The Yucatan peninsula juts out into the Caribbean Sea and makes an ideal destination for sun-seekers who want to spend their holidays in Mexico. But there’s so much more to the region than beaches and swim-up bars.
For example, did you know that one of the New Seven Wonders of the World was in Mexico? Here, we talk about this new World Heritage site and five other inspiring vacation attractions…
Wonder at Chichen Itza
Picture by David Stanley and used under Creative Commons license
Visit Chichen Itza and discover the ingenuity of ancient civilizations. Its Mayan snake-god temple has 365 steps, one for each day of the Mayan calendar, and incredibly the temple was built to cast a serpent-like shadow on two days of the year – see this replicated at evening light shows! The astronomical wisdom at play made the surrounding city a cultural hub of Mayan society.
Bliss out watching baby turtles
Picture by Dug Song and used under Creative Commons license
Find out more about what local conservationists are doing to help Turtle Power by visiting Tortugranja on Isla Mujeres. Step into this delightful and affordable turtle farm and you can see amphibians at many stages of growth and development. It’s a real must-visit, especially as you can feed the turtles
Visit the unique underwater museum
Immerse yourself in a spectacular underwater world at the MUSA (Museo Subacuatico de Arte). Local conservationists formulated the idea for a submarine art gallery because the native coral reefs were becoming dangerously damaged by snorkelers, scuba divers and boats. Made up of more than 500 life-size sculptures, MUSA provides entertainment and a new habitat for marine life.
Treat yourself in Tulum
Picture by Cristopher Gonzalez and used under Creative Commons license
Relaxation and enjoyment are the order of the day at Tulum. You can kick back on the stunning beaches. When the sun is at its height, you can sample a traditional Mayan massage in the cool shade of the local spas, or explore the romance of the area’s ancient archaeological ruins. Divine!
Marvel at life in Merida
You’ll quickly find that the slower pace of life in Merida is very pleasing. This interesting little city offers many distractions to keep a visitor occupied, from the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya to the Yucatan Country Club. Take a tour by horse-drawn carriage and watch the people of Merida lounging in the noonday sun.
Swim in a magical pool
Picture by Son of Groucho and used under Creative Commons license
Dive into pristine turquoise waters that have been revered since prehistoric times. Cenotes are naturally occurring sinkholes formed by collapsed limestone – the resulting holes open into stunning underground pools that are now popular for swimming. “Cenote” means “sacred well”, as the ancient Mayans relied on these places as water sources during dry seasons or droughts.
Do you have any personal places of wonder in Mexico? Share your thoughts below!