A special place in our hearts has to be the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. We spent a little over three months exploring this region alone and fell in love with the people, cuisine, the natural wonders, ancient Mayan ruins, and each unique and gorgeous city we had the pleasure and opportunity to visit.
While the Yucatan is popular among fellow Americans many only visit the popular resort cities of Cancun or Playa del Carmen and of more recently Tulum, the shabby chic beach town that caught on with popularity like wildfire and now is bursting at the seams with tourism.
While all of those places are popular for a reason and beautiful in their own way, what we really fell in love with were the other beach towns and places that are often less explored by that visitor.
I’m talking about the colorful streets of Campeche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a treasure trove full of sites from the old fortress walls, colonial architecture, the waterfront walk along the Malecon and 17 nearby archaeological sites including the largest Mayan city that has ever been discovered, Calakmul.
Or the ancient ruins of Uxmal, which unlike Chichen Itza you might find yourself wandering here alone or only with a handful of other visitors. Considered one of the most important sites to Mayan culture, these impressive ruins also hold a UNESCO World Heritage Status.
Or Bacalar Lagoon, which is also called the Lagoon of Seven Colors where you can get a secluded piece of paradise lazying in a hammock over crystal clear water. Located near the Belize border in Quintana Roo, this magical place is still considered under the radar, but probably not for much longer.
The magical yellow city of Izamal is also not only aesthetically pleasing and radiates the color of happiness or Valladolid where you can find gorgeous cenotes, gorgeous architecture, more ancient Mayan ruins, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
And of course, the city of Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state and a place that we hold dearly in our hearts. This gorgeous city is full of gorgeous cathedrals, beautiful colonial architecture, ancient Mayan history and culture, sensational food, and genuine people who proudly share their culture with visitors.
Admire the ancient mansions that were a part of the wealthy history in this city along Paseo Montejo, some have been transformed into banks and museums while others simply sit vacant behind a fence as a reminder of the past, and of course, there are a few who are still occupied by private owners.
Or just a short drive from the city you can find Progresso Beach where you can sit under the shade of an umbrella while having a bowl of fresh ceviche and seafood, visit the nearby haciendas, or the thousands of cenotes near Homun where you can enjoy each unique underwater cave without the crowds, each one somehow being more magical than the other.
The Yucatan Peninsula is full of splendor, history, and gorgeous sites both man-made and natural. Just in this area alone, there’s a lifetime of places to get to know and experience which makes it one of our favorite places on earth.
- Megan Indoe
- : Megan is a world traveler and the Editorial Director of Bobo & Chichi, a travel resource to help readers plan their dream vacation to places where they can enjoy authentic experiences while still witnessing some of the world's most iconic landmarks. Her and her husband, Scott Herder, inspire and help others through written guides and visual storytelling through videos and photography.
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- : There really are so many incredible places to visit in the Yucatan Peninsula, you can find something for any type of traveler.
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