Must-see attractions in Yucatán Peninsula

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    Tulum Ruins


    Tulum is one of the most visited archaeological zones in Mexico and for good reason: it’s sublime. The ruins sit on seaside cliffs, high above turquoise…

  • Aerial of a path between palm trees on Isla Contoy.

    Parque Nacional Isla Contoy


    A white sand beach with manta rays gliding through the shimmering turquoise waters. No hotels. No nightclubs. No roads or cars of any kind. It’s hard to…



    Wandering barefoot through the contemporary art museum at Azulik hotel, you feel like you’re in a giant cocoon. Nature surrounds you, inside and out:…

  • Museo Maya de Cancún


    Surrounded by dense tropical forest, the contemporary Museo Maya de Cancún is a welcome respite from the beach and buffet lines of the neighboring high…

  • Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

    Reserva de la Biosfera Sian Ka'an


    While floating down a canal that Mayans dug by hand centuries ago, you see tall grasses on either side and colorful birds flying overhead. You hear the…

  • Edzná Nohochná


    Campeche State

    Edzná’s massive complexes, that once covered more than 17 sq km, were built by a highly stratified society that flourished from about 600 BC to the 15th…

  • Representation of The Feather Serpent during spring equinox in Kukulkan Pyramid, Chichen Itza. This spectacular phenomenon occurs only twice a year: on 21 March and 22 September. During these two days the temple of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza lives a mysterious marvel related to the Maya religious tradition and worship the God Quetzalcoatl. A phenomenon that concentrates thousands of visitors who travel every year to watch the descent of "The Feathered Serpent".

    Chichén Itzá

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    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…

  • Calakmul


    Quite unlike any other Maya city you'll visit in Yucatán, Calakmul was ‘discovered’ in 1931 by American botanist Cyrus Lundell, and is located deep in the…

  • Pyramid of Magician - Uxmal

    Uxmal Ruins

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    Pronounced oosh-mahl, Uxmal's size and uniqueness make it a fascinating stop for ruin-lovers and novices alike. The top draws are the oddly shaped…

  • The Mayan ruins of the Coba pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula.

    Cobá Ruins


    Cobá's ruins include the tallest pyramid in Quintana Roo (the second tallest in all the Yucatán) and the thick jungle setting makes you feel like you’re…

  • Destroyed jetty on a white sandy beach at Isla Blanca.

    Isla Blanca


    Driving down a narrow sand road, the turquoise Caribbean on one side, the glimmering Laguna Chacmuchuch on the other, you feel like you’re a thousand…

  • Beautiful Cenote Manatee, ( a.k.a. Casa Cenote, and Cenote Manatí ), in Tankah Bay, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

    Tankah Tres


    At the end of a sand road is the hamlet of Tankah Tres (aka Tankah Bay), a seaside community of vacation homes and small hotels in Mexico, all facing a…

  • People use ropes to scale the stairs at the Becan Maya Ruins.


    Campeche State

    The Maya word for ‘canyon’ or ‘moat’ is becán, and indeed a 2km moat snakes its way around this must-visit Maya site. Seven causeways provide access…

  • Labná

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    This is the Ruta Puuc site not to miss. Archaeologists believe that, at one point in the 9th century, some 3000 Maya lived at Labná. To support such…

  • Gran Museo del Mundo Maya


    A world-class museum celebrating Maya culture, the Gran Museo houses a permanent collection of more than 1100 remarkably well-preserved artifacts,…

  • Río Bec

    Campeche State

    A collection of small but significant structures in 74 groupings, Río Bec covers a 100-sq-km area southeast of Xpujil, and is the only place where all…

  • Chacchoben


    Chacchoben means 'Place of Red Corn' in Maya and like so many ruins, its origin and use remain a mystery. It has several impressive structures, including…

  • Hacienda Yaxcopoil

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    If you visit one hacienda, make it this one. This vast estate grew and processed henequén (agave plant fibers, used to make rope); many of its numerous…

