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Merida and The Yucatan Peninsula

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Yucatan Hotels

Tours & Attractions

Merida Airport Transfers

The Yucatan Peninsula offers a wide variety of lodging options, including family guest houses, budget to luxury hotels and  historic haciendas in Merida and near Mayan Ruins. You will run out of vacation days before you run out of things to do on your vacation. Snorkeling, visits to Maya ruins or eco parks are among the most popular tours. Merida Airport Transfers can be reserved one-way or round-trip from the Merida airport to your hotel in Merida. Private sedans or shared shuttles are available.
Yucatan Hotels  Yucatan Haciendas Tours and Attractions Merida Airport Transfers
 

"I can only imagine how the Indians felt when they were first confronted with the Spanish. Their first difficulty was deciding whether the Spanish were mortals or gods. The French structuralist Tzvetan Todorov makes the interesting argument that this confusion varied in direct proportion to literacy. The Incas, who could not write at all, were convinced the Spanish were gods. The Aztecs, who had pictograms, initially thought that the Spanish were gods but soon changed their minds. The Maya, who could read and write, knew from the beginning that the Spanish were men. The Maya, therefore, were the most difficult to conquer."
--Peter Canby, The Heart of the Sky: Travels Among the Maya

 

Explore the Yucatan   Map of the Yucatan Peninsula | Mayan Ruins | Cenotes | Yucatan Hotels | Yucatan Haciendas

From beautiful colonial cities to modern day Mayan villages, the Yucatán Peninsula has a multitude of cities and towns to explore along the way.  Unlike the Aztecs of central Mexico or the Incas of Peru, the Mayans are a living culture, speaking Mayan among themselves and following centuries-old customs. As you explore the villages of the area, you can see women embroider elaborate floral borders on huipile blouses. You will pass clutches of sleepy towns lined with rectangular homes that have scant furniture and no beds --  only hammocks hung between the narrow walls. 

Colonial cities such as MMerida and Valladolid, have beautiful architecture and will bring you back in time to the Spanish colonial days of this area.  Mérida  is the capital of the state of Yucatán, and a good base for exploring the region.

Even coastal ports such as Progreso to the north and Celestún to the west hold treasures of flocks of vibrant pink flamingos or piers that seem to extend endlessly.

Rustic haciendas and convents from the 1600s and 1700s dot the outlying areas to the east. So do caverns of stalactites and stalagmites and cenotes which are underground sinkholes formed from the porous limestone of the region.

Look for timeless villages in the small Yucatecan towns along the Convent Route of l7th century churches south of Mérida  or the Ruta de Puuc near Uxmal, about 90 minutes south of Mérida .

