This lovely walled city with narrow streets and pastel-coloured houses is kept immaculate by its proud citizens.
Although the “White City” is the largest on the peninsula – alive with music and Sunday markets – it retains a tranquil charm.
3 Ruta Puuc
See the distinctive sculpture at the Maya sites in this area (the largest is Uxmal), and stay in one of the quiet towns nearby.
The best place in the Yucatán to buy craftwork and meet artisans, this little town east of Mérida is also studded with ruined pyramids.
5 Chichén Itzá
Visit the best-known of the Maya sites, with its vertiginous temple, Chac-mool figures and dramatic, snail-shaped observatory.
The reefs around this island are on the shortlist for the world’s best snorkelling and scuba diving.
The longest, finest white-sand beach on the Caribbean coast, with turquoise water and candlelit cabañas near ancient ruins, as well as the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve just to the south.