Must-see attractions in Yucatán Peninsula

  • Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres

    Playa Norte

    Isla Mujeres

    Once you reach Playa Norte, the island’s main beach, you won’t want to leave. Its warm, shallow waters are the color of blue raspberry syrup and the beach…

  • Kohunlich

    Costa Maya & Southern Caribbean Coast

    This archaeological site sits on a jungle-backed grassy area. The ruins, dating from both the late pre-Classic (AD 100–200) and the early Classic (AD 300…

  • Xcacel-Xcacelito

    Riviera Maya

    Between the Chemuyil and Xel-Há exits is a tiny sign on the east side of the highway marking the short dirt road that leads to the two arching bays Xcacel…

  • Palacio del Gobernador

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    The Governor’s Palace, with its magnificent facade nearly 100m long, is arguably the most impressive structure at Uxmal. The buildings have walls filled…

  • Punta Laguna

    Riviera Maya

    Punta Laguna is a fair-sized lake with a small Maya community nearby, 20km northeast of Cobá on the road to Nuevo Xcan. Thus far, it's remained relatively…

  • Reserva de la Biosfera Calakmul


    Lying at the heart of the vast, untrammeled Reserva de la Biosfera Calakmul (which covers close to 15% of the state’s total territory), the magnificent…

  • Grupo de las Pinturas


    The temple at Grupo de las Pinturas (Paintings Group) bears traces of glyphs and frescoes above its door and remnants of richly colored plaster inside…

  • Sotuta de Peón

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    Sotuta de Peón, 32km south of Mérida, is the only working henequén hacienda in the world. Jump aboard a horse and cart and view the henequén process from…

  • Estructura II


    Climbing the enormous Estructura II, at the south side of the Gran Plaza, is a must. Each of this pyramid’s sides is 140m long, giving it a footprint of…

  • Casa del Adivino

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    As you approach Uxmal, the Casa del Adivino comes into view. This 35m-high temple (the name translates as ‘Magician’s House’) was built in an unusual oval…

  • Kinich-Ná

    Costa Maya & Southern Caribbean Coast

    Part of Dzibanché (ticket price includes entry to both), but well removed from the main site, Kinich-Ná consists of one building. But what a building: the…

  • Museo de la Guerra de Castas

    Costa Maya & Southern Caribbean Coast

    Housed in an 18th-century building and with a passionate director, this small museum does a fine job of detailing the more than four centuries of…

  • Santa Rosa Xtampak

    Campeche State

    Though less excavated than Edzná, Uxmal or Calakmul, Santa Rosa Xtampak is considered to be the largest and most important site in the Chenes region, and…

  • Akab-Dzib

    Chichén Itzá

    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…

  • Estructura 25


    On the south side above the main doorway you'll see a lovely stucco frieze of the Descending God, also referred to as the Diving God. The upside-down,…

  • Sea Walls

    Isla Cozumel

    Local and international artists backed by the PangeaSeed foundation created 36 large-scale public murals in 2015 to raise awareness about ocean…

  • Crococun Zoo

    Puerto Morelos

    About 23km south of the Cancún airport, this former crocodile farm now calls itself a conservationist zoo that protects some of the area's endangered…

  • Uxmal

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    Uxmal, pronounced oosh-mahl, is an extremely impressive set of ruins, easily ranking among the top Maya archaeological sites alongside Chichén Itzá and…

  • Cueva de los Murciélagos

    Campeche State

    At sundown every evening some two to three million bats swirl up from the depths of a dry cenote, forming a tornado of fur and wings that's a surreal…

  • Gran Pirámide

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    The 30m-high, nine-tiered pyramid has been restored only on its northern side. Archaeologists theorize that the quadrangle at its summit was largely…

  • Quinta Montes Molina


    This living history house gives you a sense of the splendor and grandeur of the 'Oro Verde' (Green Gold) henequén era. The only original house of its kind…

  • Punta Esmeralda

    Playa del Carmen

    Emerald Point has become a favorite beach among Playa del Carmen locals, set on the northern edge of the city. Here, a shallow cenote provides a calm…

  • Grupo Macanxoc


    Grupo Macanxoc is notable for its numerous restored stelae, some of which are believed to depict reliefs of royal women who are thought to have come from…

  • X'Canché Cenote

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    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…

  • Juego de Pelota


    An impressive ball court, one of several in the ruins. Don't miss the relief of a jaguar and the skull-like carving in the center of the court.

  • Templo 10


    Here you can see an exquisitely carved stela (AD 730) depicting a ruler standing imperiously over two captives.

  • Avenida Náder


    This avenue one block east of Avenida Tulum has emerged as one of the Centro's top restaurant and bar zones.

  • Punta Coco

    Isla Holbox

    On the western edge of the island, about 2.5km from downtown, Punta Coco is a great sunset beach.

  • Kabah, Maya archaeological site, Puuc road, Yucatan, Mexico


    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    Kabah is one of the few Maya settlements in the area that has retained its original name (meaning 'the powerful hand'). Second only to Uxmal in the Puuc…

  • Dzibilchaltún

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    Lying about 17km due north of central Mérida, Dzibilchaltún ('Place of Inscribed Flat Stones') was the longest continuously used Maya administrative and…

  • Pre-hispanic pottery is displayed in Balankanche cave near Chichen Itza on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula

    Grutas de Balankanché

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    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,…

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    Catedral de San Ildefonso


    On the site of a former Maya temple is Mérida’s hulking, severe cathedral, begun in 1561 and completed in 1598. Some of the stone from the Maya temple was…

  • Ek

    Ek' Balam

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    The fascinating ruined city of Ek' Balam reached its peak in the 8th century, before being suddenly abandoned. Vegetation still covers much of the…

  • Casa de Montejo


    Casa de Montejo is on the south side of Plaza Grande and dates from 1540. It originally housed soldiers, but was soon converted into a mansion that served…

  • MEXICO - FEBRUARY 16: The Franciscan monastery of San Bernardino, Valladolid, Yucatan. Mexico, 16th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

    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…

  • Grutas de Loltún

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    One of the largest dry-cave systems on the Yucatán Peninsula, Loltún ('stone flower' in Maya) provided a treasure trove of data for archaeologists…

  • Malecón


    A popular path for joggers, cyclists, strolling friends and cooing sweethearts, the malecón, Campeche’s 7km-long waterfront promenade, makes for a breezy…

  • Chicanná

    Campeche State

    Aptly named ‘House of the Snake’s Jaws,’ this Maya site is best known for one remarkably well-preserved doorway with a hideous fanged visage. Located 10km…

  • Ruinas de Mayapán

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    Though far less impressive than many Maya sites, Mayapán is historically significant – it was one of the last major dynasties in the region and…