Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico)

ESPAÑOL

Although it is also formed by Belize and part of Guatemala, the majority belongs to Mexico and is the area where we will focus mainly. Its charms are world-renowned, and we do not mean that north of here was where the meteorite that killed the dinosaurs fell, which also indeed happenned:

  • Its Caribbean beaches on the east coast are dreamy:
    • Not in vain here are very close to each other Cancun, Cozumel Island and Riviera Maya. Innumerable possibilities to relax or practice snorkeling or diving with all kinds of colorful fish in Cozumel, dozens of turtles in Akumal, whale sharks north of the spectacular Isla Mujeres or turquoise waters less known by tourists to the south of Quintana Roo in Bacalar Lagoon or Maya Chan Beach. It is the second destination that receives more visitors in Mexico only surpassed by its capital.
    • But beware that Belize is not far behind. In addition to its beaches, there is one of the most famous places in the world to practice diving, the Great Blue Hole of Belize, which is nothing more than a completely submerged cenote.
  • But what is a cenote? The entire Yucatan Peninsula is from karstic origin, limestone being easily eroded by water. There are plenty of freshwater tunnels that cross it and sometimes, the roof of these tunnels collapses, forming the cenotes, a word that in Mayan means “hole with water”. These places are some of the most incredible natural pools in the world and swimming in them becomes an amazing experience. The most famous for tourists is Ik Kil for its enormous size and being close to Chichen Itza, but there are hundreds of them, some suitable for snorkeling and cave diving (only for experts).
  • And of course, its ruins of Mayan civilization:
    • In the north are some of the most famous ruins on the planet, the aforementioned Chichen Itza. This ancient city is one of the most important vestiges of Mayan civilization, built 1500 years ago and almost abandoned 1000 years later, surprising for the large number of buildings and the good preservation they show, to highlight its main pyramid. Nearby are the smallest and less busy of Ek Balam. Magnificent and less traveled are also those of Uxmal, near Mérida.
    • Close to the sea, Tulum is also famous, located at the hedge of a small cliff next to an impressive white sand beach in the Caribbean Sea. Or the less restored ones of Cobá, the one that was the main city in terms of commerce in the zone, to whose great pyramid 42 meters high is allowed to climb.
    • To the south, almost 800 km from the beaches of Riviera Maya are Palenque ruins, the best preserved and restored in the area next to Chichén Itzá; They are well worth it if we have time. Somewhat less remote but in a worse state of conservation are the ruins of Calakmul.
    • In Belize, those of Lamanai and El Caracol stand out.
    • But if one draws attention outside Mexico, are Tikal in Guatemala, with its steep pyramids that stand out from the vegetation in very good condition, and that have appeared in Star Wars saga and James Bond movie Moonraker, and El Mirador, very close to the border with Mexico, with its gigantic 72-meter pyramid, the highest in Yucatan, nowadays almost completely covered by the jungle.

All this can be visited backpacker style and away from the crowds, going where we want to go when we want to go, or all-inclusive style, entering the dynamics of resorts, excursions and theme parks, this being an area where we should consider it’s worth doing; taking into account the quality of the hotels, not much money will be saved and more than a headache will be taking the easy, comfortable and luxurious way. I consider myself an experienced backpacker, but this time I thought it was not worth it in terms of time and money to organize it on my own, so I opted for the bracelet option and I am not ashamed or regretful at all; Months later my cousin Alejandro and his wife opted for the backpack, their expenses were lower and they avoided crowds, but apart from having to organize their entire trip, their passports were stolen.

Still, they also had much fun, because although it is true that given the tourist success, it may be the least Mexican region of Mexico, but a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula does not disappoint anyone, there is a lot to do, so much that another inconvenience of the organized trip is that in the classic one week trip you will not have time enough to enjoy the hotel, the beaches and see the best ruins.

By the way, those who want to visit the crater of the asteroid of the dinosaurs, can not be appreciated without going out into space, since it was filled with deposits of other materials, but the exact point is north of Merida, near the town called Chicxulub Puerto.

DESTINATIONS

  • CANCÚN, ISLA MUJERES AND ISLA HOLBOX
  • RIVIERA MAYA:
    • PLAYA DEL CARMEN AND COZUMEL
    • TULUM, AKUMAL AND DIVING IN CENOTES
    • XCARET PARK
  • CHICHÉN ITZÁ, CENOTE IK KIL AND COBÁ RUINS
  • MAYA CHAN BEACH AND LAGUNA DE BACALAR
  • MÉRIDA AND UXMAL RUINS
  • PALENQUE AND CALAKMUL RUINS
  • BELICE
  • GUATEMALA: TIKAL Y EL MIRADOR

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION IN MEXICAN YUCATAN

  • WHEN TO GO
  • TRANSPORT:
    • HOW TO GET THERE
    • GETTING AROUND
  • WHERE TO SLEEP AND EAT; AN ALL INCLUDED RESORT
  • DANGERS, PROBLEMS AND ANNOYANCES

∇ Destinations / ∇ America / ∇ North America / ∇ Mexico

2014-05 Riviera Maya Yucatan Alwashere Chichen Itza
Dedicated to my sweetheart on her birthday, about the first trip we planned together

 

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