Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Mon May 11 2015

Opinion Home | Notes from the Goats

  • Nick and Dariece | May 11, 2015 9:00 PM ET

    A Mini Guide to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

    A Mini Guide to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

    Mexico is the ultimate country for travellers and expats. It has everything you could possibly want or need, and as an added bonus, the local people are very friendly and welcoming. The country is too big to do a whole guide, so here we'll just focus on the Yucatan Peninsula.

    Foods To Try The food in Mexico is some of the best in the world. There are so many different dishes to try, with each region having its own flavours and recipes.

    Sopa de Lima

    This is a very popular, fresh and light soup. Made with shredded pieces of turkey or chicken, lime juice, tortilla chips, tomatoes, and onions. It's the perfect lunch choice!

    Pollo Pibil (Yucatan style chicken)

    This grilled chicken is fantastic! It's marinated in achiote paste and citrus juices, then topped with perfectly grilled onions. Another healthy option.

    Queso Relleno

    This is a traditional dish in the Yucatan State. It's very rich and filling, so don't be surprised if you need to share the meal with someone. A ball of Dutch Edam cheese is hollowed out and filled with ground pork and baked. The sauce covering this cheese consists of chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, raisins, and onions. A very complex dish, with a lot of flavors.

    Places to Go

    Where do I start? This part of Mexico is filled with wildlife, beaches, jungles, and cities. Here are some of the must- visit islands and cities:

    Isla Holbox: This ultra laid back island is located just off of the very tip of the peninsula, north/northwest of Cancun in Quintana Roo State. People here get around by golf cart, the beach is sublime and the vibe is very chilled out. There's not a whole lot to do here, but that's the point.

    Isla Mujeres: Bigger than Holbox and located just off the coast of Cancun, this makes for a perfect day trip from the mainland, or a great place to spend a week, or more. The white sand beaches and Caribbean waters here are beautiful, there are many restaurants and bars and the scuba diving on Isla Mujeres is fantastic!

    Valladolid: This small town is relatively unknown. In the 19th century, the Spanish and Maya cultures collided here causing the most devastating war in Mexico's history, the Caste War. Nowadays, the city is quaint, colorful, and filled with lovely churches and plazas. There's also a cenote located in the center of town, and lots of options for renting a bike and exploring.

    Merida: This is the capital of the Yucatan State and the largest city in the Yucatan Peninsula! It's bustling, chaotic and has a lot going on. This is the perfect place to base yourself for surrounding day trips to various sites. The plazas, cathedrals, and sites here are also worth the visit.

    Must-See Ruins

    This part of Mexico has a plethora of ruins and Maya sites waiting for you to explore!

    Dzibilchaltun: These ruins are very off-the-beaten-path and unique. The Temple of the Seven Dolls is the main temple here, and during the spring and autumn equinox, the sunlight beams in through the doorways of the temple. Another interesting aspect of this ancient city is that there is a Spanish church here. It's not common to see Mayan architecture co-existing with Spanish.

    Uxmal: This UNESCO listed World Heritage Site is in great condition. The architecture here is Puuc style, giving the ruins round edges rather than square.

    Chichen Itza: How could you come to the Yucatan and not see one of the Wonders Of The World?! The entire site isn't listed as a Wonder, but the towering 24m high Kukulkan Pyramid is.

    Ek Balam: This is another lesser-visited site, but one that should feature prominently on your Yucatan itinerary. Don't miss the 106 uneven stairs up to the top of the Acropolis for fantastic views over the jungle.

    Costs and Budget

    Mexico is a country that has great value for money. For roughly $50 a night, you can have a beautiful double room with private bathroom. For even less, at around $30 a night, you can stay in a private room in a funky hostel with a swimming pool and free activities. Food will average out to $6 for a plate. Street-side snacks (quesadillas, tacos, etc.) can be had for less than $1 each. Beer in Mexico typically costs $1 - $1.30 a bottle. Coffee is around $2 for a medium Americano with milk. A daily budget for a couple will be around $80 a day including room, food, drinks, entertainment, and transportation.

More Mexico


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Sandals Resorts: The 5-Star Luxury Included Resorts

Hotels & Resorts