I don’t use the phrase “hidden gem” lightly, but when it comes to El Cuyo, we have to acknowledge that this place really is one of Yucatán’s hidden gems. Located on the northeast coast not far from the Quintana Roo border, El Cuyo combines the perfect (award-winning) beach setting with the gentle and welcoming vibe you come to expect as you explore Yucatán.


There’s very little to “do” in El Cuyo, but really, that is its draw. The beach is perfect, with its white sand, beautiful water, and Instagrammable signs imploring visitors to take care of their surroundings. At its heart, El Cuyo remains a sleepy fishing village.


I just claimed there’s very little to do, and now I’ll give you a list of all the actual activities to show there’s plenty to do if you aren’t very good at just relaxing on the beach or frolicking in the gentle waves. 


How about taking a quad bike tour through the jungle, kayaking in the mangroves, boating on the Ría to see flamingos, or even taking a kitesurfing lesson? There are fishing expeditions, day trips to Holbox, dolphin spotting outings, and it’s possible to get to the famous pink salt lakes of Las Coloradas for a few hours too.


Where to Stay


There are many choices for accommodation in El Cuyo. Airbnb has a good selection (always read the reviews, to check you’re really getting what’s promised). If you’re looking for an adults-only boutique hotel, consider Casa Cielo. For boutique plus kids, LunArena is a possibility. Villas Akamay has great condos for the family.


For the more budget-conscious, Casa del Ritmo offers apartments, tent space, and tents for hire. Casa Los Peces and Casa Cuyo are other affordable alternatives.


Where to Eat


For breakfast in El Cuyo head to Naia Café. Vegan and gluten-free options are available at this health-conscious outdoor café.


For contemporary, award-winning Mexican fare, the delightful El Chile Gordo is a good choice (plant-based items are available here, too) – reservations are required. 


El Tiburón is considered a great spot for sampling the local ceviche.


Getting There:


If you’re driving, head to Tizimín on Carretera 176 from Mérida, then take the Carretera 15 towards Colonia Yucatán and turn left onto the El Cuyo Road (3.5 hours estimated drive time).


If you’re planning to use public transport, buses go from Tizimín to El Cuyo via Colonia Yucatán. You will have the choice of Noreste buses or local minibuses.


El Cuyo has spent a lot of 2020 in an extremely strict lockdown, which of course, was hard but necessary. The residents note that the village is noticeably cleaner when there are no visitors, so please, while we’re excited to share this part of our state with you, help us continue to keep it clean and healthy.


Villas Akamay
FB: Villas Akamay

Casa del Ritmo
IG: @lacasadelritmoelcuyo

Casa Cielo
FB: La Casa Cielo 

FB: LunArena 

Casa Los Peces
Airbnb: Casa Los Peces

Casa Cuyo
FB: Casa Cuyo

El Chile Gordo
FB: El Chile Gordo

Cafe Naia
FB: Naia Cafe



Editorial by Cassie Pearse
Freelance writer and blogger
Adventure lover who never lost her sense of fun or wonder



Photography by Flor Podesta for use in Yucatán Today.

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