Must-see attractions in Yucatán Peninsula

  • Biblioteca de Campeche


    On the northern (seaward) side of Plaza Principal stands a replica of the old government center, now housing the modern Biblioteca de Campeche. The…

  • Museo Victoriano Nieves

    Ciudad del Carmen

    The city's decent history museum is in an interesting old hospital building. Inside are archaeological relics (including stelae from Xpuhil), a petroleum…

  • Capitán Dulché

    Isla Mujeres

    To say that this beach club has a maritime museum is a bit of a stretch, but it's as close as the island comes to having some culture, plus you get to see…

  • Mercado Municipal Lucas de Gálvez


    Mérida’s main market is an ever-evolving mass of commerce, with stalls selling everything from panuchos (fried tortillas stuffed with beans and topped…

  • Casa de la Vieja

    Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

    Off the southeast corner of the Palacio del Gobernador’s platform is a small complex, now largely rubble, known as the Casa de la Vieja. In front of it is…

  • Museo de Naturaleza y Arqueología


    Calakmul's modern Museo de Naturaleza y Arqueología has geological, archaeological and natural-history exhibits that are well displayed and provide a…

  • Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán


    The modern Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán was established in the 19th century by Governor Felipe Carrillo Puerto and General Manuel Cepeda Peraza. Inside…

  • Iglesia de San Francisco de Asis

    Campeche State

    Dating from the 16th century, the Iglesia de San Francisco de Asis (on the main plaza) is a former Franciscan monastery with wood-beam ceiling and…

  • Mercado Municipal


    Locals come to this good, authentic Mexican market to shop for cheap clothing, produce and what-have-you, and to eat at inexpensive taquerías. The east…

  • Casa del Cenote


    A small tomb was found in this house, which gets its name from a cenote found at its southern base. The Maya believed cenotes were gateways to Xibalbá …

  • Puerta del Mar


    The Puerta del Mar provided access from the sea, opening on to a wharf where small craft delivered goods from ships anchored further out. The shallow…

  • Playa Secreto

    Isla Mujeres

    The lagoon separating a large hotel complex from the rest of the island has a shallow swimming spot that's ideal for kids. Despite the depth (or lack of…

  • Xaibé


    This is a tidy, semicircular stepped building, almost fully restored. Its name means 'the Crossroads,' as it marks the juncture of four separate sacbés …

  • Templo de los Jaguares y Escudos

    Chichén Itzá

    The Temple of the Jaguars and Shields, built atop the southeast corner of the ball court’s wall, has some columns with carved rattlesnakes and tablets…

  • Playa Caracol


    Next to the Isla Mujeres ferry dock, this tiny stretch of sand is probably the least inviting of Cancún's beaches, but you can head left when you hit the…

  • Playa Marlin


    A long, lovely stretch of sand with lifeguards on duty and deck chairs, umbrellas and tables for rent. There’s no food, but there is an Oxxo out on Blvd…

  • Sculpture of Pedro Sáinz de Baranda


    A block past the Hotel del Mar is a monumental sculpture of Pedro Sáinz de Baranda, a native son who played a key role in defeating the Spanish at their…

  • Museo del Archivo General de Estado


    At this small museum, learn how Campeche came to be. It’s free and air-conditioned, and you get to check out old documents and maps, and watch a video (in…

  • Puerta de Tierra


    The Puerta de Tierra, on the eastern side of the town wall, was opened in 1732 as the principal ingress from the suburbs. It is now the venue for a sound …

  • Gran Acrópolis


    The Gran Acrópolis is a labyrinthine residential zone with a ceremonial sector containing a ball court. (From the northern perimeter of this zone, you can…

  • Parroquia de San Antonio de Padua

    Campeche State

    On the central plaza, the 16th-century Parroquia de San Antonio de Padua church features an intricate retablo (altarpiece), with a gallery of saints and…

  • Playa Chac-Mool


    With no parking, this is one of the quieter beaches in Cancún and there's usually a lifeguard on duty. There's no food, but there are stores and…

  • Playa Tortugas


    One of the busiest beaches around, with loud music, cheap restaurants, deck chair and umbrella hire. Access from the ferry terminal, where there is free…

  • Playa Lancheros

    Isla Mujeres

    About 5km south of town, this beach is less attractive than Playa Norte, but kayaks and SUPs can be rented if you're up for some water activities. A taxi…

  • Museo de San Roque


    Previously a 16th-century convent, San Roque has models and exhibits on the history of the city and the region. Other displays focus on various aspects of…

  • Playa Pez Volador


    Popular with families for its calm, shallow foreshore. There’s free parking (but tip the guys ‘minding’ your car). Access is by the huge flagpole flying…

  • Museo El Palacio


    This large museum at the plaza has exhibits about the city's logwood industry and salt trading; a section is designed to make you feel like you're inside…

  • Mahahual Beach


    The beach right off Mahahual’s beautiful malecón (waterfront promenade) has powdery white sand, plus water so shallow you can swim out a good 100m.

  • Ayuntamiento


    The upstairs section, the Salón de Los Murales, has an interesting series of murals of figures that illustrate the history of the region.

  • Parque de las Palapas


    An outdoor venue for free concerts, dance performances and other cultural events. Vendors sell affordable snacks on and around the square.

  • Playa Ballenas


    A long, quiet stretch of beach squeezed between luxury hotels. Access from the dirt road on the south side of Golden Parnassus hotel.

  • Playa Gaviota Azul


    A beautiful little curve at the end of the bay, mostly monopolized by beach clubs. Access is from the north side of Cocobongo’s.

  • Parque de la Mejorada


    Head six blocks east of Calle 60 and you'll find this pleasant square flanked by a pretty colonial-era monastery.

  • Iglesia de la Candelaria


    The Virgin of Candelaria, the Patron of Valladolid, is celebrated at this church on February 2 (Candlemas).

  • Quinta Avenida

    Playa del Carmen

    Restaurants, bars, stores and craft stalls line a 2km stretch of this busy pedestrian thoroughfare.

  • Palacio Municipal


    Originally built in 1542, the Palacio Municipal was twice refurbished, in the 1730s and the 1850s.

  • Plaza de Toros


    Built into the Plaza de Toros are several bars, some with music, that draw a largely local crowd.