Calakmul and Balamku 
Location: BALAMKU   Departs From: CAMPECHE  Transportation From: --
The ancient Mayan archaeological site of Balamku (Temple of the Jaguar) is one of the most important in Mexico due to its many architectural treasures. This stunning site is located in the midst of a jungle, which offers visitors the opportunity to interact with nature while exploring the ruins of this pre-Columbian city.
Campeche City Tour 
Location: CAMPECHE   Departs From: CAMPECHE   Transportation From: --
The city of Campeche is located in the southeastern region of the Mexican Republic. This beautiful colonial city is surrounded by abundant greenery and features vast architectural and cultural wealth, which can be admired in its many beautiful colonial buildings and museums.
Celestun, Enjoy Beach & Nature 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From: MERIDA   Transportation From: --
Celestun is a small village located 2 hours away from the city of Merida, a beautiful paradise of the Yucatan coast where you will enjoy the nature and crystal clear water beach extensions. Celestun is home to a pink flamingo's colony that represents a unique natural spectacle for the visitors
Chenes Route 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From: CAMPECHE   Transportation From: --
You'll start the journey 30 miles south of Hopelchen. You'll get to see the Mayan architectural wonders, such as the "Palacio del Este" (East Palace) at the archaeological site of Hochob. At this mystical place you'll find representations of Itzamna, the principal god of the Mayan culture.
Chichen Itza Deluxe 
Location: YUCATAN   Transportation From: CANCUN, RIVIERA MAYA, PLAYA DEL CARMEN
Add an incredible touch of culture, adventure and Mexican flavor to your vacation. Take some time to visit one of the most amazing archeological sites in Mexico: Chichen Itza. This mystical Mayan city, made up of a series of pyramids, has recently been named as one of the New Wonders of the World.
Chichen Itza World Wonder 
Location: YUCATAN   Transportation From: CANCUN, RIVIERA MAYA, PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MERIDA
Chichen Itza is the capital of ancient Maya empire, its majestic building dates back to 435 and 455, and it is geographically located in the middle of spectacular natural environs in the Yucatan Peninsula. At this site, declared as one of the 7 World Wonders, you can visit magnificent temples.
Ciudad del Carmen and Terminos Lagoon 
Location: YUCATAN      Departs From: CAMPECHE  Transportation From: --
Experience the incredible beauty set in the state of Campeche, where you'll find breathtaking natural attractions. On this boat excursion, you'll visit the nature reserve at Terminos Lagoon, a natural sanctuary where you can see beautiful sea birds nesting, along with fascinating dolphins.
Cuzama Sinkhole Tour 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From: MERIDA   Transportation From: MERIDA HOTELS
Are you ready to enjoy a great adventure during your trip to Merida? This tour gives you the opportunity to discover and swim in the famous Cuzama cenotes, which are bodies of fresh water located underground. Throughout your journey you will pass by Mayan pyramids, colonial buildings and old haciendas.
Edzna Archeological Zone 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From: CAMPECHE   Transportation From: --
On this tour you can visit the ruins found at the archaeological site of Edzna, such as the Platform of the Knives, Nohochna (Great House), the Temple of the South, the Temple of the Stairways, the Temple of the Five Floors, the House of the Moon, the Main Square and the Temple of the Masks.
Gastronomic Tour in Yucatan 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From: MERIDA Transportation From: MERIDA HOTELS
This experience begins in Merida. You will stop at a location that is between the archaeological sites of Xlapak and Labna. It will then be time to go to Mani, where you'll have the opportunity to eat authentic Yucatecan food. At the end of your meal, you will visit the ruins of Mayapan.
Hacienda Sotuta de Peon 
Location: YUCATAN  Departs From: MERIDA   Transportation From: MERIDA HOTELS
Welcome to Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, built in the late 1800’s and located in Tecoh, Yucatan. Join us on a marvelous journey back in time to the golden era of the sisal industry via a tour of one of the best preserved haciendas in the state.
Handcraft Route 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From: CAMPECHE    Transportation From: --
You will also visit places like Hecelchakan, Pomuch and Becal, towns of great of importance because they are known for their handicrafts, like the typical and famous Panama style hats, made from the jipi japa, a common flower in the area.
Merida City Tour 
Location: MERIDA   Departs From:  MERIDA   Transportation From: MERIDA HOTELS
Take a stroll and admire the sights of this beautiful colonial city. Merida is the capital city of the Mexican state of Yucatan. This city features a fascinating combination of art, history and culture throughout its cobbled streets, stunning architecture and lovely parks.
Puuc Route 
Location: YUCATAN  Departs From: MERIDA   Transportation From: MERIDA HOTELS
If you want to explore the Mayan World, the Puuc Route is a “must” in case you visit Yucatan. This a popular archaeological region located south of Merida, and its itinerary includes the following areas: Loltun caves, Labna, Sayil and Xlapac..
Uxmal and Kabah 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From: MERIDA   Transportation From: HOTELS IN MERIDA
Uxmal is one of the most representative cities of the Mayan culture. It is 38 miles away from Merida and, at its peak, had a population of 25,000. During this tour, we will visit the Magician's Pyramid, the Quadrangle of the Nuns, the Ball Game Court, and the Governor's Palace. Later, we’ll go south to explore Kabah.
Uxmal Light & Sound Show 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From: MERIDA   Transportation From: HOTELS IN MERIDA
Uxmal, the city that has been built three times, lies majestic surrounded by nature, witness of the Mayan’s lifestyle at its peak. It is 38 miles away from Merida and it is considered one of the most representative Mayan site in the Puuc area, name given to describe the architectural style of the region.
Xichen   
Location: YUCATAN  Transportation From: CANCUN, RIVIERA MAYA, PLAYA DEL CARMEN
Venture into the ancient Mayan world to discover their greatest secrets with this visit to the ruins of Chichen Itza. Experience one of the Wonders of the World, the Pyramid of Kukulkan, also known as The Castle! Once the tour around Chichen Itza is over, visit the beautiful city of Valladolid.
 

