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Awesome places in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

Mexico is an amazing country. Ancient cities and pyramids of the pre-Hispanic era, majestic buildings of the New Spain period, impregnable medieval forts and monasteries, haciendas and agave fields stretching to the horizon, jungle sparkling with all shades of greenery and unusually delightful beaches.

Let’s take a quick trip to the Yucatan Peninsula.

Valladolid

This is one of the colonial cities of Mexico, with the original architecture that has survived to this day. The main attraction of Valladolid is the central square with a park and an impressive cathedral.

Cenote Zasi, an impressive but partially ruined cenote cave, located inside the city. Zasi Cenote is an impressive partially ruined cave with a diameter of about 45 meters, some stalactites hang from the ceiling of the cenote or vault, which over time are formed from mineral remains dragged away by the water.

Valladolid is located halfway between Cancun and Merida. It is from here that it is most convenient to make excursions to Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, or Coba.

It is from here that it is the easiest way to visit the Ria Lagartos nature reserve or the atmospheric small town of Izamal.

Merida

Another colonial city of Mexico considered the cultural capital of Yucatan. Merida combines the spirit of antiquity and modernity. Merida was founded by Spanish conquistadors in the 1540s on the site of an ancient Mayan city named T’ho.

The Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo changed the name – the white color of the buildings reminded him of the famous Roman ruins in the Spanish city of Merida.

The Cathedral of San Ildefonso is the oldest cathedral in the Americas, the largest in Yucatan. It took almost forty years to build and finished in 1598. The Cathedral is famous for frescoes depicting the meeting of Francisco de Montejo and the Mayan ruler Tutul Shiu, as well as for the statue of the Black Christ.

The main boulevard and most fashionable area in Merida is the wide, tree-lined street Paseo de Montejo. It is one of the most beautiful city streets in Mexico.

At the end of the 19th century, the ruling elite of Merida decided that the city needed something more grandiose than the traditional narrow streets. They built this monumental boulevard modeled on the Champs Elysees in Paris and surrounded it with expensive mansions.

The Regional Museum of Anthropology in Merida is a delightful whitewashed neoclassical mansion surrounded by its own park.

The building was designed and built by the Italian architect Enrico Desert between 1909 and 1911 as a private mansion. However, the family did not own it for long, since in the mid-1930s the house was nationalized by the authorities.

It was immediately used for urban needs. So there was a school, then a college of fine arts, then the residence of the governor of the city.

From Merida is convenient to visit the ruins of Uxmal and Ruta Puuc, as well as the small town of Mani.

Campeche

Another colonial city of Mexico, San Francisco de Campeche, the capital of the Mexican state of the same name, located in the west of the Yucatan Peninsula on the coast of Campeche Bay, which in turn is part of the Gulf of Mexico basin. In 1999, the city of Campeche was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since the 900s of our century, the Mayan tribes of Ah Kim Pech lived on the site of the modern city, until the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1517, and decided to settle in such a picturesque place.

The war over territories lasted more than 20 years, but the conquistadors finally established their rule over the lands in 1540 and founded Villa de San Francisco de Campeche there.

The settlement soon became the main port of the Yucatan Peninsula, leading to numerous pirate attacks. After one of them, which happened in 1663 and left the city in flaming rubble, the king of Spain ordered to build the famous Bastions around the city.

Chetumal

Chetumal is an interesting place for tourists. The city is rich in beautiful parks, theaters, exhibitions, historical, cultural monuments, and other places of interest.

Among the attractions of the city, is worth visiting the Museum of Mayan Culture. Here are exhibited figurines, pots, Mayan letters, stone slabs that were found during excavations.

The small village of Bacalar is considered another attraction of Chetumal. Here is the natural basin of Cenote-Azul, the depth of which is 60m. The pool attracts tourists with its unusual blue color.

The ancient Spanish fortress is located next to the Laguna de Siete Colores. There are always a lot of tourists there.

The popular Temple of Masks, which is a pyramid, is a wonderful place. It is dedicated to the sun god and was built in the sixth century. The temple is located in an archaeological area called Kounlich.

Not far from the Temple of Masks there are the ancient ruins of Dzibanche.

The time spent in Chetumal will give you a wonderful and unforgettable experience.

Cancun

The Riviera Maya is an extension of the Caribbean coast on the Yucatan peninsula in northeastern Mexico. It is known for its many all-inclusive resorts such as Cancun Villas on the beach and its sandy magnificent beach. The barrier reef stretching along the coast allows making the most interesting scuba diving.  

Cancun, located on the Yucatan Peninsula, is one of the ten best resorts in the world. Built on the site of a small fishing village, Cancun is now one of the most important centers for international tourism. The resort is located on a sandy spit resembling the number “7”, 400 m wide and 30 km long.

The upper part of the spit overlooks the golf, where the water is almost always calm, the lower part – to the open sea with an impressive surf. The climate is subtropical and close to ideal – the average annual temperature is 30 – 32 degrees Celsius.

Connoisseurs of nature and entertainment lovers will visit the magnificent Xcaret Ecological Park with an underwater river, a botanical garden, a dolphin show, a collection of birds and butterflies in the vicinity of Cancun, as well as the world’s largest natural aquarium Shel-Ha, in whose waters thousands of species of fauna and flora live.

Cancun is a unique area on the Caribbean coast of the sea, tourists are offered a wide range of opportunities: comfortable rest in ultra-modern hotel beach Cancun zone located on many kilometers of sandy beaches, practicing all kinds of sports, dinners in restaurants of Mexican, European and Oriental cuisines, visiting numerous night shows and famous discos.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Cancun offers yachting, fishing, scuba diving, surfing, golf, tennis, and much more. In addition to traditional open water diving, groundwater diving is practiced, such as excursions into underground Mayan cenotes.

The richness of nature and entertainment, the gentle Caribbean Sea, the proximity of the majestic ruins of ancient civilizations make a vacation in Cancun truly extraordinary.