10 characteristics of the YUCATAN PENINSULA

The Yucatan peninsula is an area in southeastern Mexico separating the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The peninsula itself is home to the Mexican nations of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo. It also covers the northern parts of Belize and Guatemala. Yucatán is known for its rainforests and jungles, as well as being the home of the ancient Maya.

The 10 main geographical features of the Yucatan Peninsula

  1. the yucatan peninsula belongs to the Yucatan Platform, a large piece of land that is partially submerged. The Yucatan peninsula is the portion that is over the water.
  2. The climate of the Yucatan peninsula is tropical. and consists of wet and dry seasons. Winters are mild and summers can be very hot.
  3. The Yucatan peninsula of today still it is home to native mayan people, as well as people of Mayan descent. Mayan languages ​​are still spoken in the area today.
  4. The Yucatan peninsula is a karst landscape dominated by limestone bedrock. As a result, there is very little surface water (and the water present is often unsuitable for drinking water) because drainage in these types of landscapes is underground. Therefore, the Yucatan is covered in caves and sinkholes called cenotes that were used by the Mayans to access groundwater.
  5. Historically, Yucatan's economy has depended on cattle ranching and logging. However, since the 1970s, the area's economy has been centered on tourism. The two most popular cities are Cancun and Tulum, which attract millions of tourists a year.

  6. The Yucatan peninsula is the home to many rainforests and jungles, and the area between Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize is the largest continuous area of ​​tropical rainforest in Central America.
  7. the yucatan peninsula lies within the Atlantic hurricane belt, which means that it is vulnerable to hurricanes from June to November. The number of hurricanes that hit the peninsula varies, but they are always a threat. In 2005, two category five hurricanes, Emily and Wilma, hit the peninsula, causing extreme damage.
  8. The mass extinction of the dinosaurs is believed to have been caused by an asteroid impact in the Caribbean. Scientists have discovered the great crater Chicxulub, just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, and that, along with the impact bumps showing up on the Yucatan rocks, is likely evidence of where the asteroid struck.
  9. The Yucatan Peninsula is an important area for ancient Mayan culture, as there are many different Mayan archaeological sites in the region. The most famous include Chichén Itzá and Uxmal.
  10. The name Yucatan also includes the Mexican state of Yucatan which is located on the peninsula. It is a large state with an area of ​​14,827 square miles (38,402 square kilometers) and a 2005 population of 1,818,948 people. The capital of Yucatan is Merida.

More characteristics and information about Yucatan

Lifestyle in Yucatan

Drawing from a mix of ancient Mayan and colonial-era Spanish influences, many aspects of domestic and social life in the Yucatán Peninsula remain deeply rooted in tradition. Whether you are in a Mayan village, a small fishing village or a bustling colonial city, the people of these parts will be happy to share with you their passion for song, dance, art and everything in between. exclusively Yucatecan.

Daily reality of the area

Travelers often comment on the open, gentle, and gregarious nature of the people of the Yucatan, especially the Maya. It seems that here, more than anywhere else in Mexico, you find a willingness to talk and a genuine interest in strangers. This openness is all the more remarkable when one considers that the people of the Yucatan Peninsula have avoided the domain of outsiders for so long. The situation persists today: much of the land is foreign owned and the Mayans are generally not making the big decisions when it comes to large-scale development and infrastructure.

Yucatan Pyramid - Yucatan Peninsula Characteristics

Life in the rural Yucatan

Perhaps more than in other parts of Mexico, ancient rhythms and customs are part of daily life in the Yucatan. In rural areas this is evident on the surface. The women wear colorful flowing, embroidered huipiles (long, woven, sleeveless white tunics from the Mayan regions with intricate, colorful embroidery) as they slap tortillas on the patio; Families live in traditional oval thatched houses, lounge in hammocks after a day's work, and eat a diet of corn, beans, and chili peppers.

Population of the area

For more than a millennium, the Maya of the Yucatan have intermarried with neighboring peoples and invaders. The majority of Mexico's population is mestizo (a mix of indigenous and Spanish blood), but the Yucatán has an especially high proportion of pure-blood Mayans, about four times the national average. There are about 1.5 million Mayans in southern Mexico, with more than 800,000 Mayan speakers. Of the peninsular states, the majority of Mayan speakers (around 538,000) reside in the state of Yucatán.

