With the charming city of Merida as my home base, I explored every end of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula a few years ago. For over a week I roamed from coastal Mayan sites to lesser known interior sites, from its gleaming beaches to its eye-opening museums.
Ornate and yet unassuming entrance to a small church in Merida
Carved skulls in the magnificent Museum of Anthropology and History in Merida (with my faint reflection amongst the stony dead)
The outmoded Nissan I rented that thankfully never conked out on me as I crisscrossed the peninsula
A personal obsession of mine: to visit the site where the meteor that, in all likelihood, precipitated the death of the dinosaurs hit. There was really nothing there but a vast valley of pink rock and marshy water, but there was an energy that was undeniable.
The Mayan ruins of Uxmal, staggering in both height and grandeur
The Jaguar Altar at Uxmal
The little known Mayan site of Labná with its regal entrance way (possibly used in ceremonial processions)
A Mayan-built road at Labná
A mangosteen given to me by a kind man who only spoke Maya. I can’t say that I loved its flavor exactly, but I’m glad I tried it.
On the beach of Celestún on the western coast
Merida’s lush central plaza with the Cathedral de San Ildefonso in the background