Top 20 Things to Do in Yucatan

What to do in Yucatan?

Are you planning to visit the Yucatan during your stay in Mexico?

Good idea!

With its heavenly beaches, major archaeological sites, colonial towns and breathtaking natural sites, there is no doubt that you will have plenty to do during your stay!

To help you organize your trip, I have therefore prepared my guide to the best things to do and see in the Yucatan, this huge peninsula that includes the Mexican states of Quintana RooYucatan and Campeche, as well as part of the Belize and Guatemala.

You will find all the must-see places of interest on the Mexican side of the peninsula, with all the practical information and my best advice to make the most of your vacation.

So where to go and what to do in Yucatan?

Visit the Yucatan: the must-sees

1. Visit Chichen Itza

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a new wonder of the world, the Mayan city of Chichen Itzá  is an exceptional site to visit in Yucatan.

The Castillo or the Great Pyramid is at the top of the list. It culminates at 24 m in height and at its top, there is a small temple housing a stone throne.

We must not forget the Tzompantli, the Temple of the Warriors with its 1000 giant columns, the gigantic ball court and the astronomical observatory named Caracol.

To add to the visit of Chichen Itzá: the cenote Ik Kilone of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico!

My advice

Chichen Itzá is the most touristic site in the Yucatan. It receives many buses of travelers arriving at the same time and forming long queues.

Don’t waste your time!

Pre-book your skip-the-line tickets to Chichen Itzá here.

There are several ways to visit Chichen Itzá :

  • By bus: 3h Cancun, 3h45 from Playa del Carmen, 2h30 from Tulum, 1h50 from Mérida. The bus drops you off at the site entrance.
  • By car: from Cancun, simply follow the 180D, but you will have to take into account tolls (about 700 pesos for the round trip) and parking 80 pesos
  • With an excursion: I recommend booking this excursion to Chichen Itzá which includes pick-up at your hotel, Chichen Itza, the Ik Kil cenote, buffet lunch and free time in Valladolid. 
one thing to do in Yucatan
The famous site of Chichen Itza

2. Cycling in Coba

Coba was a powerful Mayan city and a great rival of Chichen Itza.

At its height, it is estimated that it extended over 80km 2 and accommodated some 50,000 inhabitants. Impressive for the time!

This beautiful city hidden in the jungle is today an unmissable site in Yucatan.

You can do the tour on foot, but I especially recommend visiting Coba by bike!

It is much more pleasant and practical to move between the different structures.

Its main attraction is the Nohoch Mul : with its 42m it is the highest pyramid of the Yucatan peninsula after Calakmul.

There are also 3 magnificent cenotes in Coba : Tamcach Ha (or Tankach-Ha), Multun Ha, Choo-Ha.

The only way to get there from the archaeological site if you don’t have a car is by bike!

Visit Coba

  • Admission 100 pesos, parking 60 pesos
  • Bicycle 60 pesos, bicitaxi with driver from 140 pesos
  • Getting to Coba : the site is on route 180 between Tulum (45 min) and Valladolid (55 min)

For convenience, I suggest taking a day trip with pickup from your Riviera Maya hotel .

It includes transport from the Riviera Maya, the visit of  Coba, a traditional lunch , swimming in two cenotes, guided visit of the ruins of Tulum and free time in Tulum!  To book here.

one thing to do in Yucatan
Nohoch Mul at Coba, the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula

3. Swim with turtles in Akumal

Akumal hosts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Yucatan which span several bays: to the north Media Luna and Yal-Ku, to the south and Bay of Akumal and Aventuras Akumal.

The most touristy area is the one to the south because it is the refuge of 3 species of turtles and manta rays all year round.

We come here mainly to swim with the turtles!

As soon as you arrive, you will be told that the life jacket and the guide are compulsory, but this is not true. You have to pay the entrance to the beach (100 pesos) and the rest is optional.

On the other hand, to make sure to see the maximum of turtles, I really recommend going to the protected area.

It  must be accessed with a guide who knows the best spots and will ensure that the turtles are not stressed by the presence of swimmers (respecting distances, etc.)

I suggest this snorkeling excursion in Akumal (turtles, fish, corals) with pick-up at your hotel, which will then take you to explore a cave and swim in a cenote!

