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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

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

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

Dive into Mayan culture with this full-day immersion in the incredible archaeological site of Chichén Itzá, named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World for being one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the world. 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, with the option to include a non-alcoholic drink on the VIP and Deluxe tour options. 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.

Chichén Itzá: Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket

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

Enjoy one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico with a variety of architectural styles. 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.

Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

3. 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.

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

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

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.

From Mérida: Chichén Itzá and Cenote Tour with Buffet Lunch

6. 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.

Playa del Carmen/Cancún: Rio Lagartos & Las Coloradas Tour

7. Playa del Carmen/Cancún: Rio Lagartos & Las Coloradas Tour

Enjoy a guided tour of Rio Lagartos and Las Coloradas on a day trip from Playa del Carmen or Cancún. Keep an eye out for crocodiles and see them up close at a crocodile sanctuary. Marvel at the pink shades of the lagoons of Las Coloradas and watch the flamingos fly by. Travel in comfort by air-conditioned vehicle to the neighboring state of Yucatán and the famous pink lakes of Las Coloradas. This is an area of untouched nature that will knock you out, the stunning views of Las Coloradas Yucatán have to be seen to be believed. Your expert guide will explain the facts and folklore of the region. They will also help you get the best Instagram-worthy photos of this marvelous area of stunning natural beauty. Take a boat ride through the mangroves of a magnificent protected area. Keep a lookout for the crocodiles and the huge array of bird species, including cormorants, ospreys, herons, and pelicans. Rio Lagartos Yucatan is a bird watcher's paradise. Finally, stop for lunch of salad, soft drinks, and the main course of your choice. Choose between fresh fish, chicken, or a vegetarian dish. The food is fresh and delicious and a great way to refuel after all your adventures. Once you've had your fill, head back to your hotel after an incredible day trip in the Yucatán Peninsula.

From Cancún: Chichén Itzá Early Access with Cenote & Lunch

8. From Cancún: Chichén Itzá Early Access with Cenote & Lunch

In this tour, your guide will give you an in-depth tour of Chichen Itza. Listen as they provide background information to help you better understand the history of this place. End the tour with lunch at a local restaurant. Beat the crowds and the heat by arriving early in the morning at the Chichen Itza Archeological Site. Be the first to enter this Wonder of the World and take amazing pictures with the place almost completely to yourself. Learn how this large city played an important role in Mayan civilization from around 600 AD to 1200 AD and remained a center of worship and pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards. The site was abandoned and its ruins were eventually hidden by the jungle. In between the tour, enjoy a typical Mexican buffet lunch at a local family-run restaurant. Swimming at the Saamal Cenote (entry included) and a visit to Valladolid are also on the itinerary.

Mérida: Electric Scooter Tour of Paseo de Montejo

9. Mérida: Electric Scooter Tour of Paseo de Montejo

Discover Mérida's Paseo de Montejo on an electric scooter. Accompanied by your guide, cruise down the avenue with ease and learn about the area's past. Visit points of historic interest and some of the most iconic sites such as the Monument to the Homeland and Casa Peón de Regil. Paseo de Montejo is named after Francisco de Montejo, the Spanish conquistador who founded the city. It's where you'll find some of the most famous buildings and monuments in the city. Jump on an electric scooter and explore the area's rich history along with your guide and the rest of your group. Visit 12 emblematic and historical points on Paseo de Montejo. Stops include the Parque del Remate, the Monument of the Montejo Family, the Monument to Felipe Carrillo Puerto, the Monument to Justo Sierra O'Reilly, and more. Admire the impressive architectural designs of the homes and buildings from the 19th century. Learn about the fascinating history and lesser-known stories of the people who lived in the area.

From Mérida: Hacienda Mucuyché and Cenotes Tour

10. From Mérida: Hacienda Mucuyché and Cenotes Tour

Discover the landscapes and cenotes of Hacienda Mucuyché, a former estate and plantation. Wander through the partially-restored buildings, and admire the Arabic and French-style architecture. Soak up the atmosphere in the dining room, the stables, the chapel, and the engine room. Change into your swimwear experience swimming in clear waters of this hacienda's cenotes. Jump into Cenote Carlota, surrounded by lush vegetation. Cool off in the Blue Cenote, a pool within a cave covered in stalactites. At the end of your tour, get dropped off back in Mérida.

Other Sightseeing Options in Yucatán

Want to discover all there is to do in Yucatán? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Yucatán

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 2,456 reviews

We had an amazing time on our excursion!! David was a 10 out of 10 tour guide: engaging, informative, funny and helpful. Along with Juan they made a great team. We had an early start at 5:45am pick up, time for a quick nap and then a little talk about the day and Mayans. We then stopped for early lunch before heading to Chi Chen Itza, after 2h at Chi Chen Itza we went to nearby cenote for a refreshing dip. If you don't purchase all inclusive ticket the entry to Chi Chen Itza is $31 per person, if you don't bring a mask it's $1 per person, it is also mandatory to hire a life jacket (I can't remember how much it was), so basically what I'm saying is bring extra cash for any unexpected expanses and tips!

We are so glad we continued looking for a guide that would take us on an evening visit to Chichen Itza! Axel was amazing, flexible when the weather wasn't perfect, and knowledgeable about the culture and history of the region. Highly recommend Jaguar Journey and will definitely book another adventure with them when we visit the region again.

Frank and Rodrigo did a very good job. Rodrigo in Chichen Itza told us a lot of facts about the pyramid which were quite fascinating and educative.

Thoroughly enjoyed myself! Only thing was the distance from our resort and the mosquitos other than that 10/10 would definitely recommend!!!

Very good tour. Pick up could be more centralize to avoid the bus having to stop many times before getting on the road