From memorable flavours to standout must-sees, Yucatan pops with a vibrancy all its own.
It’s hard to capture what makes Yucatan State so special. Mostly because there are so many aspects of the region that stand out as note-worthy. Steeped in history, Yucatan vibrates with the soul of a region shaped by its deep Mayan roots. This is a part of Mexico where tradition and culture lead the way. A land full of historical richness and sacred places.
But it’s also the many vibrant hues of Yucatan that leave their mark. Whether it’s the deep crystal-blue of a seemingly bottomless cenote, bold green of lush jungle encroaching on ancient Mayan ruins, or the eye-catching pop of pink worn by a resident flamingo, this is a colourful area of Mexico well worth discovering.
Yes to yellow
One of Yucatan’s two Magic Towns (named for their historical and cultural significance), Izamal, is known for its eye-catching array of richly-hued buildings. This colonial city was founded in the 16th century and every house, church and shop you see is painted the same golden-yellow. Easily explored on foot, Izamal’s welcoming cobblestone streets hold surprises at every turn.
Pretty in pink
Grab your cameras–Yucatan state offers more than enough epic scenery for anyone interested in spending time in nature. Celestun Biosphere Reserve for example, is home to more than 300 bird species, including an abundant population of vibrant pink flamingos. The area also offers lush jungle, white sand beaches and dense mangroves to explore.
Into the deep blue
Unique to the region, there are thousands of cenotes in the Yucatan. Filled with crystal-blue fresh water, these otherworldly sinkholes are stunning to see, whether deeply subterranean, or above ground framed by vibrant jungle. Perfect for a refreshing swim, cenotes were also revered by the Maya (cenote means “sacred well”) and no trip to Yucatan State would be complete without visiting at least one.
Steeped in the colours of history
Known as La Ciudad Blanca (The White City) due to the predominance of white limestone that was used as a building material in the city, Merida is also one of the safest cities in Mexico. The capital of Yucatan State holds many opportunities to experience local culture, traditions and art, along with sprawling archeological sites like Chichen-Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Yucatan’s rainbow of flavours
A unique combination of condiments and spices (including pumpkin seed, oregano, red onion, sour orange, sweet chili, lime, achiote, habanero pepper and cilantro) give Yucatan food its distinctive and memorable flavour. Don’t miss out on sopa de lima (a comforting soup with a signature tang) or papadzules, a richer take on enchiladas.
In addition to the chance to dive into a cenote, eat amazing food and explore a history and culture with endless stories to tell, the state of Yucatan is ripe with opportunities to experience the legacy of the Mayans, as well as the area’s unique biodiversity and natural attractions.
Getting to Yucatan
WestJet conveniently offers direct flights from Toronto to Merida from November to March (with connecting flights from other gateways). Flights are also available year-round, connecting via the U.S. Visit yucatan.travel for more.
Get a glimpse of the colours of the Yucatan in this video:
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