Easy to book here.

Things to see and do in Akumal too:

  • Visit Akumal Monkey Sanctuary, a jungle wildlife sanctuary with monkeys, snakes, toucans, parrots, and more. Better to book in advance to get up to 20% off.
  • Snorkeling in Yal-Ku which is a shallow lagoon (1-3m) protected from the waves, you can see lots of exotic fish! – Book your Yal-Ku eco-park tickets here!
  • Explore the Aktun Chen caves  where you can zip through the forest under the watchful eyes of monkeys, visit a 5 million year old underground cave and swim in its cenote.
  • Snorkeling in the shallow waters of Yal-Ku, Las Redes, Arrecife de Dick and Arrecife Motocicleta
  • Snorkel in the deep waters of Tzimin-Ha, Xaak or Gonzalo Reef
  • Relax in the beaches of Xcacel and Chemuyil, heavenly white sand beaches, 10 minutes south of Akumal.

one thing to do in Yucatan

4. The protected island of Contoy

Off Cancun is Isla Contoy, a small paradise island of 9km to see absolutely in Yucatan.

This protected area is an important refuge for many birds (there are 152 species of migratory birds!) and a nesting place for turtles.

In order to protect its biodiversity, it is mandatory to go through a tower and its access is limited to only 200 visitors per day.

The tour to Contoy usually departs from Cancun around 10am.

The boat first stops in a snorkeling spot before arriving in Contoy (1 hour trip).

Once there, you have the choice of following the guide for a visit to Contoy (30 min) or going directly to the beach.

After free time on the island, a traditional Yucatan meal is served: Tikin Xic fish

On the way back to Cancun, a stop at Isla Mujeres (1h15) is planned to freely visit the island. This is the opportunity to see the famous Playa Norte!

You can easily book the excursion to Contoy with all activities and lunch here.

one thing to do in Yucatan
The beach of Isla Contoy

5. Bioluminescence at Holbox

Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon that occurs in several places around the world.

It is an emission of light by living organisms, offering a pretty nocturnal spectacle in an almost magical atmosphere.

From July to JanuaryHolbox is among the most beautiful places to see bioluminescence in Yucatan, and especially on the beach of Punta Cocos.

Holbox is one of the most beautiful islands in Mexico with a lot to offer.

I therefore recommend staying there at least 2 days to fully enjoy it.

Things to do in Holbox:

  • Discover his colorful street art
  • Enjoy the fine sandy beach in one of the small hotels on the island
  • Explore the wild beaches away from the tourists at Punta Mosquitos
  • Take a boat trip to Isla Pajaros,  Ojo de Agua Yalahau  and  Isla de la Pasion.
  • Snorkeling  in Cabo Catoche
  • Swim with whale sharks near the Yum Balam reserve

Besides the bioluminescence effect, Holbox is a beautiful island to visit all year round, whether in 1, 2 or 3 days.

You can also read my article: Visiting Holbox: the Top 16 things to do and see!

If you are short on time, I suggest this excursion to Holbox from Cancun with pick-up from your hotel in the Riviera Maya.

It’s a full day that includes lunch, a boat trip to Isla PajarosIsla PasionYalahau Lagoon, and free time in Holbox to enjoy its long sandy beaches!

You can book the excursion here.

one thing to do in Yucatan
The bioluminescence effect

6. Bathe in a Mayan cenote

Cenotes are natural wells that were sacred in Mayan times.

Sometimes exterior and easily accessible, sometimes well hidden in caves, some cenotes have become very touristy and others are barely known.

This is an opportunity to swim in cool water, snorkel and dive.

To simply swim (and take beautiful photos) I recommend the C e note Samula, in a cave near Valladolid. In the same park is located the cenote Xkeken, to see too!

If you are a diving enthusiast, you will find what you are looking for in Chac Mool near Playa del Carmen , or on the Tulum side at the Dos OjosEl PitAngelita and Carwash cenotes .

Cenotes perfect for families include Cenote Azul in Playa del Carmen or Gran Cenote in Tulum.

But these are just a few examples, the choice is not lacking because it is estimated that there could be up to 10,000 cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula.

