Most beautiful places in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
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20 most beautiful places in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Let me show you the most beautiful places in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico! After spending three months traveling around this part of Mexico and exploring famous as well as lesser-known spots, these are my favorite places we visited here!

From ancient Mayan ruins and gorgeous underground cenotes in the jungle to vibrant colonial towns and turquoise white-sand beaches – you can find it all in the tropical land of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.

In this blog post, you will find all the most beautiful places in the Yucatan peninsula with descriptions, photos, and locations on the map. I tried to include some spots from each destination that we visited. Happy travels!

1. Cenote Suytun

Valladolid, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Suytun
Cenote Suytun is one of the most beautiful places in the Yucatan peninsula

Let’s start with one of the most famous and iconic places in the Yucatan peninsula – Cenote Suytun! It is definitely one of the most beautiful cenotes in the Yucatan and has to be on every traveler’s Yucatan bucket list!

The place is known for its unique stone pathway leading into the middle of a large underground cenote with a hole in the ceiling right above it. If you time it right, there will be a light beam shining through the hole and illuminating the whole place.

Tip! We visited this cenote on March 9th and the stone platform was dry. However, the water level can be higher or completely cover the platform after rainy periods. The best way to make sure how it looks is by checking recent reviews on Google Maps.

Location: Cenote Suytun

2. Chichén Itzá Archaeological Zone

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
The most famous Mayan ruins in the Yucatán Peninsula – Chichen Itzá

Chichen Itzá is the most famous of all the best Mayan archaeological sites in the Yucatán and it is one of the most visited places in Mexico. It was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and voted among the New 7 Wonders of the World.

What now is a popular tourist destination, historically was one of the largest Mayan cities dating back to 600 AC. It existed as a major regional center for many centuries until its decline by the 12th century.

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
Temple of Kukulcan in Chichén Itzá
Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
Puuc architecture in Chichen Itza ruins

Chichén Itzá archaeological zone consists of multiple temples, pyramids, structures, and even a sacred cenote (cenote sagrado) where Mayans deposited valuables and gifts including human sacrifices as a form of sacrifice to their rain god Chaac.

The most famous structure is the great El Castillo pyramid (the castle) which is also known as the Temple of Kukulcan. The pyramid with the temple on top of it is 30 meters high and was built sometime between the 8th and 12th centuries.

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
El Caracol – a Mayan observatory
Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
Northeast side of the Chichen Itza pyramid

Interestingly, when you clap your hands in front of the staircase of the pyramid, the echo of the sound mimics the voice of the quetzal bird. The same effect happens at another large pyramid in the Yucatán Peninsula – Uxmal.

Visiting the Chichen Itza pyramid site is one of the bucket list things to do in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. And, obviously, this place gets super crowded so I recommend arriving first thing in the morning.

The site opens at 8 AM, the parking next to the entrance opens at 7:30 AM. We arrived even before that so that we could be amongst the first ones in. At 8 AM there was already a long line of people so it is best if you have a rental car and arrive early.

Location: Chichén Itzá

3. Cenote Ik Kil

Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Ik Kil
Cenote Ik Kil is one of the most beautiful places in the Yucatan Peninsula

Cenote Ik Kil is one of the most iconic cenotes in the Yucatan peninsula and a visit to this place is often combined with visiting Chichen Itza – both sites are located just 5 kilometers (3 miles) apart.

This cylindrical cenote stands out with its circular shape and 26-meter walls covered with hanging plants and tree roots. The cenote itself is 40 meters deep and served as a place for sacrifices for ancient Mayan people a long time ago.

Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Ik Kil
Walls are covered with plants and tree roots
Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Ik Kil
Cenote was a place for sacrifices for Mayans

The cenote is located within the territory of a hotel and a restaurant so you can not only go for a swim here but buy a combined ticket that offers a buffet-type catering. That’s why it is a popular place amongst tour buses. Arrive early to avoid them!

Did you know? Ik Kil from Mayan means ‘place of the winds’.

