They don’t call it the Maya Riviera for nothing. Seven hundred years before all-inclusive beach resorts and ice-cold mojitos, the Maya built a city with a stunning ocean view. There are many Maya civilization sites on the Yucatan Peninsula, but none has a more beautiful location than Tulum, not far from Cancun.
Valladolid is a charming colonial town in the heart of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It’s a relaxed place with 16th century Spanish colonial cathedrals, some good restaurants, and a generally laid-back lifestyle. And if you’re lucky enough to be there for one of the seemingly endless stream of Maya celebrations, you’ll be in for a treat. With it’s also a great base for exploring the nearby Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Ek’Balam, especially if you want to get the morning jump on the tourist buses rolling in from Cancun and Playa del Carmen.