Last Updated on November 24, 2021
The Yucatan Peninsula is a dazzling travel destination like no other. The stunning beaches, clear waters, spectacular wildlife, small villages, and ancient Mayan ruins make it one of Mexico’s finest vacation spots. There is a lot to see and do in Yucatan, and millions of crowds are there every year to have fun and enjoy a good time.
The Yucatan Peninsula is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It offers everything you associate with a Caribbean island. It is also easy to get to and from Yucatan; cheap flights and accommodation mean that you do not have to overextend your budget to have a swell vacation.
Fun Things to Do in the Yucatan Peninsula
In planning your Yucatan getaway, you may want to create a list of things to see and do. The peninsula offers a lot, so you would have to spend some time to get the whole Yucatan experience. Here’s our list of top things to explore while you are in Yucatan:
Party in Cancun
Cancun is Yucatan’s most popular city for a reason. Mexico’s official party capital has beautiful beaches and nightlife to rival any other city in the world. Cancun welcomes visitors all year round to jet ski, race Lamborghinis, or swim with whale sharks. If you’ve had enough of the chaos, you can head over to Downtown Cancun for a taste of the local life. This part of the city is teeming with local delicacies, tacos, and green parks. You can also take in some live Mexican wrestling.
Chill out on Tulum’s Beaches
You will find the finest beaches of Yucatan when you visit Tulum. The beautiful coastlines of this town are splattered with great restaurants, spas, and even yoga studios if that’s your thing. Enjoy the sunshine as you go scuba diving, snorkeling, and kite surfing in clear waters that excite and inspire.
See the Pink Lakes in Las Coloradas
Get a breathtaking view of nature at its finest when you visit the Coloradas. These Las Coloradas lakes are covered by unique plant life that gives them a beautiful pink glimmer when the water evaporates. You may also get to see some pink flamingos hanging around the lake. These usually white flamingos get their pink color from eating the plants in the lakes.
Tour the Chichen Itza Ruins
The Ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza span 740 acres and provide a fascinating insight into the history of the Mayans who settled there centuries ago. Chichen Itza is designated a UNESCO world heritage site and is also listed as one of the world’s new seven wonders. Explore the impressive 98-foot tall pyramid Temple of Kukulkan with the enormous serpent heads at the base of the stairs. Hear the Quetzal bird echo when you clap at the pyramid, and see the temple of the warriors where ancient Mayan ceremonies took place. Also, visit the Maya Ball court, where the first organized sporting game was ever played on your tour.
See Izamal, the Yellow Town
In 1993, Pope John Paul II visited Izamal on a special visit, and the residents painted the major walls in the city golden yellow in anticipation. The city seemed to fall in love with the color, and no one thought to change it since. See the hills where Mayan pyramids once stood and explore the gigantic yellow Franciscan monastery in Izamal.
Swim with Whale Sharks at Isla Holbox
How does the thought of swimming with a whale shark make you feel? Nervous right? Not in Yucatan. You can swim with large whale sharks in Isla Holbox, an island off Yucatan. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean, but they feed on planktons and little fish, so you have nothing to worry about if you choose to go on this adventure. They also move relatively slowly, so you can keep up with them underwater if you are a fast swimmer. Just don’t swim under them; they might descend without warning leaving you trapped.
Swimming in a Cenote
If you wonder what a cenote is, it is a large cave found in sedimentary rocks containing clear freshwater. Yucatan is filled with cenotes and provides a perfect way to cool off on a hot day. If you enjoy cave diving, Yucatan also provides cave diving opportunities for certified divers.
Buy a Locally-made Hammock in Merida
Some of the world’s most beautiful hammocks are made in Merida, a city in Yucatan known for its striking architecture and pedestrian-friendly center. Merida is called “the white city” from the extensive use of white limestone in its construction. Hammock weaving is a centuries-old tradition in the city, and you can get one as a souvenir for your Yucatan vacation.
Moving Around Yucatan
Yucatan has a pretty efficient transport system, so getting around is easy. The available means of movement include:
Once you land on the Yucatan Peninsula, you can board a bus from Cancun airport to Tulum or any place you have in mind. Buses run round the clock, and you will almost always find one going your way no matter when you arrive. They are also cheap, with bus fares as low as 6.5 pesos ($0.6) to some destinations. If you are unsure of where to stop, you can always speak to the driver for clarification.
Taxis in Yucatan are relatively more expensive but offer some level of comfort and privacy. Ensure to negotiate a price with the driver before starting any journey. Exclusive taxis charge up to $400 MXN ($40) though you can get a shared ride (Colectivo) for half the price. Taxi drivers almost always try to rip off tourists, so you should be a little vigilant.
Rental Cars in the Yucatan
Rental cars are cheaper than taxis and are a better option if you are traveling while you are in the Yucatan. You can rent a car or a scooter for easy movement in and around the peninsula. Compare the best rental car rates here, but remember: if a rate offered looks like it’s too good to be true, it’s probably too good to be true (read reviews about the rental agency you’re considering to see what other travelers’ experience was like.)
The Yucatan offers the perfect vacation getaway and has seen its stock as a tourist spot rise in recent years. The clear oceans, pristine sands, unending fun, and the general hospitality of the people make the peninsula a must-see travel destination.