Best of Yucatan Peninsula

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Yucatán Peninsula
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A cenote on the Yucatán Peninsula
Map of Culture & the Great Outdoors on the Yucatán Peninsula - 7 Days
Culture & the Great Outdoors on the Yucatán Peninsula - 7 Days

On this colorful trip plan, you'll experience Mexican culture in an authentic way. See the highlights of the Yucatán Peninsula, visit the archaeological sites of Chichen Itzá, Cobá, and  Xcambó, and view flamingos at Río Lagartos before finishing up in Mérida, where you'll go on a kayak tour and relax on the beach.

Hammocks on a beach in Puerto Morelos
Map of Treasures of the Yucatán Peninsula with Beach Stay - 10 Days
Treasures of the Yucatán Peninsula with Beach Stay - 10 Days

This 10-day itinerary starts and ends in Cancún. In between, you'll enjoy a journey through the heart of the Yucatán Peninsula, learning about Mayan history at Chichén Itzá, visiting colorful seaside villages, relaxing on the beach, snorkeling around the coral reef off Puerto Morelos, and taking a boat to Holbox Island for a few days away from civilization.

Bacalar Lagoon
Mayan Culture & Beaches of the Riviera Maya - 8 Days

Enjoy this getaway to the Riviera Maya with a mix of cultural experiences and relaxing on the beach. Base yourself in lively Playa del Carmen as you explore Mayan ruins, swim in picturesque cenotes, and enjoy the sun, sand, and sea along the white sandy coastline of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Relax in sun-kissedBacalar in the Yucatán
Map of Yucatán Road Trip: Tulum, Bacalar, Valladolid, Mérida, Holbox & Puerto Morelos - 12 Days
Yucatán Road Trip: Tulum, Bacalar, Valladolid, Mérida, Holbox & Puerto Morelos - 12 Days

Get ready for a 12-day road-trip adventure across Mexico's famed Yucatán Peninsula, known for its Caribbean beaches, underground cenotes, and ancient Maya ruins. You'll see all of it, starting at the fortress ruins in Tulum and then visiting biosphere reserves and exotic turquoise lakes. Next, you'll venture north to enjoy cultural exchanges in Indigenous communities, visit Spanish-colonial heritage cities, and descend into underground caves sacred to the Maya people.

Enjoy Cancun's paperwhite coastline and stunning turquoise waters
Map of Relaxed Vacation on the Yucatán Peninsula - 5 Days
Relaxed Vacation on the Yucatán Peninsula - 5 Days

On this short but satisfying itinerary to the Yucatan Peninsula, you'll sunbathe and swim on the white sandy beaches of the Riviera Maya, spot wildlife in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, and explore the water-filled natural cave formations of Rio Secreto. Plus, as you'll be staying all four nights in Playa del Carmen, you can enjoy your surroundings more relaxedly.

Chichen Itza
The Archaeological Maya Journey - 5 Days

Take a step back in time to explore ancient Maya cities shrouded in mystery—some of which were inhabited since around 1800 BCE—on this five-day adventure. You'll visit Chichén Itzá, one of the New Wonders of the World, as well as Izamal and Mérida, which will offer insight into the transition from ancient Maya civilization to contemporary Maya ways of life.

Plaza Grande in Mérida
Map of Mérida: Best Itinerary Ideas
Mérida: Best Itinerary Ideas

Travelers to Mexico typically plan a trip for 11 to 14 days when combining Mérida with Mexico City, Valladolid, and Tulum. If you're not interested in Mexico City, Valladolid, and Tulum, five to seven days is enough for your Mérida trip. Check out our favorite Mérida trips below.

Chichen Itza
Mexico's Culture & Beaches: Tulum, Valladolid, Holbox Island & More - 10 Days

Explore ancient Maya ruins, kick back on the beach, and visit the rainforest on this ten-day trip to Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Start the trip in Tulum for swims in cenotes, then head to Valladolid to see Chichén Itzá and other archaeological sites. End the trip on Holbox Island, a car-free oasis of sprawling beaches and quiet cafés.

Take a refreshing dip in a cenote in the Yucután jungle
Map of Relaxed Vacation on the Yucatán Peninsula - 8 days
Relaxed Vacation on the Yucatán Peninsula - 8 days

The 100-mile (160 km) stretch of coast along the Yucutan Peninsula, known as the Riviera Maya, includes some of Mexico's most incredible ruins, idyllic Caribbean beaches, and awe-inspiring natural wonders. And this escape to the Riviera is so packed with memorable adventures you'll be surprised you can do it all in eight days.

Ik Kil cenote is part of the Ik Kil Archeological Park near Chichén Itzá, Yucatán
Map of Yucatán History, Culture & Natural Treasures - 7 Days
Yucatán History, Culture & Natural Treasures - 7 Days

This weeklong, active journey will take you through the highlights of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Begin in Valladolid, then prepare to visit Ek' Balam Archaeological Site and Chichén Itzá, and go swimming in ancient cenotes. Next, transfer to Tulum for a cooking class with a local chef, explore the canals of Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve by boat and self-propulsion, and thrill to a jungle adventure park before heading home.

Playa del Carmen
Map of Playa del Carmen: Best Itinerary Ideas
Playa del Carmen: Best Itinerary Ideas

For most travelers, five to eight days is the perfect amount of time for a Mexico trip with stops in Playa del Carmen. It's also possible to hit the highlights in four days if you don't mind a fast-paced journey. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop or explore more of the country—some favored itinerary extensions include Valladolid, Tulum, or Mexico City. Get inspired with the below Playa del Carmen trip ideas.

Playa Ruinas
Mayan Culture & History in Tulum - 7 Days

Get away from the hustle and bustle on this adventurous weeklong trip to Tulum. You'll see the best of the Yucatan Peninsula—including the Tulum archaeological site, the Coba Maya ruins, underground caves, cenotes, and more—without compromising on the relaxation factor.

See ancient Maya sites like Uxmal near Mérida, capital of the Yucatán
Map of Best of Mérida: Off the Beaten Path in Mexico's Yucatán - 7 Days
Best of Mérida: Off the Beaten Path in Mexico's Yucatán - 7 Days

See another side of Mexico's gorgeous Yucatán Peninsula as you venture beyond Cancún to the region's heart: Mérida. Over seven days, you'll explore this Spanish-colonial gem of a city (the capital of the province), plus embark on day trips to beaches and the famous cenotes in the area. For a bonus, take a day trip to Chichén Itzá, one of the most impressive ancient Maya ruins in the Yucatán.

Take in the ancient Maya ruins and lie out on the pristine beaches of the Riviera Maya
Map of Riviera Maya Road Trip - 13 Days
Riviera Maya Road Trip - 13 Days

The Caribbean side of Mexico isn't known as the western Riviera for nothing—this stunning section of coast is lined with white-sand beaches home to towering hotels overlooking turquoise waters. More than that, it's filled with ancient Maya ruins, fairy-tale cenotes, and unspoiled nature reserves. You'll see all this and more as you spend 13 days on a self-drive tour around the region's natural highlights and resort towns—from Tulum to Playa del Carmen to Holbox Island.

