Updated: Mar 22
This week we’re traveling over the rainbow down to the Yucatán Peninsula. Full of rich culture, gorgeous beaches, and unique ocean adventures, the Yucatán Peninsula has a lot to offer.
Pre-colonization, the Yucatán Peninsula was home to one of the most advanced indigenous cultures of the ancient Americas — the Mayans. The hunter-gatherers migrated to Quintana Roo in 2500 B.C., and travelers can visit the sites of the ancient ruins. In the 1500s, the Yucatán Peninsula was found by a Spanish adventurer, which led to further Spanish expeditions, including the conquistador Hernán Cortés.
In 1549 the peninsula was colonized by Francisco Montejo, forcing many of the Mayans to abandon their cities. The Yucatán seceded from Mexico in 1839 and kept its independence until 1843; however, Mayan culture and traditions are still present and celebrated to this day.
Separating the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea, the Yucatán Peninsula encompasses the three Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo, as well as portions of Belize and Guatemala. The Peninsula is most famous for the city of Cancún and the coastal regions of Maya Riviera and Costa Maya.
The climate of northern Yucatán is hot and dry, with the hottest months of the year in May and June. The dry season lasts from December to May, with adequate rainfall for the rest of the year.
Cancún is the gay tourist destination of the Yucatán Peninsula. El Centro, or downtown Cancún, is the heart of the queer scene. Along with gay-friendly bars and restaurants, various venues are hosting special shows and drag performances. The most popular queer clubs downtown are 11:11 Club and Laser Hot Bar. While there isn’t a Pride event in Cancún, in the capital city of Mérida, there is a Pride March that is meant to honor the struggles facing the Yucatán LGBTQ+ community and address the challenges the community still faces.
For accommodations, the Banyan Tree Riviera Maya on the Playa del Carmen, Temptation Cancun Resort, and Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun are all gay-friendly. Le Blanc Spa Resort is adult-only and all-inclusive, while Banyan Tree Riviera is all-inclusive. Temptation Cancun Resort has a more party atmosphere that includes topless nudity on the grounds.
The Yucatán Peninsula includes beautiful, white sand beaches. While there are no specific gay beaches in Cancún, Playa Mamitas and Playa Delfines are the most popular among queer travelers.
Along with visiting beaches, travelers can take a day trip to Tulum, best known for its Mayan ruins. These can be easily reached via public transit or group tours from the hotel. The Tulum ruins are one of Mexico's most prominent tourist attractions, and the town itself is worth checking out.
For underwater adventurers, Cancun also boasts an Underwater Museum with 500 sculptures that you can explore, predominately created by British Sculptor Jason deCaires. The coastline also lies along the Great Mesoamerican Reef, which has stunning coral reefs, over 500 different fish species, and underwater ruins.
If you’re looking to party, adventure, or enrich yourself in Mayan culture, the Yucatán Peninsula is the perfect getaway.
Ready to start planning your next vacation? Schedule an initial consultation with me to share your dream vacation and hear what I can do to make it happen.
Rainbow Getaways is a full-service travel concierge specializing in travel for the LGBTQ community and our allies. Each vacation is planned to meet your specific needs, so you'll have a fabulous time. Be sure to subscribe to the Rainbow Getaways newsletter at the bottom of the page, so you never miss a post and like or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.