  • Síijil Noh Há

    Costa Maya & Southern Caribbean Coast

    About 8km south of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, off Hwy 307, you'll find a bumpy 3km dirt road leading to this sublime, solar-powered ecotourism center. Run by…

  • Templo de las Pinturas


    This two-story temple has some of Tulum's most intricate decorations, including relief masks, carvings, columns and partially restored color murals on an…

  • Laguna Milagros


    Paddle out on a kayak or simply have a swim in the azure waters of Laguna Milagros, about 23km west of Chetumal, in the town of Huay-Pix. Waterfront…

  • El Cielo

    Isla Cozumel

    Living up to its heavenly name, El Cielo's shallow turquoise waters are ideal for snorkeling and swimming among starfish, stingrays and small fish…

  • Punta Mosquito

    Isla Holbox

    On the eastern side of the island, Punta Mosquito is about 2.5km east of the downtown area. It has a large sandbar and is a good place to spot flamingos…

  • Playa Garrafón

    Isla Mujeres

    Head to this beach for excellent snorkeling. It's 6.5km from the tourist center. A cab costs M$100.

  • San Miguelito


    You don't have to leave the Zona Hotelera to find Mayan culture in Cancún. Before the beach umbrellas, resorts, banana boats and  Spanish conquistadors…

  • Mexico, Quintana Roo State, Riviera Maya, Cancun, Playa Delfines

    Playa Delfines


    Unfolding from the base of a mild seaside bluff, Playa Delfines is one of the most scenic beaches in Cancún. A languid stretch of sand with turquoise…

  • 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…

  • Regional Museum of Anthropology, housed in a 19th century building, Paseo de Montejo, Merida, Yucatan State, Mexico, North America

    Palacio Cantón


    This massive mansion was built between 1909 and 1911, though its owner, General Francisco Cantón Rosado (1833–1917), lived here for only six years before…

  • Flamingos

    Reserva de la Biosfera Ría Celestún


    The 591-sq-km Reserva de la Biosfera Ría Celestún is home to a huge variety of animals and birdlife, including a large flamingo colony. You can see…

  • 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…

  • El Castillo (Temple of Kukulkan), Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

    El Castillo

    Chichén Itzá

    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…

  • Grupo Nohoch Mul


    Nohoch Mul (Big Mound) is also known as the Great Pyramid (which sounds a lot better than Big Mound). It reaches a height of 42m, making it the second…

  • Cenote Azul

    Riviera Maya

    Conveniently located right off the main highway, Cenote Azul is one of the easiest Riviera Maya cenotes to visit. It’s also one of the region’s most…

  • This is one of the well preserved ancient Mayan temples at the Dzibanche's archeological Mayan ruins site about two hours inland in the Yucatan region of Mexico. They still allow visitors to climb to the top of the temples but may need to restrict it in the future due to the expansion of tourism in the area.


    Costa Maya & Southern Caribbean Coast

    Though it’s a chore to get to, this site is definitely worth a visit for its secluded, semi-wild nature. Dzibanché (meaning ‘writing on wood’) was a major…

  • ring carved on the Great ball court of Chichen Itza

    Gran Juego de Pelota

    Chichén Itzá

    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…

  • Small PYramid at Mayan ruins of Coba, Caribe. Quintana Roo state. Mayan Riviera. Yucatan Peninsula. Mexico

    Grupo Cobá


    The most prominent structure in the Grupo Cobá is La Iglesia (the Church). It's an enormous pyramid; if you were allowed to climb it, you could see the…

  • Parque Punta Sur

    Isla Cozumel

    For the price of admission to this park, you can visit a lighthouse, a small nautical museum and a Maya ruin. The park road leads past an observation…

  • Cuadrángulo de las Monjas

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    The 74-room, sprawling Nuns’ Quadrangle is directly west of the Casa del Adivino. Archaeologists guess variously that it was a military academy, royal…