Yucatán

Mexico
Chichen Itza featuring heritage architecture as well as a small group of people

Explore famous pyramids and the ruins of ancient Mayan civilization in this popular destination. Discover lively cities and relax in sleepy fishing villages.

Visit the coastal state of Yucatán to see its famous Mayan ruins and stretches of coastline. Find beautiful architecture, great entertainment and peaceful nature in the state capital and surrounding towns and villages.

Explore the ruins of ancient Mayan civilization at the famed Chichén Itzá archaeological site, one of the most extensively restored and most visited of all Mayan ruins. Examine the ball court and stone temples as well as the iconic pyramid. Many people stay overnight to see the ruins early in the morning or late at night, avoiding the tourist crowds and extreme heat during the day.

Scattered around the state are several other Mayan archaeological sites including Ek Balam, known for its well-preserved sculptures, and Uxmal, famed for its detailed, ornamental facades. Time your visit to coincide with the impressive sound and light show at Uxmal.

The state capital, Mérida, is a mix of old and new, filled with Mayan and colonial history. Known as the "White City,” due to the amount of white limestone buildings here, the city is comprised of narrow streets and broad plazas. Browse its busy markets and attend one of the events that happen most evenings in the downtown area. During the day, explore the city’s museums and marvel at colonial-era churches built using relics from ancient Mayan temples.

Merida’s residents escape the heat at the port town of Progreso, 20 miles (30 kilometers) north. Stroll along the promenade, which is always bustling with vendors selling crafts and fresh seafood. The emerald waters nearby are clean and good for swimming. En route to Progreso, stop at the ancient Maya site of Dzibilchaltun.

Head west of Mérida to explore the little fishing village of Celestún. From here, it’s just a short journey to the Reserva de la Biosfera Ría Celestún, a wildlife sanctuary known for its flamingos and waterfowl.

Access Yucatán via Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport in Mérida or Cancun International Airport. The state is served by bus routes, some of which are air-conditioned, but for ultimate comfort and ease, rent a car instead. The roads here are well-maintained.

Popular cities in Yucatán

Paseo de Montejo showing a monument and night scenes
Mérida
Known for Historical, Ruins and Museums
Soak up the peacefulness of the Yucatan Peninsula’s cultural capital, where Mayan ruins, colonial architecture, richly layered cuisine and world-class museums await.

Reasons to visit

  • Anthropology and History Museum
  • Casa Montes Molina Museum
  • Paseo de Montejo
Chichen Itza featuring heritage architecture as well as a small group of people
Chichen Itza
Known for Dining, Historical and Ruins
Travel back in time by exploring a sprawling Mayan city that dates back over 1,000 years. This spectacular UNESCO site is one of Mexico’s most famous treasures.

Reasons to visit

  • Cenote Ik kil
  • Pyramid of Kukulkan
  • Cenote Sagrado
Cathedral of San Gervasio featuring heritage architecture and a sunset
Valladolid
Known for Dining, Historical and Tours
Mayan culture meets perfectly preserved colonial charm in this picturesque town, which is close to the ancient wonder of Chichén Itzá.

Reasons to visit

  • Cenote Zaci
  • Cathedral of San Gervasio
  • Casa de los Venados
Temozon
Temozon
Known for Ruins, Small town and Jungles
Explore quaint Temozon: its kayaking, jazz scene, jungle, and more!

Reasons to visit

  • Ek' Balam
Rio Lagartos
Rio Lagartos
Known for Tours, Boating and Sea
Like boating? Get away to secluded Rio Lagartos!
Tizimin
Tizimin
Known for Natural parks and Monuments
Escape to Tizimin! Enjoy its parks and monuments.