12 Exciting Things to Do in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Western Caribbean cruises all head into the Gulf of Mexico with ports of call in the Yucatan Peninsula. This enormous land mass juts out into the ocean separating the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. It also serves as the demarcation between North America and Central America. And that's only the geography of the place. Rich in sandy beaches, clear green blue waters, horticulture, sea life, exotic birds, culture, history and more, this location has much to see and explore.
Continue reading below to learn about 12 of The Yucatan Peninsula’s most exciting places to experience.
For thousands of years, Chichen Itza has been known as one of the great cities of Central America. Here, you can view some of the massive ground stone buildings that were one Mayan Ruins on the nearly 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of land full of archaeology and thick forest surroundings.
Head to the far corner of the Ria Biosphere Reserve to see the ever popular Las Coloradas pink salt lakes. These lakes are used for industrial salt production and as the water evaporates, an overwhelming growth of red algae occurs. Plankton and brine shrimp also habitat in these bright pink waters.
If you’re infatuated with sea turtles, make your way to Akumal Beach to swim in the shallow waters where three different varieties of sea turtles live. A lifejacket is required and lifeguards are always on duty since the waters have recently turned into a preserved area to protect the turtles.
To fully experience the culture and history of the peninsula, go to Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state. The rich culture and history will certainly make your trip memorable. Head to the city center to buy a brightly woven hammock. Hammock weaving has been a tradition on the peninsula for more than 700 years.
If sharks don’t scare you, go to Isla Holbox to see the lightly speckled whale sharks. Beware, these whale sharks are named appropriately, weighing up to 20,000 lbs and reaching almost 30 ft long!
The peninsula is no stranger to loud colors as you may have noticed right away. So if you love color as much as the natives, head to the Yellow Town in Izamal. You will even get to see pyramids.
For a quick dip to cool off, visit the Dzitnup cenote outside of Valladolid. This cavernous pool of fresh water is majestic and perhaps the purest water you will ever see since the limestone helps filter it through the underground rivers.
While you’re near Valladolid go into the colonial city built atop ancient grounds to view the colorful (of course) architecture including the San Gervasio Church. Ten go try some of the great eats at the restaurants situated throughout the area.
Go to Cozumel to snorkel and scuba dive or to simply hike through the luscious green jungle areas.
If you need to relax for a day, go to Tulum for sunbathing and yoga on the beach. The area is full of healthy food options, spas and other great activities.
Grab your sunscreen and rent an inflatable kayak and head out on the Bacalar Lagoon to feel like the pirates of the 17th Century.
Last but not least, hike the Calakmul Mayan Ruins that border Guatemala. You certainly won’t miss the two gigantic pyramids reaching 165ft high.
The Yucatan Peninsula is one of the most diverse and exciting places to travel in all of Mexico. From the stunning landscape to the vibrant culture, the Yucatan has a little something for everyone.
About the writer:
Nancy Holmes Ploener is a Luxury Cruise Advisor with Suite Dream Cruises, LLC, an affiliate of Gifted Travel Network- a Virtuoso member agency. She works one-on-one with clients who want to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Her specialty is helping her clients see the world from the vantage of luxury cruising.