretty, central plaza called the Plaza Grande or Plaza de La Independencia. Facing onto this p... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Pyramid of Kukulkán (Pyramid of Kukulkán): This impressive, 24-meter-high pyramid soars above the other buildings in the complex. Two of the four sides have been restored, and this is a favorite target for schoolchildren who seem to zoom up the 91 steps to the top... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

On the coast southwest of Mérida you find the small village of Celestún where fishermen still pull their boats up onto the wide sandy beach at night as they have done for generations and lining the waterfront are simple restaurants featuring the catch of the day. This is... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Dotting the stretch of highway between Escárcega and Chetumal is a group of fabulous Mayan ruins in an area called Río Bec. These are some of our favorite archaeological sites in Mexico—not only because they have awesome structures, but also because you are frequ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The Sacred Cave of Balankanche, which lies about 7 kilometers from Chichén Itzá, contains chambers which were once filled with hundreds of ceramic incense burners and miniature metates (grinding stones) laid out on the cave floors, as offerings to the rain god. Caves w... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

We like Sayil, which although small, is a particularly appealing site. Its highlight, El Palacio, is a three-story, stone palace with more than 90 rooms. The base structure is crumbling, but the two upper stories are in much better condition. The middle level, by far the most eye-ca... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

A few blocks from the central plaza of Mérida is the Teatro José Peón Contereas, an elaborate theater that attests to the wealth and sophistication generated by the prosperous sisal plantations nearby.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

One of the most advanced cultures of the pre-Columbian World was that of the Classic Maya. Technologically, they were a Stone-Age people, lacking metal tools, draft animals, or knowledge of the wheel; but their artistic and intellectual achievements rank them with the other great ci... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The Mayan cities of the Yucatán Peninsula survived for over 300 years after the fall of the heartland sites. While the Yucatán sites shared fully in the Classic Mayan traditions, their location on important trade routes and an influx of population and new ideas (s... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Tulum is one of the loveliest small Mayan sites on the Yucatán Peninsula and due to its convenient location just off the main highway, it is heavily visited by tourists. The ruins open at 8 am. It is best to go as early as possible to avoid the extremely hot sun and the fl... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Uxmal is one of the many Mayan ruins that are found in the Puuc Hills, a low range of hills in the southwest region of the Yucatan Peninsula.  The Mayans developed a magnificent style of architecture named Puuc, named after the hills in this region and characterized by immense pa... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

IMG_3743_MAIN_Photo1.jpg

Dotting the stretch of highway between Escárcega and Chetumal is a group of fabulous Mayan ruins in an area called Río Bec. These are some of our favorite archaeological sites in Mexico—not only because they have awesome structures, but also because you are frequ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended