Yucatan Holidays: An Overview

The Yucatan Peninsula is a superb destination, simply made for relaxing on the beach interspersed with some culture.

Image of Alexandra Heriot Maitland
Image of Will Boocock
Image of Saskia Wilson

Saskia, Will and Alexandra are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The Yucatán Peninsula is perfect for those who feel beach holiday guilt: there's plenty of culture along the Riviera Maya, and it's so near it only requires you to take a couple of hours off from your sun lounger
  • There is plenty to do in the Riviera Maya from sailing, snorkelling, fishing and boat trips to cultural activities like visiting the Mayan Ruins , shopping in Mexican markets.
  • A few days on the beach combines really well with a few days inland at a typical Mexican Hacienda.
  • Take a dip in clear water cenotes.

Luxury Yucatan Holidays: The Detail

Although popular resorts such as Playa del Carmen and Cancun are one image of the Yucatán Peninsula, there is another - far more charming - world available in this south-eastern tip of Mexico.

The Yucatán has plenty to offer the discerning culture vulture, lovers of jungle and wildlife, diving fans, and holidaymakers looking for romantic, exclusive and just plain beautiful beach hotels.

The peninsula separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea. On the Caribbean side, the stretch of coastline known as the Riviera Maya offers pure white-sand beaches and calm blue waters, Tulum's ancient Mayan ruins, as well as a vast selection of hotels to suit pretty much all tastes from luxury family resorts to intimate jungle hideaways and laid back island retreats.

For a more low-key beach retreat, the idyllic Isla Holbox lies off the northern coast. This droplet of sand offers stunning white beaches and turquoise lagoons, and visitors will share the sandy roads (bikes and horse carts are the transport du jour here), with local fisherman, returning home with their morning catch. It's not all about the beach though. The northern part of the peninsula is home to the pretty colonial towns of Merida and Campeche as well as Original Travel's favourite inland haciendas which make the perfect bases to discover yet more beautiful Mayan ruins in the region.

No trip to the Yucatan is complete without visiting the outstanding Mayan site of Chichen Itza. Right in the middle of the peninsula, there is no excuse for not stopping off here when en route between your hacienda and beach hotel.

Cancun, with its international airport and direct flights from London, is the jumping-off point for the peninsula, but if you don't fancy putting your party sombrero on you can be in and out of the town in no time.

For a variation of a coastal holiday we recommend a few days on the beach combined with a few days inland at a typical Mexican Hacienda. Here you can explore the countryside, visit typical Mexican villages and Mayan Ruins, spend a morning at the underground cenotes (tunnels where you can go snorkelling or diving in crystalline water) and generally soaking up the local culture.


A note on price

A cheeky week on the beach can cost from around £2000 per person including flights, whereas an adventurous (and luxurious!) journey around the best bits of Mexico might cost more like £6000 or upwards. In the Yucatán, prices are comparatively low out of season. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 22°C / 71°F
  • Rainfall — 0cm / 0.4 inches

Top picks for Yucatan Peninsula

Maroma Resort Spa, luxury hotel in Mexico

Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa

Yucatan Peninsula

Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is a former coconut plantation turned idyllic beach resort located on a secluded stretch of the Riviera Maya, on the Yucatán peninsula.

Where to stay

Hacienda San Jose, luxury hotel in Mexico

Hacienda San José

Yucatan Peninsula

Hacienda San José is a secluded ‘boutique hacienda’ located on the Yucatán peninsula, 24 miles south-east of Mérida.

Where to stay

Hotel Esencia

Hotel Esencia

Yucatan Peninsula

Hotel Esencia is a chic beach retreat set on a two-mile stretch of white-sand beach along the ‘Riviera Maya’ of Mexico’s Yucatán coast.

Where to stay

Beachbed at Be Tulum, luxury hotel in Mexico

Be Tulum

Yucatan Peninsula

Leave the ankle-biters at home, Be Tulum is a boutique luxury hotel with an unbeatable beachfront location, and designed with relaxation in mind, is exclusively for grown ups.

