Region: Yucatan Penninsula / Filter: city


Leaving Chetumal, head north on highway 307 in the direction of Cancún. The highway traces Lago Bacalar (Lake Bacalar), a narrow but very long lake stretching for 104 kilometers. It is fed from underground cenotes, so its water is crystal-clean and quite remarkable in color, sh... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Another outstanding archaeological site highly recommended, as a side trip from either Puebla or Tlaxcala, is the city of Cacaxtla (A.D. 600–900). If you are in the least interested in delving into the rich accomplishments of the Indians prior to the arrival of the Spanish,... 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. Be sure to include, at the same time, the nearby archaeological site of Edzná (see below). At the heart of Campeche is a colorful small Spanish Colon... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Cancún makes a convenient starting point, since its international airport has numerous planes arriving daily from other Mexican cities, the United States, Canada, and Europe. It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago there was practically nothing here except long str... 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. Th... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Throughout the following Classic Period (A.D. 300–900) some of these Yucatán sites faded but the area still remained a part of the amazing cultural development of such well known Mayan jungle cities as Tikal, Palenque, and Copan. Amazingly, the Yucatán region did n... 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

Located just 20 kilometers off the coast from Playa del Carmen, Cozumel is Mexico’s largest island (measuring 52 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide). This still-unspoiled island remains only moderately developed; the rest is wild jungle populated by iguanas, foxes, deer, and... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Only 13 kilometers offshore and easily accessible by ferry from Cancún, Isla Mujeres, just 8 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide, is a laid-back reprieve from Cancún’s conspicuously commercialized action. This is an island of white-sand beaches and turquoise wate... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If you want to extend your stay in Chichén Itzá, you can take a few side trips. Among the nearby places we suggest are Izamal, an early Spanish Colonial town with a church and convent built on top of one of the Yucatán’s highest pyramids, and the Sacred Cave... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Leaving Xpujil, it is 62 kilometers farther east on 186 until you see the turnoff to the right to Kohunlich, which is about a 15-minute drive off the main highway. The special features here are an impressive pyramid, the Temple of the Sun (also called Temple of the Masks), whose steps... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Excuse us for not giving an exact location for your next few nights’ sojourn, and instead rather vaguely saying your destination is the “Mérida area.” After pondering where to suggest you stay, it was impossible to recommend just one place. You can, of course,... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Playa del Carmen is located on the Riviera Maya about an hour’s drive south of Cancún. Many tourists’ first introduction to the town is when they take a bus from Cancún that drops them off at the bus terminal from where they walk through town to the pier. Thi... 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 flood o... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Uxmal, 70 kilometers southwest of Mérida, is found in the Puuc Hills, a low range of hills in the southwest region of the Yucatán Peninsula. In this area, the Maya developed a magnificent style of architecture named Puuc, name after the hills in this region and character... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The next ruin from Becán is Xpujil, only 6 kilometers beyond Becán on 186 on the left side of the highway. This site isn’t as impressive as the others you have visited, but is worth a stop to see the three crumbling towers, which must have been quite splendid when ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended