First inhabited by the Mayans in the early part of the first millennium, Cozumel is now a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by many coral reef marine communities so be sure to sign up for some scuba diving lessons when you arrive.
Known for its vast Mayan ruins, Chichén Itzá is located in the north central part of the Yucatan Peninsula and is home to countless structures dating back to the first century CE. Recently added to the list of Wonders of the World, Chichén Itzá has been a popular stopover for tourists from all ends of the world.
Izamal is a small city located just 72 kilometers (about 40 miles) east of Mérida and is the site of a few very large Mayan structures. Though originally inhabited by the Mayans, a colonial city was built overtop the existing one during the Spanish conquest of the sixteenth century.
Home to one of the longest contiguous Mayan structures in the region, a palace stretching 120 meters in length, Labna is located 120 kilometers (about 75 miles) southwest of Mérida.
Famous for its Palace of the Masks, Kabah is another of the many Mayan archaeological sites located on the Yucatan Peninsula. The Palace façade is adorned with 250 elaborate stone masks as well as numerous intricate statues.
Located 78 kilometers (about 49 miles) from the city of Mérida, Uxmal is one of the most well-known and well-preserved Mayan cities in the world. Here you can find a great tourist center, restaurants, and some of the most astonishing Mayan remains in existence.
Surrounded by sub-tropical rainforest, this large archaeological site covers 21 acres and is said to be one of the most well engineered cities with a central plaza as well as many pyramids and citadels.
Located 128 kilometers (about 80 miles) from Cancun, Tulum lies along the eastern Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It has become a very popular tourist not due to its beautifully preserved ruins, but also because of its impressive beach and large hotel zone.
One of the larger Mayan cities, Coba was also one of the longest inhabited cities, from the first century to as late as the fourteenth century and later. This is a great site to visit to take a tour or rent bicycles to trek out to some of the further reaching ruins.
Inhabited as early as 400 BCE, Edzna is home to a remarkable monument standing on a platform 40 meters high as well as an intricate canal system once used to keep the town thriving. Edzna is a great destination for anyone interested in Mexico's fascinating Mayan roots.
Palenque was once a large city which saw many different rulers. Though famous for its ruinous structures, Palenque is now well-known for its impressive art in the form of extraordinary statues and grand tablet carvings. Even with only an estimated 5% of the city uncovered, it remains one of the most popular tourist sites in the region.