Yucatan Haciendas  Yucatan Hotels: Haciendas

If you decide to take a side-trip from Cancun to explore the Yucatán Peninsula, don't miss the numerous haciendas from the 1600s and 1700s that are strewn throughout the Yucatán. These haciendas were once home to sprawling ranching operations, but today stand empty and often hidden deep in the jungle. There are a few of these haciendas that have been rescued from dilapidation and tastefully transformed into luxury, exclusive hotels. 
Yucatan Haciendas Tour 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From:  MERIDA   Transportation From: HOTELS IN MERIDA
Go to the Uayalceh, Yaxcopoil and Ochil haciendas and learn about the machines that extracted the henequen fibers used in the production of rope. You will also visit the main house and the chapel, which is still used today. You'll then have the chance to enjoy genuine Yucatecan cuisine at one of the haciendas.
Hacienda Sotuta de Peon Tour 
Location: YUCATAN  Departs From: MERIDA   Transportation From: MERIDA HOTELS
Welcome to Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, built in the late 1800’s and located in Tecoh, Yucatan. Join us on a marvelous journey back in time to the golden era of the sisal industry via a tour of one of the best preserved haciendas in the state.
 

Campeche   Campeche Hotels

Campeche State is the westernmost of three states forming the Yucatan Peninsula. Located along the Gulf of Mexico, 487 kms from Cancun and 165 kms from Merida, there are over 525 kms of coastline lined with beautiful beaches with little or no development. A perfect Mexico vacation destination. Campeche has a rich historical past. The state was founded over 2000 years ago and was settled and developed by ancient Mayan civilizations which were mostly destroyed during the Spanish Inquisition during the 1500s. Today, Campeche gives tourists a wide variety of activities and places to visit. Visitors can enjoy historic forts and garrisons built as protection from pirates and foreign enemies, beautiful churches, colonial homes and archaeological zones located throughout the state.  
Campeche City Tour 
Location: CAMPECHE   Departs From: CAMPECHE   Transportation From: --
The city of Campeche is located in the southeastern region of the Mexican Republic. This beautiful colonial city is surrounded by abundant greenery and features vast architectural and cultural wealth, which can be admired in its many beautiful colonial buildings and museums.
 

Merida  Merida Hotels

Worlds away from the tequila slammers and mega-resorts of Cancun lies a city in the Yucatán peninsula full of old world charm and a strong sense of identity. Mérida , declared a world cultural landmark in 2000, embraces its past, present and future graciously. Yucatán state's capital prides itself on centuries of Mayan, Spanish, French and Moroccan influences. Archaeological sites such as Uxmal and Chichén Itzá point to a heritage rich in legend and a tumultuous past, a past often overshadowed by tales of human sacrifice, Spanish conquistadores, uprisings and "green gold" or henequen, a cash crop that proved a boon and a bane for the Indians who live in the area.

Catholicism and Indian religions coexist in harmony, as do nearly 2 million people. Amid tree-lined boulevards and ornate cathedrals are internet cafes, museums, theaters, and universities. On Sundays, the main plaza, or Zócalo, plays host to a daylong festival with traditional dance and music.
The city complements a Cancun vacation wonderfully and should be strongly considered for a 2-3 day side trip. Mérida  is about three hours west of Cancun on an excellent four-lane highway. There is regular bus service to Mérida from the Cancun bus station.

