Three trips from Merida
Cenotes These water-filled limestone sinkholes, revered by the ancient Mayans, are dotted around the Yucatan Peninsula. The greatest collection is around Merida, with Xlacah, 40m deep, popular with swimmers and divers. Celestun This quaint fishing village, lined with beaches and seafood restaurants, is the gateway to the 591 square kilometre Celestun biosphere reserve, home to one of the world’s largest pink flamingo colonies. Visitors can take a boat trip around the lagoon. Mayan ruins Chichen Itza is the most famous and best restored of the Yucatan’s Mayan ruins (and an easy day trip from Merida), but for fewer crowds, consider Uxmal. Nestled in the hilly Pucc region south of Merida, it flourished between AD600-900. Nomadas Travel (nomadastravel.com) arranges tours to all of the above.