Anniversary of the Founding of Merida & Merida Fest, January 5 – 22

On January 6, inhabitants of Merida, state capital of Yucatan observe the anniversary of the founding of the city in 1542 by Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo. Observed with a procession and mass, it coincides with the start of Merida Fest, a gala event featuring concerts, dance performances, art exhibits and more.

Italian Cultural Festival, January 16-22, Playa del Carmen

Now in its third year, this cultural festival features the participation of the Italian community in Playa del Carmen and a program of music, dance, theater and cuisine.

Feria de la Candelaria, January 22 – February 2, Valladolid

This traditional fair is dedicated to the patron saint of Valladolid, the Virgen de la Candelaria. Events include an agricultural fair, processions, concerts and dances.

Amor al Arte Mural Fest, February 7-14, Playa del Carmen

A celebration of street art and murals in Playa del Carmen.

Cozumel Carnival, February 22-28

Dating from 1876, Cozumel Carnival is the oldest Carnival in the Yucatan Peninsula and one of the oldest in Mexico. The festivities begin on February 22 with the coronation of the Carnival King and Queen, there are parades on February 25, 26 and 28 and the event draws to close on March 1 with the traditional burning of the Juan Carnaval figure.
Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Merida, Campeche and Valladolid will also be holding their own Carnival celebrations in late February.

XII Ruta del Arrecife, Puerto Morelos, February 25

Open water swimming marathon.

Isla Blanca Kite Festival, Feb 25 and 26

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Isla Blanca north of Punta Sam.

Spring Equinox at Chichen Itza, March 20-22

The famous light and shadow serpent of Kukulcan appears on El Castillo Pyramid at Chichen Itza and descends from the heavens at sunset on the day of the Spring Equinox (March 20-21). It is also visible the day before and after, cloud cover permitting.
Elsewhere in the Yucatan, at dawn on the day of the Equinox the rising sun appears through the doorway of the Temple of the Dolls in the ancient city of Dzibilchaltun to the north of Merida.
The spring equinox officially falls on March 20 in 2017 but the largest gathering at Chichen Itza takes place on March 21, a national holiday in Mexico.

Visit the Royal Resorts blog at for listings of more events during the year.