our yucatan peninsula top five

The Yucatan Peninsula is deservedly high on the list of Mexican destinations. 

Whether you want to party with Cancun's spring-breakers or sip a tequila with the locals in Valladolid,  it contains a myriad of exciting and distinct travel experiences. 

Here are our top five:

#1 valladolid

valladolid mexico man sits in front of wall

Mayan grandmothers selling their wares; sun-bleached, colour washed walls; battered cowboy's hats atop faces which could tell a 1,000 stories

Valladolid is the real Yucatan, with a moment waiting to be captured on every street corner. 

laguna bacalar mexico

#2 bacalar

Lying just 25 kilometres from the city of Chetumal, this large lagoon remains a little known secret of the Yucatan Peninsula. Although the vast tourism opportunities are slowly being realised, for now you can enjoy the crystal clear waters of this beautiful fresh water lake undisturbed.


#3 the beaches of tulum

tulum beach mexico

Once a hippy-outpost, Tulum has since become the Caribbean beach destination on the Riviera Maya; on first sight of the powder soft, white sand beaches, it is easy to understand why. Lay back, crack open a bottle of Corona and watch the girls go by...

#4 sunday nights in merida

merida dancing black and white

If we're honest, Merida let us down. It's the top Mexico recommendation in the 2013 Lonely Planet and so we arrived with high hopes. 

Valladolid had surpassed all expectations of a colonial city; Merida in comparison was too populated, full of traffic and operating at a different pace of life. 

That is until the band strikes up in the Plaza Grande, generations of Meridians in their Sunday best take to the floor to shuffle and shake the night away. 

#5 chichen itza

chichen itza mexico

Although appositely described by Karl Pilinkington as "a pyramid with a bungalow on top", this majestic Mayan ruin will still make you feel like you've stepped into a picture perfect postcard, at least until 11 a.m.

Check out our guide on how to avoid the crowds!