paradise in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico

Merida-Yucatan-Andreea-Prodan-Itza-1024x683 PARADISE IN THE YUCATAN PENINSULA, MEXICO TRAVEL
Merida-Yucatan-Andreea-Prodan-1-768x1024 PARADISE IN THE YUCATAN PENINSULA, MEXICO TRAVEL
Merida-Yucatan-Andreea-Prodan-market-768x1024 PARADISE IN THE YUCATAN PENINSULA, MEXICO TRAVEL
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A few days ago, Mexicans across the globe celebrated El Dia de los Muertos, which a nationwide festivity when people cook for the deceased and decorate the cemetery. In  honour of this famous festivity, I thought it was appropriate for me to share about my experience travelling through the Yucatan Peninsula. 

The Yucatan peninsula is famous for its cenotes, and whilst there are many that are more well known and accessible to tourists, others are just randomly spread across the peninsula. The cenotes are an important part of the mayan cultures. The Mayas believed cenotes to be a gateway to Xibalba, the underworld, and the god of rain, Chaac, was believed to live at the bottom of these sacred wells.

Merida-Yucatan-Andreea-Prodan2-1024x768 PARADISE IN THE YUCATAN PENINSULA, MEXICO TRAVEL
Merida-Yucatan-Andreea-Prodan1-1024x768 PARADISE IN THE YUCATAN PENINSULA, MEXICO TRAVEL
Merida-Yucatan-Andreea-Prodan7-1024x644 PARADISE IN THE YUCATAN PENINSULA, MEXICO TRAVEL

WHAT TO VISIT IN YUCATAN?

Playa Progreso  – With an excellent location, Progreso is the gateway to the Mayan world and the  most important of the Yucatan State. Progreso is the arrival point of many cruises  from around the world; tourists coming can take some tours to enjoy the best  attractions of Yucatan or simply enjoy the warm beaches of Progreso.

How to Get by Bus: from Autoprogreso terminal, located on 62th street between  65 & 67 in Merida downtown; the timetable is from 6:00 hrs and every 20 minutes until 22:00 hrs; the price of the ticket is $14 pesos and gets there in 1 hour. 

Celestun, Yucatan – Celestun is Yucatan’s one of the most beautiful places, with a mix of exotic vegetation  and fauna. Most people travel the to see the flamingos, have a relaxing time at the beach and enjoy some fresh fish. 

Location: Celestún is located 90 km from Merida, on the west coast of Yucatan. How to Get by Bus: from the Noreste terminal of 2nd class, located on 67th street  & 50 in Merida downtown; the timetable is from 6:00 hrs and every hour until 14:00  hrs. The price of the ticket is $70 pesos and takes 2 and a half hours to get there.
Tour Price: 900MXN (includes transport, Official Guide, Entrance fee to the  natural reserve, Boat Trip, Time to eat and swim) 
Private boat ride 1200MXN (for one hour ride, up to 10 ppl) 

Homún, Yucatan  –  The village has a large variety of cenotes, however it is not part of the more touristy areas, so the place holds its rustic and authentic aspect. The cenotes you can see:  Cenote Tza Ujun Kat, Cenote Santa Rosa,Gruta y cenote Santa Marí, Cenote Yaxbakaltún, Cenote Balmil and Santa Barbara.

How to get there: From terminal Noreste, located on calle 50 con 67 from Merida city centre. The ticket is $23 pesos. Get off at cenote Tza Ujun Kat, from there you can ask more information on how to access the other cenotes as well.

Umán, Yucatan
  1. Archeological site of Uxmal  
  2. Cenotes de San Antonio Mulix, Cenote Xbatún, cenote Dzombakal.
Chichen Itza – It is a complex of Mayan ruins on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and one of the new wonder’s of the world. You can book a day tour that includes Chichen Itza. The one I took also included Cenote XCajum.

Opening hours : 8am-4:30pm 
Price: 485 MXN 

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WHAT TO SEE IN MERIDA, YUCATAN

Paseo Montejo – It is the most notable avenue in Merida, having 5km distance. Built at the end of the 19th century and inspired by the boulevards of France, Paseo de Montejo used to be the site of mega mansions belonging to the well-to-do families in the city.

Templo de La Candelaria – Even if on the outside the building doesn’t necessarily stand out, the altarpieces are the only ones remaining after the 1910 revolution fires. 

Mercado de Lucas de Gálvez  

Bazar García Rejón  

 La negrita cantina – dance & dinner. You can find many places to have a drink, and enjoy the night on Calle 60 and Calle 62, located in the Santa Lucia neighbourhood. 

Catedral de San Ildefonso  – The cathedral is one of the oldest in America. It was built in the XVth century.

Museo Macay  – Next to the cathedral you can find the museum of Macay, which is a contemporary and modern art museum (free entry).

Casa de los Montejo – The house was build between 1543 and 1949 by Francisco de Montejo, the conqueror of teh Yucatan peninsula. Nowadays it is a museum and you can have access to 5 room and one garden to get a feeling of how the houses looked like during the colonial period. The entry is free and everyday at 11am you can get free guiding tour. The museum is located on Calle 63.

Parque Hidalgo –  You can find street food and many restaurants. 

Parque de Santiago – Every Tuesday at 8:30pm there is a party/dance with music from the 40s.

Parque de Santa Lucia – Every Thursday at 9pm there is a serenade, with music and dancing and traditional Yucatecan attires.

Galería Nahualli – Art gallery with Mexican art. It is the house of artists Abel Vázquez y  Melva Medina, opened to the public to enjoy painting and sculptures.  You can find it on Calle 60, number 405, Santa Ana neighbourhood. 

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WHAT FOOD TO TRY IN YUCATAN

Cochinita Pibil  – slow roasted pork dish, that melts in your mouth. Try the cochinita pibil tacos.

Papadzules – a Yucatan style enchiladas. It is corn tortilla filled with boiled eggs, (or cheese, chicken or pork), covered in tomato sauce and dipped in pepita salsa. It is warming, creamy and delicious dish.

Panuchos yucatecos – Fried tortilla, with beans, red onion,  chicken, tomato salsa, and on the side you have salad, cheese and avocado

Relleno negro – It consists of turkey and a regional black spice (made out of chilly, epazote, garlic and salt). It can be eaten by itself or with taco, torta or panuchos.

Lima Soup – it is served with chicken, garlic, onion, coriander, avocado, and lime.

Ceviche You can find the best ceviche in Yucatan close by the beach, in places like Celestún, Puerto Progreso and Río Lagartos. 

Huevos Motuleños It is a traditional Yucatan dish. It consists of tortillas, beans, fried eggs, covered in salsa and cheese.

Queso Relleno This is one of the most representative dishes of Yucatan. It consists of a ball of cheese filled with pork and spices. It is baked in the oven and served with a white sauce.

Tikinxic Fish – This is a fish made in the same style as cochinita pibil.

Dulce de Papaya – A delicious dessert made out of papaya, lemon, cinnamon and other spices.
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