My advice
The majority of cenotes only accept cash , so be prepared.

Also, I recommend bringing Aquashoes ( water shoes) because there are always rocks: it’s much more practical and safe!

one thing to do in Yucatan
Cenote Dos Ojos in Tulum

7. Party in Cancun

What has hoisted Cancun among the best tourist destinations in Yucatan is its offer of all-inclusive hotels facing the Caribbean Sea and its vibrant nightlife.

It is precisely here that the famous Spring Break is organized in March, but also other major events such as the Wine and Food Festival and the Jazz Festival.

The choice for partying in Cancun is not lacking: the Mandala, the City Nightclub (the largest nightclub in the country) or of course the mythical Coco Bongo. You can buy your tickets to Coco Bongo here.

You can also simply head to the “Party Zone” or “Party Center”, a street corner of Boulevard Kukulcan where there are several bars and clubs.

  • In a completely different genre, Xoximilco Cancun is a Mexican-themed party place with a ride on the water in a colorful trajinera, mariachis, typical meals and an open bar (beer and tequila). To book here.

Things to do and see in Cancun:

  • The archaeological sites El Rey, El Meco and the Temple of the Scorpion (Yamil Lu’um)
  • The Mayan Museum dedicated to Mayan culture
  • Buy souvenirs at Mercado 28
  • The Torre Escenica which offers a panoramic view of the city and the sea at a height of 110m
  • Snorkeling or diving at MUSA (Cancun Underwater Museum) – You can book the excursion here!
  • Enjoy the many beaches of Cancun such as Tortugas (for the party), Los Delfines, Playa Langosta, Playa Linda, Playa Caracol, Playa Marlin.
  • Explore Rio Secreto, an incredible underground network of rivers and caves waiting to be discovered. Book here with lunch included
  • Isla Blanca beach located at the tip of Cancun, between the Chacmuchuc lagoon and the Caribbean Sea. In addition to being the most beautiful beach in Cancun, it’s a good kitesurfing spot!
one thing to do in Yucatan
Cancun is the best place in Mexico to party!

8. The colorful streets of Mérida

Mérida is a pretty colonial city that is reputed to be the safest city in Mexico.

Capital of the State of Yucatan, it stands out for its rich architectural heritage, its museums and pretty colorful houses.

There are so many things to see and do in Mérida :

  • The Plaza Grande which is the main square, with the House of Montejo, the Cathedral, the Macay Museum, the Passage of the Revolution, the Government Palace.
  • The Palacio Canton, a magnificent building that hosts the Yucatan Regional Anthropology Museum
  • Attend the yucateca serenata at Parque Santa Lucia (Thursday 9 p.m.), folk music from Yucatan
  • Discover Mexican culture at the colorful folk art museum !
  • Admire the colorful facades of the houses of Mérida, especially on Calle 64
  • Visit the huge Mayan World Museum with its 1000 archaeological pieces
  • Take a trip to the market and take part in a typical Yucatan cooking class – Book here!
  • Take the “guagua” guided bus tour to discover the must-sees and non-touristy neighborhoods

It is also a good starting point to visit the Ruta Puuc which links ancient Mayan cities sharing the same architectural style, the main ones being Uxmal, Kabah and Sayil.

one thing to do in Yucatan
The facades of Merida

9. Enjoy one of the best beaches in the world at Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is an island located off Cancun, known for its colorful houses and long sandy beaches.

Among them, Playa Norte is considered in the TOP 10 of the best beaches in the world! It is the ideal place to swim in the crystal clear water and watch a magnificent sunset.

Isla Mujeres is also an ideal destination for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts because it is near the second largest reef in the world.

To get to Isla Mujeres, you have to take a ferry from Cancun (Puerto Juarez). Spaces on the ferry are very limited, I strongly recommend that you reserve them as soon as possible!

To book your return ferry ticket to Isla Mujeres (return valid for 6 months after your outbound date), click here.

It is also possible to take an excursion to Isla Mujeres by catamaran from Cancun with snorkeling, free time on the beach, drinks and lunch. A full day in all-inclusive, to book here.

one thing to do in Yucatan
Part of Playa Norte at Isla Mujeres. Photo Dronepicr

10. Playa del Carmen

One might be tempted to believe that Playa del Carmen is just a “little Cancun”, but not at all!