Cancún
Map of Mexico Ruins, Beaches & Nightlife: Cancún, Tulum & Playa del Carmen - 6 Days
Mexico Ruins, Beaches & Nightlife: Cancún, Tulum & Playa del Carmen - 6 Days

If you're in need of a quick escape to a tropical paradise, you can't do much better than Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Over six packed days, you'll visit the highlights of the region's famous Riviera Maya, from the resorts and nightlife of Cancún to the ancient Maya fortress ruins at Tulum. You'll even venture below the earth for a dip in the largest underground river in the world.

Swimming in a Yucatán jungle
Map of Mayan Culture & History in Tulum - 6 Days
Mayan Culture & History in Tulum - 6 Days

Spend six days exploring the best of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula as you base yourself in Tulum. You'll swim in jungle cenotes, head underground to explore caves and relax on beautiful beaches. This laid-back itinerary is perfect for those who want to get away from it all while still leaving room for adventure.

A cenote in the Yucatan
Map of Hidden Mexico: Explore the Yucatán Peninsula - 12 Days
Hidden Mexico: Explore the Yucatán Peninsula - 12 Days

With 12 days to spare, you can discover the best of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula with plenty of time to relax and soak up the beach life. Start in Valladolid to learn about traditional cuisine and Maya cities such as Chichen Itz. Swim in little-known cenotes, explore the Cobá archeological site by bike, and while the day away on Playa del Carmen's beaches. Finish your trip with four days on Holbox Island, where you'll swim with whale sharks, observe exotic birds, and cruise through mangroves by kayak.

Holbox Island
Map of Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 12 Days
Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 12 Days

From the colonial streets of Valladolid to the peaceful beaches of Holbox Island, this 12-day itinerary delivers plenty of adventure and relaxation in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Tour ancient Maya ruins, go swimming in underground rivers, and enjoy some R&R on the white-sand beaches of Holbox Island. And that's just the start.

Laguna Chunyaxche
Map of Mexican Culture & Beaches: Tulum, Valladolid, Holbox Island & More - 9 Days
Mexican Culture & Beaches: Tulum, Valladolid, Holbox Island & More - 9 Days

From Mexico's Caribbean coast to the colonial streets of Valladolid, this nine-day trip showcases thousands of years of history and culture while leaving ample time for rest and relaxation. Dive into cenote lagoons, marvel at the great pyramids of Chichen Itza, and relax on the white-sand beaches of Holbox Island. Along the way, take part in cultural exchanges to learn about Indigenous Maya customs as you meet local families and enjoy traditional home-cooked meals.

Chemuyil Cenotes
Mayan Culture & History in Tulum - 5 Days

If you want to get away to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, but don't want to sacrifice on adventure, this five-day getaway trip is for you. You'll base yourself in Tulum for daily activities: visiting ancient Mayan archeological sites, swimming in cenotes, wildlife viewing, and of course: eating all of Mexico's best food.

Take the kids to a cenote for a fun splash
Map of Mexico's Riviera Maya: Adventures in Nature for Active Families - 10 Days
Mexico's Riviera Maya: Adventures in Nature for Active Families - 10 Days

Active families who like to combine beach time with more energetic pursuits in nature will love this 10-day tour of Mexico's Riviera Maya. Divide your time between Tulum and Playa Del Carmen, which allows you to delve into the countryside surrounding these popular spots. If you and your kids enjoy swimming in hidden cenotes, cycling through the countryside, and touring around ancient ruins and culture-rich cities, this idyllic tour on the Yucatán Peninsula's Caribbean coast is for you.

Have fun with the kids at the stunning beaches in Mexico
Map of Mexico's Riviera Maya for Families - 7 Days
Mexico's Riviera Maya for Families - 7 Days

Escape to the Yucatán Peninsula on this laid-back, family-friendly itinerary for a week. Based in Playa del Carmen, you'll visit ancient ruins by bicycle or "bicitaxi," enjoying pristine white-sand beaches, swimming in limestone cenotes, and floating down an underground river. A memorable day trip takes you wildlife spotting in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, where you'll learn how the locals protect this unspoiled slice of paradise.

Feel the Caribbean breezes on the beaches of Tulum on this Mexico road trip
Map of Quick Riviera Maya Road Trip: Playa del Carmen to Tulum - 6 Days
Quick Riviera Maya Road Trip: Playa del Carmen to Tulum - 6 Days

Perfect for a quick escape, this six-day road trip through the highlights of the Riviera Maya takes you south from the beaches of Playa del Carmen to the ruins of Tulum. Along the way, you'll snorkel in the world-renowned reefs around the island of Cozumel, explore the ancient wonder of Chichén Itzá, and learn to whip up traditional Mexican dishes in a Tulum cooking class.

Explore the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve outside of Tulum on a full-day tour
Map of Active Adventures in Tulum - 6 Days
Active Adventures in Tulum - 6 Days

In less than a week, you can experience some of the best of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, which is home to hotspot destinations like Cancún and Tulum. You'll visit both these resort areas on a ride down the famous Riviera Maya stretch of the Caribbean coast. Other unforgettable activities include touring ancient Maya ruins, descending into underground rivers, and swimming in protected nature reserves.

 Lie out along the Caribbean at Playa del Carmen
Map of Tulum & Playa del Carmen: Best Itinerary Ideas
Tulum & Playa del Carmen: Best Itinerary Ideas

For most travelers, six to 10 days are the perfect amount of time for a Mexico trip, with stops in both Tulum and Playa del Carmen. It's also possible to hit the highlights in five days if you don't mind a fast-paced journey. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop or explore more of the country—some of our favorite itinerary extensions include Valladolid, Mexico City, or Puerto Morelos. See more ideas for Tulum and Playa del Carmen itineraries below.

Flamingows at Ría Lagartos Reserve
Map of Family Fun on the Yucatán Peninsula - 10 Days
Family Fun on the Yucatán Peninsula - 10 Days

This 10-day tour of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula is the family trip of a lifetime. Start in the village of Puerto Morelos, where you'll snorkel among the coral beds, colorful fish, and the occasional shy octopus of Puerto Morelos Reef National Park. Visit Mérida to tour ancient Chichén Itzá, then cruise Valladolid's Ría Lagartos Reserve while the kids count flocks of pink flamingoes. See the ruins of Tulum, take a jungle adventure with ziplining and cenote swims, and explore the peaceful waters of Sian Ka'an Reserve.

