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Things to do in Yucatán

The Mexican peninsula is world-famous for its Caribbean waters, Mayan ruins, and underwater cave systems.

Our most recommended things to do in Yucatán

Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour

1. Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour

Travel back in time as you explore the Mayan  archeological ruins of Chichén Itzá on a guided tour. Connect with nature as you swim in the azure waters of the cenote of Saamal. Eat a mouth-watering buffet lunch and take a guided walking tour of Valladolid. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel, or a nearby meeting point, and then journey to one of the most important monuments on the Yucatán Peninsula.   Upon arrival at Chichén Itzá, look at the step pyramid of Kukulcan (El Castillo), known for the play of light from the equinox that casts shadows on each step to create an image of a serpent descending.   Go to the ancient cenote of Saamal and experience one of the sinkholes that form part of a network of underground rivers sacred to the Maya people. Enjoy a delicious buffet meal and take a stroll around the colonial city of Valladolid to complete your experience.

From Mérida: Chichén Itzá, Izamal, Valladolid, & Cenote Trip

2. From Mérida: Chichén Itzá, Izamal, Valladolid, & Cenote Trip

Spend a day full of culture, history, and cuisine on a multi-stop guided tour from Mérida to Izamal, Valladolid, Cenote Chichikan, and Chichén Itzá, one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Discover traditional cooking during a live demonstration. Enjoy breakfast, a buffet lunch, and entry tickets. After meeting your guide in Mérida, head to the archeological site of Chichén Itzá. Walk through the center of this thousand-year-old place and see highlights like the Temple of the Warriors. For breakfast, enjoy a packed meal. Later, transport your senses to the root of regional cuisine, one of the greatest legacies of the Mayan culture, during a demonstration of the region’s unique gastronomy. Learn about tradition and innovation in the use of plants, vegetables, and wild fauna. Enjoy a buffet lunch of local products, then let yourself be enchanted by the story and cultural richness of two magical towns of Yucatan during the next stops. Explore Valladolid, known for its natural beauty, cobbled streets, coffee shops, restaurants, and delicious food. Stop at the main plaza for some free time to wander before moving on to Izamal. Learn why the town's houses are all painted yellow and fall in love with its colonial architecture, dating back to the 16th century. Spend time at the main landmark: the Convento de San Antonio de Padua. In between the Valladolid and Izamal stops, seize the chance to take a dip in the cool waters of Chichikan Cenote. 

Chichén Itzá: Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket

3. Chichén Itzá: Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket

Avoid the long lines at one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico with this Chichén Itzá skip-the-line entry ticket. Enter directly to the archaeological site and spend the day exploring the Mayan ruins at your own pace. Discover how this large pre-Columbian city played an important role in the Mayan civilization from around 600 to 1200 AD, and remained a center of worship and pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards. Even today, it is still considered sacred by the Mayan people of the Yucatan peninsula. Like many of the cities of ancient Mexico, the site was abandoned, and its ruins were hidden in the jungle. Experience its rich history and stunning ruins.

From Tulum: Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid Tour

4. From Tulum: Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid Tour

Start your journey by getting picked up in Tulum. Discover Chichen Itza, a spectacular archaeological site and a must-see for those interested in history and culture.  See renowned structures with your guide such as the Pyramid of Kukulkan and the Great Ball Court. Get a glimpse of the achievements of the Mayan civilization.  After Chichen Itza, head to Valladolid, a city where past and present come together. Be amazed by the colorful architecture and the local food culture.  Have lunch in the courtyard of a restored colonial mansion and wander the square and nearby streets. Take photos and enjoy shopping as you get a taste of the slow-paced Mexican life. To finish the day, go to a local community-run cenote, the perfect spot to get away from the crowds and cool down in the refreshing blue waters.

Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Cenote, Valladolid & Meal

5. Cancún/Riviera Maya: Chichén Itzá, Cenote, Valladolid & Meal

Dive into Mayan culture on a guided day trip with optional hotel transfers from Cancún or Riviera Maya to Chichén Itzá, named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World for being one of the world's best-preserved ancient cities. Enjoy a Mexican buffet and tequila tasting, and stop at Valladolid and a cenote. Your first stop will be at a Mayan community restaurant for breakfast with coffee and bread. Take this time to wake up and then go to stock up on souvenirs. Then, at Chichén Itzá, follow the guide while learning all about the most important buildings. From the awe-inspiring Pyramid of Kukulcan to the ruins that once housed tens of thousands of Mayans, the Pyramid of El Castillo or El Caracol, this visit is filled with rarely heard stories, incredible details, and stunning photo opportunities. Discover why the huge city played such an important role from the Late Classic period (600 AD) into the early part of the Post Classic period (1200 AD), and why it remained a huge center of pilgrimage. At this point, the fun is just getting started as no visit to the area would be complete without a stop by a cenote, a refreshing, enchanting underground sinkhole, sacred to the Mayan people. Then, enjoy a Mexican buffet lunch and a tequila-tasting experience. Before returning to your starting point, stop by the charming town of Valladolid, famed for the ornate, 16th-century Convent of San Bernardino of Siena and the baroque San Gervasio Cathedral. Enjoy a quick panoramic visit to this magical place.

From Tulum: Mayan ruins & Sian Kaan Nature Reserve Tour

6. From Tulum: Mayan ruins & Sian Kaan Nature Reserve Tour

Explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Muyil and the Sian Kaan Nature Reserve on a half-day tour from Tulum. You will encounter a variety of birds, plants, and animals before wandering through the ruins to discover the incredible history of this ancient civilization. After being picked up from Tulum you will be transferred to the Sian Kaan Nature Reserve. Walk through this inspiring eco-preserve to the highest point in the reserve and gaze out at an unblemished jungle filled with hundreds of species of birds, plants, and animal life. Enjoy a small hike before a boat ride through the trading canals of the ancient Maya civilization and visit the Maya temple of Xlapak. You will see the detailed facades of these old ruins, located at the bottom of the river valley. Next, float and swim back down through the canals between mangroves and gently make your way back out into the crystal-clear waters around the peninsula. Onboard, enjoy an assortment of Mexican snacks and lunch as the sun sets over this beautiful landscape. Experience the very best of this region. The food, the culture, the nature, and a bit of relaxation in the water make this a perfect day trip.

Chichén Itzá: Last Minute Booking Guided Group Walking Tour

7. Chichén Itzá: Last Minute Booking Guided Group Walking Tour

On this tour, you’ll be led by a certified professional guide through the ancient Mayan site of Chichén Itzá. Discover its rich history while visiting the most significant landmarks in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The 1.5-hour tour will take you through the former commercial, political, military, and religious center of the Mayan civilization. Along the way, you’ll stop by sites like the observatory El Caracol, and El Castillo, also known as the Temple of Kukulcán, the central pyramid of Chichén Itzá. While wandering the thousand-year-old ruins of what is now considered a sacred archaeological site, you’ll learn about the history and culture of the Mayan people from your knowledgeable guide.

Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

8. Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

Discover the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá on a guided tour from Playa del Carmen. Immerse yourself in the jungle at an eco-park, with some time for swimming in a cenote and a hearty buffet lunch. Start with pickup from Playa del Carmen and first travel to the jungle eco-park. Marvel at the sacred cenote as you refresh yourself with a purifying swim in crystalline waters. Dig into a delicious buffet lunch at the restaurant at the eco-park, and be ready for a flavor sensation. Try some of the famed Mexican cuisine with regional dishes from Yucatán. After your buffet, head to the world-famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá. Take a guided tour of the ceremonial site and listen to fascinating tales of the ancient Maya civilization. Learn more with your expert guides and hear entertaining stories of life at Chichen Itzá. Discover a culture that was way ahead of its time. Then, enjoy some free time to explore by yourself and walk in the footsteps of the Mayan people. Your final stop is in the colonial center of Valladolid for a quick visit to this charming “Magic Town” of Mexico. The imposing church and architecture of the town surrounding the “zocalo'' or town square are perfect photo ops and a chance to relax and enjoy the laid-back vibes of Yucatán, before heading back to Playa del Carmen.

