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

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

1. 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. 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. Wander the cobblestone streets, take photos, and find souvenirs. Once 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. After your Chichén Itzá adventure, enjoy a tequila tasting and an authentic Mexican buffet lunch 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 before returning to your starting point.

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 Ik Kil, 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 in Valladolid and Izamal. Valladolid is located in the Yucatan state of Mexico, which is known for its natural beauty,cobbled streets, cute coffee shops, restaurants and delicious food! We will stop at the main plaza with a unique atmosphere to spend free time and explore the surroundings Next we have Izamal town. You will learn why is better known as the yellow city of Mexico. You’ll fall in love with its colourful colonial architecture going back to the 16th century. We will have free time at the most famous building: Convento de Sant Antonio de Padua. One of the first monasteries in the Western Hemisphere. In between, you can also take a dip in the cool waters of the Ik Kil Cenote. 

Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour

3. 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.

Chichén Itzá: Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket

4. 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.

Chichen Itza: Self-Guided Tour with Audio Narration & Map

5. Chichen Itza: Self-Guided Tour with Audio Narration & Map

Take a self-guided walking tour through the iconic archaeological site of Chichen Itza. Use your tour guide app for navigation and audio narration to uncover the site's buried secrets. Begin your tour at the entrance of the site. As you enter, admire the ancient wall that once surrounded this place. Next, see the iconic Temple of Kukulcán. Find out about its construction and how it was built to honor the equinox. Continue along to reach another amazing sight, the Great Ball Court. Here, Mayans once played an intense, elaborate game somewhere between soccer and basketball—but with a 20-pound ball. Learn not just about the game, but also the peculiar way the court was built. Then, pass the ominously titled Wall of Skulls, where the heads of sacrificial victims ended up. Arrive at the Platform of the Eagle and Jaguar Warriors. Find numerous intricate carvings and sculptures depicting the exploits of these highly trained, lethally effective warriors. After this is the Platform of Venus, which once held offerings to the stars. You’ll learn about the Mayans’ complex belief system as well as how they used this platform. Soon, arrive at The White Road, a white stone road that is one of the largest and most intact of its kind in existence. Find yourself at the Sacred Cenote, where ancient Mayans sacrificed people to appease their rain god. Up next is the awe-inspiring Temple of Warriors, a multi-tiered temple with a dark secret hidden inside. Follow the route to the Hall of a Thousand Columns, where people once shared meals together. Visit the Ossuary, home to the grave of a High Priest. Then it’s on to the Observatory to understand how the Mayans viewed the heavens, and what they believed the stars told them about their future. Finally, arrive at the imposing Nunnery and the Church. These 2 ancient structures are some of the most frequently photographed spots in the entire city, so keep your camera ready.

Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

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

7. 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 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 make this a perfect day trip from your home base in Playa del Carmen.

Riviera Maya: Rio Secreto Guided Tour

8. Riviera Maya: Rio Secreto Guided Tour

Be immersed in an ancient world of stalactites and stalagmites. Roam the labyrinths of dramatic rock formations and tranquil waters. The Rio Secreto (Secret River) is a hidden underground network of rivers and caves. An air-conditioned mini-van collects you from your hotel and takes you to Rio Secreto. Here you will meet your expertly trained guide and receive a wetsuit, wet shoes, a lamp and a helmet to get you ready for your adventure. From here, enter the caves, where for 600 meters you will be free to walk, swim and enjoy the enchanting beauty of your surroundings with the supervision of your guide. Furthermore, with a maximum of 10 people per tour, you can be ensured a quiet tour experience free from outside distractions. The tours in Rio Secreto are organized so that no two tours happening at the same time will meet underground. After approximately 1.5 hours you will be taken back to ground level and treated to a light lunch of delicious local food. Choose the green salsa if your taste buds like it hot! This is a chance for you to relax in the serene jungle habitat and reflect upon your experience in the caves. After this, you may wash and change before being transported back to your hotel.

From Mérida: Chichén Itzá and Cenote Tour with Buffet Lunch

9. From Mérida: Chichén Itzá and Cenote Tour with Buffet Lunch

Experience the mysticism of the historic city of Chichen Itzá with a visit to its archaeological site, named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Take a detour during your trip to Yucatán and join an excursion from Mérida to learn about history, swim in a sacred cenote, and taste authentic food. Head directly to Chichén Itzá on a bus ride from Mérida. Make the most of your travel time by hearing about the Mayan civilization and its history from your expert guide. Reach Chichén Itzá while it's still early before the crowds arrive and the heat sets in. Admire the perfection of El Castillo, recognized as the masterpiece of the complex. Visit the old field where the pre-Hispanic ball game was played, the Mayan astronomical observatory known as El Caracol, and the Temple of the Warriors. Take some time to explore at your own pace. Up next, taste a delicious Mexican buffet lunch with vegetarian options and recharge energies before heading to your next stop. Discover a beautiful cenote, a natural freshwater pool, where you can swim in its cool waters, sacred to the Mayans. Hop back on the bus and return safely to Mérida.

Cancun/Riviera Maya: Chichen Itza and Ik Kil Cenote Tour

10. Cancun/Riviera Maya: Chichen Itza and Ik Kil Cenote Tour

Explore the ruins at Chichen Itza on a guided tour from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Choose between a private or small-group tour and beat the crowds and the heat with early morning access. Learn about the history of Mexico with insightful commentary on one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Start your adventure with an early pick-up from Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Beat the crowds and the heat as you arrive at the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza. Follow your guide around the once-bustling complex, learning about the rich history, religion, culture, and daily life of the Maya. Wander around the Mexican pyramids, gaze at the spectacular stone carvings, and take photos by the glorious steps of the ruins. Board an air-conditioned vehicle and leave right before the morning gets too warm and the crowds increase. Head to the charming town of Piste for a quick look around before making your way to Cenote Ik Kil. Marvel at its stunning views, take photos of the turquoise waters and lush vegetation, and maybe squeeze in a quick dip before going for lunch. After filling your belly with some local food, board the vehicle once more and make your way back to Cancun and Riviera Maya with nothing but knowledge and memories to remember your adventure by.

Frequently asked questions about Yucatán

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What people are saying about Yucatán

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 4,866 reviews

Rodrigo and Efrain was a great team to deliver our excellent experience. We enjoyed the whole day , informative joyfull and well organized tour. Thank you for that! Gracias!

Beto our tourguide was excellent! Funny and knowledgeable with Mayan culture. He kept the whole tour interesting!

Rodrigo was a great guide and the whole activity was well organised and super interesting!

Loved the Cenote swim and the lunch was very filling and delicious

Jose and Andrea and the driver were very entertaining!