With a mixture of Mexican coastline facing into the Gulf and access to sites such as the underground caves at Lol-Tun, the Mayan ruins scattered throughout the region, combined with the complex blend of ancient cultures with modern tourism, Yucatan is a strangely unique place in Mexico, sitting in the western portion of the Yucatan Peninsula. Known since the 1800s due to the popularity of the gold that made it rich, the Yucatan is now a blend of Caribbean, Mexican, French-European and Middle Eastern cultures that make this an exciting place to be, regardless of which time of year you come. From ancient Mayan architecture dating back over 3,000 years with access to places such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal, to the odd somberness one gets when realizing they are standing over a 65 million year-old meteorite crater that scientists say is responsible for the extinction of the dinosaur, the Yucatan offers something you cannot get anywhere else on Earth.
There is no doubt the importance of the region to the Mayan kingdom as you wander throughout the Yucatan, and it’s no wonder the Spanish decided to conquer the region when they first arrived in the 16th century. All that epic architecture and wealth was just too much to pass up. For nearly four decades the war raged on, but in the end the Spanish won, bringing the overall influence of the Spanish colonial era to bear on top of the Mayan ruins. These days, visitors can choose from Spanish or Mayan ruins to visit, or they can head out to the various underground lake and cave formations known as the Cenotes. This is spelunker’s paradise, but there are also plenty of museums and ceremonial grounds that can be found throughout the region, and plenty of Mayan traditions still practiced by the local indigenous people. Prepare for adventure if you plan on heading to the Yucatan, because it is waiting for you.