Colonial Cities & Towns

  • The Yucatán peninsula is brimming with colonial architectural gems, from hulking cathedrals to grand haciendas to veiled residences that line Mérida’s colorful streets.
    The Yucatán peninsula is brimming with colonial architectural gems, from hulking cathedrals to grand haciendas to veiled residences that line Mérida’s colorful streets.

Colonial Cities & Towns

Discover the architectural treasures of the Yucatán

Walk the cobbled streets of Yucatan's historic towns

Discover the architectural treasures of the Yucatán

Walk the cobbled streets of Yucatan's historic towns

Built on the site of the Maya city of T’ho, modern-day Mérida is world-renowned for its architectural history and beauty. Mérida’s colonial period, spanning the 18th and 19th centuries, brought with it extravagant cathedrals, homes, and plazas that still stand like grand architectural trophies in the city’s centro histórico district.

Step out of time and explore the elaborate homes, buildings, and Spanish gates that decorate the cobblestone streets and neighborhoods, whispering stories of this celebrated city’s past.

Beyond Merida, henequen plantations are sprinkled throughout the region, and are a must-see for architectural buffs. These grand estates, built by early Spanish settlers, are where the Yucatán peninsula was born, thanks to the production of henequen for rope and twine in the late 19th and early 20th century.  While some have become ruins, many have been lovingly restored and turned into residences, hotels, and museums.

Nearby, colonial towns like “Magical Pueblo” of Izamal (the Yellow City), Valladolid, and Campeche are jewels of colonial architecture, with sunset-colored buildings dotting the quaint streets.