We visited Ik Kil Cenote on the same day we went to Chichén Itzá. The entrance fee to the cenote was 200 pesos per person. At first, you can observe the cenote from above and then descend 90 steps through a tunnel to the water. It was gorgeous!

Location: Cenote Ik-Kil

4. Iglesia de Uayma

Iglesia de Uayma church is a red colored church with large white roses in Uayma town in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico also known as ex-convent of Santo Domingo
Church of Uayma is one of the most beautiful places in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico

Convento de Santo Domingo in the town of Uayma or, simply, the Church of Uayma is the most beautiful church in the Yucatan Peninsula and therefore deserves a spot amongst the most beautiful places in the Yucatan.

It is located a short drive from Valladolid and would make a perfect spot to stop by on your way to other nearby destinations like Valladolid or Chichén Itzá!

Iglesia de Uayma church is a red colored church with large white roses in Uayma town in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico also known as ex-convent of Santo Domingo
Iglesia de Uayma church is a red colored church with large white roses in Uayma town in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico also known as ex-convent of Santo Domingo

The beautiful photo-perfect Convento de Santo Domingo is a former convent built by the Franciscans in the middle of the 17th century. It was built by using stones from Mayan sites. Yes, including from the nearby Chichén Itzá!

During the second half of the 19th century, the church was burned down during a Mayan rebellion. Only more than 100 years later the roofless church was finally restored and was officially reopened to the public in 2004.

Iglesia de Uayma church is a red colored church with large white roses in Uayma town in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico also known as ex-convent of Santo Domingo
Iglesia de Uayma church is a red colored church with large white roses in Uayma town in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico also known as ex-convent of Santo Domingo

The captivating building stands out with its unusual design – the white roses and stars symbolize the veneration of the Virgin Mary but the red color represents sacrifice and martyrdom. There is also a green color that symbolizes hope.

The front of the Uayma church also depicts a large headless eagle which is a symbol of the Franciscans who built the church. Over the last few years, this church has become a unique landmark in the Yucatán Peninsula thanks to its unique design.

We visited this church on Saturday at 11 AM. It was open so we could enter to see the inside of the church for donations. Overall there isn’t much to see in Uayma so don’t plan to spend the whole day here. We spent about 2 hours here. Worth it!

Location: Iglesia de Uayma

5. Pink lakes of Las Coloradas

Pink salt lakes at Las Coloradas in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
Las Coloradas pink lakes is a place like no other!

The bright pink salt lakes Las Coloradas is one of the most beautiful places in the Yucatán Peninsula! The attractive lakes offer unique photo opportunities as it is not too often that you get to see naturally pink lakes!

However, visiting this place is also a bit of a game of luck. Before coming here I studied all the reviews on Google Maps and felt really conflicted. It is a decent drive and to go there and to not get what I wanted would be a disappointment.

But we decided to go and somehow managed to arrive here on the perfect day with the best weather conditions (we visited on February 4th). It was sunny, no clouds, and the lake was screaming pink color at us! So what is the best time to come here?

Pink salt lakes at Las Coloradas in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
Pink salt lakes at Las Coloradas in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico

The lakes won’t be pink if there was a storm or a lot of rain over the previous days, you will see a bright pink color only on sunny days (no clouds) and the best angle of the sun will be around midday. And a little bit of wind will make the color pop!

So how to get there? The right place to go is marked on Google Maps as Las Coloradas Parque Turistico. There you will find the ticket office, the observation tower, and the entrance to the pink salt lagoons.

You can choose between a 45-minute walking tour, a bike tour, and a jeep tour. We chose the cheapest option (~350 pesos per person) and went on a walking tour. At first, we climbed the observation tower and then walked along the pink lake.

Pink salt lakes at Las Coloradas in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
Pink salt lakes at Las Coloradas in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico

After the tour, the guide asked for a tip which is meant as payment for his service. Overall we really liked visiting Las Coloradas. However, I highly recommend checking out the latest reviews on Google Maps before you come!

