Yucatán and Campeche States: Places to Explore

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Izamal

In the beautiful town of Izamal you may not find too many sights, but you'll almost certainly be taken by the town's color and carefully cared for colonial architecture. Although unsophisticated, Izamal is a charming and neighborly alternative to the sometimes frenetic tourism of Mérida. Hotels are humble, and the few restaurants offer basic fare. For those who enjoy a quieter, slower-pace vacation, Izamal is worth considering as a base. The city has recently been refurbished, and the downtown area shines with remodeled buildings, new roads, and bright yellow paint that contrasts strikingly with the blue sky. Some of these efforts have been part of the city's current efforts to be named an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the best examples of a Spanish colonial town in the Yucatán, Izamal is nicknamed "Ciudad Amarilla" (Yellow City), because its most important buildings are painted a golden ocher. It's also sometimes called "the City of Three Cultures," because of its combined pre-Hispanic, colonial, and contemporary influences.

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