Magical towns in Yucatan, Mexico.

Léelo en Español hasta abajo 👇🏼🇲🇽

Yucatán is magical! In May 2017, me and my family decided to take a road trip around the Mexican region of Yucatan and it’s two magical towns. This post is an insight to our experience and why you should consider these places if travelling to Mexico!

IZAMAL

Firstly we visited the  ‘Yellow Painted Town‘ known as Izamal. This is a charming town considered as one of the 111 ‘Magical Towns’ in Mexico (Pueblos Mágicos in Spanish).

It’s an award given to Mexican towns that bask in their natural beauty, cultural riches or historical relevance to the country. It is one of the reasons why Izamal has made part of my list of places to go.
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s://thelocallatingal.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/img_0290-1.jpg”> Located in the heart of Yucatán Peninsula, 45 min away from Merida. Izamal is famously called the ‘Yellow Painted Town’ because in 1993, Pope John Paul II planned to perform mass at the local Cathedral. This inspired the locals to especially prepare and paint the town yellow for his arrival.

How to get there?

In regards to getting to Izamal, it’s fairly simple. There are two different ways to get to Izamal. The first one I recommend is to pay for an ADO ticket bus to Merida, the price depends on the season of the year but you can get a good deal using your an student ID. Once you get to Merida its just as easy to get to Izamal, just take a minibus (or colectivo) to Merida at calle 67, between 50 and 52, there’s a bus every hour.

Cost: $27.00 pesos for a colectivo
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is driving. We drove for 3 hours in our minivan from Cancun to Izamal all along ‘Mérida cuota’ highway, and paid a toll. If you are not in a rush and have a flexible agenda you can take ‘Merida libre’. A road which is two hours longer but is free.

Toll cost: $276.00 pesos
Izamal is not a big town but when we finally got there we were a little bit lost. Most of the locals know their town very well and helped us with directions; even a police officer was trying to join our trip and wanted to take us to a few cenotes around there! Don’t worry, if you are planning to go and unsure about something, there are a lot of helpful people residing in the area.

Where to stay?

You can see most of what Izamal has to offer in a day. But if you want to enjoy more of this mustard yellow town, I recommend staying at Hotel Hacienda Izamal like us. We stayed at this lovely hotel for a night. It’s a cozy, clean and nice yellow hotel with a swimming pool, necessary for the unbelievable weather in Yucatán. They also have a/c in the rooms, free towels and free bikes to use and ride around the town.

Cost: $500+ per night for 2 double beds
Activities

A popular activity at this town is explore by foot its cobblestone streets and photograph the yellow frontages.

Visit El atrio del Convento de Izamal. A beautiful ex-convent and impressive peace of history in Yucatán, built over a Mayan Pyramid. It’s a unique mixture of Spanish and Mayan history.

Cost: Free! In the center of the town there’s a small Pyramid which is open to the public and people can still climb. It’s called Kinich Kak Moo Pyramid and it gives a panoramic view of the city.  It might not be as big or stunning as Chichén Itzá or Coba but one of the most unique because is within the town.

Cost: Free!!! For me it felt like time stopped at Izamal. Especially while we sat and chilled at the main square. It’s located right next to the convent, from where you can observe the local life around you. This place is perfect to runaway from the city for a few days.

Where to eat?

Later in the afternoon we went for dinner to a popular restaurant with the locals called Kinich El sabor de Izamal’. It is a popular restaurant 3 blocks away from the main square. The menu is small but really nice and it has reasonable prices. The restaurant has a souvenir shop inside as well. There you can get a free homemade tequila shooooot!

Cost: $150.00+ per person Don’t forget to try the local market’s menu, for me they are as good as any restaurant and way cheaper. If looking for some local dishes, this is the right place. Here I had best salbutes of the region!

Cost: Less than $70.00 pesosVALLADOLID
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e town was declared in 2012 one of the 111 ‘Magic towns’ in Mexico.
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a charming village in Yucatán located 45 min away from the capital. Full of bright colors, nice people, and delicious food is just the beginning of how to describe this lovely town. If you are looking for an authentic experience of Mexico, then Valladolid should be on your travel list.Where to stay?

For accommodation in Valladolid we checked into Hotel 41, at Calle 41 (not kidding haha). It was a clean, brand new hotel with an outside swimming pool, staff were really nice as well. Good for car owners and road-trip travelers. Rooms look quite sad and clinical because everything is white, not my favorite hotel but funcional.
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0.00+ por nocheActivities

In the morning you can enjoy a homemade drink in a coffee shop close to Francisco Cantón Rosado square, which is the main park in Valladolid.  Or try a coconut ice cream during the warm afternoon.

Cost: aprox $20.00 pesos
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a href=”https://thelocallatingal.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/fullsizerender-2.jpg”> Even though it is a small village, it is full of history. Containing historical buildings like the mayor hall, where you can find an small historical art gallery in the second floor.

Cost: FREE!
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San Gervasio cathedral located between Calle 39 to 41. Even if you are not religious you should visit it. It has simple but beautiful details inside.

Cost: FREE!
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a href=”https://thelocallatingal.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/dsc_4942-3.jpg”> We went to Cenote Zaci located in Valladolid, calle 37 x 39. This one of the most popular cenotes around this area because of it’s privileged Zone, offering a freshwater underground and illuminated cenote. Just above the cenote there’s a traditional food restaurant with a delicious menu, and good value for money. Also there is no fee for the cenote if you eat at the restaurant.

Cost: $150.00 pesos for a meal. Atraditional Yucatecan slider platters was enough for 6 people and less than $450.00 pesos. 
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s://thelocallatingal.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/img_0594-1.jpg”> Cenote Maya Park
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over and above my expectations.

It is located 45 minutes away from Valladolid in the village of Kantunil, lost in the jungle. Cenote Maya Park is an ecopark that preserves the Mayan native spirit. It has 3 different zip lines inside with different highs, the highest one is 7 meters. You can also practice abseiling and snorkel. If you are not attached to a specific schedule and you are willing to experience new things, then this cenote is a must visit place for travellers.

Cost: $350 for locals and over a $1300 pesos for foreign travelers. But totally worth it.

Abseiling inside the cenote

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ahamal

I was amazed by this Cenote which is probably my favorite to date. It is also known as Selva Maya and it is located 30 minutes away from Valladolid in the middle of Yucatán’s jungle.

At Zahamal you can find a Mexican Hacienda, now a delicious buffet restaurant. It’s perfect for a Mexican dinner ($$) surrounded by a lush jungle forest,  then chilling and swimming in the cold turquoise pool. For an adrenaline rush it has a small step platform where you can jump from and also a natural waterfall inside. Its definitely worth a stop and a short tour.

Cost: $100.00 mx for the entrance Also experience the nightlife in Valladolid. We ended up in a nice bar close to cerrada 39. Different from The Riviera Maya but fun.

