With world class Mayan ruins, beautiful white sand beaches, fantastic diving – both cenotes and coral reefs, and bustling colonial cities the Yucatan Peninsula is a stunning destination.
This 17 day road trip included 3 days of diving on the island of Cozumel and two days of diving cenotes outside of Tulum. Other highlights included the ruin sites of Tulum, Cobá, Chichén Itzá, Uxmal and Palenque and visits to the colonial cities of Mérida and Campeche.
Which Yucatan Mayan Ruins are Worth Your Time?
Post discusses the pros and cons of the regions top ruin sites.
Cozumel – 4 nights
Diving with Scuba Tony, Cozumel
Post discusses logistics and well as the dive sites we visited.
Tulum – 4 nights
Mayan Ruins of Tulum
These ruins are impressive for their magical setting on a bluff overlooking a rocky shore where ultra-blue waters lap over the white sand beach.
Yucatan Outdoors, Tulum
Yucatan Outdoors is an ecological minded outfit offering a range of tours that teach you about the local environment including – kayaking, bicycling, snorkeling and bird watching.
Diving Cenotes with Paulo, Tulum
One of the highlights of a trip to the Yucatan is diving the crystal clear fresh waters of the cenotes.
Biking the Ruins of Cobá
The ruins of Cobá can easily be explored as a daytrip from Tulum or on the way to Chichén Itzá.
Chichén Itzá – 1 night
When is the Best Time to Visit Chichén Itzá?
Post discusses the pros and cons of a morning or afternoon visit, including the pricy pre-opening tour.
Sleeping and Dining at Mayaland, Chichén Itzá
Located on the grounds of the ruin site this is an ultra-convenient place to stay.
Mérida – 2 nights
Sights of Mérida
Mérida, the capital of the Yucatan state, is an old Spanish colonial city with a busy center and market area combined with quiet neighborhoods a short walk from the Plaza Grande.
Uxmal and Around – 1 night
Mayan Ruins of Uxmal
Uxmal, one of the most important of the Mayan archeological sites, is also one of the most rewarding to explore.
Mayan Ruins of Ruta Puuc
Less than 30 minutes from the Uxmal ruins starts a region of smaller Puuc style sites, each with something special to offer.
Sleeping and Dining at the Pickled Onion, Santa Elena
The small hotel and restaurant has cute thatched roof bungalows in a poolside garden setting.
Campeche – 1 night
Overnight in Campeche
Built by the Spaniards in the 16th century, the old town’s tidy streets have no overhead power lines and few exterior signs, just a grid of painted facades, some with peeling paint.
Palenque – 2 nights
Mayan Ruins of Palenque, Chiapas
Plaenque’s open jungle setting is one of the most picturesque of the Mayan ruins – tall towers in green pastures surrounded by massive jungle trees and mountains
Boutique Hotel Quinta Chanabnal, Palenque
The upscale Quinta Chanabnal property, set off the road leading out of Palenque town to the ruins, has beautifully decorated rooms in a quiet jungle setting.
Bacalar – 1 night
To break up the long drive back to the Cancún airport we stayed the night in Bacalar.