Both are resorts that attract families and couples, but Cancun is mostly focused on young, party-seeking tourism like springbreakers.

From my point of view, Playa del Carmen offers the best of both worlds.

That is to say that on the one hand, we are in a small dynamic town with many restaurants, beach clubs, bars and clubs, including the famous Coco Bongo.

And on the other, Playa del Carmen is much smaller, accessible on foot, and with a more varied hotel offer than only large all-inclusive hotels.

In all objectivity, its greatest advantage is its ideal location between several places of unmissable interest in Yucatan.

Indeed, it is located at the crossroads of two major highways, which makes it easy to move around the entire Riviera Maya or to return to the interior of the Peninsula.

What to see in Playa del Carmen:

  • La Quinta Avenida, the main street of Playa del Carmen, very lively and pedestrian with many shops, restaurants and bars
  • The Parque los Fundadores where traditional Mayan dance shows are held
  • The beaches of Playa del Carmen : playa Paamul, Playa Paraiso, Playa Tukan, Playa Mamitas. I prefer Playa Xcalacoco (15 min by car) which is quieter.
  • The Musée des Merveilles 3D is a surprising museum with 50 three-dimensional paintings. The perfect place to take pictures! Website
  • Cenotes near Playa del Carmen such as Cenote Azul, Cenote Cristalino, Jardin del Eden, Tajma-há and Chaak Tun
  • Xplor Park which is a jungle adventure park with caves and underground rivers. My favorite! Buy the Xp gold all-inclusive pass now!
  • Xcaret is one of the most popular places in the Riviera Maya. It is a large ecological park with an aquarium, an underground river, a Mayan village and a large number of activities to do.  Buy tickets easily here
  • Playacar is a chic seaside resort known for its beautiful beaches, its golf course, and the ruins of Xaman-Ha (16C ). It’s a good spot for kitesurfing!
one thing to do in Yucatan
Carmen beach

11. Visit the city of Valladolid

A small town with colonial charm, Valladolid is a must on a Yucatan itinerary.

It is an obligatory crossing point between the east coast of Yucatan (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Sian Ka’an) and Chichen Itza, Rio Lagartos, Ek Balam, IzamalMéridaCampeche.

Not to be missed in Valladolid :

  • The San Bernardino de Siena Convent, also called Sisal Convent, which is considered one of the most beautiful monasteries in Yucatan.
  • The Parque Francisco Canton Rosado which is the main square where the San Servacio church is located and several Mexican street food kiosks
  • Calle 41A or Calzada de los Frailes, the best photo spot in Valladolid with its colorful houses!
  • The Choco story museum, a really nice and vibrant museum that showcases the history of chocolate and its importance to the Mayans. Perfect for the whole family!
  • La Casa de los Venados, a private museum a stone’s throw from the main square, with a large collection of Mexican folk art
  • The cenotes of Valladolid which are among the most beautiful in Yucatan: Xkeken (also called Dzitnup), Samula, Zaci, Suytun and San Lorenzo Oxman.

But among the best things to do in Valladolid, my favorite by far is the Cenote Maya Native Park.

It is an ecotourism park in the jungle that offers several unforgettable activities between zipline, Tarzan ropes and abseiling (26m) to the cenote with the largest vault in Yucatan!

We then participate in a Mayan blessing ritual with a shaman, before enjoying a traditional buffet prepared with organic ingredients.

Admission includes all activities, ceremony and meal. An unforgettable half-day to book here.

one thing to do in Yucatan
The Church of Valladolid

12. The seabed of Cozumel

A large island located in the Caribbean, surrounded by magnificent coral reefs, Cozumel is one of the must-see destinations in Yucatan, especially for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts!