If you decide to visit any of these magical places, I’d be happy to hear of you personal experience. Cheers!

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Pueblos mágicos de Yucatán.

Los pueblos mágicos en el estado de Yucatan solo son dos, Valladolid e Izamal.

En Mayo de este año, mi familia y yo decimos irnos un fin de semana a visitar esta pequeña region de Yucatán y unos cuantos cenotes en el camino.
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a sobre mis actividades recomendadas, precios aproximados y del porqué deberías de visitar estos pueblos mexicanos. Espero que te sea de útil.

IZAMAL

El primer pueblo mágico de este viaje fue el pintoresco Izamal. Ubicado en el corazón de Yucatán, Izamal forma parte del grupo de pueblos mágicos que tiene México, en total 111 pueblos. Este es un reconocimiento dado a los pueblos mexicanos los cuales poseen un encanto natural, una gran riqueza cultural o relevancia histórica en el país.

Se le considera ‘La Ciudad de las 3 culturas’ ya que reúne al México prehispánico, colonial y contemporáneo. Además de su cultura y autenticidad, lo que más caracteriza a este lugar son sus fachadas amarillas. Las cuales se cuenta que fueron pintadas y arregladas para recibir al Papa Juan Pablo II que daría una misa en 1993.¿Como llegar a Izamal?

Para llegar a Izamal es muy simple. Hay muchas formas de hacerlo.

La primera es por autobús ADO hasta Mérida, el precio del ticket varía según la temporada y puede ser incluso más barato con credencial de estudiante. Una vez en Mérida solo tomas un colectivo, los cuales están en la calle 67, entre calle 50 y 52. Salen cada hora.

Precio: $27.00 pesos
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por carro particular. Manejar por 3 horas de Cancun a Izamal por la carretera ‘Mérida Cuota’ pagando un peaje. Pero si tu no llevas ninguna prisa, puedes tomar la ‘Mérida libre’. Te tomara un poco mas de tiempo pero es gratis.

Precio de peaje: $276 pesos
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a href=”https://thelocallatingal.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/img_0400-2.jpg”&gt; **Para mí la idea de ir puebleando es pararse en todas partes. Lo bueno es que comprar fruta fresca y artesanias por aquí es muy barato. Ademas piensa que consumiendo local ayudas directamente a los habitantes del pueblo.**

¿Donde hospedarte?

Puedes visitar todo lo que el pueblo en un solo día pero si quieres disfrutar un poco mas de este mágico pueblo. Nosotros nos hospedamos en el Hotel Hacienda Izamal. Si tu plan es dividir gastos, esta es una buena opción de hacerlo. Cuentan con alberca y a/c por si no aguantas el insoportable calor. Además esta céntrico y puedes hacer uso de las bicicletas.

Precio: $500.00 pesos por una habitación con 2 camas doble (4 personas)Actividades

Este es un pueblo que lo que tiene pequeño lo tiene de hermoso. La gente local fue de mucha ayuda para encontrar y recomendar lugares. Incluso un policia trato de unirsenos para llevarnos a un cenote. La gente es un amor aqui

Una de las actividades mas populares de hacer en Izamal es recorrer a pie sus calles empedradas y fotografiar sus fachadas amarillas.

Otra actividad es El atrio del Convento. Un hermoso exconvento e impresionante obra histórica, ya que esta construida sobre un pirámide Maya. Actualmente está en restauración, pero conserva su mezcla única Española y Maya.

Precio: GRATIS!!
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tro de Izamal hay un pequeña pirámide abierta a todo el publico llamada Kinich Kak Moo y lo mejor de esto es que aun se puede escalar. En la cima de la pirámide se aprecia la vista panorámica del pueblo. Claro no es un sitio arqueológico tan imponente o grande como Chichen pero tiene su propio encanto.

Precio: GRATIS!!
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a href=”https://thelocallatingal.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/img_0370-4.jpg”&gt; Aquí el tiempo se detiene, es el lugar perfecto para escapar de tu rutina y relajarte. Comprate una nieve y disfruta de la tarde en el parque principal a un lado del ex-convento . Me gusta ver a la gente local viviendo su rutina y volverme solo una espectadora.

NO RECOMIENDO los carruajes de caballo, estos te llevan por un pequeño tour en el pueblo y a tiendas de artesanías. Sinceramente no lo haría. Los caballos se ven miserables y cansados. Imagínate que pasan mas de 12 horas al sol.

¿Donde comer?

Según los locales, uno de los mejores restaurantes de Izamal se llama ‘Kinich El sabor de Izamal’ ($$).Este es un restaurante muy popular donde se come rico y está a 3 cuadras del parque principal. El menú es básico pero muy sabroso. Tienen platillos y postres deliciosos que jamas me hubiera animado a probar.

Precio: $150.00+ por persona
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para mi es mi restaurante 5 estrellas! La comida aquí es igual de buena que cualquier restaurante y muchísimo mas barata. Si buscas platillos de la región, el mercado es la mejor opción. Aquí probé ¡los mejores salbutes de Yucatan!

Precio: menos de $70.00 pesos por un desayuno. 
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s://thelocallatingal.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/img_0391-3.jpg”>VALLADOLID

Valladolid el segundo pueblo magico de Yucatan, habla por si solo.

Esta a 45 minutos de la capital del estado y a 2 horas y media de Cancun. Este hermsos pueblo esta llena de gente trabajadora, amable y sonriente. Si tu plan es visitar un lugar lleno de autenticidad ese es Valladolid, ¡ya no le busques!

¿Donde me hospede?

El check-in fue en el Hotel 41, en la calle 41. Un hotel limpio, recién abierto y practico para las personas que viajan de pasado en carro particular o fans de los road-trips. Las habitación son super básicas, pero funcionales. Cumplen su función principal pero no es de mis favoritos.

Precio: $200.00+ por habitacion doble.

Actividades

Cenote Zaci

El primer lugar al que llegamos fue al Cenote Zaci. Ubicado en la calle 37 con 39. Este es de los cenotes mas populares de la región por tener el privilegio de estar dentro del pueblo a unas cuadras del Centro. Es un cenote turístico debido a que hay que pagar por el acceso. Otra opcion es consumir dentro del resaurante que esta arriba y así ya no pagar por la entrada al cenote.

Precio: aprox $150.00 pesos por persona. Nosotros pedimos un un plato mixto de platillos típicos por menos de $450.00 pesos (6 personas)
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s://thelocallatingal.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/img_0594-3.jpg”> En la mañana puedes disfruta de un café artesanal cerca del parque Francisco Cantón Rosado, el parque principal de Valladolid frente a la catedral en el centro del pueblo. Por las tarde prueba mejor una raspado o nieve de coco.

Precio: aprox $20.00 pesos
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cio Municipal, esta justo frente al parque principal y en el segundo piso puede observar una pequeña galería de pinturas históricas al oleo. Ademas desde los balcones se tiene una vista muy bonita.