El Castillo ruins at historically famous Tulum
Map of Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 11 Days
Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 11 Days

When you combine the ancient Maya culture of the Yucatán Peninsula with its natural beauty, you have all the makings of the perfect holiday. Over 11 days, you'll visit the highlights of this region, like its famous Maya ruins, while also going off the beaten path to swim in turquoise cenote lagoons and visit indigenous villages. Beyond that, you'll participate in Maya culinary workshops, snorkel in marine reserves, and discover Holbox Island's tranquil paradise.

Walk around Ek' Balam followed by swimming in a cenote
Map of Jungle & Culture Tour in Mexico's Maya Land - 5 Days
Jungle & Culture Tour in Mexico's Maya Land - 5 Days

This five-day getaway to Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula combines Spanish-colonial landmarks, Maya culture, and outdoor activities. Start by visiting colonial churches in Valladolid before cycling around the ancient ruins at Cobá and touring local Maya villages and cenotes. As a bonus, you'll explore not one but two unspoiled nature reserves— Sian Ka'an and Punta Laguna—for swimming and hiking.

 Puerto Morelos' main square
Map of Puerto Morelos, Tulum & Holbox: Best Itinerary Ideas
Puerto Morelos, Tulum & Holbox: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most people visiting Puerto Morelos, Tulum, and Holbox spend about 10 to 13 days in Mexico, which usually includes some time in Valladolid as well. If you're not interested in Valladolid, 8 to 12 days is enough for your Puerto Morelos, Tulum, and Holbox trip. Read on for the best itineraries, including Puerto Morelos, Tulum, Holbox, and beyond.

Town square of Valladolid, Mexico
Map of Valladolid & Tulum: Best Itinerary Ideas
Valladolid & Tulum: Best Itinerary Ideas

Six to seven days is a great length for a Mexico trip, with stops in both Valladolid and Tulum. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in five days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. With more time, you can enjoy extra activities at each stop or a few days in another region like Holbox, Puerto Morelos, or Mexico City. See more ideas for Valladolid and Tulum itineraries below.

Traditional meal
Mexico Culture & Beaches: Tulum, Valladolid, Holbox Island & More - 11 Days

Swim in a hidden jungle cenote, explore the Playa Ruinas near Tulum, and more on this eleven-day exploration of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. You'll go caving underground to see ancient geologic formations, visit the archaeological site of Coba, and end the trip by relaxing on Holbox Island's beautiful sand beaches.

Spend a morning at the famous pyramid at Chichén Itzá
Map of Maya Culture Tour in Mexico's Yucatán - 5 Days
Maya Culture Tour in Mexico's Yucatán - 5 Days

In just five days, you'll reach the heart of Maya Indigenous culture in Mexico's famous Yucatán Peninsula. Your base will be Mérida, the region's capital, where you'll walk amid colonial history and sample delicious street food with ancient roots. Then you're off to tour maíz fields, swim in cenotes (limestone sinkholes), and explore the awe-inspiring pyramid of Chichén Itzá. Finish the adventure with a day trip to a biosphere reserve known for flamingoes.

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
Map of History, Culture & Beaches: Riviera Maya & Valladolid - 11 Days
History, Culture & Beaches: Riviera Maya & Valladolid - 11 Days

Escape to the Yucatán Peninsula, a region in southern Mexico known for its unparalleled beauty. On this adventure, you'll spend a lot of time on the famed Riviera Maya, a section of the Caribbean coast lined with white-sand beaches fronting turquoise waters. Aside from beach time, you'll also explore ancient Maya ruins, swim in underground rivers, and hike around nature reserves in and around Valladolid and the coast.

 Maya ruins of Tulum
Map of Tulum: Best Itinerary Ideas
Tulum: Best Itinerary Ideas

Six days to a week is a great length for a Mexico trip with stops in Tulum. If you don't mind a fast-paced journey, you can see the highlights of this route in less time—as few as four or five days. With more time, you can enjoy extra activities at each stop or a few days in another region like Valladolid, Mexico City, or Puerto Morelos. See more ideas for Tulum itineraries below.

Visit the ancient Maya site of Uxmal and a nearby chocolate museum
Map of Maya Culture Tour in Mexico's Valladolid & Mérida - 5 Days
Maya Culture Tour in Mexico's Valladolid & Mérida - 5 Days

Pack a wealth of Maya culture and history into just five days on this whirlwind tour of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Create lasting memories as you tour the cobbled streets of Valladolid and Mérida, hike the ruins at Ek' Balam, and marvel at the Chichén Itzá pyramid, which dates back over 1,500 years. Other highlights include swimming in cenotes and taking an immersive chocolate tour in Uxmal.

Visit the ruins at Ek' Balam on your last full day
Map of Mexico's Yucatán in a Nutshell Tour - 5 Days
Mexico's Yucatán in a Nutshell Tour - 5 Days

Go beyond Cancún and explore the lesser-visited highlights of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula on this quick five-day escape. It begins in Puerto Morelos, whose unspoiled reef is part of a marine reserve you'll explore during a snorkeling trip. Then visit the ruins of El Castillo—situated above a beach in beautiful Tulum—before finishing with a tour of the even grander Ek' Balam archaeological site.

Izamal, the famous "Yellow City of the Yucatán"
Map of Escape to Chichén Itzá & Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula - 7 Days
Escape to Chichén Itzá & Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula - 7 Days

Discover the history, heart, and natural beauty of Mexico's famous Yucatán Peninsula on this weeklong adventure. Start in the colonial city of Valladolid, followed by a deep dive into Indigenous culture in Yalcobá. After touring the incredible 1,500-year-old pyramid of Chichén Itzá, finish with a delicious street food tour of Mérida, the capital of the Yucatán and one of Mexico's great gastronomy centers.

San Servacio Church in Valladolid
Map of Discover Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula: Valladolid & Mérida - 7 Days
Discover Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula: Valladolid & Mérida - 7 Days

Discover a side of Mexico's famed Yucatán Peninsula that tourists rarely see. First, stroll the cobbled streets of Valladolid and marvel at impressive Spanish colonial churches. After Indigenous experiences at Ek' Balam and Yaxunah, you'll take a dip in sapphire cenotes, visit the awe-inspiring pyramid at Chichén Itzá, and cap the trip with street-food tours in Mérida, the region's capital.

Experience the nature and beauty of the Yucatán, below and above water
Map of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula in a Nutshell Tour - 10 Days
Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula in a Nutshell Tour - 10 Days

Explore the cultural and natural highlights of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula on this perfectly paced 10-day tour. Split your time between three key Yucatán towns: the charming fishing village of Puerto Morelos, the lively Tulum, and the historical Valladolid. Along the way, you'll snorkel among coral reefs, swim in hidden cenotes near ruined Maya cities, and explore the underground river of Río Secreto.