There are so many things to see and do in Cozumel, here are some examples:

  • Chankanaab National Park where you can go zip-lining, see its garden which is home to 350 species of plants, and especially snorkel and dive. Buy park entry here. 
  • The archaeological site of San Gervasio where the sanctuary of Ixchel, goddess of fertility is located
  • Enjoy beautiful beaches like Playa San Francisco, Playa Encantada, Playa San Juan (perfect with children), Playa Hernan, Playa Santa Maria and Playa Palancar.
  • Playa Palancar is my favorite because it’s the most pristine and it’s close to the two most important reefs in Cozumel: Colombia and Palancar, perfect for snorkeling and diving!
  • Discover Punta Sur by jeep, the largest ecological reserve in Cozumel: the Colombia lagoon, the Punta Celarain lighthouse, with snorkeling, tequila tasting in a distillery and lunch in a beach club! To book by clicking here
  • Catamaran trip to El Cielo to see starfish with a stop at Palancar Reef – Book here
  • Swim in Chen Rio, a natural swimming pool with calm waters between the rocks
  • The Playa Mia Grand Beach park on a large deserted beach, with several activities for the family.
  • Take a catamaran trip to discover the Laguna Colombia.
  • Kitesurfing in Laguna Ciega, near Isla de la Pasion
  • Discover Mayan astronomical knowledge at the Cha’an Ka’an Planetarium
  • Take a ride in the Atlantis submarine to see the underwater biodiversity at 30m depth. – Book your seats here!
  • Visit the Pueblo del Maiz, a reproduction of a pre-Hispanic village, with dancing and music

The best way to enjoy Cozumel is to take a snorkeling tour.

I recommend this excursion which takes you snorkeling near 3 reefs (all equipment is included).

Water and soft drinks are available on the boat, then beers are included after snorkeling.

one thing to do in Yucatan
Snorkeling in Cozumel

13. Treat yourself to a yoga session in Tulum

Tulum is a small town with a bohemian chic atmosphere , a very trendy destination at the moment!

Travelers come here to relax on its long sandy beaches and visit the ruins of Tulum.

But Tulum is also the most important yoga and relaxation destination in the Yucatan.

There are several studios that offer lessons for all levels, not to mention the many hotels that also offer them.

Tulum is also a small shopping paradise with its many trendy shops, located mainly on the Beach Strip next to the beach.

And what about its fine sandy beaches and its many cenotes? Unforgettable!

one thing to do in Yucatan
Yoga in Tulum. Photo Nomad Tulum

14. Catamaran in Bacalar

In the south of the Yucatan, on the border with Belize, is Bacalar, a magnificent destination to see in Yucatan that still escapes mass tourism.

We come here mainly to enjoy its large 7 Colors lagoon with its cenotes , the Pirates Canal and the Bacalar Rapids.

To fully enjoy the turquoise waters of Bacalar, you can take a small group catamaran excursion that takes you to Cenote Negro, Bird Island and the Pirates Canal, with snorkeling break and fruits on board. A dream excursion, to book by clicking here.

My advice

There is no beach in Bacalar, but rather ”  balnearios ” which allow access to the lagoon for swimming and snorkeling.

one thing to do in Yucatan

15. Aquatic adventure in an ecotourism park

There are several magnificent eco-tourism parks in the Yucatan and it would be a shame not to take advantage of them.

Here are a few :

  • Xel-Ha is a large water park with a river, lakes, caves to explore on foot, by bike, snorkeling and even ziplining! Ideal for spending the day with the family, easily book here
  • Xcaret is somewhat in the same genre as Xel-Ha, there are also more attractions related to Mexican culture, including the incredible show Xcaret Mexico Espectacular. Buy tickets easily here!
  • Xplor Park offers several activities such as water slides, suspension bridges and zip lines, exploration in amphibious vehicles, rafting in flooded caves. Buy the Xp gold all-inclusive pass now!
  • Rio Secreto is an incredible underground route formed by a river and several caves to discover on foot, by swimming, by bike and by abseiling. A place to see absolutely in Yucatan and a real change of scenery, to book here

My advice
The best way to enjoy the parks is to stay at Hotel Xcaret

In addition to meals, you will have full and free access to all the parks! (Xcaret, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xenses, Xoximilco, Xel-Ha and Xenotes)

one thing to do in Yucatan
Xel Ha Park

16. Exploring Calakmul like Indiana Jones

The Yucatan is full of magnificent Mayan sites and among them my favorite is Calakmul.

It is a Mayan city hidden in a jungle declared a Biosphere Reserve, which is America’s second lung!