Precio: GRATIS!
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s://thelocallatingal.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/dsc_4942-4.jpg”> La Catedral. Esta es una obra colonial que seas o no católico debes visitar. Tiene un interior muy sencillo pero lindo y modesto. Fácil le hace competencia a otras catedrales coloniales.

Precio: GRATIS!
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k.

Este cenote, de verdad es que supero mis expectativas. Cenote Maya Park esta perdida en medio de la jungla a 45 minutos de Valladolid en la comunidad de Kantunil.

Este parque ecológico ahora esta bajo la supervición de Alltournative pero que aun preserva un poco de la espiritualidad nativa que muchos buscan en los cenotes. Cuenta con 3 tirolesas de diferentes alturas. También se puede practicar un poco de snorkel (es un cenote cerrado por lo que no cuenta con mucha entrada de luz) e incluso rappel. Ademas tiene un pequeño restaurante con comida hecha por mujeres locales.

Precio: Locales: $350.00 pesos entrada sencilla. Turistas: Apox $1,300.00 pesos
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jado de la carretera principal, pero por el que vale la pena desviarse. ¡Al final nos regalaron margaritas!

Cenote Zahamal

También conocido como Hacienda Selva Maya. Este cenote se encuentra a 30 minutos de Valladolid, en medio de la jungla Yucateca, por lo que crea una atmósfera perfecta de relajación.

Si lo que te gusta es la adrenalina, este cenote cuenta con una plataforma de 4-5 metro de altura, desde donde puedes saltar o también nadar bajo la pequeña cascada natural que se forma dentro del cenote rodeado por la densa selva y aguas frías color turquesa. Este cenote subterráneo es probablemente uno de mis favoritos. Aquí puedes encontrar ademas del hermoso cenote, un restaurant tipo buffet que sirve comida típica de la región ($$).

Definitivamente vale la pena hacer esta pequeña parada.

Precio: $100 pesos la entrada al cenote
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en la noche fuimos al centro a un bar cerca de cerrada 39, tiene muy buen ambiente y ricas botanas. Claro, no es como la vida nocturna en la Riviera pero el punto es pasársela bien.
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tps://thelocallatingal.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/img_0637-6.jpg”>Claro qué hay más lugares y cosas que hacer en Yucatán, pero estas son mis recomendaciones para un pequeño roadtrip. Si ya visitaste el lugar, ¡me gustaría conocer tu experiencia!

The most beautiful cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula

Léelo en Español hasta abajo 👇🏼🇲🇽

Cenotes are the Mayan source of life. A door to the underground world.

Here is a list of my favorite Cenotes! Not in any particular order as every one is unique and they all make the list for different reasons. I recommend you at least check a couple of these out if travelling around the Yucatán peninsula!

Cenote Popol Vu

Cenote Popol Vu is located on the Cenotes route close to Puerto Morelos, around 20 minutes from Cancun. It’s not the clearest of water, but maybe that because the cenote itself is 40 meters deep! Being an open cenote, it is a good place to simply chill on a sun bed, drink a few beers and swim. It has a zip line and a 5 meter high platform to jump, and it is also one of the cheapest Cenotes around.

Cost: $70 mx at the entrance and you can bring you own lunch or food is available onsite for a decent price.

Ik’ kil Probably the most famous of the cenotes in Yucatán. This is mainly due to its size and location. Being on the route to Chichén Itzá from Cancun and Playa del Carmen, this cenote is a common stop off for tourists and is a part of most tours heading out to Chichén. Although fairly busy, the size compensates for that and there is also a platform to jump in for the adrenaline junkies out there.

Verde Lucero Here you can have the perfect day out. Located a short drive away from Cancun at “the cenotes’ route” in Puerto Morelos, this cenote is a hidden gem. Here you can have your own BBQ, rent hammocks for a little as $50 mx pesos and even practice your diving skills without the hassle of a long queue. Not to mention the cenote has a zip line that plunges you into the water! The tour groups do visit this cenote but we found that they didn’t stick around for long, giving us most of the day totally alone here. If coming here I’d recommend bringing a snorkel mask, if lucky enough you might spot the famous turtle that lives here!

Cost: $100 mx locals. $150 foreign visitors

Samula y Dzinup These two cenotes are located in the same park, just 30 minutes away driving from the beautiful village of Valladolid. Surrounded by fresh air in the middle of the dense jungle, Samula and Dzinup will bring you the best experience of a totally underground cenote. You’ll luckily get a free fish pedicure in the center of Dzinup.

Cost: $250 mx includes the entrance of both cenotes

Cenote Zahamal Cenote Zahamal is probably my favorite cenote. Also known as Selva Maya, it is located 30 minutes away from Valladolid in the middle of Yucatán’s jungle. There you can find a Mexican Hacienda, now a delicious buffet restaurant. It’s perfect for dinner, chilling, and a swim in the clear blue water. For an adrenaline rush it has a small step platform where you can jump from and a natural waterfall inside. It truly is a must see cenote.

Cenote Zaci Cenote Zaci is located in the village on Valladolid between Calle 37 and 39, this one of the most popular cenotes around this area because of it’s privileged Zone, offering a freshwater underground and illuminated cenote. Just above the cenote there’s a tradicional food restaurant with a delicious menu, and good value for money.

Cost: No cost if you order food from the restaurant

Also check this out 10 of the best hidden treasures in Yucatán

Dzibilchaltun Cenote Xlacah 

Giving a sight that’s worth a visit. Dzibilchaltun is a small Mayan complex located only 30 min away from Merida. It has a cenote inside called Xlakah and is just a few meters away from the main temple. It is a beautiful green fresh water cenote. It is actually soooo nice to visit Dzibilchaltun during a hot day! Get your swimsuit ready.

Cenote Maya Park

This cenote was over and above my expectations. It is located 45 minutes away from Valladolid in the village of Kantunil, lost in the jungle. Cenote Maya Park is an ecopark that preserves the Mayan native spirit. It has 3 different zip lines inside, the highest one is 7 meters. You can also practice abseiling and snorkel. If you are not attached to a specific schedule and you are willing to experience new things, then this cenote is a must visit place for travellers.

Cost: $350 mx local visitor. $1300 mx foreign visitors.

Caleta Tan Kah A small, private cenote located at caleta tan kah beach club, just outside tulum. The great thing about this cenote is that it’s no more than 100 meters away from a white sand beach and crystal clear waters! To access the cenote you need a day pass to the beach club offering food, drinks, beds on the beach and wash facilities. This day trip is well worth it.

Cost: $150 mx day pass


Cenotes

Estos paraísos de agua fresco son la fuente de la vida para los mayas. Un portal al inframundo.

Existen mas de 2200 cenotes registrados, pero aquí está la lista de algunos de mis cenotes favoritos. No tienen ningún orden en particular. Todos son super diferentes y tienen su propio atractivo. Si vas de paso por aquí al menos checa un par de estos.

