Things to do in the Yucatan while getting your medical treatment

There are 32 states in Mexico with the State of Yucatan located in southeastern Mexico on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula. This area has a diverse culture and heritage, contains multiple ecosystems home to plants and animals found nowhere in Mexico and offers things to see and do only in the Yucatan.

Punctuated by ancient Mayan ruins, colonial cities, and home to incredible wildlife, the Yucatan Peninsula is a much sought after destination for any medical tourist.

Three states Yucatan, Quintana Roo, and Campeche occupy the peninsula. Countless numbers of tourists come to the region every year to enjoy the warm waters and spectacular beaches, discover incredible food, and learn about the rich culture found only in this corner of Mexico.

Mérida is the capital of the Yucatan State and is also the largest city on the peninsula. Located 30 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico, Mérida has been a favorite medical tourism destination since it combines both quality healthcare with a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a fun vacation.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the incredible things to see and do as a medical tourist in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Day Trips Offer Amazing Sights, Sounds, Animals And Other Unique Yucatán Experiences

There are some fantastic day trips close to Mérida including visits to several nearby Pueblos Magicos and other popular destinations that offer one-of-a-kind experiences.

Magical Cities or “Pueblos Mágicos”

There are 121 cities within Mexico that have been designated by the government to be “magical cities” and they are supported and promoted due to this special status based on their heritage, beauty, and other unique characteristics.

Within the Yucatan there are two magical cities: Izamal and Valladolid.

  • Izamal is also known as the “Yellow City” due its aesthetic where all the building exteriors are painted yellow or ocher. This creates an amazing visual treat especially in the historical town center or Plaza Zamná. There are several different stories about why yellow is the chosen color including one that explains it is a homage to their Mayan heritage since the Mayans valued corn or maize as a crop with religious and spiritual significance. Izamal is also known as the “City of the Hills” due to ancient Mayan pyramids.
  • Valladolid is located on the way to more famous tourist destinations such as the Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itzá and Ek Balam but has a charm all its own. Visitors love to soak in their many fresh spring cenotes including perhaps the most famous cenote in all of Mexico, Cenote Suytun. Others come for the local artisan shops and museums with large collections of pre-Hispanic Mexican artwork. Every night the streets of the main square, Parque Francisco Canton, come alive with dancers in full Mayan costumes performing the Jarana, a traditional Yucatan dance.


Other Nearby Popular Destinations


Located just two hours’ drive from Mérida is the colorful port city of Campeche. The streets of this vibrant city are lined with pastel-colored houses, quaint cafes, and brilliant little boutiques.

Some downtown streets including the famous, Calle 59, are closed to cars and are full of artwork and cafes.

On Friday evenings salsa dancing and live music fill the Román Piña Chan passageway just outside the historic entrance to the walled historic city.

Take a tour of the city on one of the “tranvias”, a local tram, and in the evening catch sunset on the Gulf of Mexico from the “Malecon” or walkway on the west side of town.


Ecotourists and nature lovers flock to Celestun, located just a ninety-minute drive west of Mérida.  As the gateway to the Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve where you can see many bird species including herons, pelicans and even sea turtles migrate throughout the year; the main attraction in Celestun is the vast numbers of flamingos.  For the best experience, be sure to take a boat tour from the beach, which will bring you to see large groups of bright pink flamingos and make extra time to explore the Mangroves of Dzinitun while on the water!

The Cuisine of Mérida Is Unlike Other Mexican Food

One of the biggest draws for any visitor to Mexico is without doubt the food.

In Mérida, the local delicacies are some of the bests in Mexico and should not be missed.  Two of the local specialties are Chaya and Cochinita.

  • Chaya Drink Is a Specialty Of The Mayans 

The Mayans used Chaya, also known as “spinach tree”, for its therapeutic and medicinal properties. In the Yucatan, the leaves are used to prepare a Chaya drink.  Chaya can be consumed in lots of different ways including mixed with fruit juice, cucumber water, or lemon juice to create a delicious and refreshing beverage.

  • Cochinita Pibil

This traditional meal can be translated as ‘baby pig”. It is a slow-roasted pork dish that involves marinating the meat in acidic juices with annatto seed to create a vibrant burnt orange color that the dish is known for.

Yucatan recipes almost always use the juice of bitter oranges for the marinade, and it is typically served alongside corn tortillas, pickled red onion, refried beans, and habanero chilis.  Cochinita is often accompanied by Sopa De Lima, another local dish from the Yucatan also with origins from the Mayans.  This chicken tomato soup combines native bittersweet limes with spicy peppers

Mayan Ruins

The Yucatan Peninsula is home to some of the most spectacular Mayan ruins. including the famous UNESCO World Heritage pre-Hispanic site of Chichen-Itzá located approximately 2 hours from Mérida. Other important less crowded sites include Ek Balam in Valladolid and the Edzná Ruins in Campeche.

The Mayans advancements in areas of astronomy, mathematics and engineering are still being used in science and communications today.  Mérida’s Grand Maya Museum offers visitors several interactive galleries detailing the contributions of the Mayans.

Discover the Things to Do in the Yucatan Peninsula as A Medical Tourist

Experience all the Yucatan Peninsula has to offer while also receiving the important healthcare and wellness treatments that you need as a medical tourist in Mérida. Mérida Medical Tourism specializes in creating tailored services designed around your personal needs. Reach out to our knowledgeable team today to learn more about how you can combine your medical, dental, or wellness procedures with a trip to one of the most beautiful locations in all of Mexico.