See the turquoise waters of Laguna Bacalar by sailboat
Map of Best of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula: Cities, Culture & Coast - 14 Days
Best of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula: Cities, Culture & Coast - 14 Days

With two weeks to spare, you can discover Yucatán's white-sand beaches, ancient Maya ruins, and colorful colonial cities at a relaxed pace. This adventurous itinerary takes you counter-clockwise around the peninsula from Valladolid to Tulum, checking off the region's many UNESCO-listed archaeological sites, nature reserves, and historic centers along the way. Highlights include snorkeling off Isla Holbox, sampling regional gastronomy in Mérida, and climbing the Maya pyramid at Calakmul.

Experience the many shades of blue in Bacalar's lagoon
Map of Discover the Yucatán: Natural Treasures & Maya Heritage - 14 Days
Discover the Yucatán: Natural Treasures & Maya Heritage - 14 Days

This 14-day journey through the Yucatán Peninsula weaves nature, Maya culture, and ancient wonders into one memorable adventure. Start your exploration in Tulum, where pristine beaches meet well-preserved Maya ruins. Then head to the Lagoon of Seven Colors in Bacalar for a serene escape before immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of Valladolid, with its colorful colonial charm and archaeological wonders. Finally, venture to Holbox, an island paradise packed with nature experiences.

 A Puerto Morelos beach along Mexico's Riviera Maya
Map of Puerto Morelos, Valladolid, Tulum & Holbox: Best Itinerary Ideas
Puerto Morelos, Valladolid, Tulum & Holbox: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most travelers will find that 10 to 13 days is perfect for a well-paced Mexico trip with stops in Puerto Morelos, Valladolid, Tulum, and Holbox. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in eight or nine days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. With more time, you can enjoy extra activities at each stop or a few days in another region like Mexico City. See more ideas for Puerto Morelos, Valladolid, Tulum, and Holbox itineraries below.

 A sign showing the direction of a cenote in the Yucatán Peninsula
Map of Active Yucatán Road Trip: Ruins, Cenotes & Outdoor Adventure - 10 Days
Active Yucatán Road Trip: Ruins, Cenotes & Outdoor Adventure - 10 Days

This self-drive Yucatán adventure takes you through some of some of the most unspoiled nature on Mexico's Caribbean coast. Based between Valladolid and Tulum, you'll spend time exploring archaeological ruins and swimming in crystal-clear cenotes. Float through the ancient lagoon system of the UNESCO Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, head into the jungle for ziplining and canoeing, and then sit down with the locals to taste traditional cooking and cuisine.

Enjoy free time to explore Merida's beautiful Spanish colonial architecture
Map of Mexico Culture & Nature Escape: Mérida & the Yucatán - 5 Days
Mexico Culture & Nature Escape: Mérida & the Yucatán - 5 Days

Explore a different side of Mexico's famous Yucatán Peninsula on this five-day escape to Mérida, the region's capital. Take part in a number of culture and nature experiences that include visiting Maya communities, boating to the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, touring the ancient milpa fields of Yaxunah, and visiting Chichén Itzá, the "famous wonder of the Maya world," which dates back over 1,500 years.

You can't get much closer to the beach than at your luxury boutique hotel in Tulum (photo courtesy of La Zebra Colibri)
Map of Authentic Luxury on Mexico's Riviera Maya - 5 Days
Authentic Luxury on Mexico's Riviera Maya - 5 Days

This five-day itinerary redefines laid-back luxury travel on the Riviera Maya, mixing the colonial charm of Valladolid with Tulum's coastal chic. Start in Valladolid with a private walking tour, then unveil the ancient secrets of Ek' Balam and cycle through the mystique of Cobá's ruins. Cruise along the Caribbean coast, snorkeling with tropical fish and giant turtles as your onboard chef prepares a fresh Mexican lunch. Finally, take home Mexico's culinary secrets with a private cooking class in a local chef's home.

Yucatán Peninsula: Best Itinerary Ideas
Map of Yucatán Peninsula: Best Itinerary Ideas
Yucatán Peninsula: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most travelers will find that six to nine days is perfect for a well-paced Mexico trip with stops in the Yucatán Peninsula. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in four or five days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. You can enjoy extra activities at each stop or a few days in another region like Mexico City, Cozumel, or Chichén Itzá with more time. See more ideas for the Yucatán Peninsula itineraries below.

Scuba diving in the Yucatan
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 21 Days

Fully immerse yourself into Mexican history and culture on this comprehensive three-week trip. From the colonial cities of Merida and Valladolid to the ancient Mayan ruins of Uxmal and Chichen Itza, this trip covers millennia of history and leaves room for relaxation and food. End the trip on Holbox Island for some of Mexico's loveliest beaches and plenty of sunshine

Puerto Morelos
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 19 Days

Drive from city to beach on this nineteen-day immersive trip through the Yucatan Peninsula. From the colonial cities of Merida and Valladolid to the ancient Maya ruins of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, you'll explore the best that the region has to offer. Tour historic sites, sample local fare, relax on beaches, and more as you make your way through the jungles and roads of the area.

Exploring the Cenotes
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 18 Days

Take eighteen relaxing days to drive through the Yucatan Peninsula as you explore the best that Mexico has to offer: colonial cities, indigenous communities, white-sand beaches, and ancient Mayan ruins. Start the trip in Tulum for a dip into a turquoise cenote, then head to Bacalar for a sail on the lagoon. End in Valladolid and Holbox Island for sunrise at Chichen Itza and a couple days on the beach.

Yokdzonot Cenote in Yucatán
Map of Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 15 Days
Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 15 Days

Fifteen days in Mexico's Yucatán region is enough time to visit famous archaeological sites while also enjoying its famous white-sand beaches. Explore the ruins at Chichén Itzá, experience indigenous cultural traditions, and float in the turquoise waters of the Chemuyil cenotes—these are just a few of the highlights. You'll also venture to Holbox Island and enjoy its famous golden sunsets.

Enjoying the views
Nature & Mayan Life: Tulum, Bacalar, Merida, Holbox, & More - 16 Days

Explore the best of Mexico's offerings on this comprehensive 16-day trip. Swim in crystal clear cenotes and go sailing in the Bacalar Lagoon. Continue to Chunhuhub for a mystical bonfire experience, then spend a few days exploring the historical sites of Merida and Chichen Itza. End the trip on Holbox Island for several days of sun, beach, and surf.

Bacalar Lagoon
Map of Nature & Mayan Life: Tulum, Bacalar, Merida, Holbox & More - 14 Days
Nature & Mayan Life: Tulum, Bacalar, Merida, Holbox & More - 14 Days

Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to see some of Mexico's best archaeological sites—including Chichén Itzá—while also leaving plenty of time for relaxation. You'll swim in beautiful cenotes, explore the colonial city of Merida, and experience Indigenous culture. End with a couple of days on Holbox Island, where sand, surf, and beautiful sunshine await.

