1689281333 4 Beautiful Small Towns Near Cancun to Escape the Summer | phillipspacc

4 Beautiful Small Towns Near Cancun to Escape the Summer Crowds


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Cancun is the sunny place where Americans traveling abroad go. Highly coveted for its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and luxury resort scene, it is expected to host a record number of guests this summer.

However, with a growing number of travelers looking for more meaningful experiences, the appetite for unspoilt and off-the-beaten-path Mexican destinations is growing, especially now that the hotel zone is getting too wild and congested, particularly on peak weekends. .

In this article we bring you 4 beautiful small towns a short drive from Cancun to escape its hustle and bustle when the crowds start to swell:

Yellow colored Santo Antonio de Padua Convent in Izamal seen through the arched terraces, Izamal, Mexico


Population: 17,841

Distance by car from Cancun: 3h43

Located in the neighboring state of Yucatán, Izamal is part of Mexico’s growing list of Magic townsspecial designation granted by the Ministry of Tourism to locations with a wide tourist offer, and which have contributed in some way to the formation of the Mexican nationality.

Izamal is best known for its ocher old town – nicknamed the ‘Yellow City’ for a reason – and not only a rich colonial history but also a fascinating pre-Columbian heritage: many of the Spanish-era buildings in the historic center were, in fact, built from disassembled parts of distant structures older Maya.

Mexican man riding his bicycle through the yellow streets of Colonial Izamal, in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, Latin America

Walking through its cobbled streets, flanked by vibrant yellow facadesinterspersed with Christian shrines erected on top of Mayan ruins, they will transport you to the Mexico of old, when the Spanish settled these lands and first came into contact with the well-developed native civilization.

Two of the main attractions of Izamal are the Convent of San Antonio de Paduafounded in the 16th century and with a iconic arched terraceand the archaeological zone of Izamal, where you will find a ruined Mayan step pyramid.

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Young Traveler Exploring The Ancient Mayan Ruins Near Izamal, On The Yucatan Peninsula In Mexico, Latin America


Ppopulation: 2,154

Driving distance from Cancun: 1h30

Closest to Cancun, it is perhaps the only destination on this list that can be enjoyed as a day trip rather than overnight.

Akumal is a small beachfront community It is home to a surprisingly dense tourist area, similar to Tulum, although they are polar opposites in terms of attractions.

While Tulum has become the party center of the Riviera Maya, Akumal is a more ‘chill’ area, where nature is at the forefront of the tourist offer.

Aerial view of a tourist area in Akumal, on the Riviera Maya of the Mexican Caribbean, bounded by the Caribbean Sea, in the State of Quintana Roo in Mexico, Latin America

It is primarily a snorkeling hotspot, inhabited by sea turtles and other marine life, and a more idyllic beach destination. the reference point Half Moon Bay it’s famous for its serene, translucent waters, and the hotel strip can feel more exclusive as lodging options are more limited.

There are 23 five-star properties listed by booking.comcompared to Cancun’s 48, and although they are not necessarily cheaper, being comparable in infrastructure and service, the dangerous levels of excessive tourism of the latter have not yet spilled in Akumalalthough it is becoming more and more popular.

Fishing boats docked by a sandy beach in Akumal, on the Riviera Maya, Caribbean Sea, Mexico


Population: 41,754

Distance by car from Cancun: 4h30

In the deep south of Quintana Roo lies a lesser-known vacation spot straddling a picturesque lake, where seven shades of blue can be seen. welcome to Chimneysone of the fastest growing weekend getaways in the Mexican Caribbean.

It doesn’t offer direct access to the coast, but the aforementioned spot, Lake Bacalar, offers the perfect escape from the sargassum-battered beaches of Cancun, with its crystal clear waters and shallow shores.

As it is not the ocean, you will find that it is much calmer for swimming.

Young woman lying on her back in the Bacalar Lagoon, Bacalar, Mexico

Numerous boutique hotels line the lakefront and, unlike Tulum further up the coast, are more geared towards wellness rather than entertaining rowdy American youth. With nightly rates starting at US$236.25 for the charming Hotel Casa Hormiga, it simply couldn’t be more attractive.

In addition to relaxing, you can step back in time and absorb the fascinating history of the region by visiting the imposing Fort of San Felipe, a 18th century fort where there is now a museum that narrates the development of piracy in the Mexican Caribbean.

Aerial view of Bacalar and Lake Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico


Population: 48,973

Distance by car from Cancun: 2h18

yet another Magic TownValladolid takes its name from a Spanish city with which its inhabitants had strong affinities and family ties, and is an excellent example of post-Columbian architecture in the Yucatán peninsula.

the one from the village grid-shaped structure is a major attraction, as are the various colonial civic buildings scattered throughout its historic district.

Cathedral of San Gervasio surrounded by palm trees in Valladolid, a Pueblo Magico, Pueblo Magico in the Yucatan State of Mexico, Latin America

The ex-colonial Convent of San Bernardino de Siena was one of the first built by Franciscan missionaries in the mid-16th century, while the impressive Cathedral of Saint Servatius it was completed in the following century.

Other scenic European-style points of interest around Valladolid include the Francisco Canton Rosado city park, lined with al fresco dining spots and souvenir shops, and the Casa de los Venados folk art museum, located on private property .

Rear view of a young woman with a hat walking through the arch corridor in the historic part of the city of Valladolid, Mexico (1)

Nearby, tourists have easy access to the state capital, charming Merida, 105 miles away, and to one of the new Seven Wonders of the Worldthe ruins of Chichén Itzá, a legendary Mayan city that proved instrumental in the advancement of the Mayan civilization before the arrival of the Spanish (25 miles)

traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com