7 Other Places to Visit in Mexico’s Yucatán State

Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is known for its beautiful beaches, lush forests, Mayan Ruins, cenotes, and a unique take on Mexican food.  Most of us have heard of Cancun, Tulum, and Playa de Carmen.  Of course, I knew other cities in the area existed, I just did not know why I’d want to visit them.  Well, I recently learned that there is so much more to this expansive peninsula, separating the  Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico.  There are many magical towns like Valladolid and Mérida that are steeped in history and culture.  There are also seaside and beach towns like Sisal, Rio Lagartos, and Telchec that offer beautiful beaches, views of amazing wildlife, and fresh seafood that will make most mouths water.

Cities to Visit:  

1. Valladolid

Visit Valladolid. One of the oldest cities of Yucatan, it’s a jewel that is known for magic, mansions, museums, and art. Its location is perfect for stopping on your way to Marida from Cancun.

image of Church Valladolid in Yucatán Peninsula

San Servacio Church – Valladolid, Yucatan was built in 1545 by Father Francisco Hernandez and was demolished in 1705 by Bishop Pedro de los Rios Reys, and in 1706 it was restored!

Hotel Meson Marques

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Take a look at the Tu y Yo Chairs or Kissing Chairs.  I found these so sweet. They seemed to be at every park we went to in the Yucatan state. I even noticed many people sitting and chatting with their neighbors.

People aren’t really sure where the origins of these chairs are from but “one widely-accepted theory is that hundreds of years ago, an overprotective father created the chairs so his daughter and the young man courting her could sit together. With the unique design of the Sillas Tu y Yo Chairs, they could talk without touching one another — getting to know each other in the most modest way possible.”

2. Rio Lagartos

Head to Rio Lagartos for a Flora and Fauna experience.  Boat rides, bird watching, crocodile sightings, and Mayan Baths!

Take a boat tour with the family.  This place is full of biodiversity and is a treasure.  Our Rio Lagartos Adventures guide was super knowledgeable and so much fun! We wandered the waters learning about birds and wildlife in the reserve.

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Ria Maya Restaurant
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3. Telchac

Take a break and relax in Telchac. The Seahorse Resort is beautiful, the food perfect, and the beach on point! This town is a bit out of the way but well worth the drive.

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4. Progreso

Head to Progreso to walk the beach and visit the Marymar Beach Club. We happened to be there for the World Cup and Mexico was playing so there was a lot going on! The food and drinks there were some of the best that I had on our trip.

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5. Sisal

Visit Sisal! Loved, loved this place.  Experience La Bocana Excursion – Boat and Kayak through the mangrove, swim in a cenote (natural water hole), and have lunch on a private beach.

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6. Hunucmá

Explore the little town of Hunucmá.  So intrigued by the colored walls and street vendors. We enjoyed lunch at Agua de Cienega Hotel.

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7. Merida

Visit the Cultural Capital of the Yucatán Peninsula, Merida.  This city is one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Mexico full of fun things to do and wonderful food!

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Cochinita Pibil – Suckling Pig slow-roasted in banana leaves underground

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Relleno Negro – I understand this doesn’t look very appetizing, but I kid you not… it’s amazing. This dish’s base is turkey, pork, and mixed chili peppers.  It’s traditionally prepared in November for Hanal Pixan (festival). I was lucky enough to be there in November!

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Renee is a New York-born travel enthusiast with a passion for yoga and a West Coast spirit. As a travel writer specializing in the West Coast and beyond, Renee loves to explore new destinations and share her experiences with others. She has traveled extensively, gaining a wealth of knowledge about the best places to go, things to do, and where to stay. Renee's writing style is immersive, taking her readers on a journey to the places she visits. Although she doesn't consider herself a professional photographer, Renee is passionate about capturing the beauty of the world around her and loves to include her photos in her travel writing. With her New York attitude and West Coast soul, Renee is a force to be reckoned with in the world of travel writing.