Ancient Uxmal Ruins
Map of Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 13 Days
Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 13 Days

Spend 13 days enjoying the best of the Yucatán Peninsula on this whirlwind itinerary. Tour the famous ruins at Uxmal, Tulum, and Chichén Itzá, plus visit Spanish-colonial heritage towns like Izamal and Valladolid. Throughout the adventure, you'll also dive into turquoise cenote lagoons, immerse yourself in local Maya culture, and enjoy some "me" time on the white-sand beaches of Puerto Morelos and Holbox Island.

Tulum beach, Yucatán
Map of Relaxation on the Yucatán Peninsula - 8 Days
Relaxation on the Yucatán Peninsula - 8 Days

There are few better places for a quick recharge than Mexico's stunning Yucatán Peninsula. Over eight days, you'll travel down the famous Riviera Maya, hike around fortress ruins in Tulum, visit indigenous Maya communities, swim in exotic lagoons, and stroll around historic cities. However, you'll really kick back and relax during a couple of free days on the remote beaches of tranquil Holbox Island.

Maya ruins near Tulum
Map of Explore the Real Riviera Maya – 8 Days
Explore the Real Riviera Maya – 8 Days

Discover authentic Mexican life on this sustainable tour of the Riviera Maya. Take a road trip from Valladolid to Tulum, stopping at sparkling forest cenotes, biosphere reserves, and ancient Maya ruins like the UNESCO-listed Chichén Itzá. Along the way, you'll meet corn farmers, rap groups, and the founder of a wildlife conservation project. Soak up some Mexican culture with a traditional steam bath and mariachi evening, then finish up on the white-sand beaches of Playa del Carmen.

Tour the back streets of Valladolid
Map of Off-the-Beaten-Path Yucatán: Yaxunah, Mérida, Valladolid & Uxmal - 14 Days
Off-the-Beaten-Path Yucatán: Yaxunah, Mérida, Valladolid & Uxmal - 14 Days

Discover the lesser-known areas of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula with this two-week trip that takes you from Mérida and Valladolid to the local communities and cultures in between. Tour sustainable farms in Yaxunah and get a glimpse into the peninsula's Maya culture during community visits, engraving workshops, and eco-tours. Highlights include swimming and diving in secret cenotes, admiring colorful colonial architecture in Izamal, and boating past pink flamingoes in the Celestún Biosphere Reserve.

Explore ancient ruins in Tulum with the kids
Map of Family Adventure on Mexico's Costa Maya - 14 Days
Family Adventure on Mexico's Costa Maya - 14 Days

Mexico's Costa Maya region is an ideal destination for families, whether your kids are tiny, nearly grown, or somewhere in between. The combination of beautiful beaches, outdoor attractions, plentiful wildlife, delicious food, and fascinating culture will appeal to kids and adults alike. This two-week itinerary provides ample opportunities to relax and rejuvenate as well as get active and make the most of the destination—as you snorkel, kayak, cycle, and swim together along the spectacular Caribbean coast.

Learn to make tortillas with a local Maya community in the Yucatán
Map of Insider's Yucatán: Yaxunah, Valladolid & Mérida - 7 Days
Insider's Yucatán: Yaxunah, Valladolid & Mérida - 7 Days

Get off the beaten path for a week of culture and nature in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Start in Yaxunah with a weaving workshop and an introduction to ancient Maya farming methods. Transfer to Valladolid to explore the ancient ruins of Ek' Balam and Chichén Itzá, learn embroidery and tortilla-making with local communities, and get to know the colorful streets of colonial Mérida. After some adventurous cenote diving, you'll wrap up with a day of nature and wildlife in the Celestun Biosphere Reserve.

 Enjoy discovering natural sinkholes around the Yucatán
Map of Outdoor Adventures on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula: Puerto Morelos, Valladolid, El Cuyo & Holbox - 10 Days
Outdoor Adventures on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula: Puerto Morelos, Valladolid, El Cuyo & Holbox - 10 Days

With 10 days in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, you can discover the best outdoor adventures, from snorkeling in Puerto Morelos' National Reef Park to boating among flamingoes in Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve. Swim in little-known cenotes and spend an exciting day of kitesurfing on the north coast. Finish your trip with three days on Isla Holbox, where you'll cruise through mangroves by kayak and jump on a speedboat to the peninsula's northernmost point.

Climb to the highest ruins of Ek' Balam, an ancient Maya site once lost to the dense jungle
Map of Off-the-Beaten-Path Yucatán: Yaxunah, Valladolid & Mérida - 10 Days
Off-the-Beaten-Path Yucatán: Yaxunah, Valladolid & Mérida - 10 Days

This 10-day trip introduces you to an authentic side of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, from Valladolid to Mérida, and the local communities and cultures in between. See Maya wonders at Ek' Balam and Chichén Itzá, join sustainable workshops to weave hammocks and make tortillas alongside the locals, and cool off with plenty of swimming in secret cenotes. Catch a glimpse of the peninsula's unspoiled nature as well, with day trips into the biodiverse hotspots of Ría Lagartos and the Celestún Biosphere Reserve.

Join a boat tour through captivating Sumidero Canyon
Map of Highlights of Chiapas & Yucatán - 13 Days
Highlights of Chiapas & Yucatán - 13 Days

This 13-day adventure covers the highlights of two of southern Mexico's most historic and naturally beautiful states: Chiapas & Yucatán. In the former, you'll tour natural wonders like Sumidero Canyon and the Agua Azul waterfalls. In the latter, you'll visit its most famous archeological sites, like Palenque and Uxmal, while also enjoying the white-sand beaches of Holbox Island and Playa del Carmen.

Campeche's fortified city was built to defend against frequent pirate raids in the 17th century
Map of Ultimate Yucatán Road Trip: History, Culture & Nature - 14 Days
Ultimate Yucatán Road Trip: History, Culture & Nature - 14 Days

Circle the entire Yucatán Peninsula on this self-drive adventure through the region's historic cities, archaeological sites, and nature reserves. Over two weeks, you'll explore the ruins of Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, spot monkeys and toucans in the jungles of Calakmul, follow an artisan route through the villages of Campeche, and paddle through the colorful lagoons of Bacalar. Your trip winds down on the coast, snorkeling through Cozumel's reefs and learning to cook with the locals near Playa del Carmen.

Take a scenic boat tour through the Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas
Map of Adventure in Chiapas & the Riviera Maya - 14 Days
Adventure in Chiapas & the Riviera Maya - 14 Days

Over two weeks in Mexico, you'll discover the diverse state of Chiapas, with its jungle waterfalls, colonial cities, and Indigenous Maya communities. Then, get behind the wheel for a self-drive adventure around the Yucatán Peninsula, stopping to relax on the beach, swim in cenotes, and visit ancient ruins perched above the Caribbean Sea.

The Church of San Servacio in the city of Valladolid
Map of Mexico City & Riviera Maya - 10 Days
Mexico City & Riviera Maya - 10 Days

This off-the-beaten-track adventure kicks off in Mexico City, where you'll learn the area's pre-Colombian history and visit mysterious temples built by the Aztecs and Mayans. From here, fly to the Riviera Maya to ramble in the colonial streets of Valladolid, dine on fresh cuisine, and chill out on the Caribbean Sea. Expect private guides and transportation throughout (except for your free day in Tulum).

