TRAVEL > NORTH AMERICA > MEXICO > Yucatan Peninsula
The Yucatán Peninsula juts out between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between which sit the states of western Campeche, northern Yucatan, and eastern Quintana Roo. Central on the peninsula is Chichen Itza, the famous Mayan city that had been nearly engulfed in the surrounding tropical jungle. Here, temples and stepped pyramids align with celestial bodies and the solar calendar.
Beach lovers flock to the warm aquamarine waters of the Mayan Riviera as the eastern coastline is aptly named. Resorts abound along the Caribbean shores of Quintana Roo from Cancun and Puerto Morelos to Playa del Carmen and Cozumel on the island of Isla Mujeres. The real jewels, however, are the Mayan ruins of Tulum and the cenotes, underground caves with freshwater pools formed by sinkholes in the limestone bedrock.
Pre-Columbian ruins along a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea Zama, city of the dawn, as this site facing east toward the sunrise is believed to have once been known. Inhabited as early as the 6th century, its crumbled limestone walls overlook the Caribbean Sea on a spectacular cliffside perch. Flourishing between the 13th and 15th…