Geography and history have kept the Yucatan Peninsula isolated from the rest of Mexico. Nature has been kind to Yucatan; it is about emerald green beaches, pink lagoons and flamingos and lots more. Yucatan is the only Mexican destination with the presence of vivid Mayan civilisation. The streets of Mérida Yucatan’s capital are bursting with colourful facades of Spanish colonial architecture, steeped in Mayan history. Merida is centrally located on the Yucatan Peninsula, which makes UNESCO World Heritage sites like the ancient cities of Uxmal and Chichen Itza an easy day trip. Head 40 minutes north and you will be greeted by the beaches on the Gulf shore in Progreso.
Locals recommend visiting Fundación de Artistas, a nonprofit featuring art exhibits in a 19th-century home; Gran Museo del Mundo Maya, a modern cultural museum; and enjoy traditional Yucatecan food at the super casual Manjar Blanco. The city that is going to host Mexico’s 45th Tianguis Turistico 2020 is just one of the beautiful places on offer in Yucatan. The state has plans to embrace a sustainable model that would be at the envy of the world.
Yucatan’s capital, arose from the merger of three major cultures: Mayan, Spanish and Lebanese, blending a unique personality palpable in its architecture, cuisine and people. In this magical city, tradition and modern values go hand in hand. This is where Impressive archaeological sites, colonial and modern buildings coexist in harmony.
Nevertheless, Yucatan is not all about Enchanting Merida. Follow the Puuc Route, made by Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, X-Lapak and Labna, to appreciate archaeological sites that have an architectural style typical of the late Classic period. These sites are characterized by solid columns and dense smooth walls whose upper parts are decorated with friezes topped by cornices, carved stone engravings, and constant evocations of Chaac, the god of the rain.
You can also learn about the water collecting systems called chultunes hidden under the great palace of Labná. Explore the mounds of X-Lapac, enjoy Sayil’s little open-air museum, and photograph yourself in front of Chaac’s masked palace in Kabah. This is where you can admire the pyramid of the fortune teller and be dazzled by the splendour of the stone friezes that decorate the nuns’ quadrangle in Uxmal, which include stylized human figures, monkeys, birds, Mayan huts with feather ceilings, two-headed serpents, and magic trails that summon the rain, the sun, a good harvest, and success in the struggle for life.
Stay with the light and sound show that reveals and reflects the legends, stories, traditions and beliefs of the ancient Mayan inhabitants. You can end your tour here with the visit to the Grotas of Loltun to appreciate cave paintings of hands, faces, animals and engravings that date back thousands of years and imagine the life of the ancient inhabitants of these Yucatecan caves.
Allow yourself some energy before you set foot in Izamal, the City of Three Cultures, the magical city of Valladolid with its old mansions painted in the colours of its skies, the coastal town of Celestun to take a boat to spot the flamingos. Amidst all these exciting tours, do not forget to enjoy the local food!
Yuchatan is definitely a must-see destination during your visit to Mexico.
How to get there:
Aeromexico flies to Merida via Mexico City from the UK.