Ancient Maya ruins of Ek'Balam
Map of Highlights of Southern Mexico: Chiapas &  Yucatán - 12 Days
Highlights of Southern Mexico: Chiapas & Yucatán - 12 Days

This family-friendly itinerary of southern Mexico combines cultural activities with plenty of natural exploration. The first half of your trip will see you exploring Chiapas' Sumidero Canyon, el Chiflón and Misol-Ha waterfalls, and the impressive ruins of Palenque. From there, you will head to colonial-era Campeche where you will pick up your rental car and tour the Yucatán: from modern Mayan communities to ancient ruins, from refreshing cenotes to the white sands of Holbox Island.

Mexico City's Chapultepec Castle served as a royal residence for Emperor Maximilian I during the 1860s
Map of Mexico's Culture, Nature & Cuisine: Mexico City, Valladolid & Isla Holbox - 11 Days
Mexico's Culture, Nature & Cuisine: Mexico City, Valladolid & Isla Holbox - 11 Days

Discover Mexico's cultural and natural wonders and cuisine on this 11-day tour of Mexico City, Valladolid, and Isla Holbox. Sample the capital city's gastronomy and history, from a street food tour to the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacán. Visit the Maya community of Yalcobá in Valladolid to swim in crystal-clear cenotes and learn about Maya milpa farming traditions. Then, embark on a ferry to Isla Holbox, where fishing, kayaking in bioluminescent waters, and hammock lounging await.

Drink refreshing "cocos" (coconuts) on a Mexican beach
Map of Food & Culture from Mexico City to the Yucatán - 15 Days
Food & Culture from Mexico City to the Yucatán - 15 Days

When you combine the incredible sights of Mexico with its delicious flavors, you have a recipe for the perfect vacation. This grand tour starts with Mexico City's highlights and includes copious samplings of tasty street food and famous spirits. From there, you'll travel to historical landmarks and natural wonders throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, from the pyramids of Chichen Itza to the white-sand beaches of the Riviera Maya to the remote islands of the far north.

 Admire several waterfalls within Sumidero Canyon
Map of Mexico's Natural & Archaeological Wonders: Chiapas to the Yucatán - 14 Days
Mexico's Natural & Archaeological Wonders: Chiapas to the Yucatán - 14 Days

Two weeks in Mexico is ideal for discovering the Chiapas and Yucatán regions' natural and archaeological treasures. Your route traverses the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula and finishes in Isla Holbox on the paradisical Caribbean Coast. Along the way, boat through natural wonders like the Sumidero Canyon, a brilliant pink lake in Ría Lagartos Reserve, and unspoiled beaches at Cabo Catoche. You'll also swim in cenotes and tour archaeological sites like Palenque, Uxmal, and Chichén Itzá.

Enjoy swims in cenotes, the Caribbean Sea, and Lake Bacalar during this active road trip
Map of Mexico's Natural Beauty & Ancient Marvels in the Yucatán - 14 Days
Mexico's Natural Beauty & Ancient Marvels in the Yucatán - 14 Days

This self-drive adventure takes you through Mexico's natural and ancient wonders. Based along the Yucatán Peninsula's northeastern coast, you'll split your time exploring coral reefs and ancient Maya ruins. Active travelers will enjoy archaeological parks, such as Ek' Balam, Cobá, and Chichén Itzá, touring a sustainable pearl farm, and sailing in Lake Bacalar. Round off your trip with an expedition to the Maya underworld along the Río Secreto and diving in the crystalline waters of Cozumel Island.

Sunset over the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula
Map of Self-Drive Adventure on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula: Valladolid & El Cuyo - 7 Days
Self-Drive Adventure on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula: Valladolid & El Cuyo - 7 Days

Go beyond the surface beauty of Mexico's famous Yucatán Peninsula to discover its rich history, culture, and nature. This weeklong escape begins in the well-preserved Spanish-colonial city of Valladolid, from which you'll take trips to cenotes and ancient ruins like Ekʼ Balam and Chichén Itzá. Other highlights include visiting the largest Maya pyramid in the region at Cobá, plus an exciting day of kitesurfing on the north coast.

Piñata in Mexico City
Map of Make Family Memories in Mexico City & the Yucatán Peninsula - 10 Days
Make Family Memories in Mexico City & the Yucatán Peninsula - 10 Days

This family-friendly adventure starts in Mexico City. You'll take a walking food tour through the center, ride the carousel at Chapultepec Park, and experience the wonders of ancient Teotihuacán from the birds-eye view of a hot air balloon. Then, it's off to the Yucatán to dive into the blue waters of cenotes, spot pink flamingoes at Ría Lagartos Reserve, and stroll the beaches of Holbox Island. End your tour with a once-in-a-lifetime swim with whale sharks, the largest fish in the world.

Take a dip in the Caribbean Sea after exploring the Tulum Archaeological Zone
Map of Cultural Highlights of Mexico - 13 Days
Cultural Highlights of Mexico - 13 Days

A great thing about Mexico is that its cultural highlights also make for some of the most fun activities. You'll experience many such adventures over 13 days as you tour the historic center of Mexico City, hike the pyramids of Teotihuacán, and visit colorful neighborhoods like Xochimilco. Then you're off to the famous Yucatán Peninsula to tour the ruins of ancient Maya cities, participate in indigenous cultural exchanges, and enjoy beach time on the Caribbean coast and the Holbox Island.

Scenic view of the Basilica of Guadalupe and Mexico City's skyline
Map of Mexico City, Valladolid & Holbox: Best Itinerary Ideas
Mexico City, Valladolid & Holbox: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most people visiting Mexico City, Valladolid, and Holbox spend about two weeks in Mexico, which usually includes some time in Puerto Morelos, Tulum, and Pisté as well. If you're only headed to Mexico City, Valladolid, and Holbox, you can enjoy a comfortably-paced trip in 10 to 11 days. Even travelers with limited time can see the highlights in as few as six to nine days. Check out the below favorite Mexico City, Valladolid, and Holbox trips.

A lighthouse keeps watch over the rich biodiversity and coral gardens off the shores of Puerto Morelos
Map of Self-Drive Yucatán Discovery: Puerto Morelos, Valladolid, Mérida & El Cuyo - 10 Days
Self-Drive Yucatán Discovery: Puerto Morelos, Valladolid, Mérida & El Cuyo - 10 Days

Sample the best of the Yucatán Peninsula's archaeological and natural wonders, Indigenous communities, and charming cities with this 10-day road trip. Drive from the Riviera Maya coastline to the Spanish colonial cities of Valladolid and Mérida. Tour the ancient Maya ruins at Ek' Balam and Chichén Itzá before a day trip to coastal towns, which bring beekeeping insights and a boat ride to a cenote. Finish in El Cuyo on the northern coast, spotting flamingoes on a boat ride in Ría Lagartos Reserve.

