The vibrant, elegant Mexican city of Mérida is experiencing a tourist boom as travelers look beyond the nearby tourist centers of Cancún and Tulum. As well as offering fantastic architecture and cuisine, the city is also a traditional refuge of Mayan culture. The surrounding area boasts a range of important archaeological sites. Here’s our guide to the very best Mayan ruins to visit near Mérida.
The only Mayan ruin that is listed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Chichén Itzá is a fantastically well-preserved Mayan city that was once a major spiritual and economic center for the Mayans. The complex contains various temples and a sacred cenote, or underwater sinkhole. The steep Castillo pyramid is the largest structure in the site and boasts extraordinary details. During the afternoon in the spring and autumn equinoxes, the northwest corner of the structure casts a shadow that creates the appearance of a snake slithering down the pyramid.