Welcome to Yucatan
Learn the secrets of 16 archaeological zones of the Mayan Culture dating from different periods with different architectural styles.
Of all ancient American cultures, the Mayan was the most extensive in time, outstanding for its advanced knowledge in different sciences and the only one capable of developing a writing systems based on glyphs throughout the Americas. Some of its most interesting contributions we can mention are: the advancement in mathematics, the vigesimal numerical systems, the creation of zero, their astronomical contributions, the solar calendar, medicine, and architecture among many others.
- Chichen itza, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988 and one of the Seven New Wonder of the World since 2007. It features the most imposing work of all: The Pyramid of Kukulkan.
- Uxmal, knows as “The City Which Was Built Three Times”, declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1996.
- Along the Puuc Route you can visit 6 archaeological sites and 2 caves: Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, X-Lapak, Labna, Okintok, and the caves of Calcehtok and Loltun.
- During spring and autumn equinoxes, on March 21 the former and between September 21 and 23 the latter, you can enjoy two light-projection phenomena in the Temple of Seven Dolls in Dzibilchaltun and the pyramid of Kukulkan in Chichen Itza.
NATURE AND ADVENTURE
Yucatan features jungle, coast, cenotes, caves, mangroves and rivers that will make you forget the hustle of the big cities.
Visit any of the 3 biosphere reserves: Celestun, Rio Lagartos or Petenes, where you can carry out activities such as flora and fauna sightings and karaying, among others.
Visit our Yucatan coast and discover white sands beaches, emerald green waters, exquisite gastronomy, ecotourism activates, handicrafts and tours, water sports such as snorkeling and paddle board.
- Kayaking in mangroves and rivers.
- Flamingos sighting in Celestun and Rio Lagartos.
- Cenote diving.
- Water activities in Progreso, such as recreational fishing and kitesurfing.
- Photographic tour to shoot the most impressive images of Yucatan such as the sunsets, Las Coloradas and an endless array of unique experiences.
CULTURE AND GASTRONOMY
Geography and history kept the Yucatan Peninsula isolated from the rest of the country, so its cultural manifestations evolved differently, influenced in many cases by its commercial dealings with France, Cuba and the American city of New Orleans.
The Yucatecan trova highlights the mixture of rhythms as bambuco, bolero, jarana, clave and some others.
Typical dresses are also worn to dress up in festivities such as the vaquerias dances of the patron saints’ fiestas. For more elegant and stylized occasions, the garments are complemented with filigree gold jewelry.
One of most important fiestas is celebrated to honor the deceased, known as Hanal Pixan or “food for he souls” carried out on November 1 and 2.
Food is one of the enthusiasm-arising reasons among those visiting Yucatan: the wide variety, the history of the dishes and the endemic ingredients make the Yucatecan gastronomy an important element any visitor.
Pibil pork, salbutes, and panuchos prepared with hand-made corn tortillas; papadzules, lima soup, turkey in black stuffing or chilmole and stuffed cheese, as well as poc-chuc, are somo of the regional specialties you can’t miss tasting.
Most of Yucatan haciendas in the 19th century produced Henequen, known as green gold, which was processed and exported in the form of rope and string.
The trip through Yucatan would be incomplete without a visit to the state´s haciendas, as many of them have been turned into beautiful luxury hotels or museums which provide a glimpse of the colonial era, and many others remain unrestored, creating special scenarios for photography aficionados of those seeking different stages for their weddings or events.
In the last decade of the twentieth century, haciendas went through an uprising of popularity and splendor, making them now a place of perfect harmony for rest and meditation, but especially to offer visitors unique experiences.
47 miles away from Merida, we find the Magical Town of Izamal, whose name means "Dew wich descends from the sky". It is known as the City of the Three Cultures, because on it converge three historical periods: the Pre-Hispanic era, the Colonial era and the present day, all in a harmonious visual rhythm of a single color: Yellow.
- Fraciscan Convent of San Antonio de Padua, which has the second largest closed atrium in the world.
- Night show "Lights Paths" with video mapping projected on casonas and the Convent of San Antonio de Padua.
Picturesque colonial city, located between the city of Merida and the city of Cancun, just 25 miles away from the majestic Chichen Itza. It is today a harmonious set of civil and religious architecture, including its fortified convent of San Bernandino de Siena, XVI century, and its cathedral of San Gervasio, baroque set of early eighteenth century and many other monuments, such as the Municipal Palace, the temple of San Juan de Dios, Santa Ana, San Roque, Santa Lucia, La Candelaria, El Telar and El Parque Central, declared in 2012 Magical Town.
- The Zaci, Xkeken and Dzitnup cenotes.
- The Calzada de los Frailes.
- The Convent of San Bernardino.
- Its gastronomy such as lomitos and longaniza.
From the Mayan dzonoot, which means “Hole with water”, they are a proof of the fascinating nature in Yucatan. A cenote is a natural well of crystal clear water, sacred to the Mayans, as they represented the gateway to the underworld or “Xibalbá”. There are more than three thousand cenotes in Yucatan and only about 100 can be visited by tourist.
There are cenotes for all tastes, from those operated by cooperatives and communities to private ones which combine the experience with activities such as flora and fauna sighting, free swimming, snorkeling, rappel, zip-line, cave diving and kayaking. Some of them still preserve archaeological vestiges as they were Mayan ceremonial centers.
There are different kinds of cenotes: open, closed, and semi-closed or with a cave.
- Yaal Utzil, Suytun, Tzan Ujun, Kat, San Ignacio, Grutas y Cenote de Santa María, Cenote Santa Rosa, Sambulá, X’kekén, Samulá, Chihuán, Balmí, Canunché y Yakunah.
- Zací, Lol Há, Ik kil, X’Canché.