The Yucatan Peninsula is famous for many things. Being located between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, it is only natural that the place has fantastic white sand beaches with crystal clear water in all shades of blue and green. Besides this, the peninsula is famous for being rich in tropical forests and jungle, so it has everything for nature lovers.
This means that there are a multitude of activities that tourists can do and will make their holiday unforgettable. From water sports such as snorkeling to visiting underwater ruins or admiring the coral reefs to riding an ATV through the jungle, it has everything for everyone. Not to mention, whether you are incredibly passionate about history or not, you will still be amazed by the breathtaking Mayan ruins.
So, if you plan on visiting the Yucatan Insula, it is vital you know when are the best times to travel there. Plus, we have got you covered on how to make the most of your holiday with must-see locations and activities worth trying.
Choose the best time to go
Given its location, there are some weather changes that you must take into consideration before booking your flight, as you don’t want this to negatively affect your stay in the Yucatan Peninsula. Not every season is suitable for traveling, and specific periods allow you to properly enjoy all that this destination has to offer.
From December to April is the most suitable period of time, weather-wise, given that there is little to no rain. However, you should keep in mind that this is also one of the busiest. So, if you don’t want to go when it is packed with other tourists, the most convenient month is November in terms of both nice weather and not many visitors crowding the streets or the main attractions. It is between the two most packed – and therefore priciest – periods: winter holidays and spring break. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, chances are this is what you wanted to hear.
Home to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World
Stretching over three states in southeastern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, or “Yucatan the White”, as the locals affectionately call it, is the holy grail of holiday destinations. And at the heart of it, the mysterious jewel of the Mayan civilization that you can’t leave without seeing: the world-famous ruins of Chichen Itza. Travel offer for this destination, you can find at chichenitza.com.
A UNESCO world heritage site and a wonder of the modern world, Chichen Itza stands as one of the most impressive testimonies of a past civilization. Walking amongst its buildings in the Mexican sun, marveling at the “juego de pelota” (ballgame) court, it becomes easy to feel part of that ancient civilization. If you’re feeling lazy after your tour, however, there’s a beautiful cenote right in the middle of town which will refresh you in an instant.
Here, you will also have a chance to buy some souvenirs for those at home. Sellers line the paths with everything from bead necklaces to jade warrior masks and shot glasses! But be mindful and bring your negotiation skills as they’re likely to charge a special Chichen Itza price, so a good dose of haggling is encouraged.
Don’t miss the nearby attractions
Regardless of where you stay, you might want to explore the Yucatan Peninsula as much as you can. Public transportation, especially buses, is an excellent alternative for tours. Cheap and convenient taxi rides can also be arranged from Valladolid to Chichen Itza as well as other local archeological sites, and of course, to some excellent local cenotes.
Depending on where you’re traveling from, for getting around, you’ll be able to use one of the many great day tours from Merida, Tulum, or Cancun. Or, if you have a little more time on your hand, you can always opt to stay for a few days in beautiful, sleepy Valladolid. The closest city to Chichen Itza and the friendliest option for the do-it-yourself traveler, Valladolid is only a short bus ride away from the ruins.
Merida is the largest city in the Yucatan and the region’s capital. If you have time, it is absolutely worth a visit on its own or as a base for your travels. Impressive colonial architecture is on display on broad Paseo Montejo and the city center, and the wide avenues will make you feel like you’re in Europe, surrounded by gorgeous pastel buildings and luscious vegetation that reminds you you’re in the New World.
Fun activities for every taste
The Yucatan Peninsula boasts attractions for any tourist’s taste and preference, from Caribbean-style beaches to gorgeous, sun-drenched Mexican villages and breathtaking tropical rainforests. Whether you want to try snorkeling, diving, stand-up paddle boarding, or an exciting activity on land: such as riding an ATV through the jungle, you can easily find something to your liking. This activity, as well as diving, is probably for more courageous thrill-seeking souls.
Cenotes are not to be missed
Just as you’re starting to feel the effects of the sightseeing and shopping, you’ll have a chance to hire a taxi or a bus that’ll take you to the one and only cure to the Yucatan heat since a long time ago: a perfectly cool, crystal clear water cenote. A landscape unique in the world, Mexican cenotes are underground sinkholes that the Mayans considered to be portals to another world or spiritual wells.
There are probably thousands of cenotes in the Yucatan, and no holiday here would be complete without checking out at least one. You’ll be able to see the lovely cenote at Chichen Itza. Still, swimming is not allowed, and you are unlikely to want to anyway as soon as your guide will tell you about the history of this cenote, which was used by the Mayans for rather more alarming purposes than swimming. Instead, opt for many of the cenotes around Valladolid, which will often also have a restaurant nearby, where, for very reasonable prices, you’ll be able to enjoy traditional Yucatecan cuisine along with some delicious handmade corn tortillas.