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.

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Key Stats

Flight from London London

10:30 hrs

Time Difference

GMT -6 hrs

Chichen Itza and Tulum are undoubtedly the most famous ruins, but there are plenty more to explore for the avid historian.

Covering 150 acres, the ruins of Uxmal are unusual in that its water system used man-made cisterns to collect water, rather than collecting water from cenotes like many of the other ruins. The Magician's Pyramid has rounded sides with a great height and steepness making it unique among Mayan structures, however it is rivaled by the Governor's palace's size and complex stonework as the masterpiece of Uxmal.

With a continuous architectural sequence that covers fourteen centuries and found in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve the UNESCO World Heritage Site Calakmul has more than 6,750 structures, as well as the tallest pyramid in Mexico. The pyramid has a height of 180ft with a palace at the top. The 120 carved stelae depict the Mayans at work or in the market place and there are a number of images of a women, who is believed to have been one of the cities rulers.

Kabah is believed to have been a dependency of Uxmal as the two cities are linked by a Sacbe or white road that was used by the Mayans as a ceremonial causeway due to the arches at each end. The Palace of the Masks is an impressive site due to the hundreds of stone masks of the rain god Chac covering the façade.


Where to stay

The pool at Viceroy Riviera Maya, luxury hotel in Mexico

Viceroy Riviera Maya

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

Beachbed at Be Tulum, luxury hotel in Mexico

Be Tulum

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.

Hotel Esencia yoga palapa gardens

Hotel Esencia

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.

Hacienda San Jose, luxury hotel in Mexico

Hacienda San José

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

Private dining at Hacienda Temozon, luxury hotel in Mexico

Hacienda Temozon

Hacienda Temozon is located approximately 25 miles from the city of Mérida, in Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula.

Chapel at Hacienda Uayamon, luxury hotel in Mexico

Hacienda Uayamon

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.

Maroma Resort Spa, luxury hotel in Mexico

Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa

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.

Rosewood Mayakoba, luxury hotel  in Mexico

Rosewood Mayakoba

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.

Casa Lecanda

Casa Lecanda

Luxury boutique hotel Casa Lecanda is a wonderfully restored traditional Yucatecan home, located within the historical centre of Merida, Yucatan Peninsula.

The Lodge at Chichen Itza

The Lodge at Chichen Itza

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.

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Ollie and Alexandra are our Yucatan Peninsula experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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