One of the most cool and unique aspects of touring the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is the abundance of Mayan ruins. The Mayans were spread all across the Yucatan and down into Belize, Guatemala and beyond. They left behind thousands of small and large structures on the beaches and in the jungles. I spent several days exploring the Yucatan Peninsula and can recommend, what I’m confident are, the four best Mayan ruins sites on the Yucatan and each is completely worth the visit.
Planning your visit to the Yucatan Mayan Ruins
Most people visiting the Yucatan will be staying in one of the larger tourist areas, such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum. As you make your decision about where to stay, consider the following activities that you’ll want to be close to: the Yucatan Mayan ruins, beaches, and cenotes.
You’ll find beaches all along the Caribbean side of the Yucatan and most are picture perfect, but to find the perfect spot that puts you close to endless opportunities for exploring ruins and more is tricky. Playa del Carmen is the most centrally located place to stay and there is plenty of fun and wonderful food to be had there, so that’s my top pick for a home base when you’re touring the Peninsula, particularly if you’re planning to visit the best Yucatan ruins.
Tip: I stayed at the Club Yebo Hotel in downtown Playa del Carmen and really enjoyed both the accommodations and the location of the hotel. With kitchenettes and plenty of quiet relaxation space, it’s a great find.
I recommend planning an itinerary that allows you to have ample beach time, including at Akumal where you’re nearly guaranteed to see sea turtles, as well as where you can easily do a day trip to the Mayan ruins of your choice. You’ll find cenotes everywhere, so research which ones you want to visit to be sure you’re not wasting your time at a lame one when you can swim at an awesome cenote.