The Yucatan Peninsula has in itself all that Mexico needs to appeal to tourists. An incredible shoreline, crystal clear waters and a forever-growing string of resorts along its Caribbean coast make this stretch of land the perfect place for a beach-infused escape. But away from the coast you'll find a whole heap of history just waiting to be explored.Enchanting islands
A trip to Mexico's Yucatan peninsula wouldn't be complete without a visit to the islands which lie a short boat ride off the coast. Amongst them, Isla Mujeres has an unrivalled atmosphere for beach-side relaxation, night-time parties and whale shark tours. Much smaller, the island of Holbox is for those who prefer to get an undisturbed night's sleep.Archaeology
On Mayan territory, the archaeological sites justify exploring the Yucatan beyond its paradisical beaches and discovering its extraordinarily abundant heritage. The architecture of these colossal structures, from pyramids and temples, to ball courts, are a dazzling testament to Mayan knowledge of science and maths. Some, such as Tulum, sit right on the sparkling Caribbean coastline, whilst others nestle further inland, surrounded by ever-encroaching jungle.Colonial cities
Away from big tourist centres such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen, the peninsula's colonial cities make for incredible day trips, as well as bases from which to conduct a wider exploration of the entire region. The town of Mérida is far and away the region's cultural centre, with a multitude of museums and old colonial architecture to fascinate you as you wander its central streets. As mentioned above, it also acts as a great base to explore the surrounding countryside with its ruins, waterfalls and reserves.Nature's finest hour
The Yucatan's limestone peninsula is home to one local attraction that you should not miss: the cenotes. These natural gaps in the ground create freshwater sinkholes that can be visited, with diving opportunities at certains sites. Around many of them, you'll find biosphere reserves and national parks which provide a great opportunity to see the peninsula's wildlife and wide-reaching jungles.Into the water
Though you'll have plenty to keep you busy on dry land, the Yucatan really comes into its own underwater. Diving and snorkelling opportunities along the coast are plentiful, along with regular trips out to swim with whale sharks departing from both the mainland and the peninsula's islands. Not to be missed as either diving or snorkelling visits are the Sian Ka'an National Park and the coral reefs of Cozumel.
The best time to visit the Yucatan is between November and the end of May. Between mid-December and the beginning of January, the prices are very high and the hotels are crowded with American clientele on their winter holidays. Winter also provides the best possibilities for scuba diving are better with turquoise seas.
In terms of weather, rain and temperatures both increase between June and October. At the end of summer, cyclones can arrive to batter the Mexican coastline which is problematic for those in search of a beach or active holiday. Normally, the Caribbean coast escapes the worst weather but storms are common. November to January provides the best chance of dry weather.
For the best beach experience on the peninsula, head out of Cancun to neighbouring Playa del Carmen. Here the vibe is more relaxed and less crowded than the beach-side city that Cancun has become. The focus is less on holiday drinking here, and more on community spirit with a large expat community organising everything from beach festivals to massage services.
Though Mexico often gets bad press for its security situation, the Yucatan Peninsula is one of the country's safest areas, due to the high amount of tourists. However, always be on your guard, especially when in big cities and if travelling further outside the Yucatan. The northern region along the border with the USA demands extra vigilance.
Find weekly weather forecasts for Yucatan . Different criteria make it possible to predict with precision the best time of year to go to Yucatan . A comprehensive weather score, made up of temperature indicators, bad weather predictions, sunshine levels and wind speeds, will allow you to choose the activities best suited to the weather conditions and therefore make the most of your holiday in Yucatan .