There are many reasons why so many people travel to the various locations in the Yucatan to find a transformational experience. The beautiful beaches and jungle , the mystery of the ancient Maya ruins, the wisdom of the indigenous people and the sheer power and energy of the biodiversity can bring change to anyone who spends time there.
The Yucatán Peninsula is in southeastern Mexico, and separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. The area comprises a significant portion of the ancient Maya Lowlands (although the Maya culture extended south of the Yucatán Peninsula, through present Guatemala and into Honduras and highland Chiapas). There are many Maya archaeological sites throughout the peninsula; some of the better-known are Chichen Itza, Tulum and Uxmal. Indigenous Maya and Mestizos of partial Maya descent make up a sizable portion of the region’s population, and Mayan languages are widely spoken there.
The Yucatan Peninsula is one of the most culturally and ecologically rich regions in the world. A vast variety of flora and fauna can be found in the biosphere reserves, the lakes and the coral reefs, while Mexico’s Mesoamerican culture is present in the abundance of archeological sites ripe for exploration. Vibrant colonial cities are dotted throughout the peninsula.
Some of the most popular resort communities include Cancun, Playa del Carmen Puerto Aventuras, Cozumel and Tulum, all of which are rich with resorts, restaurants and attractions. The Colonial Cities of the interior, most notably Merida, offer stunning traditional architecture, vibrant festivals and warm, welcoming people.
In the late historic and early modern eras, the Yucatán Peninsula was largely a cattle ranching, logging, chicle and henequen (sisal) production area. Since the 1970s (and the fall of the world henequen and chicle markets due to the advent of synthetic substitutes), the Yucatán Peninsula has reoriented its economy towards tourism, especially in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Once a small fishing village, Cancún in the northeast of the peninsula has grown into a thriving city. The Riviera Maya, which stretches along the east coast of the peninsula between Cancún and Tulum, houses over 50,000 beds. The best-known locations are the former fishing town of Playa del Carmen, the ecological parks Xcaret and Xel-Há and the Maya ruins of Tulum, Chichen Itza and Coba.