Take into account that they usually harvest salt here around late July to August and the pink color is less visible. The guide also told us that after one hurricane the lake lost its pink color for a whole year so better make sure it’s worth coming!

You should also know that the lake is not natural. It is a pink pond owned by a large company that produces salt and you can’t see much of it unless you pay for the guided visit. Yes, it is very commercialized but I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

Location: Las Coloradas

6. Cenote Atik Tulum

Tulum, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Atik Tulum
Cenote Atik Tulum is one of the most beautiful places in the Yucatan peninsula!

The gorgeous Cenote Atik Tulum is one of the must-see cenotes near Tulum. This place is actually more than a cenote and features a jungle park filled with hidden sculptures, art objects, and photo spots.

Cenote Atik Tulum is amongst the most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan – located only a 15-minute drive from Tulum downtown it is the perfect place to go to spend a day in the jungle swimming in turquoise water.

Tulum, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Atik Tulum
Tulum, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Atik Tulum

We visited Cenote Atik Tulum right before closing time so we did not get a chance to swim in the cenote. But it looked wonderful – like an oasis. It is an open cenote surrounded by high walls and a waterfall in one of the corners.

The property also features walls covered with skulls, fountains, a pool with a large bust above it, and many more unique objects for unique photos. If you are looking for a unique and gorgeous cenote near Tulum – look no further! This is it!

Location: Cenote Atik Tulum

7. Uxmal Archaeological Zone

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Uxmal archaeological zone in Ruta Puuc - Pyramid of the Magician
Uxmal is one of the most impressive Mayan ruins in the Yucatan peninsula

Uxmal archaeological zone dating back to the 10th-11th centuries is one of the most impressive Mayan ruins in the Yucatan, Mexico. It is known for its 40-meter-high Pyramid of the Magician – the main pyramid in the Uxmal Mayan ruins.

Not visiting Uxmal is like traveling to Cancun and not going to the beach – it is simply a thing you must do! So we rented a car and visited Uxmal on a day trip during our three-week stay in the city of Merida.

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Uxmal archaeological zone in Ruta Puuc
Governor’s Palace in Uxmal
Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Uxmal archaeological zone in Ruta Puuc
The Pyramid of the Magician in Uxmal

Uxmal is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the Yucatan, Mexico. The whole archaeological zone is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its significance and it features stunning Mayan architecture.

The Pyramid of the Magician is the most famous structure in Uxmal. The legend says that the pyramid was built in one night however there are various versions of who actually built it – a dwarf, a magician, or somebody else.

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Uxmal archaeological zone in Ruta Puuc
The archway at the Nunnery Quadrangle
Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Uxmal archaeological zone in Ruta Puuc
The Pyramid of the Magician in Uxmal

The pyramid has a unique feature – if you clap your hands in front of the pyramid the structure creates an echo of the clap that sounds like quetzal – a strikingly beautiful and colorful bird that is sacred to Mayan people. Such a unique experience!

Uxmal at its peak was a city of 25 thousand people so the pyramid is not the only impressive building here. Definitely check out The Governor’s Palace located on a hill, Casa de las Palomas as well as the Nunnery Quadrangle. Totally worth it!

Location: Uxmal Archaeological Zone

8. Playa Delfines in Cancun

Cancun, Mexico - best things to do in Cancun - sunrise at Playa Delfines
Cancun, Mexico - best things to do in Cancun - sunrise at Playa Delfines

Cancun – one of the most popular places in the Yucatan peninsula – is all about gorgeous white-sand beaches and warm turquoise waters so exploring the most beautiful beaches is one of the top things to do in Cancun.

If you ever go to Cancun, you must include Playa Delfines in your itinerary!

Playa Delfines is definitely amongst the most beautiful public beaches in Cancun and the whole Yucatan peninsula. It is easily accessible as no hotels are blocking access and it features cute parasols, swings, and overlooking viewpoints.

Cancun, Mexico - best things to do in Cancun - sunrise at Playa Delfines
Cancun, Mexico - best things to do in Cancun - sunrise at Playa Delfines

Tip! If you stay in Cancun for at least a couple of days one of the must-do things in Cancun is watching sunrise in the Caribbean Sea. Cancun faces the sea to the East making it an ideal place for a sunrise at the beach.

