Yucatan, Mexico

By | November 25, 2022

Yucatan is a peninsula where three Mexican states are neighbors: Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan. The northern part of Guatemala and Belize hid right there. It is washed by the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The Yucatan has hot, tropical weather and diverse vegetation, from savannahs in the north to impenetrable jungles in the south.

It was Yucatan that was the cradle of the Mayan civilization until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Despite the fact that then the Maya had to endure, in some places in the Yucatan their ancient language is still remembered. And until the very middle of the 20th century, the culture, traditions and cuisine of Yucatan were quite different from the rest of Mexico. Now, after integration, such areas on the Caribbean coast, such as Cancun and Quetumal, cannot be distinguished from “purely Mexican”. And the Riviera Maya, which stretches south of Cancun, is experiencing a period of steady growth driven by tourism.

But still, this place is special. After all, contrary to popular misconception, the Maya never “disappeared”. Most of the Yucatans today are their heirs by blood. The culture, identity, traditions of the Maya are alive away from large cities, where you risk even offending someone by calling him a Mexican.

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How to get there

The flight from Moscow to Yucatan will take 13 and a half hours. As a rule, tourists land at the airport of the popular beach resort of Cancun, which is located just 16 km from the center of the town. From the airport it is easy to get to the right place by bus, taxi or renting a car.

Beaches and resorts of Yucatan

The Yucatan is interesting not only for the monuments of the Mayan culture. The Caribbean coast is, first of all, a wonderful holiday. The Riviera Maya is called the coastline from Tulum to Cancun – sandy white beaches, amazing coral reefs stretching for a thousand kilometers, clear turquoise water through which you can see the rich underwater world – all this is a real paradise for a beach holiday.

Remembering the brochures of travel companies with their glossy pictures, we can safely assure you that this is not fiction. Girls in bikinis under palm trees against the backdrop of sunset – photoshop is not useful here, so beautiful, almost unreal landscapes appear before the eyes of tourists.

The most popular beach resorts Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Sian Kaan with magnificent diving on coral reefs. If you are not new to diving, then you should go to the island Cozumel – it is there that the most popular places for diving are located. Tourists can even take underwater trips on a motorcycle at a depth of 10 meters.

Shopping and souvenirs

For shopping, it is best to go to the fortified cities of Campeche, Valladolid and Merida. Woven shirts, wicker hammocks, a variety of handmade hats – folk crafts are presented here in a wide variety. And in the cities themselves there is something to see.

Entertainment and attractions of Yucatan

About two thousand years ago, the ancient Maya set up their settlements near natural underground reservoirs, because limestone soil absorbs all the precipitation in the Yucatan. Chichen Itza – the main city of the Maya – was formed not far from such settlements. After all, “chichen-itza” in translation means nothing more than “sources of the Itza people”.

The Maya did not sit idle, so the legacy left from them is great, there is something to demonstrate to curious tourists. Many have heard that the tribes had their own script, calendar. They built stone cities and were engaged in agriculture. The Maya are mysterious ancient tribes who left behind a rich heritage and many interesting, and at times eerie, legends. What is worth, for example, their completely ungentlemanly habit of looking for the most beautiful girls, smearing them with blue paint, putting something like a golden hat on their heads and… throwing them into the well. When archaeologists finally got to this well, they found more than 30 thousand of these very golden hats there. Simple calculations on the number of girls dropped there can be done immediately. If the rain god Yum-Chaku really existed, he would flood the whole island in gratitude for such sacrifices. And there are many similar legends – therefore, for those who are interested in the history of the Maya, it will be interesting to get into the ruins of Uxmal, Tulum, Labna, Kounlich and others, which are located about 120 km fromMerida. The oldest building in this city of 16 centuries is a very respectable age.

In the ruins of Uxmal, it is advised to pay attention to the building, dotted with decorative ornaments – the Square of Nuns and the Fortune Teller’s Pyramid – the pyramid goes almost 40 meters high!

Non-stinging bees – do you think this is one of the legends? But no! The most interesting thing is that non-stinging bees give real honey. Anyone who visits the Shelkha water park can try this honey, swim with dolphins, and watch the life of marine life. And in the Shkaret reserve, tourists will be offered an excursion to a turtle farm and a butterfly park. Extreme lovers can swim with whale sharks on Holbox Island.

Cave diving

As you know, the base of the Yucatan is limestone, dug up by many caves. 65 million years ago, a meteorite fell on it from heaven, the island went under water from such a shock. By the way, the death of dinosaurs, as scientists think, is also on the conscience of this very meteorite. As a result of these perturbations, limestone caves were flooded with water, and now these so-called cenotes are a real gift for divers all over the world. The most famous Dos Ojos system is the 213 km underwater dungeon. The Maya used the cenotes as a means of communication with the gods, but now it is just a place of entertainment for tourists.

Isla Mujeres is a great place for snorkelling. The water near this island is clear and teeming with marine life. Extreme lovers may be interested in an excursion to the cave – the sharks’ bedroom. While the sea predators, slow from sleep, will squint their little eyes, you can look far enough and shoot the most interesting shots. But the island does not meet everyone with a hot tropical summer. Those who managed to get in the period from June to October can expect weather troubles in the form of rains and typhoons. Therefore, you need to plan your vacation in advance in order to taste all the benefits of magical lands.

Yucatan, Mexico