When you think of Mexico, places like Cancún, Tulum, and Cabo probably all come to mind, but what may not is the Yucatán — specifically the Campeche and Mérida regions. Tucked deep within the back roads of the jungle are a handful of 5-star boutique hotels with rich histories and lush landscapes that are worthy of your next getaway. Here are some of our favorites
1. Hacienda Uayamon
Dating back to the 17th century, Uayamon is by far the oldest hotel we visited during our tour of the area. What were once the homes of grounds workers on the former cattle-turned-sisal plantation, the 12 rooms have since been transformed into luxury casistas. What makes this property so strikingly unique however is the piscina, which is essentially one long plunge pool set in the middle of massive columns and romantic ruins. When booking your stay you may want to request one of the hospital suites, now arguably Uayamon’s most private charming quarters. Take a dip in the outdoor hot tub, lounge on the cushy daybed, or take a proper Mayan-style slumber in your interior hanging hammock.
2. Edzná Ruins
Must-Visit Attraction in the Area: Edzná (Ancient archaeological site dating 600 - 300 BC.)
3. Hacienda Temozon
Temozon’s draw is two-fold — you go for the sacred cenote (natural sinkhole) swimming experience (there’s one nearby and one located directly on the property, which doubles as the spa), then you stay for the delicioso Cochinita pibil eating experience. This traditional, slow-roasted, Yucatecan-style pork dish requires a very involved method of cooking where the meat is seasoned and marinated, before being wrapped in banana leaves and buried in a fire pit for hours outside. The largest and most luxurious suite is La Casa del Patron (the owner’s house) with its own private pool.
4. Cenote Xocempich
Must-Visit Attraction in the Area: Cenote Xocempich (Swim and dine in total privacy in one of the Yucatan’s most treasured gems.)
5. Hacienda San Jose
Authentic Mayan villas known as palapas are definitely the way to go at San Jose, with their intimate soaking tubs and hanging beds extended off of wooden beams. Another highlight is the Dream Tree — actually two trees joined at the root — where the hotel can arrange for a special candlelight cena under its spreading boughs.
6. Chichén Itzá
Must-Visit Attraction in the Area: Chichén Itzá. The Mayan temple city is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.