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  • This awe-inspiring, crystal-clear aquamarine water of Lake Bacalar in southern Yucatan typifies the amazing natural water colors found throughout the diverse peninsula. width:640;;height:382
  • Stunning historic Spanish churches and cathedrals grace nearly every town and city of Yucatan, such as this golden beauty in Campeche. width:620;;height:480
  • What we now know as Yucatan, Mexico, was originally the heartland of the vast & powerful Mayan empire. Mayan ruins, such as this one overlooking the Caribbean Sea at Tulum, are scattered throughout the peninsula. width:640;;height:213
  • Chi Chi Itzen Mayan Ruins are some of the most extensive, famous and well-visited in all of Yucatan. Amazing light shows are projected on the ruins during particular times of the year. width:640;;height:480
  • Grand Campeche Cathedral flanks the city's main plaza while impressive multi-columned colonial government buildings line the other sides of the plaza. This layout is common to every Spanish historic city and town in Yucatan. width:640;;height:450
  • Lively traditional performances of dance, theater, comedy and music take place in many Yucatan cities, particularly on weekends. Campeche presents at least one performance nearly every night of the week. width:640;;height:453
  • Yucatan's historic towns & cities are filled with Spanish colonial buildings built around lovely interior courtyards, such as this one in Campeche. width:640;;height:398
  • Vast Tulum beach on the Caribbean coast runs for more than 10 km, backed by well-established dunes, dense forests and charming eco resorts that blend into the natural environment. width:640;;height:389
  • This stunning cenote is one of more than 3000 scattered around Yucatan. The peninsula is essentially a flat limestone plateau, full of caves and  underground water holes connected to the shallow underground aquafer. Some of the world's most extensive cave systems are located there. width:635;;height:480
  • A visitor floats in the cold cenote water, warming up slightly in the sole sunbeam penetrating the nearly enclosed cave. width:636;;height:480
  • Dusty but charming forests are common around Yucatan. Pictured here are the grounds of Coba Mayan ruins in central Yucatan. width:634;;height:480
  • The alarmingly pink natural waters found at Rio Lagartos on Yucatan's northern Gulf of Mexico coast are created by microscopic organisms living in the extra saline water. width:637;;height:480
  • Super saline water also creates an abundance of fluffy white foam that drifts around, tossed by the wind, and builds up on the shores of several ultra-saline canals. They're part of a large salt production plant. width:637;;height:480
  • Nearby Rio Lagartos village is primarily a fishing town. In recent years, they've developed an eco tourism industry based on taking visitors to view pink flamingoes, mangrove rivers, sea birds and the salty pink waters pictured above. width:636;;height:480
  • Huge flocks of pink flamingoes live in the shallow mangrove rivers and bayous near Rio Lagartos. width:640;;height:264
  • Their pink color is a result of their shrimp diet. Sounds improbable, but true! width:636;;height:480
  • Beautifully restored pastel buildings line the cobbled streets of Valladolid, another historic Spanish town in central Yucatan. width:635;;height:480
  • Valladolid's leafy central plaza makes an inviting place for locals and visitors to hang out, catch some shade, watch people and grab snacks from street vendors. width:635;;height:480
  • In true colonial Spanish style, the main plaza is lined by long columned walkways flanking grand government buildings. width:635;;height:480
  • Beautifully designed windows and doors grace the buildings of such towns. width:313;;height:480
  • Charrming restaurants, bars, boutiques and shops have been set up in many renovated buildings. This eye-catching tequila shop is located in central Valladolid. width:354;;height:480
  • Skeletons and skulls are a very common theme around Yucatan. This tequila shop mascot adds a great touch. width:380;;height:480
  • Many artistic shop, restaurant and hotel signs mark their entrances. width:640;;height:446
  • The main pyramid of Coba Mayan ruins is one of few that tourists are still allowed to climb. It's super steep steps leave most people quite out of breath. width:634;;height:480
  • But panoramic 360 degree views over the vast forest reward those who reach the top. width:636;;height:480
  • Pretty water lilies add charm to a dilapidated pier at Lake Bacalar. width:291;;height:480
  • Historic Fort Bacalar was built by town residents in the late 1800s to protect them from raiding pirates who twice devastated small, remote Bacalar village. width:363;;height:480
  • Colorful murals are prominent throughout Yucatan. Many are painted on outdoor public walls, like this one at Bacalar. width:601;;height:480
  • Mahahual is another beautiful Caribbean Sea beach, located in southern Yucatan. width:640;;height:469
  • Fancy horse & carriages grace the roads of Merida city in central Yucatan. width:640;;height:418
  • Idle carriage drivers hang out together at Merida's central plaza. width:630;;height:480
  • Valladolid's beautifully-restored  Cathedral of San Gervasio, situated on the central plaza. width:363;;height:480
  • A partially restored historic church in Campeche. width:364;;height:480
  • Candelaria Church was built by faithful Mayan Catholics in order to have their own place of worship in Valladolid. width:640;;height:475
  • Campeche's main plaza is one of the most beautiful in Yucatan. width:633;;height:480
  • Campeche Cathedral & main plaza, viewed from the adjacent sculpture garden at twilight. width:640;;height:383
  • Another traditional dance performance in Campeche. width:552;;height:480
  • A traditional Mexican music troupe performs on the steps of a historic grand cathedral in Campeche. width:635;;height:480
  • Illuminated at night, the cathedral makes a superb backdrop. width:377;;height:480
  • Another charming central courtyard in Campeche. width:627;;height:480
  • Another unique doorway located along a street in Campeche. width:353;;height:480
  • Many multi-colunaded buildings add grandeur and beauty to historic Yucatan cities, such as this one in Merida. width:360;;height:480
  • Another charming Valladolid street. width:635;;height:480
  • This complex mural is one of many large murals at various government buildings in Chetumal, capital city of Quintana Roo state in Yucatan. width:640;;height:385
  • Cenote Zaci is amazingly located right in the middle of Valladolid town. width:635;;height:480
  • Waterfalls flow into many cenotes, such as this one located near Valladolid. width:636;;height:480
  • Creatively-designed eco resorts line the long beaches at Tulum. width:640;;height:388
  • This unique walkway is the main entrance to one of Tulum's most exclusive beachside resorts. width:640;;height:388
  • Powdery-white sands and a clear teal green Caribbean Sea typify Yucatan's eastern coast, providing visitors paradise on Earth. width:640;;height:388
  • Light shows at Chi Chi Itzen Mayan ruins in central Yucatan wow visitors who are lucky enough to catch them during their stay. width:640;;height:480
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