While most of us think about things like weather, events, or attractions when choosing our next vacation spot, the truth of the matter is that safety remains the most important factor to consider when taking an overseas trip.
That’s especially true when it comes to the place Americans are currently traveling to the most – Mexico.
While the country’s reputation in terms of safety has wavered throughout the years, the many efforts made this last decade to help visitors feel at ease and protected have obviously paid off, as Mexico is now home to some of the safest travel destinations in the world.
One often underrated state, in particular, has officially been named the nation’s most secure hotspot.
For those looking to leave their inhibitions behind this winter and feel truly at ease throughout their travels, the Yucatan state (not to be confused with the entire peninsula that goes by the same name) is the place to go.
There, you’ll be able to take your pick between five equally-gorgeous destinations.
The stunning little town located in the northeastern part of Yucatan has slowly but surely come out of its obscure shell and become one of the state’s must-see attractions.
Here, travelers can enjoy the type of charming, authentic Mexican culture that many consider to be lost in major international hotspots like Cancun.
Right now, most travelers flocking to Tizmin are seeking to experience its many traditional festivals (complete with rodeos and concerts), the nearby biosphere of Riá Lagartos, and even the winding narrow streets that provide a glimpse into the real life of Yucatan beyond the flashy exterior of Merida.
Those traveling to Izamal this winter will find out that the “Yellow City” really lives up to its name – almost every building you’ll come across beams with the sunny color, creating an amazing backdrop for your next batch of travel pictures.
Beyond its distinctive color, the picturesque town is also famous for its seamless blend of colonial charm and the rich Mayan history most of the region is visited for in the first place.
The archeological site of Kabah, in particular, is a must-see for those looking to fully immerse themselves in the local history.
The coastal town that looks over the Gulf of Mexico is generally known for its long sandy beaches, laid-back vibe, and fascinating past – the fact that it’s also one of Mexico’s safest destinations is just the latest win in its long list of achievements.
So, if you’re planning to embrace the coastal bliss this winter, Progreso is the place to be.
Here, you can spend the days lounging around the palm tree-lined beaches, walking along the pretty Malecón, exploring the nearby Mayan site of Dzibilchaltún, indulging in the local seafood delights, or simply mingling with the friendly locals.
While Valladolid has always been considered a gem among travelers with a knack for history, the charming colonial town is only now emerging in the limelight as a well-rounded destination that’s worth exploring no matter your interests.
Still, when in Valladolid, the well-preserved ancient wonders like the iconic San Servacio Cathedral or the Convento de San Bernardino de Siena need to be explored at all costs.
Afterward, you can always take in the rest of the gorgeous views the city has to offer or, better yet, explore the Cenote Zazi, a refreshing natural escape located right in the heart of Valladolid.
The top destination to visit in the Yucatan state is none other than the capital itself, easily the biggest and most influential city in the entire region.
Merida is the very heartbeat of Yucatan, a place that welcomes travelers from all walks of life with its picture-worthy architecture, vibrant markets, and smiling locals.
Culture seekers will fall in love with attractions like the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya (a place that takes visitors through a deep dive into the region’s long Mayan heritage), or the historic center complete with colonial-era buildings like the Mérida Cathedral and the Palacio de Gobierno.
Those looking to explore Mexico’s vibrant culinary scene will also have the time of their lives here, though the city is home to a blend of influences and flavors – Mayan and Spanish, to be exact.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.