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Yucatan Playland
Yucatan Peninsula & 3 Carnaval Cities  ||
Cancún|| MERIDA|| Cozumel  || Isla Mujeres || Playa del Carmen

with left frame menu: Vera Cruz Carnaval  || Travel Tools || City Guide
Page Only Veracruz City Guide || Veracruz City Hotels || State Attraction & Places to Stay
Veracruz State & Beyond

 Veracruz State || Northern Veracruz ||Xalapa (Mexico City)|| Central (Xico, Jalcomulco Carnaval)|| Orizaba & Great Mountains (Pueblo) || Los Tuxtlas (Chiapas)||Papaloapan Plain (Oaxaca) ||Southern Veracruz (Coatzacoalcos Carnaval Tabasco) ||

In the wake of Cancun's spectacular success, new resorts such as those at Akumal, Puerto Venturas, Buena Ventura and Puerto Cancun have extended the development some 130 kilometers down the Yucatan coast while the laid back destinations like Isla Mujeres and  Playa del Carmen  have become crowded and intensely developed. Long before Cancún was invented by the tourism industry,  Merida and  Cozumel  were holding their Carnavals.

Fiestas in the Yucatan

 From  Merida onward
Chichen-Itza &  Valladolid, Mexico
Unlike most of Mexico, the best way to see the Yucatán is by car. The terrain is flat, there is little traffic, and the main highways are in good shape.

These destinations are almost midway between Mérida and Cancún. From Mérida it's 2 1/2 hours by car to Chichén on the new toll road, or autopista. The trip all the way figure US$25.
 You can spend a day at the beautifully restored ruins of Chichen Itza and  stay at a nearby hotel -- or drive 40km (25 miles) to Valladolid, a quiet, charming colonial town with a pleasant central square. Valladolid features two eerie cenotes
Campeche || || Uxmal ||

Quintana Roo And The Caribbean Coast || Reef Behaviour ||Explore Quintana Roo And The Caribbean Coast  The stretch of coast between Cancún and Tulum is the most heavily visited - and the focus of much recent, rapid hotel construction. Modern development is centered on the resorts of Cancún and Playa del Carmen , along with the islands of Isla Mujeres and Cozumel , which have become some of the world's most desirable package tour destinations and increasingly overdeveloped as a result. You'll see images of the Maya everywhere here, but while their culture is shamelessly used to promote tourism, little of this money ever reaches the Maya themselves

Yucatan Peninsula

  1. Xel-Ha, Tulum, Yucatan Peninsula
  2. Coco Bongo, Cancun, Yucatan Peninsula
  3. Chichen Itza Ruins, Chichen Itza, Yucatan Peninsula
    "During the spring and summer equinoxes, as the red glow of afternoon sun descends over the pyramid, its slanting rays form the shape of a giant serpent inching its way slowly down the stone steps until finally, with the advent of darkness, its massive head comes to rest at the base."
    Giving Mayan Gods a Run for their Money
    By Ron Butler for
  4. Parque Chankanaab, Cozumel, Yucatan Peninsula
  5. Mayan Ruins of Tulum, Tulum, Yucatan Peninsula
  6. Xcaret, Yucatan Peninsula
MERIDA Yucatan
This is the capital of the Yucatan which has been  Mexico's most popular tourist attraction since the Mayan built their resort at Tullum in the early part of the first millennium. The sweeping curve of southern Mexico means that the Yucatán state capital, Mérida , is actually north of Mexico City but most of the
Located 30 miles inland and 200 miles from Cancun, the capital of the State of Yucatan, Merida (MAY-ree-dah) is the Gateway to the  Mayan world and home of Mexico's 3rd greatest Carnaval. Here in this 450 City of 1 million, Spanish and French Colonial influences combine with a Mayan heritage.
he traditional capital of the Yucatan Mayan also celebrates Carnaval

by Marvin Perton for
"They call it the "white city", La Ciudad Blanca because it's so clean and white. It sparkles in Merida's brilliant and perpetual sunshine. Merida is a genteel, laid-back colonial city with a population of 700,000 and, paradoxically at times, it's a bustling, sprawling traffic-clogged metropolis just like other cities of its size."