Cenote Popol Vu

El Cenote Popol Vu está ubicado en la ruta de los cenotes en Puerto Morelos y a 30-45 minutos de Cancún. Puede que no sea el Cenote con el agua más clara, pero esto se debe sólo a que el Cenote tiene más de 40 metros de profundidad. Siendo un Cenote abierto, este es una buena opción para simplemente relajarte en un camastro, tomar unas chelitas y nadar. Tienen una tirolesa y una plataforma de 5 metro de alto desde donde puedes saltar. Por un muy buen precio. Ademas puedes llevar tu propio lunch o comprar en el restaurante, donde los precios están muy decentes.

Precio: $70.00 pesos la entrada.

Cenote Sagrado Azul Ik’ kil Este probablemente uno de los cenotes más populares de la península. Mejor conocido por quedar de paso por la ruta entre Yucatán-Cancún/Playa del Carmen. Está es una parada muy turística y común cuando tomas el tour a Chichén Itzá, exactamente a 3 km de distancia. Un Cenote muy hermoso, con vegetacion que cae desde lo mas alto del cenote en forma de cascada. Super concurrido, aunque lo compensa su gran tamaño. El Cenote Ik’ kil También tiene una plataforma desde donde te puedes realizar clavados, si eso te la adrenalina no te asusta.

Verde Lucero El cenote Verde Lucero queda perfecto para un día fuera de la ciudad, pero tampoco tan lejos de ella. Ubicado en la ruta de los cenotes en Puerto Morelos, este Cenote es una gema escondida. Aquí puedes tener tus propias carnes asadas o snacks, meter tu nevera y rentar una hamaca por menos de $50.00. Aqui también puedes snorkelear un poco y aventarte de las 2 diferentes plataformas o de la tirolesa.

Precio: $100.00 pesos para locales. $150.00 pesos para extranjeros.

Cenotes Samula y Dzitnup Estos dos cenotes estan ubicados dentro del mismo parque ecológico. Tan solo a 30 minutos en carro desde Valladolid, se llega por la carretera al pueblo de Dzitnup, Yuc. Poco despues del cenote Sahamal. Estos cenotes están rodeados de una densa jungla y aguas frescas y cristalinas. Cambiarte de cenote solo son 5 minutos caminando.

Samula y Dzinup te daran unas de las mejores experiencia en cenotes subterraneos y con suerte hasta un fish-pedicure gratis.

Precio: $240.00 pesos por la entrada a los dos cenotes.

Cenote Sahamal Este cenote es uno de mis favoritos y es mejor conocido como Cenote Selva Maya. Esta ubicado a 30 minutos de Valladolid y a 1 km de Dzinup. Rodeado de una tropical selva, aquí hay una hacienda que sirve deliciosa comida típica de la región perfecta para la hora de la comida.

Dentro del Cenote se aprecia un cenote semi-abierto, aguas cristalinas, una pequeña cascada que se forma naturalmente y una plataforma desde la que pueden tirarte clavados.

¡Un cenote que debes visitar!

Precio:$120.00 pesos por persona

Cenote Zaci

El cenote Zaci, cuenta con una ubicación privilegiada y céntrica pues se encuentra a pocas cuadras del parque principal de Valladolid, entre la calle 37 y 39. Debido a esta ubicación resulta ser de los cenotes más concurridos de la region.

Ofrece un cenote abierto y completamente iluminado. Lleno de raíces que caen desde la superficie del cenote. Mientras que en la parte de arriba puedes degustar de la comida típica yucateca. Buena, rica y barata.

Precio: $0.00 pesos, yo no pague nada por consumir primero en el restaurante

Dzibilchaltun Cenote Xlacah

Visitar este mini centro arqueológico es un must do! Dzibilchaltun es un complejo Maya llamado Xlakah, muy pequeño en comparación con lugares tan imponentes como Chichén Itzá. Este cenote está ubicado en la carretera Mérida-Progreso a 30 min de Mérida. Y cuenta con unos cuantos vestigios mayas. Para terminar tu pequeña aventura, este sitio cuenta con un cenote. Necesario para sobrevivir los 35-40 centígrados en Yucatan. Ideal para refrescarte.

Precio: GRATIS los domingos para mexicanos. $139.00 pesos para extranjeros

Cenote Maya Park Este cenote esta cañon! Superó todas mis expectativas definitivamente. Se encuentra a 45 minutos de Valladolid, camino al pueblo de Kantunil, perdido en la jungla. Cenote Maya Park es un parque ecológico que pretende conservar un poco de tradición y cultura nativa. Cenote MAya park es un cenote completamente subterraneo, cuenta con 3 diferentes tirolesas, (3, 5 y 7 metro de altura) y ademas se puede practicar un poco de snorkel y rapel (25 metros de altura)!

Si tienes la oportunidad de darte esta escapada, hazlo! Debido a su confusa ubicación, es preferible buscarlo en maps y no ir a las prisas. Un poco caro pero vale la pena 100%

Precio: $350.00 pesos locales. $1300.00 pesos extranjeros.

Caleta Tan Kah

Este pequeño cenote de aguas verdes y cristalinas está localizado en Caleta Tan Kah. El cenote está a 7 minutos en carro del centro de Tulum, cerca de la ruinas arqueológicas. Caleta Tan Kah cuenta con un precioso cenote y ademas una de las mejores playas en Tulum a no más de 100 metros de distancia uno del otro. Para pasar un rato a gusto y con mas privacidad.

Para llegar a este cenote es muy sencillo, solo hay que pagar un la entrada, el cual te incluye camastros en el club de playa, acceso a la misma y al cenote. Vale mucho la pena. Lo malo de esto es que no se puede ingresar alimentos ni bebidas.

Precio: $150.00 por persona.

Y estas opciones son solo algunos de los cenotes mas hermosos de la región.

10 of the best hidden treasures in Yucatán 

When people think about Mexico, most of them just picture Cancun. Beaches and margaritas come to mind. I’m writing this to tell you it is so much more than that.

Mexico is a country rich in culture, traditions and the most welcoming people. It will always be a home for expats and unstoppable travellers in search for unseen places. Just a few hours away from Cancun, you can find the beautiful and relaxed Yucatán.

Before Mexico was formed, the land in which I proudly call home was inhabited by many different civilizations. The civilization in Yucatán were known as Mayans. Since always the Mayan civilization took care of the land. They saw the beauty in it and knew the circle of life. The land to them had no owner. These people were living in a virgin paradise just enjoying the richness of the place and looking after all living things.

In 1540 Francisco de Montejo and the Spanish Conquistadors came with different beliefs from the Mayan people. They came to conquer and teach not only the Mayan population but the rest of Mexico too. The Spanish settlers taught them new traditions, religion (converted from polytheistic to believe just in Christianity) and stopped the sacrificial rituals. Nowadays Yucatán is one of the most ancient and beautiful colonial regions in Mexico. Not to forget the only one with marquesitas (just give them a chance!).