Merida City Tour 
Location: MERIDA   Departs From:  MERIDA   Transportation From: MERIDA HOTELS
Take a stroll and admire the sights of this beautiful colonial city. Merida is the capital city of the Mexican state of Yucatan. This city features a fascinating combination of art, history and culture throughout its cobbled streets, stunning architecture and lovely parks.
 

Chichen Itza and Piste   Chichen Itza Hotels

Pisté is a small town near the Chichén Itza ruins. The town is used as an accommodation solution for tourists visiting the ruins in Chichén  Itza. In Pisté you have the chance to swim in one of the many Cenotes. Only two and a half hours away from Cancun is one of the most impressive of all Mayan ruins, Chichen Itza   This is perhaps the most famous Mayan cultural site in the world, and one of the richest and largest archeological remnants of that civilization. Founded in 445 B.C., and inhabited until 1204 A.D. when it was mysteriously abandoned, Chichen Itza lies about 120 miles west of Cancun.
Chichen Itza Deluxe 
Location: YUCATAN   Transportation From: CANCUN, RIVIERA MAYA, PLAYA DEL CARMEN
Add an incredible touch of culture, adventure and Mexican flavor to your vacation. Take some time to visit one of the most amazing archeological sites in Mexico: Chichen Itza. This mystical Mayan city, made up of a series of pyramids, has recently been named as one of the New Wonders of the World.
Chichen Itza World Wonder 
Location: YUCATAN   Transportation From: CANCUN, RIVIERA MAYA, PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MERIDA
Chichen Itza is the capital of ancient Maya empire, its majestic building dates back to 435 and 455, and it is geographically located in the middle of spectacular natural environs in the Yucatan Peninsula. At this site, declared as one of the 7 World Wonders, you can visit magnificent temples.
Xichen   
Location: YUCATAN  Transportation From: CANCUN, RIVIERA MAYA, PLAYA DEL CARMEN
Venture into the ancient Mayan world to discover their greatest secrets with this visit to the ruins of Chichen Itza. Experience one of the Wonders of the World, the Pyramid of Kukulkan, also known as The Castle! Once the tour around Chichen Itza is over, visit the beautiful city of Valladolid.
 

Uxmal   Uxmal Hotels

Uxmal ruins are in the state of Yucatan, south of Merida. They are large and impressively carved. Uxmal is one of the most well known of the Maya cities, and rated by many archaeologists as the finest. In area, the site is fairly compact, though you should allow at least half a day for a first visit, after which you'll probably want to return to go over the site in more detail.
Uxmal and Kabah 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From: MERIDA   Transportation From: HOTELS IN MERIDA
Uxmal is one of the most representative cities of the Mayan culture. It is 38 miles away from Merida and, at its peak, had a population of 25,000. During this tour, we will visit the Magician's Pyramid, the Quadrangle of the Nuns, the Ball Game Court, and the Governor's Palace. Later, we’ll go south to explore Kabah.
Uxmal Light & Sound Show 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From: MERIDA   Transportation From: HOTELS IN MERIDA
Uxmal, the city that has been built three times, lies majestic surrounded by nature, witness of the Mayan’s lifestyle at its peak. It is 38 miles away from Merida and it is considered one of the most representative Mayan site in the Puuc area, name given to describe the architectural style of the region.
 

Valladolid   Valladolid Hotels

Valladolid is a interesting city located 40km from Chichén Itzá on highway 180. Valladolid is a very charming small town. It offers good local crafts, and a taste of Old Mexico. You will know when you arrive in downtown by the main plaza. Valladolid is referred to as “The Sultan of the East,” due to the  architectural beauty of its colonial buildings, including the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena, the Municipal Palace, the Iglesia de San Servacio, and the Museum of San Roque

The now open-air Cenote Zaci, located 3 blocks from the main plaza is a must see for all visitors to Valladolid. This enormous and quite scenic cenote was covered by a roof of stone as little as 200 years ago. In the 1600s Mayan warriors spoke of this hidden spring, which also provided cover from the Spanish. During the war of the Castes in 1847 Mayan invaders convened here to discuss battle plans and eventually ran the Spanish out of town.