We also went on a sunrise mission during our stay in Cancun and headed to the beautiful Playa Delfines. The sunset was gorgeous and this stayed as a wonderful memory from our trip!

Location: Playa Delfines

9. Calzada de los Frailes street in Valladolid

Valladolid, Mexico-colorful street in Valladolid - Calzada de los Frailes
Valladolid, Mexico-colorful street in Valladolid - Calzada de los Frailes

Calzada de los Frailes (Friars Causeway from Spanish) is probably the most beautiful street in the Yucatan peninsula and it was one of my favorite places to visit in Valladolid, Mexico.

Did you know? Valladolid is a colonial town and this is a classic example of colonial architecture. Interestingly, historically this street was built to separate the Mayan communities from the Spanish people.

Valladolid, Mexico-colorful street in Valladolid - Calzada de los Frailes
Valladolid, Mexico-colorful street in Valladolid - Calzada de los Frailes

Valladolid is one of the most charming colorful cities in the Yucatan Peninsula in this street is a true testament to that. Built in 1801, the little street is dotted with colorful and photogenic houses and doorways.

If you have time, I highly recommend walking this charming street all the way from one end to the other. It starts just two blocks away from the main square in Valladolid and ends about 600 meters later at Parque Sisal Park.

Valladolid, Mexico-colorful street in Valladolid - Calzada de los Frailes
Valladolid, Mexico-colorful street in Valladolid - Calzada de los Frailes

If you have more time to spend in Valladolid, I recommend combining a visit to this street with a visit to the iconic Convent of San Bernardino de Siena. Plus you can check out Valladolid letters located in the same park in front of the convent.

Overall this street was only one of the many colorful Instagram spots in Valladolid. Because we stayed in Valladolid for three weeks we got to explore many cute spots around the city. Valladolid is definitely worth stopping by!

Location: Calzada de los Frailes

10. Cenote Xooch at Cenotes Santa Bárbara

Merida, Mexico - Cenote Xooch, Cenotes Santa Barbara in Homún

Cenote Xooch is one of the most beautiful cenotes near Merida and amongst the most iconic cenotes you will find around the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Just look at that postcard view!

This gorgeous semi-open cenote is one of three cenotes that you get to enjoy when visiting Santa Barbara cenotes in the small town of Homún near Merida.

Cenote Xooch stands out with its iconic tree fitting perfectly in the middle of a circular hole in the roof with its roots hanging down into the water. Because of this postcard view, it is amongst the most photographed cenotes around here.

Location: Cenotes Santa BárbaraCenote Xooch

11. Muyil Archaeological Zone

Muyil Archaeological Zone in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
Muyil Archaeological Zone features one of the most unique pyramids in Yucatan

Located just a 20-minute drive from Tulum is a wonderful Mayan pyramid and ancient ruins – Muyil Archaeological Zone. It is one of the longest-inhabited ancient Mayan cities in the area, and some artifacts there date back to the 4th century BC.

Muyil ruins stand out with their unique architecture – it has characteristics of an architectural style typical in the Peten region in modern-day Guatemala which signifies close ties with ancient Mayan cities in the South.

The archaeological zone features a group of different structures and temples and a big pyramid deeper into the jungle. It is a unique-looking pyramid and you won’t see a pyramid like this anywhere else in Yucatan – definitely worth a visit!

Location: Muyil Archaeological Zone

12. Lagoon of Seven Colors in Bacalar

Bacalar, Mexico-Bacalar letters in Bacalar, Pueblo Magico
The charming Pueblo Mágico – Bacalar
Bacalar, Mexico-sunrise over the Lagoon of Seven Colors seen from a charming wooden deck
Sunrise over Bacalar Lagoon

While staying in Tulum we decided to go on a weekend trip to Bacalar and its pride and joy, the Lagoon of Seven Colors! It turned out to be one of my favorite memories from our travels around the Yucatán Peninsula!

