Since the Spanish conquest, Mérida has been the cultural capital of the entire Yucatán Peninsula. At times provincial, at others ‘muy cosmopolitano,’ it is a town steeped in colonial history, with narrow streets, broad central plazas and the region’s best museums. It’s also a perfect place from which to kick off your adventure into the rest of Yucatán state.
The rickety wooden houses, beached fishing launches and lazy gliding pelicans make this tiny town plopped in the middle of nowhere a perfect escape. And by virtue of its remoteness and the Chinchorro atoll, Xcalak may yet escape the development boom. If diving isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty to do.