The Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world. From its ancient temples and hidden cenotes to the white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters of Quintana Roo, its wonders tantalize even the most discerning travelers.
Here are five things that will ensure your next vacation to the Yucatán Peninsula is both comfortable and memorable.
The easiest way to arrive on the Yucatán Peninsula is via Cancún International Airport. There are plenty of direct flights to Cancún from the United States, most of which offer first-class seating assignments and allow you to avoid a stressful layover in Mexico City.
While the flights are typically quite short, do not underestimate the comfort that a first-class cabin affords. The service and the amenities alone are enough to ensure that you arrive in Mexico well rested and ready to enjoy the destination as soon as you step off the plane.
Prior to your arrival in Cancún, make sure to book a private transfer to your hotel or private accommodation. Private drivers will be able to meet you after baggage claim and whisk you away past the crowds and commotion to your own comfortable transfer vehicle.
Private transfers take the anxiety and guesswork out of any holiday. While they can certainly be expensive in other countries, you will find private transfers are quite affordable – and therefore very worth it – in Mexico.
The Yucatán Peninsula is riddled with beautiful luxury resorts.
On the northwest tip near Mérida and Campeche, you will find sweeping hacienda estates with standalone villa accommodations and stunning spa amenities. These resorts are known for their meandering gardens, fascinating history, private dipping pools and inviting foam mattress beds wrapped in white canopy drapes. They also put you within easy reach of the region's gorgeous freshwater springs and ancient Maya temples.
To the east are the iconic white sand beaches of the Riviera Maya, a stretch of Caribbean coastline which incorporates Cancún, Tulum and Playa del Carmen. This region is renowned for its all-inclusive resorts and sun-soaked adventures. Expansive cave systems, colorful animal-filled biospheres and famous temple sites such as Tulum and Chichen Itza are all within easy reach.
For the ultimate comforts, be sure to book a resort within the coveted communities of Mayakoba and Maroma where the beaches are private and within walking distance. Remember: ocean views do not always mean the property is oceanfront.
While the Yucatán Peninsula is developed for tourists, it's best to bring some of your own essentials from home.
Bring your own snorkeling gear, as you will be more comfortable on your own and it can be quite expensive to rent onsite. It is also advisable to bring your own water shoes, bug repellent and biodegradable sunscreen. The U.S. brands of these items are much more reliable than those found in Mexico.
Other items to pack include hand sanitizer, bottled water, thermal mugs for beach time and a stack of $2 bills from your bank. Locals find them particularly special and are known to give you better service if you tip with them.
As with traveling to any big city or international destination, it's imperative to adopt practical safe practices. The more you do so, the more comfortable you will feel during your stay.
For the Yucatán Peninsula, a common way to keep your belongings safe is to store your money and credit cards in an inside pocket or pouch so it is not visible to outsiders. Always know where your drinks are from, never walk alone at night unescorted and do not be afraid to barter to get the best price.
Finally, in order to keep your body comfortable as well, consider consuming yogurt and grapefruit seed extract prior to and during your vacation. Also squeeze citrus on any fresh fruits or vegetables. All of these tips will help with digestion and hopefully prevent you from contracting the dreaded Montezuma's Revenge.
Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula is a stunning international destination close to home. By splurging on first-class flights, private transfers, luxury resorts and some personal essentials, you'll be guaranteed a comfortable and unforgettable vacation.