Top ChoiceArchaeological Site in Eastern Yucatán State

Chichén Itzá

Chichén Itzá

Chichén Itzá, meaning 'mouth of the well of the Itzáes' in Mayan, is a stunning ruin well worth visiting for its spectacular, iconic structures and historical importance, despite its huge crowds. Visible even...

Top ChoiceMonastery in Izamal

Convento de San Antonio de Padua

Convento de San Antonio de Padua

When the Spaniards conquered Izamal, they destroyed the major Maya temple, the Ppapp-Hol-Chac pyramid, and in 1533 began to build from its stones one of the first monasteries in the western hemisphere. Work on...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Valladolid

Casa de los Venados

Featuring over 3000 pieces of museum-quality Mexican folk art, this private collection is interesting in that objects are presented in an actual private house, in the context that they were originally designed...

Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

El Castillo

Upon entering Chichén Itzá, El Castillo (aka the Pyramid of Kukulcán) rises before you in all its grandeur. The first temple here was pre-Toltec, built around AD 800, but the present 25m-high structure, built...

Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Gran Juego de Pelota

Gran Juego de Pelota

The great ball court, the largest and most impressive in Mexico, is only one of the city’s eight courts, indicative of the importance the games held here. The court, to the left of the visitors center, is flanked...

Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Akab-Dzib

East of the Nunnery, the Puuc-style Akab-Dzib is thought by some archaeologists to be the most ancient structure excavated here. The central chambers date from the 2nd century. The name means ‘Obscure Writing’ in...

Cenote in Ek' Balam

X'Canché Cenote

From the Ek’ Balam parking lot you can visit the X'Canché Cenote. From the entrance it's a 1.5km walk, or you can rent a bicycle (M$120) or pedicab (M$150). Also available at this ecotourist center are zip-line...

Cave in Eastern Yucatán State

Grutas de Balankanché

Grutas de Balankanché

In 1959 a guide to the Chichén Itzá ruins was exploring a cave on his day off when he came upon a narrow passageway. He followed the passageway for 300m, meandering through a series of caverns. In each, perched...

Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Grupo de las Mil Columnas

This group east of El Castillo pyramid takes its name – which means ‘Group of the Thousand Columns’ – from the forest of pillars stretching south and east. The star attraction here is the Templo de los Guerreros...

Archaeological Site in Ek' Balam

Ek' Balam

Ek' Balam

The fascinating ruined city of Ek' Balam reached its peak in the 8th century, before being suddenly abandoned. Vegetation still covers much of the archaeological site, but it's well organized and has a lovely,...

Church in Valladolid

Templo de San Bernardino

Templo de San Bernardino

The Templo de San Bernardino and the adjacent Convento de Sisal are about 700m southwest of the plaza. They were constructed between 1552 and 1560 to serve the dual functions of fortress and church. The church's...

Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

El Caracol

Called El Caracol (the Snail) by the Spaniards for its interior spiral staircase, this observatory, to the south of the El Osario, is one of the most fascinating and important of all Chichén Itzá’s buildings. Its...

Church in Tizimín

Templo & Exconvento de Los Santos Reyes

The Church of the Three Wise Kings and the attached convent (on opposite sides of Calle 51 on the plaza) was built in 1563 by the Franciscans. It's believed that even then, the church and convent were separated,...

Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Edificio de las Monjas

Thought by archaeologists to have been a palace for Maya royalty, the so-called Edificio de las Monjas (Nunnery), with its myriad rooms, resembled a European convent to the conquistadors, hence their name for the...

Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

El Osario

The Ossuary, otherwise known as the Bonehouse or the Tumba del Gran Sacerdote (High Priest’s Grave), is a ruined pyramid to the southwest of El Castillo. As with most of the buildings in this southern section,...

Island in San Felipe

Isla Cerritos

Just 5km from San Felipe, tiny Isla Cerritos was an important Maya port city back in the day. And while the entire island was covered with buildings during this era – archaeological expeditions have turned up...

Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Plataforma de los Cráneos

The Platform of Skulls (Tzompantli in Náhuatl, a Maya dialect) is between the Templo de los Jaguares y Escudos and El Castillo. You can’t mistake it, because the T-shaped platform is festooned with carved skulls...

Cathedral in Valladolid

Iglesia de San Servacio

The original edifice of Valladolid's main church was built in 1545, but was demolished and rebuilt in the early 1700s following a violent atrocity the town wished to forget. Following Valladolid's role in the...

Archaeological Site in Chichén Itzá

Plataforma de Venus

This ceremonial site directly in front of the El Castillo is most notable for its huge, ornate and superbly preserved plumed serpent heads extending on either side of the staircases leading up to the platform on...

Archaeological Site in Izamal

Kinich-Kakmó

Kinich-Kakmó

Though not worth detouring wildly for, if you're here already, three of the town’s original 12 Maya pyramids have been partially restored. The largest (and the third largest in Yucatán) is the 34m-high...