Yucatán || History || Travel Details || Fiestas ||Explore Yucatán
 Mérida by roughguides at travelNow
The "White City", capital of the state of Yucatán, is in every sense the leading town of the peninsula, and remarkably calm and likeable for all its thousands of visitors. Every street in the centre boasts a colonial church or mansion, while the plazas are alive with market stalls and free entertainment. You can live well here and find good beaches within easy reach, but above all it's the ideal base for excursions to the great Maya sites of Uxmal and Chichén Itzá.  read more >>
City Transport || Information || Listings || Eating
Entertainment And Nightlife || Arrival || Explore Mérida |Hotels in Mérida

red_star.gif (2190 bytes) || LINKS
the leading tourist guide of Merida, Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula which also publishes a monthly magazine. Great links page!

Merida, Mexico by frommers
Merida the White City by [Español] 
Deep well done CityGuide

Merida by
5 topics by fingertip

Travel Tales & Tips

TripAdvisor Travel Articles

darthmilmo's Mérida Travel Tips

 Merida at

Current Weather in Merida


 Bird Festival
 Confetur Convention

 Mayan Theatre
 Semana Santa

 Yucatan Fair


Annual MERIDA Carnival Schedule:
Pre-Lenten Carnaval ending on Shrove Tuesday the last day before Lent >
Burning of Bad Moods, 7 PM at the Plaza

Children's Parade, 4 PM
Corzo Parade, 7PM

Fantasy Parade,7 PM
Happiness Parade, 12 noon
Regional Night Parade, 7 PM
Battle of the Flowers, 12 noon
Ash Wednesday
Cremation of Juan Carnival, 8 PM, Plaza

Parade route
starts at the Monument to the Flag on Paseo Montejo, heads south on to Calle 47 , turns right past Parque Santa Ana to Calle 60, turns left and heads down to the Main Plaza, turns right again on Calle 61, goes to Calle 62 where it turns left and goes south to San Juan Park.
All along the route, there will be bands that get the people dancing in the streets!

Mazatlan on the West Coast has no doubts that it is Mexico's best Carnaval (& world's 3rd best) while Veracruz makes no claims and even makes it difficult for international visitors to see the parade. Merida Carnaval  may be Mexico's 3rd best Carnaval!

Merida Carnaval by yucatan today is our best of 2004 google selection
 Isla Mujeres Cancun
Overview ||Planning a Trip ||Fast Facts | Getting There ||Attractions ||Active Pursuits || Dining
This is an island of white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, complemented by a town filled with Caribbean-colored clapboard houses and rustic, open-air restaurants specializing in the bounty of the sea. Hotels are clean and comfortable, but if you're looking for lots of action or opulence, you'll be happier in Cancún. A few recent additions on Isla Mujeres provide more luxurious lodging choices, but they still maintain a decidedly casual atmosphere.

"Just 8km (5 miles) long and 4km (2 1/2 miles) wide, it's known as the best value in the Caribbean, assuming that you favor an easy-going vacation pace, and prefer simplicity to pretense."

Yucatan Peninsula >
Isla Mujeres >

GETTING THERE: The passenger ferry for Isla Mujeres officially leaves from Puerto Juárez regularly  between 6am and 8pm with both fast (15min; US$3.50) and slow (45min; US$1.80) services. To get to the ferry terminal, catch a bus ("Ruta 13") heading north from the stop on Av Tulum, opposite the bus station (20min), or take a taxi from Tulum (around US$3.50) Another ferry leaves from Punta Sam, a few kilometres north of Puerto Juárez accommodates cars

 plenty of bicycles and mopeds for rent

Isla Mujeres

Places To STAY

Hotel Reviews by

by frommers  
Frommer's Favorite Price Name
Frommer's Favorite Inexpensive Hotel Belmar
Frommer's Favorite Moderately Priced Hotel Cabañas María del Mar
Frommer's Favorite Inexpensive Hotel D'Gomar
Frommer's Favorite Inexpensive Hotel Francis Arlene
Frommer's Favorite Expensive Hotel Na Balam
Frommer's Favorite Inexpensive Hotel Posada del Mar
Frommer's Favorite Very Expensive Hotel Villa Rolandi Gourmet & Beach Club
Frommer's Favorite Expensive Secreto
Frommer's Favorite Very Expensive Villa Vera Puerto Isla Mujeres



