Mexico Exploring The Yucatan BOASTING CARIBBEAN BEACHES AND MAYAN RUINS Most tourists stay near to the Caribbean coast and the towns of Playa del Carmen and Cancun. This leaves the rest of the peninsula surprisingly unspoilt and there are some charming, converted haciendas where you can stay. We tend to suggest that clients hire their own car and use the haciendas as a base for exploration. There is little on the roads and it is fun to head off with a map and directions to clamber over little-visited Mayan sites, to picnic and swim in cenotes or to pass the time of day in the sleepy towns and villages. The charming, sleepy, colonial towns are a real surprise with colourful markets and a way of life which seems untroubled by any outside influence. Campeche and Merida are particularly lovely colonial towns and Campeche on the Gulf of Mexico in particular, even in high season, has only a handful of tourists. There really is something for everyone: history, culture, adventure, nature and beach and some really good hotels. Almost everyone spends a few days on the more crowded Caribbean Coast which has some excellent hotels once you get away from Cancun and drive South towards Tulum but we always try to persuade clients to explore further afield. For the more intrepid another rewarding trip is to get a guide and 4×4 and cross the border into Guatemala to explore Mayan civilization on both sides of the border.