These places below are just a few of  my favorite hidden treasures in Yucatán . I hope you enjoy them as I do. They are waiting for you to explore.

 

Mérida




Mérida is the capital of Yucatán, and is best known as the ‘White City’.

The reason for the name is because of the common use of limestone for building and front decorations. Also, with its fine Spanish styled porches full of vibrant colors, it has became one of the preserved colonial cities of Mexico.

Mérida has the best of both, in places it feels like a modern city but the history is just around the corner.

If you are looking for a little bit of culture, I recommend you visit St Ildephonsus Cathedral, the ‘Centro Histórico’ and art galleries close to the city center. Where you can appreciate first class performances for a reasonable price.

At the Centro Hisorico you can find ‘Plaza Grande’. Which is one of the main squares in Merida. There you can get a nice cold drink and enjoy the folkloric dance presented by locals during the weekend.

Mérida is for me is the perfect base for road trips around Yucatán. It is also one of the hottest places I know. It has dry hot weather most part of the year. A normal summer day can be around 35 degrees, so stay hydrated. For fresh delicious fruit, go to the main local market.

 

Valladolid


Valladolid is the most charming village in Yucatán. The colors, the people, the nature and the food are just the beginning to describe this lovely town. If you are looking for an authentic experience of Mexico, then Valladolid should be on your travel list.

Located close to the ruins of Chichén Itzá and Ek Bakama. There are several clear water Cenotes around, like Cenote Zaci, Oxman, Xieken and Samula. (Have a look to My list of favorite cenotes!) If you have time my advice is to book a place in Valladolid for a night, and you can enjoy your morning with a homemade drink in a coffee shop close to Francisco Cantón Rosado square, it is the main park in Valladolid.

Even though it is a small village, it is full of history. Containing historical buildings like the mayor hall, art museums and the emblematic San Gervasio cathedral located between Calle 39 to 41.

The town was declared in 2012 one of the 111  ‘Magic towns’ in Mexico. Which is an initiative led by Mexico’s government to improve and increase the tourism in these beautiful towns. Totally worth your time.

 

 

Izamal


Izamal was also named as one of the 111 ‘Magic Towns’ in Mexico ( Pueblos Mágicos in Spanish). It’s an award given to Mexican towns that bask in their natural beauty, cultural riches or historical relevance to the country.

And there is a reason why Izamal has made the list.

Located in the heart of Yucatán, 45 min away from Merida. Izamal is famously known as the ‘Yellow Painted Town’. This is because in 1993, Pope John Paul II planted to perform mass at the local Cathedral. This inspired the locals to especially prepare and paint the town yellow for his arrival. Nowadays Izamal is a fantastic photogenic village, with eye-catching architecture and the most peaceful atmosphere in Yucatán.

Top of Kinich Kakmo Pyramid

It’s perfect to explore by foot across its cobblestone streets and you can also climb the small pyramid in the middle of town. You can chill at the main square, while observing the local life around you or get a nice meal at any of the restaurants or local markets.

 

 

In regards to getting to Izamal, it’s fairly simple. It can be by car, or using the local transport (colectivo) for less than $30 pesos for a one way ticket. You’ll find colectivo between calle 65 and 54 at Merida.

 

Chichén Itzá


Equinox at Kukulcán’s Pyramid, Chichén Itzá

This famous Mayan complex tends to be the main attraction in Yucatán, so is not really hidden but it can’t be ignored.

Almost every tourist in Cancun or Playa del Carmen takes a 12 hour tour to the Mayan city and spends up to 8 hours inside a tour bus. Must be worth it, huh?

But if touring the Yucatán peninsula then you don’t have to worry about that, as you can get a nice tour from Merida or Valladolid which are no more than an hour from the famous Mayan complex. These tours tend to Include  food, cenotes and tour guide for a fraction of Riviera Maya price.

You can also make the way to Chichén by yourself, which is a great option. Rent a car and stop in the middle of nowhere to buy fresh fruit grown by the locals. Once you arrived at your destination you’ll need to pay approximately $250 for your entrance to the archeological site. Much cheaper than a tour. If you can try to avoid going on Sundays, it is cheaper for Mexican nationals then, making it the most busy day of the week.

If going alone and wanting to know more about the history of Chichén. you can negotiate the price with a tour guide inside the complex or you can get yourself a tour book for a few pesos. I recommend you bring your own bottles of water and snack in a small backpack. Otherwise expect to pay a small fortune at vendors inside the park.

 

 

Dzibilchaltun

 


Repeat after me… Zi-vil-chal- tun. That’s the right way to pronounce this confusing name.

The Dzibilchaltun ruins may not be as big and impressive as Chichén Itzá. But this small Mayan complex holds a few pyramids that you can still climb to see Merida’s skyline. During March 21st and September 21st the door of the main temple “El templo de las 7 muecas” gets perfectly aligned with the sun during the equinox sunset. Giving a sight that’s worth a visit.

Located only 30 min away of Merida, it is a really easy place to access.

You can travel there by your own with a rented car, a taxi for $250, or with the local bus for $11. Also it is actually soooo nice to visit Dzibilchaltun during a hot day! Get your swimsuit ready as inside there is a green fresh cenote. It is called Xlakah and is just a few meters away from the main temple.

 

Progreso


 

Here in Yucatan you can relax on the nice beaches of Progreso.

It’s a fishermens village located on the coast, 45 minutes from Mérida and is the perfect spot to run away from the unbelievable heat inland.

In Progreso you can find fresh seafood such as fish, shrimps or lobster (depends on the season) at any of the restaurants situated on the coast, facing the Gulf of Mexico.

If you like to try a different cuisine and traditional food, I recommend you to visit ‘Heladios’. It is a Yucatecan restaurant really popular with locals, this is partly because as soon as you get a table and order your first drink, waiters start to serve you typical dishes in a small plate as a snack while you wait for your meal.

 

Las Coloradas


Nowadays everyone is dreaming about this magical place with a stunning view and its famous  pink lakes.

I’m sure you must have seen this place on Instagram or in a travel video on Facebook It surely has to be on top of your list of places to go.

Las Coloradas are groups of many little lakes stuck in between salt mounds, located close to Rio Lagartos. From this town you can take the Coloradas tour and many others. To get there is quite simple. I recommend you rent a car or take an ADO BUS. You can find them at almost any town here in the Yucatán peninsula, have a look on their website.

You see, Las Coloradas are constantly changing colors depending on their salt level. It can go from the famous bright pink to a light orange, so it totally depends on nature. Don’t let this fact change your plans, there are more activities to do around the area. Rent a boat at Río lagartos and take a tour around the river $1000 mx pesos, this price is divided between the number of persons in the boat. Also you can get a nice fresh meal here for as little $100 pesos.

 

 

Cenote Zahamal



Also known as Selva Maya, it is located 30 minutes away from Valladolid in the middle of Yucatán’s jungle.

