1. In Río Lagartos, spot the Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, or “Garza Tigre,” an incredible bird with a giraffe-like long neck and tiger-striped details.

2. An oldie but goodie, Mayan Pub is one of the best spots to grab a beer and shake a leg in Mérida’s historic Centro.

3. Go shopping for guayaberas in Tekit, where you can peruse the greatest selection of these traditional shirts or even have a guayabera personally made for your own “gusto.”

4. Order a margarita and trade out the tequila for mezcal, calling it a “mezcal margarita.” Mezcal comes from a similar plant as tequila (a type of agave), but has a smokier taste and an energizing effect.

5. The flora of Yucatán flaunts tropical vibes fit for the trends. Take note of the variety of tropical leaves and palm trees, capturing as many as you can in photos for a lifetime of garden inspiration.

6. The pink salt water at Las Coloradas is an unforgettable stop on the road to Río Lagartos. Walk along the levee and take pictures in front of the crystal pink oasis. Keep in mind that this is not a beach, and you can’t swim here.

7. On her way to El Cuyo, just after dark, my friend Allie spotted a giant jaguar slinking across the road – keep your eyes open for such a rare experience which tops the list of life’s unforgettable surprises.

8. Jungled Ek Balam is one of our favorite archaeological sites, because of its excellent conservation and tall pyramid which you can still climb. Other perks include the cenote located next to the site as well as smaller crowds.

9. Surrounded by botanical gardens, the cenote Kikil is carefully protected by the community. Equipped with bathrooms, hammocks for relaxing, and a full-service restaurant, Kikil is an amazing stop on the road to Río Lagartos.

10. Eat at the restaurant and shop in the “Conato” boutique in Valladolid. The murals and luscious gardens create an unparalleled ambience. You won’t want to leave.


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