Mexico > Yucatán > Quintana Roo and the Caribbean coast > Moving On From Cancún || || Arrival, Information And City Transport ||Isla Mujeres ||The Island ||Eating ||Arrival, Information And Island Transport || Hotels in Cancún

"Mujeres is no longer the desert island you may have heard about, and its natural attractions have been recognized and developed considerably in the last few years. There are now several large hotels and thousands of day-trippers from Cancún, and the once beautiful El Garrafón coral reef is now almost completely dead. Inevitably, too, prices have risen and standards (in many cases) have fallen. All that said, it can still seem a respite to those who've been slogging their way down through Mexico and around the Yucatán - everyone you've met along the way seems to turn up here eventually. "

  Playa del Carmen  Yucatan
32km (20 miles) S of Puerto Morelos, 70km (44 miles) S of Cancún, 10km (6 1/2 miles) N of Xcaret, 13km (8 miles) N of Puerto Calica
Throughout the late nineties and into the millennium Playa del Carmen , the departure point for boats to Cozumel has mushroomed into a major holiday destination.

Yucatán > Quintana Roo and the Caribbean coast > East coast > Playa del Carmen

"Expensive and overcrowded, not only with holiday-makers but also thousands of day-trippers from Cancún and passing Caribbean cruise ships. As a result the town's main centre of activity, Av 5 (or Quinta), a long, pedestrianized strip one block back from the sea, is often packed to capacity with visitors rapidly emptying their wallets in pavement cafés, souvenir and silver-jewellery outlets and designer clothes shops

The beach , however, is one of the prettiest on the coast with unfeasibly white sand and gloriously clear sea and the entire town is, for the moment, still compact and easily covered on foot - as well as playing host to the best nightlife on the Riviera Maya. The reef offshore is almost as spectacular here as in Cozumel and there are scores of professional scuba-diving operations in Playa

Playa Del Carmen || Listings || Eating || Bars And Nightlife || Arrival And Information Hotels in Playa Del carmen

Explore the East Coast

Playa Del Carmen by

Playa del Carmen
"Slicker architecture has appeared, with chain restaurants and stores, which detract from Playa's individuality. But it remains a cosmopolitan counterculture getaway, and that's what makes it so different from the rest of the coast."
Overview ||Planning a Trip ||Fast Facts ||Attractions ||Accommodations ||Dining ||Maps ||

Mayan fortress of Tulum; snorkel Banco Chinchorro near Belize; night beach walks to view

Xcaret to Xel-Ha
If the offbeat beach life is what you're after, grab it now before it disappears. Two water-theme parks offer entertaining ways to spend the day immersed in the beauty of this region. One is centered on the crystal-clear cenotes and lagoons at Xel-Ha. The other is the immensely popular park development of Xcaret

 turtle nesting; explore the newly discovered Maya site Kohunlich, notable for its giant carved masks, in southern Quintana Roo jungles; Caribbean port city of Chetumal; trek and kayak the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve discovering small Mayan temples; swim in cenotes; hike the jungle covered site of Coba; learn uses of medicinal trees; observe birds and jungle wildlife



Cozumel Yucatan
70km (44 miles) S of Cancún; 19km (12 miles) SE of Playa del Carmen The island is 45km (28 miles) long and 18km (11 miles) wide, and lies 19km (12 miles) from the mainland. Most of the terrain is flat, undisturbed scrubland.
Isla de Ixchel There are more than 40 shrines to the goddess of fertility, Ixchel. For centuries Mayan have traveled to the island for fertility blessings.
The main commerce is cruise ships and diving which makes San Miguel a shopping mecca for tourists and boaters
 Yucatán > Quintana Roo and the Caribbean coast > Isla Cozumel || The Island || Town Transport || Eating And Drinking || Arrival And Information
ISLA COZUMEL is far larger than Mujeres and has, unfortunately, been developed well beyond its potential. However, it offers the best diving in Mexico, with spectacular drop-offs, walls and swim-throughs, some beautiful coral gardens and a number of little-visited remote reefs where you can see larger pelagic fish and dolphins. The island is also good for bird-watching as it's a stopover on migration routes and has several species or variants endemic to Cozumel.