From Cancún: Rio Lagartos & Las Coloradas Day Trip & Lunch

9. From Cancún: Rio Lagartos & Las Coloradas Day Trip & Lunch

Rio Lagartos is a small fishing village in a Nature Reserve; one of the natural treasures of the Yucatan Peninsula. Here we can enjoy a boat tour through its water canals surrounded by mangroves, where you can observe a variety of species of birds such as pink flamingos, herons, eagles, seagulls, pelicans, and cormorants. During the tour, we pass under the bridge of Las Coloradas to get to the salt deposits where we see different bodies of water involved in this process, some of which an eye-catching pink. Following, we will rejoice in the Mayan Bath, covering the body in nutrient-rich clay. Next, we’ll be heading to an unspoiled beach to remove the clay in the crystal water, where we will enjoy ourselves with the tasty local fish-and-shellfish-based food.

From Mérida: Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve Tour

10. From Mérida: Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve Tour

Start the tour with pickup from your hotel in Mérida. Journey to the amazing Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve to discover a jewel of the Yucatán Peninsula declared a wildlife refuge in 1979. Explore the primary site for pink flamingos wintering in the northern hemisphere and get up close to the magnificent birds in their natural habitat. Look for some of the other 300 species of native and migratory birds, along with reptiles, mammals, and different plants. See large colonies of brilliantly colored flamingos feeding in the estuary, and take a boat ride through the mangrove forest that provides food and shelter for shrimp and other creatures.

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What people are saying about Yucatán

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 4,866 reviews

A great experience. The drive to Ek Balam is about 2 hrs but our guide Jesus told us about the mayan histories how to pronounce the words and was very knowledgeable so the drive didn't feel like 2hrs. Ek Balam is unbelievable. With the restoration that's been happening you can really see the architecture in its full beauty it is a huge area with little shade and being in the jungle it's very humid even early in the day. The cenote is about half hour away buffet lunch and drinks was very good and then Jesus took us through the mayan village and you can try mayan chocolate and chewing gum. The drive to Valladolid is again about half hour, you spend about 45mins there which is enough time to see everything locally. I really would recommend this experience it is a long day alot of walking but being able to get up close and personal, climb the temple and with Jesus' knowledge it really is a must do

Hermoso Lugar

One of the best guided tour experiences ever! The tour was very good organized: we got breakfast and water, the group was not big, the bus was comfortable, with air condition, our driver, Pablo, was good and professional. Our guide Hector made our day really perfect: he is very knowledgeable, polite and professional, we learned a lot about Mayan culture, colonial culture, Mexican traditions and food, he answered all of our questions and gave a lot of recommendations. All locations we’ve visited were amazing! We arrived to Chichén Itzá at the right time in the morning and it was not crowded, the lunch was delicious, cenot was beautiful and not very touristic, with a very nice chill zone. Highly recommend!

First of all, visiting chichen itza was a mesmerizing experience. It really is a wonder of our history of mankind. Bug kudos to our personal guide Monica! Such a friendly and sympathethic guide! She was able to take us back thousands of years in time for the ultimate sightseeing experience. This has been my fifth sightseeing in mexico, but Monica really stood out with her guiding skills. Her energizing vibes were amazing, and let’s not even start about her potographing skills, simply amazing. I would 101 times out of 100 times recommend her to any tourist who is looking for a friendly and very informational tour around chichen itza. 5 stars, 10/10

I spent a very good day! Hector is an excellent guide, you can see since the beginning that he is very prepared and that he puts a lot of energies in his job. I really enjoyed the typical buffet lunch with cochinita pibil. The only thing: there a nicer cenote in the area, the one we saw was not really nice, pity. Please be aware that you will have to pay 30 US dollars more in order to enter in Chichen Itza. I would recommend this experience!

I was solo and mr apolina was pretty cool chill tour was an experience i recommend it just wear sun lotion lolol just a little the sun was out Def an experience of a like time all the explaining about civilization and everything was pretty cool something they will never show you in school or anywhere else def an awesome tour guide experience