The spectacular Lagoon of Seven Colors is often regarded as the Maldives of Mexico thanks to its turquoise crystal-clear shallow waters! It is said that the lagoon boasts seven different shades of blue but I didn’t count!

Bacalar, Mexico-a boat trip to the Channel of the Pirates is one of the most popular things to do in Bacalar, Mexico
Lagoon of Seven Colors
Bacalar, Mexico-best things to do in Bacalar - swim in the lagoon of seven colors
Lagoon of Seven Colors

Some of the must-do things to do in Bacalar include a boat trip to the famous Channel of the Pirates, having lunch at a waterfront restaurant (I recommend La Playita), exploring the old fort in downtown and floating down the stream at Los Rapidos.

Los Rapidos is a narrow channel between two lagoons which creates a slow but steady stream of gorgeous turquoise water in the channel. So you walk upstream by a wooden path, jump in and just let the current take you back to where you came from.

And then simply repeat it all again!

Bacalar, Mexico-have lunch at one of Bacalars waterfront restaurants La Playita with a wooden deck stretching into the Lagoon of Seven Colors
La Playita waterfront restaurant
Chacchoben Archaeological Zone in Mexico
Chacchoben Archaeological Zone

Bacalar is just a short ride away from three incredible Mayan sites – Chacchoben, Dzibanché, and Kohunlich archaeological zones. I liked the three massive pyramids in Chacchoben the most but in Dzibanché you are allowed to climb the pyramids!

After a day full of adventures and swimming I recommend stopping by the central square of Bacalar – Zócalo. It is often full of activities including some dancing, singing, and lots of street food stands. Here I got the best marquesita I have ever eaten!

Location: Lagoon of Seven Colors in Bacalar

13. Mexico’s Yellow City – Izamal

Izamal, Mexico - best things to do in Izamal, the Yellow City of Mexico
Convent of San Antonio de Padua convent in Izamal, Mexico’s Yellow City

There is no other place like Mexico’s Yellow City – Izamal! This Pueblo Mágico was one of my favorite places we visited and also one of the most beautiful places in the Yucatan peninsula!

The colonial town attracts visitors with its yellow color as all the buildings in the center of this magical town are painted yellow. We arrived at Izamal in the morning and spent there half a day exploring everything Izamal had to offer.

Izamal, Mexico-the yellow Convento de San Antonio convent hosts the second largest atrium in the world - a grass-covered square surrounded by a beautiful arcade
Izamal has the second-largest atrium in the world
Izamal, Mexico-the yellow corn ice cream in a cup in Mexicos yellow city Izamal with the yellow Convento de San Antonio convent in the background
Yellow corn ice cream in the Yellow town

The most famous attraction in Izamal is the Convento de San Antonio sitting atop a hill (there once was an ancient Maya pyramid) in the heart of the town. Next to it, you will find the second-largest atrium in the world surrounded by a beautiful yellow arcade.

You can explore the unique convent and walk around the atrium for free. It does have working hours so check those before coming! The best time to arrive is early morning before the town heats up to scorching degrees.

Izamal, Mexico-the yellow Convento de San Antonio convent hosts the second largest atrium in the world - a grass-covered square surrounded by a beautiful arcade
You can visit the atrium for free
Izamal, Mexico-the yellow Convento de San Antonio convent in Izamal is the main attraction of the city
The center of Izamal is all painted yellow

Other must-do things in Izamal include climbing the Mayan pyramids – Kinich Kak Moo and Itzamatul. If you only have time for one, I highly recommend visiting the Kinich Kak Moo pyramid as you can see the whole town of Izamal from the top!

Don’t forget to explore the local market, Mercado Municipal de Izamal, try the yellow corn ice cream, walk around the 5 de Mayo Park, and, for lunch, I suggest trying Mayan dishes at Restaurant Kinich. This was one of my favorite towns in Yucatan!

