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The site of the 12th-century Chichén Itzá

Visit Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

The site of the 12th-century Chichén Itzá

The Yucatán is rich in culture, history and natural scenery.

From the well known archaeological sites of Chichén Itzá and Uxmal to the lesser visited ruins, such as Kabáh and Cobá along the Puuc route, you can take a step back in time and discover the ancient Mayan culture and traditions that were once such an integral part of this fascinating land.

Chichén Itzá

Chichén Itzá is the most famous of the Mayan archaeological sites in the Yucatán, and the best restored, providing a vivid insight into how the city would have looked at its peak. Due to the high numbers of day trippers that engulf the site, we recommend visiting as early in the day as possible for the chance to wander among the towering pyramids in relative peace. The site itself is vast and, although you are no longer allowed to climb any of the structures, it is intriguing to explore.


The smaller and less crowded ruin of Uxmal, to the south of Mérida, has a more mystical feel than Chichén Itzá. Dedicated to the rain god Chac, it is unusual with ornate and intricate murals decorating the temples and many of the ruins remaining uncovered creating a more authentic feel.


Merida, MexicoThe city of Mérida boasts some impressive colonial housing, colorful markets, a 16th century cathedral and an art museum of local crafts. All the main attractions are within easy reach and it is a good base for exploring the surrounding area.

Alternatively, some of the original rural haciendas have been sympathetically converted into hotels, some of which still contain their original farm machinery and offer an interesting insight into a bygone era.

For nature lovers, the stunning underground “cenotes” (sinkholes) dotted all over the Yucatán can provide a refreshing dip, while birders may wish to visit the resident flamingos at Celestun.

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who's been there
Audley Travel Specialist Tyler

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Yucatán Peninsula by contacting one of our Mexico specialists

Places to visit in Yucatán Peninsula

Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting Yucatán Peninsula, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travelers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.

Suggested itineraries featuring Yucatán Peninsula

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Yucatán Peninsula, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Yucatán Peninsula

Places & hotels on the map

    Places in and around Yucatán Peninsula

    Our expert guides to exploring Yucatán Peninsula

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Yucatán Peninsula, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Yucatán Peninsula at its best.

    • A first timer's guide to Chichén Itzá
      Chichén Itzá

      A first timer's guide to Chichén Itzá

      A first timer's guide to Chichén Itzá

      An ancient Mayan capital and the most famous of all the archaeological sites on the Yucatán Peninsula, Chichén Itzá is not to be missed on a trip to Mexico.

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    • Family vacations in Mexico
      Temple of the Warriors, Chichén Itzá

      Family vacations in Mexico

      Family vacations in Mexico

      Audley travel specialist Anna shares her tips for where to go and what to do on a Mexico family vacation. Focusing on the Yucatán Peninsula, she explains how you can combine beach time with wildlife watching and visiting ancient ruins.

      10 min read

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    • What to do in Mexico: our highlights guide
      Teotihuacán, Mexico

      What to do in Mexico: our highlights guide

      What to do in Mexico: our highlights guide

      Mexico’s character is many-sided. From cosmopolitan colonial cities and vibrant markets to mountain wilderness, sleepy Caribbean islands, vast cacti-covered deserts and a wealth of intriguing ancient ruins, specialist Carolyn shares her highlights.

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    Accommodation choices for Yucatán Peninsula

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Yucatán Peninsula. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.