Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula charms with its vibrant array of colonial towns, enigmatic ruins and natural wonders.
Merida is Yucatan’s capital, celebrated for its brightly painted colonial architecture, fascinating museums and leafy plazas with open-air concerts. Meanwhile, the UNESCO World Heritage City of Campeche is a vision of pastel mansions and fortified walls.
The Yucatan is home to many peerless architectural monuments of the ancient Mayan world. Chichen Itza is breathtaking; its pyramids and carvings overwhelm in size and majesty. The temples and ball-courts of Uxmal are equally splendid, jutting mysteriously out of the jungle canopy, while Edzna is a peaceful, lesser-known site.
Gorgeous boutique hotels in restored colonial mansions or private 18th Century haciendas make your stay extra special. Usually painted in vibrant plum, pink or yellow, some haciendas have their own cenotes (fresh water sinkholes that were sacred to the Mayans). Others boast exquisite spas offering Mayan healing treatments. The most beautiful haciendas make perfect settings for an atmospheric celebration, where parties can dine in gardens or cloisters by candlelight.