When people think about visiting Mexico, they often think Cabo and/or Cancun. As someone who always thirsts to visit and discover new places, I’ve known for quite some time that Mexico has so much more to offer than just beautiful resorts and beaches, especially in Yucatan area.
After wanting to visit for many years, I finally had a chance to visit this beautiful area. Like a dream come true, I received an invitation from Yucatan Tourism Board to visit and experience the beauty of this area.
We spent 4 and half days exploring the beautiful places in Yucatan. We arrived early in the city called Merida, our tour guides Arturo and Josue, the driver Manuel were there to meet us at the airport. We went to this beautiful hotel called Casa Azul Boutique Hotel. We checked in and the tour begun.
Our first stop on the day is Hacienda Temozon, it used to be a Hacienda (estate) that belonged to a wealthy family back in 1600s. Now it has become a beautiful resort and open for public. We spent about an hour there, admiring the beautiful building and its surroundings. Then we explored downtown Merida and had an amazing lunch there. Such a beautiful charming downtown, it is filled with so many beautiful, colorful buildings.
On the second day we visited the famous iconic landmark of Yucatan, Chichén Itzá! These incredible ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site, built between 750-1000 AD. Walking around this ancient complex is a must do.
For our second and third stops we visited the popular cenotes in Yucatan area. Cenote Ik Kil and Cenote Samula. Both of these cenotes are simply amazing.
Cenote Ik Kil is open to the sky with the water level about 26 metres (85 ft) below ground. Many tourists come to visit this beautiful site where they can also swim here.
Cenote Samula is a cave cenote, not as many tourists here when we arrived. It's so quiet and peaceful. The ceiling is naturally carved by age, so beautiful. Words can't even describe how I felt, it was really a magical moment for me.
We visited 2 more cenotes on the third day. These cenotes are privately owned and were literally untouched beauty. We drove around 1,5 hours from Merida, some of the roads were even unmarked leading through the woods. Cenote Yakunah and Cenote Del Amor. Cenote Yakunah is similar to Cenote Ik Kil, it's an open sky cenote. The water is very blue and clear with beautiful trees and amazing carved wall all around it. While Cenote Del Amor is another cave cenote. We had a chance to swim and kayak in Cenote Del Amor. The water was so fresh and clean, such an incredible experience! After the cenote adventures, we headed out to this beautiful city called Izamal. We had our lunch there and exploring the iconic Monastery of Izamal. Izamal is characterized for most of its buildings having a beautiful yellow tone.
Rio Lagartos was next on our list, a cute little town on the edge of a national bioreserve. We spent almost all of our 4th day visiting the amazing wildlife at Parque Natural Ria Lagartos. We saw so many beautiful birds, including the famous flamingos! One of the highlights of this reserve is a portion where the sea is pink! Located in the Biosphere Reserve, the rose colored water is the result of the tiny marine macro organisms that live in that water. It was such a beautiful day, partly cloudy blue sky made such an amazing combination with the pink sea! I couldn't ask for better weather for that day! We spent about an hour there, and took plenty of pictures. Unforgettable!!!
We visited another Mayan ruins complex in Uxmal on our last day before our departure. Though not as famous as Chichén Itzá, a visit to these ruins are totally worth a visit! In my personal opinion the ruins in Uxmal are more beautiful than at Chichén Itźa. Even nicer, there were not as many tourists as at the other ruins, we felt like we were back in the ancient time as we walked around these amazing ruins. I felt so lucky having this incredible experience.
We had our last meal at the Uxmal Lodge, traditional Yucatan local dishes served in an outdoor pavilion covered by a thatched roof. After the drive back to Merida, we had a few hours to relax by the pool at Casa Azul. Soon it was our departure time back to US. We had learned a lot and seen so much beauty in Yucatan, Mexico. It was such a great trip, thank you so much to Yucatan Tourism Board for the invitation. We look forward to returning to Yucatan again someday, hopefully soon. What a wonderful place!