Cenote Zaci in Valladolid, Yucatán
Map of Mexico City, Valladolid & Mérida: Best Itinerary Ideas
Mexico City, Valladolid & Mérida: Best Itinerary Ideas

Eleven days to two weeks are the most popular trip lengths for Mexico travelers interested in visiting Mexico City, Valladolid, and Mérida, especially when also including Tulum. If you're not interested in Tulum, 8 to 11 days is enough for your Mexico City, Valladolid, and Mérida trip. Check out the favored Mexico City, Valladolid, and Mérida trips below.

A Maya Riviera turtle
Map of Yucatán Adventure: Mexico City, Valladolid, Puerto Morelos & Holbox - 15 Days
Yucatán Adventure: Mexico City, Valladolid, Puerto Morelos & Holbox - 15 Days

From tacos and mezcal shots in Mexico City to lazing on the beaches of Holbox Island, this tour offers it all in just over two weeks. Start in Mexico's capital, where you'll learn the city's history while floating on the canals of Xochimilco. Head to Valladolid and discover the Maya ruins of Chichén Itza and Yalcoba, then venture along the Maya Riviera and snorkel in Puerto Morelos. Finish it all up by relaxing on the beaches of Holbox with some bird and whale shark watching thrown in.

Discover the vast Maya city of Uxmal on the Puuc Route
Map of Highlights of Mexico: From Mexico City to the Riviera Maya - 14 Days
Highlights of Mexico: From Mexico City to the Riviera Maya - 14 Days

Step back in time on this two-week itinerary highlighting ancient Aztec and Maya ruins. Along the way, you'll explore Mexico City, the colonial towns of Valladolid and Mérida, and the turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya. Other adventures include snorkeling in freshwater cenotes, hiking up pre-Hispanic pyramids, and meeting with Indigenous locals to learn about Maya history and culture.

Bacalar lagoon
Map of Highlights of Chiapas and Quintana Roo - 14 Days
Highlights of Chiapas and Quintana Roo - 14 Days

Take in the views from atop ancient Mayan pyramids and underneath waterfalls with this two-week trip through some of the region's top spots. You'll wander through complex Mayan ruins, along turquoise shores, and into jungles as you learn about Mexican history and ecosystems.

Take the kids to see the ancient pyramids of Uxmal
Map of Family Trip to Chiapas & the Yucatán Peninsula - 14 Days
Family Trip to Chiapas & the Yucatán Peninsula - 14 Days

The beaches and jungles of southern Mexico beckon on this adventurous, two-week family vacation. Start in Chiapas with the kids in tow to explore lost Maya cities, paddle across jungle lagoons, and join in the crafts and rituals of the native Lacandon people. Then it's on to the Yucatán Peninsula to cool off in turquoise swimming holes and tour colorful colonial cities before ending your trip on the white sands of Holbox Island.

Tulum, Mexico
Map of Mayan Discovery:  Sumidero Canyon, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cancun - 11 days
Mayan Discovery: Sumidero Canyon, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cancun - 11 days

Get a full dose of sun and sea while learning about Mexico's rich Mayan history as you travel from the beaches of Tulum to the wonders of Chichén Itzá pyramid. This journey through a few regions of Mexico will give you ample time to relax while experiencing the country's mystical, handicraft, and culinary traditions, and seeing its significant architectural monuments.

Yucatán
Map of Highlights of the Yucatán & Diving in Cozumel - 6 Days
Highlights of the Yucatán & Diving in Cozumel - 6 Days

In less than a week, you can experience the historical highlights and natural beauty of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. This includes visiting Spanish-colonial cities like Mérida as well as the Maya pyramids at Chichén Itzá and Tulum. You'll also hop in the water for a day of diving in the crystalline waters of Cozumel Island—no certification necessary.

Sample plenty of eats on this food and culture themed itinerary of Mexico
Map of Food & Culture from Mexico City to the Yucatán - 11 Days
Food & Culture from Mexico City to the Yucatán - 11 Days

Dive into Mexico's rich culture over 11 days and enjoy some of the country's best activities (and most delicious food). It begins with tours of Mexico City's historic cobbled streets and a visit to the awe-inspiring ruins at Teotihuacán. Then jet off to the Yucatán Peninsula, where you'll take a traditional cooking class plus visit mystical cenote lagoons, ancient Maya ruins, and colonial cities.

Enjoy spending time exploring Yucatán's Riviera Maya
Map of Highlights of Mexico City & the Riviera Maya - 11 Days
Highlights of Mexico City & the Riviera Maya - 11 Days

Explore two of Mexico's highlight regions: historic Mexico City and the beautiful Yucatán Peninsula. In the former, you'll hike up Aztec pyramids and stroll the cobbled streets of its Centro Histórico—all while indulging in delicious street food. Then you're off to the white-sand beaches of the Yucatán, where you'll tour ancient Maya ruins, participate in Indigenous workshops, and snorkel marine reserves.

Valladolid, Mexico
Map of History, Nature & Gastronomy in Mexico City, Valladolid & Isla Holbox - 13 Days
History, Nature & Gastronomy in Mexico City, Valladolid & Isla Holbox - 13 Days

Experience the best of Mexico's food and culture and still find time to relax on the beach on this 12-day trip from Mexico City to the Yucatán Peninsula. Start in the capital and explore the past, from Frida Kahlo's house to the pyramids of Teotihuacán. Then, head to Yalcobá to swim in freshwater cenotes and learn about Maya milpa farming before taking the ferry to Isla Holbox, where you'll fish, kayak in bioluminescent water, and chill in a hammock.

Mexico City's Zócalo (plaza)
Map of Mexico City to the Riviera Maya: Culture, Ruins & Cenotes - 8 Days
Mexico City to the Riviera Maya: Culture, Ruins & Cenotes - 8 Days

This eight-day journey combines Mexico City's famous landmarks with a quick flight to the Riviera Maya for beach time on the Caribbean coast. Visit the capital's Spanish-colonial cathedrals and Aztec archeological sites before riding down ancient canals on a gondola. There are even more aquatic activities in store in the Yucatán region, where you'll dive into cenote lagoons and swim in underground rivers.

Riviera Maya
Map of Mexico Culture, Food & Beaches: Mexico City & Playa del Carmen - 8 Days
Mexico Culture, Food & Beaches: Mexico City & Playa del Carmen - 8 Days

This eight-day adventure in Mexico City & the Yucatan is the perfect mix of history, culture, and delicious food. It begins in the capital with various food tours and visits to historic neighborhoods like Coyoacan. Then you'll jet off to Mexico's famous Riviera Maya for fun in the sun on the beaches of Playa del Carmen, plus tours of awe-inspiring Maya ruins and visits to Indigenous communities to explore underground lagoons.