It was one of the most powerful cities in the Maya world, like Palenque in Chiapas or Tikal in Guatemala.

Today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a fantastic site which nevertheless receives very few tourists.

And unlike other sites in Mexico, one can freely climb the various structures and pyramids.

Something to feel like a real adventurer!

What to see in Calakmul:

  • Chan Chi’ich, the residential area
  • Chii’k Naab which was to be a gathering place for the celebrations
  • The Great Acropolis divided into 2 spaces, a semi-public and a private where all the elite of Calakmul resided
  • The Grande Place which is the central square of the city
  • Structure II, the largest pyramid on the site (50m) and one of the most important pyramids in the Mayan world.
  • Structure I which is the 2nd largest pyramid on the site (40m) and also offers an impressive view
  • The Lesser Acropolis and Structure III, smaller but equally fascinating

My advice
You can freely visit the site, following one of the three possible routes (2h, 3h or 4h-5h) by following the signs indicating the path.

If you want the services of a guide, you will have to indicate it at the entrance to the reserve before arriving in Calakmul.

If you wish, you can book the excursion to Calakmul from Bacalar, Chetumal or Xpujil with pick-up from your hotel by clicking here.

one thing to do in Yucatan
The Mayan city of Calakmul

17. Observe the flamingos of Celestun

The Celestun Biosphere Reserve is a large protected area known to be the refuge of 300 species of birds, including thousands of flamingos during the winter (November to April).

This is arguably the best place to see flamingos in Mexico. In addition, they are here an intense pink color because of the concentration of carotene in the water.

To visit the reserve, you must first go to Celestun, a fishing village facing the Gulf of Mexico, more precisely to the Turistico Celestun pier to take a small boat (guided tour 1h30).

I recommend this excursion to Celestun from Mérida with round trip transfer from your hotel, guided tour of the reserve, boat tour and lunch on the beach. To book here.

one thing to do in Yucatan

18. The Yellow City of Izamal

Izamal is a small colonial town in Yucatan, nicknamed “the yellow city” because of its ocher-colored buildings and “the city of the hills” for its many pyramids.

It is a destination with a lot of charm, many craft workshops, and a characteristic color that promises beautiful photos!

Things to do in Izamal :

  • Visit the imposing ochre-coloured Saint Anthony of Padua convent. At 8 p.m. (Monday to Saturday) there is a sound and light show that introduces Mayan culture.
  • Take a trip to the market to taste specialties such as panuchos or salbutes
  • Admire the view from the top of the Kinich Kakmo pyramid, the tallest in Izamal. There are also other pyramids to see like Itzamatul. Both are free!
one thing to do in Yucatan
The Convent of Saint Anthony of Padua in Izamal

19. Discover Puerto Morelos

Located between Cancun and Playa del CarmenPuerto Morelos is a must on a trip to Yucatan that seduces with its seaside charm.

It is a fairly quiet little fishing town, where you can spend a perfect day exploring its magnificent coral reef, and eating freshly caught seafood and fish!

Not to be missed in Puerto Morelos:

  •  Puerto Morelos Reef National Park where you can kayak, windsurf, dive, snorkel to see the hundreds of colorful corals and fish.
  • The Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin Botanical Garden : a large protected area where you can see monkeys, coatis, many plants, not to mention its suspension bridge and its ancient Mayan site.
  • Enjoy the beaches of Puerto Morelos with calm water, suitable both for families with children and for lovers of water sports (eg windsurfing).
  • Dive to the C-56 Juan Escutia, a warship 25m underwater. It is even possible to enter certain sections such as the engine room.
  • Explore cenotes hidden in the jungle, such as La Noria or Verde Lucero.
  • Take a trip to the Artisans Market to encourage the local economy
  • Selvatica Park : recognized as the best adventure park in Latin America and one of the 35 best adventures in the world  by Travel+Leisure magazineBuy your tickets here!
one thing to do in Yucatan
The beach of Puerto Morelos

20. The lac rose of Las Coloradas

In the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, between the states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo, hides one of the most photogenic places in the Yucatan Peninsula: Las Coloradas !

It is the salt deposits that give it this unique pink color.