In general, in Mexico, only 6% of the population (approximately 6.7 million people) speak an indigenous language.

A passion for sports

As in most Caribbean destinations, baseball (baseball) is very popular. In fact, in some cities in the states of Yucatán and Campeche you will see more action around the baseball diamond than on the soccer field.

At the semi-pro level, the quality of the game is quite high, equivalent to at least AAA ball in the United States. The Mexican League season runs from March to August; among its teams in the region are the Piratas de Campeche (Pirates of Campeche), Delfines de Ciudad del Carmen (Dolfines de Ciudad del Carmen), Olmecas de Tabasco (Olmecas de Tabasco), Leones de Yucatán (Leones de Mérida) and Tigres de Quintana Roo (Quintana Roo Tigers).

Hybrid Religion

Among the region's indigenous populations, ancient Mayan beliefs blend almost seamlessly with contemporary Catholic traditions: the values ​​and rituals of the two religions are often quite similar. Today's Maya self-identify as Catholic, but practice a Catholicism that is a fusion of shamanic-animistic and Catholic ritual. Traditional religious ways are so important that often a Maya will try to recover from illness by seeking the advice of a religious shaman rather than a doctor. The use of home remedies linked to the animist tradition is widespread in Mayan areas.

Traditional music

Two styles of music are traditionally associated with the Yucatán: jarana and Yucatecan trova.

A type of festive dance music, a jarana is usually performed with a large ensemble consisting of two trumpets, two clarinets, a trombone, a tenor sax, timpani, and a guiro (percussion instrument made from a fluted gourd). The music pauses for the singers to deliver bombshells: impromptu verses, usually with a humorous double entendre, that are directed at the object of their affections. A revelry orchestra always ends its performances with the traditional torito, a lively song that evokes the fervor of a bullfight.

titic dances

The Spanish influence on Mayan culture is very clear in the jarana, a dance that the Yucatecans have performed for centuries. The dance bears more than a passing resemblance to the jota, performed in the Alto Aragón region of Spain. The movements of the dancers, with their rigid torsos and a formal distance separating the men from the women, are almost identical; yet while the Spanish punctuate the graceful turns of their wrists with the click of their castanets, the Mayan women snap their fingers.

The best place to see dancers with the accompaniment of jarana is in the vaquerías, local festivals that are held in the atriums of the town halls or on the haciendas. The women wear their best embroidered huipiles, flowers in their hair, and white heels; the men wear a simple white cotton outfit with a red scarf at the waist. In Mérida you can see traditional dance shows on Thursday nights in Parque Santa Lucía.

Traditional costume

Women throughout the Yucatán peninsula traditionally wear huipiles, the bodices of which are always embroidered. The tunic generally falls just below the knee; on formal occasions it is worn with an ankle-length white lace skirt. The huipil never has a belt, which would defeat its cool and airy design. Light and loose, these garments are ideal for the tropics. Mayan women have been wearing huipiles for centuries.

Similar to the huipil in appearance is the gala terno, a straight, white, square-necked dress with an embroidered overyoke and hem, worn over a skirt with an embroidered sash near the bottom. The gala terno is a little more elegant than the huipil and is usually accompanied by a hand-woven shawl.


Mayan architecture is famous for its exquisitely beautiful temples and stone carvings. Some of the most impressive structures were built during the Early and Late Classic periods, many of which are remarkably well preserved today.

Reef Barriers

Approaching by air, you can easily make out the barrier reef that runs parallel to the Caribbean coast for a distance of a few hundred meters to about 1.5 km. Known as the Great Mayan, Mesoamerican or Belize Barrier Reef, it is the longest of its kind in the northern hemisphere, and the second largest in the world, stretching from southern Belize to Isla Mujeres, on the northern coast of Quintana Roo. On the land side of the reef, the water is generally no more than 5 m to 10 m deep; on the sea side it plummets to depths of more than 2000m in the Yucatan channel that stretches between the peninsula and Cuba.

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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2023) 10 characteristics of the YUCATAN PENINSULA, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-the-yucatan-peninsula/ (Consultado el: 22-09-2023)

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