During the high season (Nov-April) up to twenty liners a week, each with several thousand passengers, embark at one of the island's five purpose-built piers. As a result the malecón is all too often an uncomfortably crowded throng of day-trippers and you may be hassled by aggressive sales pitches. Thankfully the weekends are blissfully free of cruise ships - as a rule they don't stop over on Cozumel between Friday and Monday Planning a Trip ||Fast Facts | Getting There || Attractions
"The only town on the island is San Miguel, which, despite the growth of the last 20 years, can't be called anything more than a small town. It's not particularly attractive, but the place and its inhabitants are agreeable -- on Sunday evenings, everybody congregates around the plaza to be sociable and have a good time. Staying in town can be fun and convenient.


"among the top five dive destinations in the world"



Cozumel by Lodging



FESTIVALS by From Dia de Los Muertos (day of the dead) to Carnaval to Cinco de Mayo, plan your trip to Cozumel around our year-round
Calendar of Events.

Cozumel Carnaval by
by David Hammer for


Cozumel Fotos

"Carnival Week on Cozumel is one of the most colorful and biggest celebrations in Mexico. It is a week of parades, dance, costumes, music and street carnivals. Almost all work stops and everyone joins in the dancing and celebration. Schools, clubs, and community organizations spend weeks making floats, costumes, and practicing their dances and music.
David Hammer for 2camels


Sunday before Carnaval Sunday
Benito Juarez Park Downtown
8pm - Show of Candidates for Queen of the Colonies 
Tuesday before Carnaval
Benito Juarez Park Downtown
8pm -
  • Farewell of the Carnaval Royalty of 2003
  • Show of the Emperors of 2004
  • Coronation of all Carnaval Royalty for 2004

5 Days of Carnaval:
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday!

Open Dances - Benito Juarez Park Downtown - Live Music
        8 pm - 2 am

Parades Route begin at City Hall and proceed to Port Captain's and return to City Hall.

Carnival Saturday - 6:00pm - Parade
Sunday Dimanche Gras- 6:00pm - Parade
Monday Lundi Gras- 6:00pm - Children's Masquerade Parade
(new 2004)
Shrove Tuesday - 6:00pm - Parade

Ash Wednesday - Benito Juarez Park Downtown - Open to the Public
The ritual of burning Juan Carnaval brings to a close the Carnaval fantasy days outside normal time and space. Normalcy restored until you can set your dreams free again next year. 

Cancún Yucatan  
if you come on an all-inclusive package tour the place has a lot to offer: striking modern hotels on white-sand beaches; high-class entertainment including parachuting, jet-skiing, scuba-diving and golf; a hectic nightlife; and from here much of the rest of the Yucatán is easily accessible. For the independent traveler, though, it is expensive, and can be frustrating and unwelcoming. "

The Town And Beaches || Moving On From Cancún ||Listings || Eating || Entertainment And Nightlife || Arrival, Information And City Transport ||
Hotels in Cancún



Cancun by

Cancun overview || city info ||attractions ||kids & family fun ||Annual events & festivals
The hotel zone, which is what most tourists think of as Cancún, is a fourteen mile long, thin island shaped like a "7." To the North is the Caribbean Sea with wide open beaches and strong waves. To the west the shore is buffeted by Isla Mujeres (Isle of Women) causing calmer waters. To the south, between the island and the mainland is the Nichupte Lagoon which is perfect for all water sports. It is this island that was created specifically for its present purpose, as the ideal vacation destination in a totally natural tropical setting accompanied by all the amenities of life in the 21st century.


CARNAVAL (Mardi Gras)is pre-Lenten concluding on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. bands, dances of masks, fireworks
Carnaval  festivities take place the week before Lent, with parades, floats, outdoor dancing, music, and fireworks. || To English by google

The hosts of Latin America's largest vacation zone invite you to join them for their most fantastic  annual Carnaval

Cancun Fotos

in espanol for 2002, & 2003
The many huge megasites for Cancun do not do justice to the local festivals like Carnaval
search for Carnaval

Oficina de Vistantes y Convenciones de Cancún / Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau

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