Location: Convento de San Antonio in Izamal

14. Cenote Saamal

Valladolid, Mexico - best cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Saamal
Cenote Saamal is one of my overall favorite cenotes we visited in the Yucatan Peninsula

Cenote Samaal is one of those gorgeous semi-open cylindrical cenotes with crystal clear cool water and even a waterfall coming down from the top of the walls. Perfect place for a refreshing dip into the water!

Cenote Samaal is located within the grounds of Hacienda Selva Maya – a building complex of a rural estate that includes souvenir stores, a buffet-type restaurant, tequila tasting, and even a zip line. We paid 200 pesos per person for the entrance.

This cenote is located only 5 kilometers from Valladolid so it is very easy to get to even if you don’t have a car – you can easily get there by taxi or bicycle. it is without a doubt one of my favorite cenotes we visited near Valladolid!

Location: Cenote Saamal

15. AZULIK City of Arts

Tulum, Mexico-AZULIK City of Arts in Francisco Uh May
AZULIK City of Arts is one of the most beautiful places in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico

Located in the jungle a 30-minute drive from Tulum, AZULIK City of Arts is an out-of-this-world handmade artisanal creation that takes you on a journey through never-seen-before spaces. In simpler words, it is a contemporary art museum.

When I first entered this place my first thoughts were about the The Lord of The Rings movie where elves lived in those otherworldly places in the trees. It was hard to fathom how they built and how they even came up with all of that!

Tulum, Mexico-AZULIK City of Arts in Francisco Uh May
Tulum, Mexico-AZULIK City of Arts in Francisco Uh May

The City of Arts is a massive building all connected in one space – there are wooden pathways built to explore the upper side of the building and then lead you down to the floor. The ground level is connected with other rooms and spaces.

Every room and space features something unique and creative. Once you are done exploring you get your shoes back and can walk outside to explore the surroundings. There is a pool, a restaurant, and more hidden nooks to explore.

Tulum, Mexico-AZULIK City of Arts in Francisco Uh May
Tulum, Mexico-AZULIK City of Arts in Francisco Uh May

The whole place felt like I was on a different planet. The entrance costs 400 pesos per person and it was worth it. An added bonus are those endless photo-perfect Instagram spots all around the building!

Did you know? There is another museum in the Tulum hotel zone – SFER IK Tulum. From what I gathered from reviews it is a much smaller place for the same price and thus feels not as price-worthy. Read more about these museums on their website!

Location: AZULIK City of Arts

16. Cenote Xcanahaltun

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Xcanahaltun
Cenote Xcanahaltun is one of the most beautiful cenotes in the Yucatan peninsula

During our three-month stay in the Yucatan Peninsula, we managed to visit more than 30 cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula and there were only a few that stood out to me the most. One of them was Cenote Xcanahaltun.

At first, I didn’t expect much from Cenote Xcanahaltun as I had already visited many stunning cenotes but as soon as I entered the majestic cave I fell in love and this underground gem immediately became one of my favorite places in Yucatán!

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Xcanahaltun
You can rent kayaks at Cenote Xcanahaltun
Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Xcanahaltun
Stalactites at Cenote Xcanahaltun

The glorious cathedral-sized cenote is actually like a large underground lake with a small hole in the ceiling that lets natural light inside the cavern. The ceiling is adorned with icicle-type stalactites and looks absolutely spectacular.

You can enter the crystal-clear waters from a wooden platform located on one side of the ‘lake’. The entrance to the cenote was 230 pesos and for an extra 100 pesos we were offered to rent a kayak. I will never forget this incredible place!

Location: Cenote Xcanahaltun

17. Ven a la Luz sculpture park in Tulum

Tulum, Mexico-Ven a la Luz sculpture park in Tulum

Sculpture park ‘Ven a la Luz’ (‘Come to the Light’) is one of the most iconic tourist attractions and one of the most beautiful places in Tulum, Mexico! Although the sculpture park is quite small, it is still undoubtedly impressive!

The massive 10-meter-high statue was created by a South African artist for a festival that took place in Tulum in 2018 but ever since has become a landmark in Tulum for all its visitors.