For photography enthusiasts, a visit to Las Coloradas is a golden opportunity to take some great shots.

From January to September (especially April, May, June), you can also witness an additional spectacle: the gathering of  the largest population of flamingos in Mexico  to reproduce!

My advice
It is important to understand that Las Coloradas is owned by a salt extraction company which empties the salt twice a year.

The intensity of the color depends on the concentration of salt in the water and the extraction is not always done at the same time.

So it is difficult to guarantee that the water will be an intense pink when you visit Las Coloradas!

In any case, between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. the pink is more intense.

How to visit Las Coloradas 

  • By car : you must first go through Tizimin, 1 hour from Las Coloradas (highway 295). 2h15 from Cancun and Playa del Carmen, 2h from Mérida or 1h30 from Valladolid.
  • By bus : take a bus to Tizimin (Oriente bus from the ADO company) then a taxi or colectivo to Las Coloradas.
  • Take a trip to Las Coloradas : I recommend this tour with air-conditioned transport from your hotel, cenote Hubiku, boat trip to Las Coloradas, and lunch. To book by clicking here.

My advice
It is also possible to get to Las Coloradas from El Cuyo, a small fishing village, not very touristic and with magnificent beaches.

one thing to do in Yucatan
Las Coloradas in the Ria Lagartos reserve. Photo Esau Alberto Canto Novelo

How to get around the Yucatan?

And bus

The bus is a good inexpensive way to get around Yucatan.

I recommend ADO which is one of the best bus companies in Mexico with several departures to many destinations. I suggest looking at the timetables on their website as fares can vary wildly depending on the time!


Colectivos are another form of transportation widely used in Yucatan and across Mexico.

These are vans that can accommodate 12 to 15 people.

They cover several routes (including those of the buses) and have the advantage of stopping where they are asked on the way. Very convenient!

They are also cheaper than the buses, but you have to wait for them to fill up to leave and you can’t get on with big suitcases because there is no space.

By rental car

Many travelers decide to rent a car to visit Yucatan. And indeed the advantages are numerous! Freedom, speed, flexibility of routes and schedules…

By plane

As I mentioned above, there are several airports in Yucatan that offer internal flights: Mérida, Chetumal, Cozumel, Campeche, in addition to Cancun of course.

It’s convenient for those who don’t have a lot of time there or want to see as much as possible during their stay in Mexico.

Yucatan tourist map

Here are all the attractions mentioned on a map, it will be easier to organize your trip to Yucatan!

When to go to Yucatan?

There are 3 main things to consider when finding the best time to visit the Yucatan: tourist influxhurricanes, and temperature.

The Yucatan has a tropical climate that hovers around 25C year-round, but the humidity can really make all the difference!

The “dry” season which is the most pleasant extends from December to April.

On the other hand, it is also the high season so the prices are higher.

From March to early April, it’s Spring Break and the beaches are invaded by young Americans who have come to party in the sun.

July and August are very hot and humid months , and quite busy in terms of tourism.

The low season runs from mid-April to mid-July and then from September to November, but it is the rainy and hurricane season from May to October.

It is up to you to make your choice!

For me, the best time to visit the Yucatan is from November to early December, after the hurricane season, before the high tourist season and a pleasant temperature!

one thing to do in Yucatan
The magnificent beaches of Yucatan

Is the Yucatan safe?

In general, the Yucatan Peninsula is safe.

But as it is a huge peninsula of 181,000 km², some regions are necessarily more so than others!

On the Mexican side, the states of Yucatan and Campeche are among the safest in Mexico.

Quintana Roo is lagging behind a bit, but the incidents do not concern tourist areas and do not target tourists.

Of course, pickpockets are present as in all tourist destinations and that is why it is always better not to attract attention and to be vigilant:

  • Avoid wearing designer clothes or jewelry
  • Do not wear your camera around your neck (possible but only in tourist and daytime places)
  • Do not walk around with the smartphone in your hand
  • Always watch your belongings at the beach
  • Prioritize automated teller machines (ATM) that are inside banks
one thing to do in Yucatan
Sunset in Yucatan

Are you going to Mexico? Also read

All our articles on Mexico are here:  Find all our guides on Mexico!

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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