A close up of Mexico City's "tacos al pastor"
Map of Food & Culture from Mexico City to the Yucatán - 12 Days
Food & Culture from Mexico City to the Yucatán - 12 Days

Over 12 days, you'll experience the cultural highlights of Mexico City and the Yucatán Peninsula, from the cuisine to the historic landmarks to the natural beauty. It starts with a whirlwind tour of Mexico's capital, during which you'll nibble on street food, stroll the colonial streets of Coyoacán, and hike the pyramids of Teotihuacán. Then it's off to the stunning Yucatán region to laze on white-sand beaches, visit biosphere reserves, and hike around ancient Maya ruins.

The archaeological site of Palenque in the state of Chiapas
Map of Archaeology & Culture in Mexico - 15 Days
Archaeology & Culture in Mexico - 15 Days

Discover Mexico, a country home to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites (35) than any other nation in the Americas. Over 15 days, you'll tour many of these archeological marvels, like the ancient cities of Teotihuacán, Palenque, Chichén Itzá, and more. Beyond that, you'll visit natural highlights like the majestic Sumidero Canyon, the waterfalls at Agua Azul, and the marine reserve at Puerto Morelos.

Tulum ruins
Map of Mexico City & Tulum: Best Itinerary Ideas
Mexico City & Tulum: Best Itinerary Ideas

For most travelers, eight to nine days is the perfect amount of time for a Mexico trip, with stops in both Mexico City and Tulum. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in a week, which makes for a fast-paced journey. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop or explore more of the country—some favored itinerary extensions include Valladolid, Playa del Carmen, or Mérida. See more ideas for Mexico City and Tulum itineraries below.

Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral overlooks the Zócalo
Map of Mexico City & Yucatán Peninsula: Best Itinerary Ideas
Mexico City & Yucatán Peninsula: Best Itinerary Ideas

For most travelers, 9 to 12 days is the perfect amount of time for a Mexico trip, with stops in both Mexico City and the Yucatán Peninsula. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in five to eight days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. Or, extend your trip and explore more of the country—some of the best-loved trip extensions include Oaxaca, Chiapas, or Chichén Itzá. Keep reading for more inspiring Mexico City and the Yucatán Peninsula itineraries.

Visit  the Francisco Canton Park in Valladolid to explore the many Spanish colonial buildings
Map of Discover Mexico from the Capital to the Beach: Mexico City, Valladolid & Mérida - 11 Days
Discover Mexico from the Capital to the Beach: Mexico City, Valladolid & Mérida - 11 Days

Spend 11 days immersing yourself in the culture, history, cuisine, and beauty of Mexico. You'll start in Mexico City, where you'll experience all the highlights, from visiting the historic center and the Frida Kahlo Museum to enjoying the city's famous street food. Then you're off to the Yucatán Peninsula, home to incredible Maya ruins, thousands of cenote lagoons, and some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in the Caribbean.

Aerial view of beautiful Yucatán
Map of Chiapas & Yucatán Peninsula: Best Itinerary Ideas
Chiapas & Yucatán Peninsula: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most people visiting both Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula spend about 10 to 14 days in Mexico, which usually includes some time in Mexico City as well. For travelers wanting to visit Chiapas and the Yucatán exclusively, plan 13 to 15 days for a well-paced trip. Even travelers with limited time can see the highlights in as few as 9 to 12 days. For the best itineraries, including Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula, keep reading below.

Greetings from Mexico City
Map of Mexico City & Mérida: Best Itinerary Ideas
Mexico City & Mérida: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most people visiting both Mexico City and Mérida spend about 11 to 14 days in Mexico, which usually includes some time in Valladolid and Tulum as well. If you're not interested in Valladolid and Tulum, a week to eight days is enough for your Mexico City and Mérida trip. With less time, it's still possible to see the highlights in as few as five or six days. Read on for the best itineraries, including Mexico City and Mérida, and beyond.

Board a "trajinera" and cruise historic canals in the capital's neighborhood of Xochimilco
Map of Discover Mexico from the Capital to the Beach: Palenque, Nahá, Calakmul & Bacalar  - 15 Days
Discover Mexico from the Capital to the Beach: Palenque, Nahá, Calakmul & Bacalar - 15 Days

Get to the heart of Mexico's rich culture over 15 days, which will take you from the Spanish colonial plazas of the capital to the Caribbean beaches of the Yucatán Peninsula. It begins in Mexico City, where you'll visit museums, enjoy delicious street food, and tour historic enclaves like Coyoacán. Then immerse yourself in the Indigenous culture and ancient ruins of beautiful regions like Chiapas before finishing the trip by sailing around the lagoons of the Yucatán.

Maya Temple
Map of Mexico's Maya Roads: Temples, Waterfalls & Lagoons - 15 Days
Mexico's Maya Roads: Temples, Waterfalls & Lagoons - 15 Days

This 15-day adventure blends ancient Maya sites with stunning secluded scenery for an off-the-beaten-path journey through Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula. Venture through the Sumidero Canyon to the colonial town of San Cristóbal de las Casas, then take a raft along Lake Montebello to see incredible wildlife. Explore the Maya cities of Palenque, Yaxchilan, and Bonampak, get your hands into clay during a pottery class near Nahá, and cool off along the way in hidden waterfalls and turquoise lagoons.

The pyramids at Teotihuacán, Mexico
Cultural Tour of Mexico - 7 Days

The largest pyramid in the world is in Mexico, as are some of the world's mysterious pyramids—at Cholula and Teotihuacán, respectively—and you'll visit both places on this wide-ranging cultural tour. Learn about pre-Hispanic, Maya, and Aztec cultures as you explore Mexico City, Mérida, Puebla, and Chichén Itzá, and take a break for a refreshing dip in a cenote. And a taco or two, of course.

Relax on the pristine beaches of La Paz on the Baja California peninsula
Map of Mexico City, Baja & the Yucatán - 13 Days
Mexico City, Baja & the Yucatán - 13 Days

Over 13 days, you'll visit some of Mexico's most naturally beautiful and culturally rich areas. Experience the food, culture, and history of Mexico City, hike the pyramids of Teotihuacán, then immerse yourself in indigenous culture on the Yucatán Peninsula. You'll also go off the tourist trail in Baja, California, with a boat tour of Isla Espíritu Santo, hikes through desert mountains, and snorkeling at Cabo Pulmo.

Other popular travel destinations in Mexico
Mexico City · Valladolid · Oaxaca · Tulum · Mérida · Holbox · Puerto Morelos · Chiapas · Playa del Carmen · San Cristobal de las Casas · Cholula · Puebla · Palenque · Bacalar · Campeche · Cancún · Chunhuhub · Uxmal · Calakmul · Guadalajara · San Miguel de Allende · Guanajuato · La Paz · Morelia · Querétaro · Cabo San Lucas · Pisté · Los Cabos