Best time to be there
October to April as the rainy season works its way up from the south beginning in May and running until September. Hurricanes may occur from July to October. December to February are the coolest months, when northerly winds can sometimes take inland northern Mexico temperatures down to freezing.
Mexico City Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun (onward connections to the coast)
12 hours (plus one hour for onward connections)
GMT -6 hours
Not required for UK passport holders
No mandatory vaccinations required
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Covering three states, Yucatan, Campeche, and Quintana Roo, the Yucatan Peninsula is among the most diverse in the hemisphere. With its eastern border complimented by the Caribbean Sea, the Yucatan possesses ancient ruins, intact rain forests and underground caves, colonial cities, offshore islands with luxury resorts, and natural wonders that will satisfy even the most seasoned travelers. Bordering Belize and Guatemala, the region maintains its close Maya ties, observed in its inhabitants dress, language, religion and cuisine.
The major colonial establishment on the peninsula, known as T'hó to the ancient Maya, Merida offers a stark contrast to the seemingly untamed heartland of several ancient civilizations. The narrow streets and shady parks provide a feeling of the old-world, as horses and cars traverse the cobblestone streets. On weekends, the streets in the city's center are cordoned off and are dominated by pedestrians and street vendors.
Also the capital of the state of Campeche, the city itself boasts many restored buildings and colonial structures that helped it to become a designated UNESCO world heritage site in 1999. Located on the Gulf of México, Campeche is an ideal location to stroll the boardwalk or visit the pair of forts that still have cannons aimed toward the open seas.
Uxmal, Chichen Itza and further Maya ruins
Housing some of the most finely restored ruins in world, the Yucatan Peninsula contains ruins still covered in dense jungle, waiting to reveal new hidden mysteries. Those unearthed offer a glimpse into the ancient Maya world as you walk in the footsteps of civilizations past. Chichén Itza, Calakmul, Uxmal and others are accessible from either Cancun or Merida.
Suggested Yucatan Accommodation
Set within the city walls of Campeche opposite the Yucatan's oldest cathedral, this hacienda displays a collection of carefully restored 17th century houses. Thick stone walls, beautifully tiled floors...
A short drive east of Mérida, this beautifully restored hacienda has a truly exclusive feel. With 15 delightfully decorated and spacious guest rooms and authentic Maya Villas it creates...
Dating back to the 18th Century and part of a grand nobleman’s estate, the Hacienda Santa Rosa boasts airy verandas, cooling floor tiles...
Once a family-run estancia and the largest producer of sisal in the area, the Hacienda Temozon recreates the belle époque of the Mexican southeast. With coral walls, white mouldings, weathered...
Built in 1700 on the site of a ruined Mayan pyramid, Hacienda Uayamon has suites in the original hospital building and guestrooms in restored colonial-style casita houses dotted...
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The Hotels you (Charlie Lockwood) selected were superb in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, what a pleasure it has been to stay in the Orient Express Hotels, everyone was so helpful, the exception being the Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires equally superb.
- TW, London
Peking to Paris Rally
Spirit of Adventure Lives On
Follow Michelle & Mike on their incredible adventure in the Peking to Paris rally and enter our competition.
A Roof for Chile
Began in the late 1990s to build dignified emergency housing for 350 families in extreme poverty, and has provided transitional houses for impoverished families across Latin America.