Where to stay

Sian Ka'an, Mexico

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Yucatan Peninsula

Covering around 1.3million acres the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean.

What to do

Snorkel Whale Shark, Mexico

Swimming with Whale Sharks

Yucatan Peninsula

Ever swum with Whale Sharks? No? Well now is your chance...

What to do

Rosewood Mayakoba, luxury hotel  in Mexico

Rosewood Mayakoba

Yucatan Peninsula

The Rosewood Mayakoba is set in the heart of the 1,600 acre Rosewood resort, just 30 minutes south of Cancun and north of Playa del Carmen. With a mile of white sand beach, it stretches back into lush jungle interspersed with a meandering lagoon.

Where to stay

The Lodge at Chichen Itza

The Lodge at Chichen Itza

Yucatan Peninsula

The Lodge at Chichen Itza sits within 100 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, filled with tropical trees which are home to many species of bird and butterfly. Boasting a superb location in the heart of the archaeological park, the lodge has its very own entrance to the Mayan temples at Chichen Itza.

Where to stay

Tulum Ruins


Yucatan Peninsula

Tulum was a site of huge importance between 1000 and 1600 AD, and something of a haven for the elite of the Mayan world.

What to do

The pool at Viceroy Riviera Maya, luxury hotel in Mexico

Viceroy Riviera Maya

Yucatan Peninsula

The Viceroy is a boutique beach front resort located just outside Playa del Carmen on Mexico's Yucatán peninsula.

Where to stay

Chapel at Hacienda Uayamon, luxury hotel in Mexico

Hacienda Uayamon

Yucatan Peninsula

Hacienda Uayamon is located in the Yucatan Peninsula close to the walled city of Campeche on the Gulf of Mexico and next to the vast Mayan ruins of Edzna.

Where to stay

Uxmal Ruins, Mexico

Mayan Ruins in Yucatan

Yucatan Peninsula

The Yucatan area has numerous sites with Mayan ruins. While some sites cover vast areas and have been well preserved or restored others are much smaller and have suffered over the years. Many of the sites still have vast areas that are yet to be excavated and explored.

What to do

We felt like we were Original Travel's only clients - the service was completely personalised and all questions were answered instantly. They actively listened to our priorities and created a package that completely suited our needs. Throughout the process they will surprise you with their attentiveness and most importantly, they will not forget about you once you come back from holiday.

Mitja and Katarina Brus

Start creating your tailored trip today

Tell us what you want

Our thoughtful experts are ready with ideas, inspiration and advice for your next journey.

Build a tailored itinerary

Working with you we’ll craft an unforgettable trip and tailored itinerary.

We've got you covered

We're here to help with everything while you're away from the smallest to the biggest request.

Our enthusiastic experts are seasoned travellers with the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on +44 (0) 20 7978 7333

Or enquire online

Newsletter Sign-Up

Get the latest travel advice, information and inspiration in our weekly newsletter.

Brochure Sign-Up

Our beautiful, free brochure is packed with insider information and incredible travel ideas from every corner of the planet.
Get the brochure

About Us

We are a creative luxury travel company who take a thoughtful approach to creating tailor-made holidays that perfectly fulfil your needs. Read our story

Planning a Holiday

Talk to our team of thoughtful experts about your travel needs:
+44 (0) 20 7978 7333 Contact us online


If you are a supplier and would like to contact us:
+44 (0) 20 7978 7333 product@originaltravel.co.uk

Why Us

Our meticulous planning, in-depth knowledge, honest advice, award-winning service and financial protection all ensure that you will enjoy the most memorable holiday experience. Why us


For all press enquiries, please contact our marketing team:
+44 (0) 20 7978 7333 press@originaltravel.co.uk


For all other feedback please contact:
+44 (0) 20 7978 7333 feedback@originaltravel.co.uk