Cathedral of San Gervasio
Located at the tip of the peninsula of the same name, the Yucatán State is surrounded by the Quintana Roo State, the Campeche State and the Gulf of Mexico to the North. You will not find a beach with clear waters or impressive reliefs but the richness of an unbeatable historical and cultural heritage without forgetting the best reserves in the country to observe the famous flamingos and other crocodiles. Mérida, the lively and popular capital of the state is a good starting point to visit the region. It is also one of the states of Mexico that offers the most Mayan site as little known as exciting or even drowned by tourism. Take a trip back in time through the archeological sites of Uxmal, Mayapan, Ek Balam or Chichen Itaz to one of the new wonders of the world. It is also an opportunity to discover the famous flamingos in the reserves of Celestùn or Rio Largartos. For more calm and relaxation, stroll through the cities of Valladolid or Izamal straight out of a drawing table of great painter. It is easy to lose two or three weeks to discover this sublime state as beautiful as varied.
Street of Merida
Small charming fishing village on the east coast of Yucatán and a hundred kilometers east of Mérida and in the center of a "Natural Park". We come to enjoy the beach, the tranquility of the village and discover flamingos and other migratory birds. Some fishermen have turned themselves into a tourist guide to explore the lagoon behind the village and even closer to the wader colonies in the shallow waters in search of food. You can also see pelicans, Ibis, Heron and other ducks from Canada. kilometers of white sand beach with a sea more agitated than the Caribbean coastis waiting for you. The village is friendly and exudes good humor. Go there if you can, the sunset is maybe the most beautiful of Yucatán!
Izamal is one of this charming little authentic colonial village that Mexico has to offer. This village
built on ancient Mayan ruins 70 km east of Mérida is atypical. Here, all the houses and the city are painted in yellow and white which gives it a unique,
quiet and warm atmosphere. The Mayan site which is slightly out of the city is unfortunately not showcased or abandoned to his sad fate. In its center the "Convento
de San Antonio" overlooks the city and is unmissable. At the rising and setting of the sun the show is simply beautiful! Izamal is one of our good
surprises in the state of Yucatán.
Ruta Puuc draws a set of archaeological site located south of Mérida on the border of the state of Campeche. This "road" includes Uxmal, first, then, in order, Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak and Labná, to name only the most interesting. Here emigrated Mayans from the regions of Chenes and Rio Bec (the current state of Campeche) these cities were a political and religious coalition that flourished between the VII century and the IX centuries and developed a common architecture, the Puuc style. The big difference in this region is the presence of gentle hills that breaks the monotony of this flat peninsula and the total absence of rivers, lakes or famous cenotes. Uxmal remains the most impressive archaeological site and the largest by the way. The archaeological site of Uxmal is not to be missed under any circumstances, because it is one of the most grandiose and mysterious of Yucatán. Uxmal was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996 and we understand why falling face to face with the "pyramid of the diviner". The site of Kabah is more modest with the "palace of masks" which is a set of 300 masks of Chaac the god of rain represented in different postures. The site of Sayil and Labna are charming and offer interesting little things to discover. Note that there are other Mayan sites on Ruta Puuc that I did not do. Ruta Puuc is a journey back in time through the great history of the Yucatán Mayas.
Valladolid is strategically located between Mérida and Cancun, and not far from the Mayan sites of Chichen Itza or Ek Balam. Its relaxed and lively atmosphere gives it an inescapable charm. These yellow and red pastel colonial low houses and its impressive cathedral overlooking the lively and warm main square are very pleasant. There is a charming little square in the city, so do not be afraid to lose yourself. The covered market is one of the best places to enjoy a local dish where the vendors of each restaurant will give you their menu by calling you but without leaving their kitchen. In short, Valladolid is pleasant, especially if you arrive from the tumultuous Mérida or Cancún festivities and it feels good on the Yucatán road!
Rio Largatos is a small fishing village located on the banks of a huge lagoon in northern Yucatán. Recently, the economy of fishing has been replaced by that of tourism and more particularly the visit of the National Park of Rio Largatos (47 000 ha) which is the refuge of one of the largest colonies of flamingos. To access it, fishermen converted to the lucrative tourism market takes you to discover this huge lagoon with its fauna and flora more than varied! Here you will see crocodiles, pelicans and especially the stars of the place: the Flamingos! The only problem at this magical moment is the presence of a salt factory nearby. The city itself is not exceptional and can be visited quickly.
Juego de pelota
Chichen Itza one of the 7 New Wonders of the New Modern World and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! A few kilometers from Valladolid in the direction of Mérida is a beautiful and ultra touristy Mayan site. Its ruins are spectacular and extend over 300 ha and most buildings have been beautifully restored. The first image of Chichen Itza that you will have is the Kukulkan pyramid that dominates the ancient city. Founded at the beginning of the year 500 by a Mayan group from where the name was "Itza" and "Chichen" meaning "well". At its peak between the year 750 and the year 1200 AD, the site radiated throughout the Maya area. The second most impressive thing about the site is the size of the "Juego de pelota", where matches could be played over a day and finish in a bloodbath until the sacrifice and beheading of the winners! We advise you to take a guide on the spot for more information because we should make you a history dissertation to tell you all the beauty of the place. Take note that Chichen Itza is the most tourist site of Yucatan and that it can welcome no less than 8000 people in high season so it is essential to come to the opening to enjoy and stroll between the ruins without having to support the groups come by coach from Cancun and Playa Del Carmen . For those who like the proximity to strangers and photos filled people making selfies in front of the pyramid we recommend the time crenos between 10h and 17h30. For others you know what to do.
The archaeological site of Mayapán (do not confuse it with the village of Mayapán) is located about forty kilometers south of Mérida is one of the good surprises of the Yucatán State. Much less and especially less touristy than Chichen Itza or even Uxmal. This is one of the few sites where it has climbed all the pyramids. As for history, Mayapán is considered as the last Mayan capital of the post-classical period (1200-1450 after D-Day). The main building is the "Kukulkan Castle" and is over 18 meters high. Mayapán completes the route of fabulous archaeological sites due that Yucatán offers.
The archaeological site of Ek Balam is located about thirty kilometers north of Valladolid in the direction of Rio Lagartos. "Ek Balam" means "Black jaguar" and it is thought that the city was occupied around 500 BC. The excavations of the Park began only very recently in 1994 and is still ongoing at present. One of the peculiarities of the city is that it was surrounded by a wall and fought like Cobá against the Toltecs. Note that the viewpoint above the Great Pyramid is sublime with a view overlooking the city and the surrounding rainforest. And the big plus of Ek Balam is the presence of the super Cenote X'Canché (paying) 1.5 km from the archaeological site accessible by bike-taxi and where activities such as abseiling and snorkeling are managed by the community. If you were still hesitant about Ek Balam on your trip, we hope you have given two good reasons to go.
Homún is a small village south of Mérida and away from usual tourist routes. So why you should come in Homún? Homún is the village with 100 cenotes. Here you will find these more or less large natural pools typical of the Yucatán Peninsula that provides fresh water to most homes. Once there the best way is to travel by motorcycle taxi (do not worry, there are plenty!). Conter 25 to 40 pesos to visit a cenote and be able to swim in places more or less magical! So if you are in Mérida and you want to go for a dip, Homún is the place for you!