There you can find a Mexican Hacienda, now a delicious buffet restaurant. It is one of my favorite cenotes perfect for dinner, chill, and a swim in the clear blue water.

For an adrenaline rush it has a small step platform where you can jump from and a natural waterfall inside. It truly is a must see cenote.

 

 

Ek’ Balam



This ruin site is located 25 minutes drive away from the colonial town of Valladolid.

Ek’ Balam, which in Mayan means ‘Black Jaguar’, is one of the most preserved complexes in Yucatán. It has a relaxed atmosphere, and is found in the middle of the dense jungle. Rarely busy, sometimes you can enjoy the site almost all for yourself, making you feel as if you were an explorer, discovering new wonders.

Plus you can fully explore the area and still climb all the pyramids and get an amazing view. Not something that you can do at the more popular ruin sites.

Admission is $188 mx pesos. If you enjoy visiting quieter and lesser-frequented sites , then you will have a good time wandering around Ek’ Balam.

The Cuisine


 

The local traditional dishes are the heart of Yucatán’s identity. They are a mix of native Mayan and Spanish cuisine that will absolutely blow your mind. A piece of art that you must enjoy if visiting Yucatán.

Mixed Yucatán plate at Cenote Zaci, Valladolid

 

Pipián: it is a delicious cooked turkey covered with a pumpkin seed base sauce.

Cochinita pibil: it is pulled pork that has been marinated with a mix or sour oranges, local herbs and annatto (achiote). Then for this plate people dig a hole on the ground and finally cook the pork underground covered with banana palm tree leaves. This is the central dish in Yucatán.

Queso relleno: it is literally what it means. A piece of holand cheese filled with ground beef previously cooked with fresh tomatoes and onions.

Salbutes:  this is handmade tortilla softly fried and prepared with chicken or pork, lettuce, beans, avocado and red onions.

Relleno negro: it is a black stew made from burnt chiles and spices that is served over pork. Personally not my favorite.
At the parks you can have your cheat day like a local. Try…

Marquesita: it is basically a hard crepe, rolled into a taco shape filled originally with holand cheese and any other sweet flavor you want. My favorite one is cheese and Nutella.

Esquite

Esquites: are corns from the cob, dipped in mayonnaise, fresh cheese and lime. Served in a cup.

 

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8 things nobody tells you about Cancun 

Can we resist the stunning paradise of Cancun and the rest of the Riviera Maya?

The warm sun on your skin, the refreshing wind running through your hair and the magical blue view of the beaches we all dream about. Sounds wonderful. And it is!

 I live in Cancun and trust me when I say, Cancun never ceases to amaze me.

As with any city, Cancun has its dos and don’ts. And hopefully these tips will help make this trip a lifetime memory, for good reasons!

I am going to help you avoid any type of struggles while planning and traveling Cancun, and make it a trip you will never forget.

Cancun’s 6:00am sunrise by Bruno Fernandez

 


WHEN TO TRAVEL 

After speaking to a lot of my British friends, I found that they are always concerned about the time to travel and the weather here in Cancun.

Because, who wants to travel half way around the world to end up spending the majority of their time inside a hotel room?

Even if it’s a 5 star Hotel, the sun is the main reason a lot of people visit this paradise.

Cancun is sunny and hot most of the time. I could say 350/365 day of the year. Here the weather is on average around 27 degrees and the humidity makes it almost impossible to wear denim jeans or jumpers, unless you are used to it. The busiest seasons are spring break (March)  and summer (June and July).  These times are when most of the tourists are in their 20s-30s, looking for fun and to party.

Our rainy season is around September and October.

Although it is classed as the rainy season, we still have a lot of sunny days around this time, there’s just always the risk of a washout. These months tend to be the cheapest time to travel to Mexico. Flights and hotels are usually never fully booked.

The most expensive times to visit Cancun are around Christmas and New Year. This is the time when a lot of families come from the US and other parts of Mexico to spend their holidays close in the sun. Also the weather is a lot cooler than the hot summer months.


ZONES


It is important for you to know that Cancun is divided in many zones. The main two are the Hotel Zone (Zona hotelera) which is basically the land that divides the sea from the lagoon. And Cancun Centro which is the highlighted yellow part in the map.

The rest of Cancun is also nice, but around these two zones you can find most of the amenities you might need. Like restaurants, bars, nightclubs, supermarkets, bus stations and the sightseeing points of the city.

A lot of holiday makers visit Cancun and never leave the Hotel Zone.

By doing this you are missing out on so much that the city has to offer! In downtown Cancun we have restaurants bars and outlet malls at a fraction of the price of the Hotel Zone.


TRANSPORTATION

From the moment you leave the airport gates, the adventure begins. It’s hard to believe some of the transport and taxi prices. I’ve witnessed it myself so don’t hesitate to negotiate for  the price of transportation. Most of the time the first price you hear, may not be the real one.


The international airport of Cancun is basically in the middle of nowhere. If you don’t have a transfer included it is necessary to take a cab or the bus.

Learn and apply the basic ‘¿Cuánto me cobras a…?’ Which means, ‘How much is for a ride to…?’ Based on the zones I told you about, there are different ways to get to your finial destination.

To get to your hotel within the hotel zone

I recommend you to pay for a particular transfer with the same travel agency you booked the flights and your hotel room. It is direct and has no last minute extra charges.

Most of the time your reservation inside a resort includes your transfers. Get everything sorted before your flight. If you don’t have a ride, take a cab. It will charge you around $500 Mexican pesos.

View from Malecón Torre Rio

To get to your hotel around the downtown area.

At Cancun Centro you can find different places to stay, from small and and nice hotels, to a clean and colorful hostels. You can even get a cozy apartment for a reasonable price.
These places normally don’t cover the transfer from the airport but here you have two options to make your way to Cancun as handy as possible.

One of the easiest and fastest options you have is taking a taxi or a ride. You’ll pay aproximately $300 to $400 Mexican pesos or ($20  US). Although, American dollars are accepted almost everywhere in the city. I recommend paying with the local currency when you are to pay a particular person or freelance.

 $1 US dollar = $17-18 Mexican pesos.

If you are more of an independent traveler you can also find another way to Cancun Centro. The second option and the cheapest one, is to take an ADO bus. You can find them at the tiny ADO bus station just outside the airport.

As you make your way out of the airport’s door you will find people selling this bus trip to downtown, DONT FALL FOR IT! They are basically reselling you the bus tickets. Only 5 times more than it normally costs.  Don’t let anyone selling tickets to persuade you. Sounds very exaggerated but it’s truth. I’ve seen it first hand on my way back home, and the guy trying to sell me the ticket looked pretty embarrassed when I told him I was a local and knew how much the real price was.
They normally try to sell you a bus ticket to Cancun at $ 400 pesos (20 US). The regular price is 70 pesos (4 US). Big difference.

