The Yucatan Peninsula, flanked by the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other, is Mexico’s acclaimed site for Mayan ruins. These archaeological sites range from the most famous and crowded Chichen Itza to the remote Calakmul, reached only by trekking deep into the jungle. The town of Cancun is the next most well-known of the Yucatan’s destinations, loved both for its party atmosphere as well as its gorgeous white-sands and warm blue waters. Small though this region is it offers many additional natural wonders, including extensive land and marine wildlife, and water-filled caves and caverns, or cenotes.
On the Yucatan’s Gulf Coast is the Mayan village of Punta Laguna, surrounded by jungles rich in wildlife, and part of the protected wetland area of Otoch Ma’ax Yetel Kooh, or “house of the spider monkey.’ This reserve is not just the home of the spider monkey; it also has howler monkeys, coatis, pumas, and many bird species. Nearby are the Coba ruins, surrounded by dense jungle. About 200 kilometres to the south, is the reserve of Banco Chinchorro. This is a coral reef island that is part of the biosphere reserve of Reserva de la Biosfera Banco Chinchorro. It’s a stunning wetland area that holds Mexico’s and the northern hemisphere’s largest coral atoll, running about 45 km in length and 14 km in width.