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Exploring the Yucatan Peninsula

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico, the Yucatan is filled with scenic, historic, and cultural attractions to suit any taste.  From the quaint capital city of Merida to the beaches of Cancun, the Yucatan is possibly the most breathtaking region of the country and the perfect place to enjoy a Mexican vacation.

Central Courtyard Governors Building Merida
Central Courtyard Governors Building Merida

Merida

As the state’s largest city, Merida is home to boutique hotels, Spanish Colonial architecture, art galleries, outdoor markets, cafes, and so much more.  Founded during the mid-1500s by Spanish Conquistadors, the city is considered a great place to stay while visiting the Yucatan because it makes an ideal base for various day trips to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, various Mayan sites, traditional villages, and eco-parks.  However, when visiting, be sure to check out the city’s own celebrated attractions like el Zocalo (the central square), the opera house, and the Regional de Arquaeología de Yucatán (archaeological museum).

Chichen-Itza

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrating the Mayan civilization of pre-Columbian America, the archeological ruins of this city draw travelers from all around the world.  In terms of history, Chichen-Itza is vastly important and has been dubbed one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.”  This historic ruined city contains world-famous sites like the Kukulcan Pyramid, the Cenote of Sacrifice, and the Platform of Skulls.  Because this region is so important to contemporary Mexico and its tourist industry, there are plenty of other nearby venues for travelers like holistic spas and renowned restaurants.

Yucatan Cenote
Yucatan Cenote

Valladolid

With its historic Spanish-style architecture, the small city of Valladolid is a picturesque site filled with various attractions.  Situated between Merida and Cancun, many travelers opt for a visit to this historic city to explore attractions like the Catedral de San Gervasio, the Cenote Zaci (a famed sinkhole), and the central square of the city containing historic sites.  For an eclectic stop, check out the Coqui Coqui Perfumery and Spa to purchase an amazing Yucatan fragrance.

Cancun Beach
Cancun Beach

Cancun

Although in the state of Quintana Roo, the coastal city of Cancun is one of the Yucatan Peninsula’s most popular destinations for celebrating spring break, a honeymoon, or just a sunny vacation.  It contains world-class resorts like the Gran Melia Cancun, Hilton Golf and Spa Resort, and Dreams Cancun Resort and Spa and is internationally revered for its spas.  If you want to beach comb, swim with dolphins, eat gourmet fare, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife in a beautiful locale, Cancun is tough to beat.

When visiting any of the Yucatan’s cities, be sure to check out their resident museums and galleries that enchant visitors with indigenous artworks and artifacts.  Since the peninsula is filled with many Mayan ruins, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the historic sites near these cities while still finding time to enjoy the exotic birds of the eco-parks or stroll the region’s lovely beaches.  With so many varied attractions, the Yucatan is a marvelous vacation destination that can easily suit a variety of tastes.

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