You only have to walk a few meters  from outside the main terminal and you will see these red buses going to the center of Cancun. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes to arrive.

 


TOUR THE CITY 

Cancun is a young developing city. Based on tourists who fell in love for this Mayan paradise and then changed their residence, coexisting with the locals.

That’s my family’s case. My mom and dad just came for their honeymoon and instantly fell for the place. And here we are.

There are many ways to explore the city with less than a dollar. My local tip is to jump into the downtown bus. It travels different routes through the city just for $9.50 Mexican pesos. R1 buses, which you can also take at the downtown bus stops, go all the way through the Hotel Zone for as little as 12 pesos.

Sunday local market at Region 100

Here you can check your routes and where to wait for the buses. It is the official public bus website.

As I told you before, Cancun is developing very fast in favor of tourists. There is a brand new doble decker tour bus called Turibus Cancun. It takes you to 18 of the most popular points of the city. This tour is an excellent option if you want to know more about Cancun’s history.  You can also take it late in the afternoon and enjoy a light show with music. A good way to start the party!



TOUR THE PENINSULA 

The Riviera Maya isn’t just Cancun. But it is a beautiful and good place to start the journey. Travel around and discover amazing places. Renting a car is perfect to roam and stop wherever and whenever you want.

Day road trips are pretty common around here. All of the places are relatively close and easy to get there. The only thing you’ll need is a good playlist and a peninsula map .
Some ideas of places to visit are Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Akumla, Bacalar, or Holbox.

      Also check out My list of favorite cenotes!





NIGHTLIFE 

It doesn’t matter the place of the Riviera where you are during the weekend. It’s something you have you experience. It is the most cheerful part of the whole week. When the local people finish their long routine. Making their way to the party, get a few drinks and dance all night.

Remember, MEXICAN = PARTY

Nightclubs/bars have a cool and tropical atmosphere. Plus most places have an open bar, pay at the door, and that’s all drinks sorted for the night. It’s too easy to enjoy yourself.

Avoid drinking on the street, it is prohibited. This law is quite flexible when you are at the Hotel Zone (Cancun) or at the 5th Av (Playa del Carmen) but I recommend you to avoid it. Don’t make of yourself an easy target to the police.



THE MEXICAN POLICE

O-oh! This is the dark side of Cancun. Maybe you’ve already read this somewhere else. It’s not as bad as it sounds but is true. Be careful with the police.

Unfortunately corruption is very common in Mexico, and the police certainly know how to recognize an outsider. To save yourself any uncomfortable experiences with the law. Be aware of your behavior in public places, and always take a form of transport back to your hotel after a night out.



BASIC ESPAÑOL.

I find really easy to travel when you know English, is one of the most popular languages nowadays. But I really love to learn new words. In case you share the same feeling, here are a few vocabulary words.

HOLA             HELLO

BAÑO             TOILET

CERVEZA        BEER

POR FAVOR    PLEASE

YES                   SI

NO                   NO

INGLES           ENGLISH

DISCULPE      EXCUSE ME

GRACIAS        THANK YOU

If you have any questions, leave your comments below and I’ll get back to you.  I’ll be glad to help you with your planning.

If you know any of your friends that are planning a trip to Cancun and you think this guide could be helpful, share it with them!

Best vibes!

 

 

Cancun travel guide, from a local!

Cancun is beautiful, and it’s also the place I’m lucky enough to call my home.

Having lived here for the last 21 years, it’s safe to say I know it well!

You might think the people that live here spend all their days at the beach getting that ‘golden tan’. Or checking out one of the hundreds of insane Cenotes! But the truth is, most of Cancun’s population just don’t have the time. Working really really hard, a lot of them don’t know the paradise that awaits them just outside their door.

Playa Forum Beach, in the Hotel Zone

 

As for me, I consider myself a ‘pata de perro’. Which literally translates to ‘dog’s paw’ and is used to describe a person that can’t stay in the same place. I’ve spent a lot of my time travelling and look to explore as much of an area as possible when I’m there, my hometown is no exception.

So if you are planning on visiting Cancun, or you are one of the lucky people who have settled here and are after some inspiration.

Hopefully this guide will help you experience the full beauty that Cancun has to offer.


WHERE TO STAY:

There is no shortage of options of where to stay in Cancun. The Hotel Zone is the most popular, renowned for its luxury hotels and resorts. Located right on the beach it is perfect for soaking up the sun. As for myself, I’m more of an independent traveller, I like to be around the local scene and experience different cultures. If you are the same, getting a place in Cancun Centro might be the best option.

There are a lot of hostels available in Cancun Centro, also known as ‘downtown’ offering good rates, and they are close to all amenities.

The main beaches are all located in the Hotel Zone, but they are all easily accessible from downtown by either bus or taxi. Another option is to rent a room or an entire place using Airbnb. This way you can stay with a local offering advice and travel tips, or have an entire place to yourself fairly cheap! I personally have used it in numerous countries and have found the hosting site to be one of the best ways to learn about a place, as normally the hosts are very knowledgeable about the area. Not to mention some listings are great value for money (Some places even have their own pool!).

The map below shows the best zones in the city center to stay.

From here you’ll find everything you need quite easily such as: supermarkets (or Oxxo which is a 24/7 convenience store), bars, restaurants, markets, downtown buses, and the ADO bus station (inside the red circle).

Map of Cancun Centro

 

If you stay in the hotel zone. Better known from Google Maps as Boulevard Kukulcán, then expect a more luxury vacation. The map below shows the beaches and plazas in the the Hotel Zone, with free access to some of the nicest beaches in Cancun.

 

Hotel Zone, showing access to beaches

TRANSPORT:

There are many different forms of transport when exploring Cancun. We have cheap buses that run almost all day and night, minivans, taxis and of course you could hire a car.

Just be prepared for the Mexican style of driving!

The bus station is called ADO and can be extremely helpful if your plan is to travel around the Yucatán peninsula. All buses feature air-con and reclining seats and are surprisingly comfortable, totally worth the low fare.

You can find ‘downtown’ buses  driving around the city for easy access to the Hotel Zone and other areas for as little as $12 Mexican pesos. These buses virtually run all day and night so really handy for getting around on a budget.

Taxis here are everywhere, you’ll notice the white and green cabs as there is only one taxi company in Cancun. The drivers here are smart, they especially recognize fresh meat. so make sure to negotiate the price before getting into to cab!

For more local tips check out The 8 things nobody tells you about Cancun


WHAT TO DO:

CHICHÉN ITZA

Surely you’ve came across a picture of it somewhere. It is the biggest Mayan complex around and is located in Yucatán, just 3-4 hours drive from Cancun. It is part of UNESCO’s world heritage sites aaaaand one of the 7 wonders of the world!

My advice is if you want to know about the Mayan history and culture,or just be impressed by the sheer size and design of temple, then take a tour. There you will come across small villages, cenotes, the tropical food and of course the stunning Chichén. Tours can be arranged at most hotels or public places.