Tulum, Mexico-Ven a la Luz sculpture park in Tulum
Tulum, Mexico-Ven a la Luz sculpture park in Tulum

The sculpture and other art installations are located in a closed area that you can visit for an entrance fee. When we visited in the morning it was 80 pesos per person. It symbolizes the deep connection between humans and nature.

Although other art installations inside the small park are quite simple, the big ‘Ven a la Luz’ statue is impressive and I very much appreciate the work that was put into creating this piece of art! Worth a visit!

Location: Ven a la Luz

18. El Cielo beach in Cozumel

Cozumel, Mexico - go snorkeling to the Great Mayan Reef in Cozumel
Cozumel is one of the best snorkeling destinations in Mexico

El Cielo translates as ‘the heaven’ and it is the most beautiful beach in Cozumel and one of the best beaches in the Yucatan peninsula. A wild paradise with fine white sands, and shallow turquoise waters.

Heaven’s Beach is the perfect place to go snorkeling or chill on a boat all day surrounded by manta rays casually floating around and starfish chilling at the bottom of the sea.

One of the best things to do in Cozumel is to go on a snorkeling tour to the corral reefs and shallow beaches. Actually, Cozumel is one of the best snorkeling destinations in Mexico and we were lucky to experience this activity there!

Location: Playa El Cielo

19. Cementerio Hoctún

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Cementerio Hoctún
Hoctún Cemetery is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the Yucatan peninsula

Now, here’s something unique – Hoctún Cemetery. It is often regarded as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the Yucatan peninsula so we had to check it out.

Hoctún Cemetery is located in a small village near Merida and is free to access. I knew people here loved colorful things but this cemetery took this thought to another level.

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Cementerio Hoctún
Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Cementerio Hoctún

As you enter the cemetery, you are met with a splash of colors – there is a big field of tombs in different sizes, different colors, and different shapes. Each tomb is more unique and creative than the other.

Now, it is not a bucket list destination in the Yucatan peninsula but it is worth a stop if you go by car and travel between Merida and Valladolid. We spent about 20 minutes walking around and observing the special uniqueness of this place.

Location: Cementerio Hoctún

20. Cenote Choj Ha

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Choj Ha
Cenote Choj Ha is one of the most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico

Oh, wow! Cenote Choj Ha truly took my breath away! It is one of the most beautiful places I have visited in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Imagine randomly walking around the jungle and finding a small hole in the ground…

Once you enter that small hole you are met with a magical discovery – an underground cave the size of a cathedral filled with long sharp icicles – stalactites – and bulky short poles – stalagmites – all floating in and above crystal clear water. Magical!

Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Choj Ha
Rock formations in Cenote Choj Ha
Valladolid, Mexico-Cenote Choj Ha
Rock formations in Cenote Choj Ha

Cenote Choj Ha is relatively unknown and is a true hidden gem in the Yucatán Peninsula. We paid 150 pesos each for the entrance and there were only a few people around but the cave is so big you don’t even notice other people.

Thanks to its remote location you can enjoy an unforgettable experience in the jungle almost all alone. Cenote Choj Ha is located a 50-minute drive from Valladolid, a 1h 30min drive from Tulum and Cancun, and a 1h 20min drive from Playa del Carmen.

Location: Cenote Choj Ha

Happy exploring!

Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula is one of the top travel destinations around the world. It offers a balanced mix of tasty food, a tropical climate, Mayan culture, gorgeous beaches, secret cenotes, ancient ruins, and vibrant cities.

We have spent two winters or six months traveling around the Yucatán Peninsula, including the states of Yucatán and Quintana Roo, and exploring all the beautiful places this peninsula had to offer.

From white-sand beaches to dark underground cenotes, and ancient pyramids – there’s just so much to see! I hope you enjoy your time there as much as we did and I hope you get some travel inspiration from this blog post for your travels! Happy exploring!

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Yucatan, Mexico - the most beautiful places in the Yucatan peninsula
Yucatan, Mexico - the most beautiful places in the Yucatan peninsula

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