Many years ago, my husband and I did a road trip through Mexico and happened upon Izamal, named after the Mayan God Itzamná, and also known as “The Yellow City”. When we returned in 2021 with our kids, we wanted to visit again.
There are different theories as to why this city has a yellow theme. The most common is that the town was painted yellow to prepare for a visit from Pope John Paul II in 1993. Another theory is that the yellow color is a tribute to the Mayan God of the sun.
This city is 1.5 to 2 hours from Valladolid, and about three hours west of Cancun.
The drive to Izamal is fairly easy, as it is on highways. We had no problem getting there using Google Maps.
There are plenty of signs as you get close to Izamal, plus you’ll notice more and more yellow buildings.
We parked near the center square. We were able to ask a traffic officer where there was parking (“Estacionamiento”).
While we did do some walking around, there are many carriages for rent around the center part of town, so we started our tour with a horse carriage tour.
The tour goes quite a ways around town, from the center square to several ruins around town. You get to see quite a bit of Izamal, including residential areas.
The Kinich Kakmó Mayan Ruins are located right in town. We were originally going to drive there, but since the horse ride went there, it was just as convenient.
It was a strenuous walk up to the top, with no shade, and it was a hot day. I definitely remember this being a very hot and sweaty day!
The view of town is very nice from the top.
There are other ruins sprinkled around town.
The Convento de San Antonio is right in the center of town. It is partially built using stones from Mayan structures.
The center square is a great place to sit, relax, take photos, buy snacks or souvenirs. We enjoyed taking pictures with the Izamal sign and snacking on some paletas (popsicles) from a vendor.
There are a variety of things to do in town, such as photo opportunities, walking, restaurants, markets, mayan ruins, and more.
What to bring to Izamal:
~ sunscreen and/or other sun protection (sunglasses, hat, etc)
~ water, or plan on buying some
~ money for souvenirs, food, etc.
Check out our other Mexico blog posts here.
About the Author: Marysa
Busy blogger and mom of two girls. We love traveling and the great outdoors, and are always looking for our next adventure! If you have any travel questions, contact me! firstname.lastname@example.org
This looks like a magical city to explore. I do like all the colors. It would be neat to climb those ruins.
You are finding so many beautiful places in Mexico that I didn’t know about. I love the colors!
I love the buggys. This is a place that I need to add to my list.
I love how the town is yellow! So bright and happy! Another one for the bucket list.
Wow! What a beautiful place to visit. I love the colors and those carriages line up like a rainbow is just so pretty. Definitely going to add this to our family travel bucket list!
Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com
Yellow is my favorite color so I would fit right in. Interesting article and the pictures are beautiful. Thank you!
What a beautiful place! I love how colorful everything is. I would love to take a horse carriage tour throughout the city.
Oh, I haven’t heard about Izamal until now. It looks like a beautiful town for a day trip, especially with these colorful carriages. Mexico is on my travel bucket list, and if I stay near Izamil, I will visit it. Thanks for sharing!
This is interesting! It amazing place and never heard about it before.
What a lovely place to visit. The magic and beauty of this place is captivating
I would love to take thousands of pictures in this place. It’s beautiful
I’d love to see this in person. I prefer to think that it is yellow based on the Sun God. 🙂
Wow, what amazing photos. I would love to go there one day. It looks so beautiful. I love seeing places like this.
What an interesting city. I would love to visit someday and see it in person. I bet my family would enjoy the trip.
Looks like a beautiful place to explore for a daytrip and some mooching. I would love to be able to get to Mexico one day.
How beautiful! Definitely Instaworthy! love going to places with fewer tourists and Izamal fits the bill! We are planning to go to Cancun this winter and Izmal would be a great escape from Cancun!
Wow! This looks like a really amazing and a wonderful place to visit. I’m sure my family would love to be here.
There are many beautiful sights in Mexico…it’s stunning country and the food is amazing. What a beautiful city to visit.
My mom loves yellow – she needs to go here. Ha! It looks like such a gorgeous place, and I love visiting Mexico.
This looks like such an amazing experience, I can’t wait to visit Cancun again.
I need to add this to my list. My family and I will be traveling more this year
There are so many amazing places to visit in Mexico. One of them is this Yellow city. I`d visit this place again if I have a chance
I love that the town offers photo opportunities, and variety of things to do such as walking, restaurants, markets, mayan ruins.
How cool are those horse drawn carriages! What a fun way to explore the city.
I want to visit Izamal “The Yellow City”, Mexico. It looks so serene! Maybe after the pandemic?
My bff and her husband used to go. I have never been but I’d like to visit at least once.
Such a beautiful city and perfect if you are an instagram fan like myself. I am bookmarking this page as I hope to visit Izamal when I go Mexico.
Looks like a beautiful place. I’d like to take the tour. It would be fun to see and learn about the city, for sure.
I would like to go to the place for at least one time in my life. It’s wonderful!
This looks like a beautiful place to explore. I love seeing all your pictures – it makes me feel like I’ve been there!
I am so missing traveling and these pictures were just what I needed. thank you for sharing these photos of Izamal.
What a beautiful place to visit! I’d love to go there!
This beautiful place. I would love to visit Izmal, Mexico. May be some day.
Nnnniiiicccceeeee….could this be that city where so many movies and telenovelas from Mexico have been shot? It sure looks very familiar.
What a beautiful city! If I ever visit Mexico, will surely check out this place 😍. Great photos 👌🏻
Loved it. I really enjoy reading travel post. It gives us the opportunity to travel many amazing places of the world virtually. And I must say the pictures are so beautiful.
What a stunning place! I see why they call it the yellow city from the photos. If I ever get back to Mexico, Izamal is on my list.
What a lovely place! I am adding Izamal “The Yellow City” to my bucket list as I am loving the vibrant colors and all of the wonderful pictures you added to this post 😉 I am so overdue for a getaway and this looks nice 😉
It looks like a beautiful city to visit!
I know I will visit this place.. the color, the name, and so much more..