 

Telchac Puerto   Telchac Puerto Hotels

Telchac Puerto is a picturesque town situated on the coast 56 km from Mérida on highway 281. Puerto Telchac is known for its beautiful beaches of fine sand and gentle waves. One great spectacle in Telchac Puerto is the flocks of flamingos that frequently fly overhead. If you visit during July or August, be sure to visit the main plaza for the fair, where you will find booths offering foods and merchandise.

To get to Telchac Puerto by car, go towards Progreso and go east when you reach the beach. Or go to Motul, and head north to the beach from there. If you go by bus you take the Autobuses del Noreste out of Merida

 

Celestun   Celestun Hotels

Celestun is famous for its seafood restaurants, freshwater springs, calm beaches and its beautiful colonies of flamingos.  The flamingos of Celestun are the area's topo tourist attraction and are a beautiful part of a fascinating yet fragile ecosystem.
Celestun, Enjoy Beach & Nature 
Location: YUCATAN   Departs From: MERIDA   Transportation From: --
Celestun is a small village located 2 hours away from the city of Merida, a beautiful paradise of the Yucatan coast where you will enjoy the nature and crystal clear water beach extensions. Celestun is home to a pink flamingo's colony that represents a unique natural spectacle for the visitors
 

Other Popular Yucatan Destinations

Izamal
Only an hour's drive from Mérida , and 30 minutes from the ruins of Chichén Itzá, Izamal is the reigning colonial jewel of Yucatán. Izamal has the world's largest enclosed arched courtyard, the Convento de San Antonio de Padua. This charming village is home to a number of ancient ruins.

Progreso
Progreso is situated only 40 km (35 minutes drive) from Mérida . Progreso is a bustling beach town with an amazing 6 kilometer long pier. Progreso is a beautiful port with wonderful beaches of gentle waves which make it ideal for swimming, boat races, and sailing. Fishing and tourism are Progreso's most important industries.

Dzitya
Dzitya is located 10 km from Mérida on highway 261. One of its main attractions is the Temple of San Diego, with its beautiful belfry.

Poxila
Poxila is a picturesque town located 27 km from Mérida on highway 180. Poxila is distinguished for its excellent handicrafts based on pieces embroidered in macramé for its delicious regional gastronomy, and for its beautiful spa Che.

Tizimin
Many traveler's on their way to Rio Lagartos have to change buses in Tizimin, the third-largest city in the state of Yucatán. The tree-filled central plaza is pleasant, particularly at sundown when birdsong fills the air and children in school uniforms play tag and other games. Two great colonial structures - the Convento de los Tres Reyes Magos and the Convento de San Francisco de Asis - are worth a look.

Tikul
Tikul is located 17 km from the caves of Loltun on federal highway 184. Tikul is one of the most important towns of the State of Yucatán. Among Tikul's main attractions are: The Temple of San Antonio, built in the XVII century; the Chapel of La Mejorada; and the Chapel of San Miguel. Nearby is the Cenote of Kukuyache. Local crafts are made of pottery. Regarding the regional cuisine, try the delicious poc-chuc (roasted pork).

Sisal
Only 53 kilometers separate this legendary port from the state capitol of Mérida . Sisal, located in the eastern part of Yucatán, was at one time the main port of entry and exit to the rest of the world. The formidable walls raised by ancient settlers as protection against pirates are well worth a visit. Not to be missed is the "Castillo de Sisal", an old castle from the colonial times built to protect against pirate attacks. The beaches, the quiet sea, and the exotic scenery are Sisal's warmest welcome. This is also the destination of beautiful migratory birds who arrive each year, among them the Canadian goose. This is also a fishing village and the main catch is the grouper. You may rent a boat directly with the fishermen.

 

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