The Kukulcán Pyramid, during the equinox!

 

The Mayan people were true pioneers. You can explore and learn more about them in places like Uxmal, Palenque (at the beautiful Chiapas), and Tikal (Guatemala). I have visited all these places too, so feel free to ask for any advice!


CENOTES

Check out my list of favorite cenotes!

In simple terms these are basically holes in the ground, filled with clear water. They are natural sinkholes, which occur due to the erosion of limestone (popular here). Once the limestone has eroded, it ends up leaving a void which eventually collapses, revealing the paradise underground.

We call them ‘Xibalba’ the underground world.

There are thousands of cenotes in the Yucatán peninsula to choose from and you must at least visit one if you are visiting Cancun. The beauty of them is breathtaking! Every single one is unique and some even include activities such as zip lining and abseiling!

Here I am at Sahamal Cenote, just one of over 2500 cenotes in the Yucatán area!

 


ISLA MUJERES

Also known as the Island of Women, it is located 30 mins from the coast of Cancun and is the place to relax, wander and eat fresh fish ‘tikinchick’ style. Transport to this stunning island ranges from a catamaran tour to a ‘water taxi’ which is a fairly cheap small ferry located in the Hotel Zone or at Puerto Juárez . Once there, a popular option is to rent a golf cart to explore the island from coast to coast. All you need is a driving license.

My personal highlight of the island is ‘Playa Norte’. A beach that seems to be a natural pool with soft waves and crystal clear waters. It’s located a short walk away from the dock and often has yachts anchored in its shallow waters playing music to give the place an extra good vibe! Don’t forget to bring a few drinks with you. It’s always a good time to try the local beers, like Tecate or Indio.

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres

 


PLAYA DEL CARMEN

Becoming more and more popular every year, this is a town that’s definitely worth a visit (especially is you like shopping!). Here you can walk along the 5th avenue and get a delicious tequila-passion fruit ice cream, or maybe two. My favorite place is called ‘Tepoznieves’. Located at the crossroads Av. Constituyes and 5th avenue. This shop has refreshing homemade ice creams (or ‘artesanales’ which means made by native people) and is sooo important in a country full of Häagen Dazs and Basqkin Robbins).  If after that pleasant experience you want to shop around but are undecided whether to shop colorful handicrafts or brand accessories, stay calm, find some sales and you’ll find the perfect deal and even get both.

Playa del Carmen also boasts a great party scene. Just a short ride from Cancun, and with ADO buses running until the early hours of the morning. It’s well worth a day trip and night out. It’s also renowned as an expats home, you’ll find people from all over the world living here. If travelling, I recommend you stay in the town and you can easily make some new friends.

My favorite place to hang out is Playa Mamitas beach club, here you can chill while you keep experiencing the effect of tequila in it’s different presentations. Playa del Carmen is the perfect place to be if you want to party, enjoy nice drinks and a have good time.

La Vaquita, Nightclub

TULUM

 

The hippie town. Located 40 minutes away from Playa del Carmen and 1:30 from Cancun. The best way to get there is taking an ADO bus or even a minivan, which drives faster and sometimes can be a better price than the bus.

The town itself has a really friendly vibe and is a backpacking hotspot, full of trendy bars and hostels. Also here you can visit the amazing ruins. A stunning setup as it is the only Mayan complex with a beach in the backyard, lucky them!

Tulum Ruins

 

I know sometime a healthy lifestyle can be hard to get while you travel, I’ve been there before.  So a good option here for you can be to rent a bike and ride to the local fresh market or all along the bike paths which guide you around the town and to the mini hotel zone. Because bikinis and bicycles go together right?

My last advice for Tulum is go to visit the beaches (any of them will leave you breathless). Then at night visit the main square and enjoy a delicious marquesita (ask for Dutch cheese and Nutella!) Thank me later =)

XCARET

This eco park is one of the biggest in Latin America, and one of my favorite parks around. It reminds me of Disney Land but a sort of jungle version! Xcaret which means ‘small inlet’ in Mayan, will guide you to a full nature experience, meeting for the first time amazing animals and trying the delicious Yucatán tradicional dishes.

As a local I recommend to get the ‘Xcaret Plus’ entry, which includes meal and drinks, safety lockers and access to more underground rivers.

They have such a wonderful Mexican performance at night that is just out of this world!

‘Los voladores de Papantla’ at Xcaret Park


PLAYAS

The beaches here are amazing. White sand and crystal clear water, they are like a page from a travel brochure. The weather is also pretty brilliant all year round. So let the sun kiss your skin and just chill, enjoy the paradise. Sounds like a hard job to do, right? The only items you need will be a beach towel, high factor sun cream, a little bit of oil and a coco loco on the beach.

My personal favorite is Playa Gaviotas (marked in the second map at the begging of the post). It is a long stretched beach where you can chill, rent a bed or have the full party experience at the nearby Mandala Beachclub. There are shops close by for supplies and also locals wandering the beach selling drinks and food. For free access there is a path between Cocobongo nightclub and Mandala beachclub, which guides you to this paradise. We call it commonly Playa Forum.

Forum beach, Cancun

NIGHT LIFE

The nightlife in Cancun is famous for a reason.

Good music, open bar, an amazing show performance, and the best party atmosphere in Cancun. All at the same place. Cocobongo is part of Cancun’s biggest attractions. And there is no way possible you won’t have a good time here. It has to be experienced so see the true madness that works so well, you won’t be disappointed.

I didn’t realize the difference between the time people go out to party in other countries until I visited them. Mexicans as you might know, are not really attached to an specific agenda. They start going out after 10pm. And Cancun never sleeps, so don’t worry about what time you start your night.

A little tip: Try new drinks like Paloma (lime soda and tequila) and Cuba libre (coke amd rum), popular here in Mexico.


PLUS!!!!… WHAT TO EAT

Because I’m sure most of you think we just have tacos and burritos on our diet. So wrong! Mexican cuisine is a fusion of indigenous and European cooking. It is true we love tortillas but we have so many different tradicional dishes across Mexico, its considered as an intangible heritage of humanity.

Our basics in the Yucatán peninsula are:

  • SALBUTES/PANUCHOS
  • CHOCHINITA
  • TIKINCHIK
  • ARRACHERA
  • SEAFOOD
‘El Jarocho’ Restaurant, Cancun
Marquesita at Valladolid’s main square

If you are planing a roadtrip to Yucatán here I got some good ideas and advices.

 


 

MUST PACK

These essentials are what I recommend you must bring if travelling to Cancun:

  • Camera/GoPro/Drone etc
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • A hat ( the sun has no mercy)
  • Swimwear
  • Flip flops
  • Snorkel mask

I know and love Cancun from head to toe, if you want to know more about Cancun and the surrounding area feel free leave your comment below and to contact me. I’ll be glad to share more of my experiences and help you plan your journey!

Best vibes!

 

 

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