The Mexican Caribbean – what a great vacation destination. For a lot of tourists the main attraction is their all-inclusive resort in Cancun. And if it is not Cancun, then it is an all-inclusive resort somewhere along the coastline. For me, the highlights were the ancient Mayan cities that we visited. Each in their own right as fascinating as the others.


Chichen Itza is probably the best known out of the four and the best preserved or restored. It surely is a very impressive sight, especially the Castle or Pyramid of Kukulcan and the Temple of the Warriors. But it is also the “best” marketed of all the cities and, thus usually overrun by tourists.

Tulum is is probably the next most popular destination for tourists. It is much smaller than Chichen Itza and the other cities, but its unique attraction is that it is located right on the beach with a beautiful cove as part of the layout. This makes for a very special atmosphere and not so hot conditions during the dry season.

Finally, Coba and Ek Balam are probably not that well known yet – but they are quickly getting more and more popular each year. What I appreciate about about these two sights is that they are more hidden, in the midst of “jungle”, often even intertwined with nature. It gives you a sense of adventure and exploration, albeit a limited one. Coba also has the highest structure of all four – Nohoch Mul Pyramid with a height of over 137 feet (42 meters).

Bottom line – whether you stay at an all-inclusive resort or a simple motel, you should not miss a visit to these incredible ancient cities.