A Guide To Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

If you are planning to travel to the Yucatan Peninsula, it is only natural to want to know a little bit more about it before you embark on your journey.

After all, when you are traveling to one of the world’s most stunning locations, it pays to research ahead so you can fully appreciate all the romantic scenery, gorgeous beaches, stunning colonial townships, and world-renowned archaeological sites when you make the trip!

The Yucatan Peninsula is bordered by the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. It is located in Mexico, and contains the following states:

  • Campeche
  • Quintana Roo
  • Yucatan

It is equally accessible by plane, boat, or vehicle.

The Yucatan Peninsula is comprised of a sprawling, flat limestone expanse with a relatively thin layer of topsoil covering the limestone. There are not many lakes or rivers, but from a recreational perspective, this is more than compensated for by the hundreds of miles of amazing beaches that make up the Mayan Riviera!

When it comes to the climate of the Yucatan Peninsula, it is firmly tropical. Most of the year will find the Peninsula hot and humid, in keeping with its tropical location.

There are a few things to take into consideration when deciding which time of year to plan your Yucatan Peninsula holiday. First of all, the typical tourist season is from December to March. This means, during that time of year you will be dealing with certain inconveniences, such as large crowds and high hotel rates. However, this is the most popular season for a reason – although the weather is mild and warm all year round, December to March is the mildest season.

During May to October, the Yucatan Peninsula experiences a rainy season. This means that storms are more likely, and the usually hot temperatures become more moderate. There are conveniences inherent in traveling in the off-season, however, and they include sparser crowds and lower rates on hotels and other activities.

The Yucatan Peninsula is the traditional land of the Mayan people. There are many Mayan cultural ruins to see, mostly focusing on ceremonies and religion. Another tradition from ancient times is the fact that, in addition to Spanish, the traditional Yucatec Maya language is still spoken, especially in the more rural areas. These things combine to lend the area a distinct cultural personality which makes the Yucatan Peninsula unique!

The Yucatán Peninsula contains the notable cities of Merida, Valladolid, and Campeche, all of which are incredible and fascinating in their own right and worthy of a visit.

If you love visiting the beach, then the Yucatan Peninsula is surely a dream come true for you. Since the Yucatán Peninsula has two separate distinct areas of coastline – one along the Caribbean coast and one along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico – there is a wide variety of stunning beaches which you can visit while on the Yucatán Peninsula.

The most popular beach destination on the peninsula is Cancun. Cancun is located in Quintana Roo. In fact, Cancun is not only one of the most popular destinations on the Yucatán Peninsula – it is one of the most popular destinations in all of Mexico!

Another popular beach is the hundred miles plus of coastline on the Caribbean side of the peninsula known as the Mayan Riviera. The pace of life at the beach resorts along this lengthy and gorgeous coastline, are more laid back and tame then Cancun.

There are several historically significant archaeological sites located on the Yucatán Peninsula. The most well-known of these is Chichen Itza, but Uxmal, Tulum, and Coba are equally as important and impressive.

In addition to beaches and sites of historical significance, the Yucatán Peninsula also offers several ecological reserves, wildlife parks, and nature reserves which make for an exciting and educational day out for all the family. And, in addition to being a highly informative educational experience, these nature reserves are also incredibly beautiful. They feed both the mind and the soul while giving a closer peek at the scenery and wildlife native to the Yucatán Peninsula.

One of the places which are incredibly popular to visitors is the Rio Celestun Park. This park is noted for the exquisite birds which are native to the area. There are many species of birds and animals for you to see, including the most popular and what the park is renowned for – flamingos. This park is in close proximity to Merida, and can be partaken as a day-trip.

Another popular reserve is the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. This reserve has lagoons, coral reefs, mangroves, savannas, examples of Mayan temples, and undisturbed expanses of rainforest, just waiting to be explored!

The world of the Yucatán Peninsula is a gorgeous one that must be experienced in order to be understood. One could never read simple text on the screen, or even look at photographs or a video tour, and understand the majesty and the culture which permeates the place and the people in this fabulous location. Yes, one must truly travel to the Yucatán Peninsula in order to fully comprehend and grasp its full majesty.