A jewel in the crown of Yucatan's queen, colonial Merida
Another adventure with Roberto? Porque no?
THE GREAT CLASSIC MAYAN RUINS AT UXMAL, THE PUUC HILL COUNTRY, THE VILLAGE OF MUNA (the cradle of Roberto, your guide) AND THE MAYAN POTTERY CITY OF TICUL
The trick to enjoying Mayan archeological sites is to depart early.Conventional, large-scale tours accommodate late sleepers, leave at an excessively comfortable and late hour and deliver tourists to bake in the heat of the day in the company of many other equally baked tourists who have arrived en masse on other busses.
Roberto will pick you up therefore at Casa Santiago between 7:30 am and 8:00 am, as you and he may arrange.The road to Uxmal is attractive and in very good shape.The trip takes about an hour and a half and lifts you from the flat-as-a-pancake northern Yucatan to the hill country.“Puuc” is Mayan for “hill”.The soil is good enough to grow three crops a year.The landscape is beautiful.
Upon arrival at Uxmal (pronounced Ush-mal) you’ll pay your admission fee and hire a guide.Roberto will try his best to get the guide Antonio for you.Antonio is a sweet professorial kind of guy who grew up nearby and knows everything about Uxmal.He speaks Spanish, Mayan, English and German and is teaching himself Dutch. During his tour, feel free to ask questions.Antonio does a superb job.As you leave the quadrangle of the Nunnery at Uxmal, for a very brief moment you will think that you finally understand the Mayan sense of space and time and our place in it.
Make sure you read a little about Uxmal before you go.We have all sorts of travel books at the B&B. Uxmal’s preeminence predates the arrival of the fierce Toltec tribes in the Yucatan.Uxmal is Mayan, unlike Chichen Itza whose celebrated structures reflect the very scary culture of the invading Toltecs of the north.The Mayans were all about mathematics, astronomy, poetry and art, not the obsidian knives.There is no evidence of human sacrifice at Uxmal.All of our guests have held the view that Uxmal is one of the most beautiful and interesting places in the world.You will be at Uxmal for about two or so hours.
After Uxmal, you will travel through the hills and reach the highest point in the Yucatan.The view is pretty cool.You descend into Muna, a Mayan village around a 17th century Franciscan church. The market is full of life and has painted vaulted ceilings and everybody is Mayan.White embroidered dresses are everywhere.This is life, not theater.The place is very photogenic.It is also the hometown of Roberto’s family and he knows everybody here.
Then it’s on to Tikul, a Mayan city of some size.It is famous for its ceramics and pottery.It also has the best Yucatecan cuisine to be found.Roberto will take you to the old Los Almendros restaurant by the main square where you can buy a truly great meal at a very reasonable price.Try the homemade limonada, with or without gin.It’s great.After lunch, if you want, you can visit some of the pottery shops you’ve passed.There are no tourists in Tikul and consequently, none of these shops are touristy or expensive.Some of the craftsmanship is unbelievable when measured against price.You will however note a superabundance of painted garden frogs, which serve the place of garden gnomes in the gardens of Tikul.
Then it’s about an hour and a half to drive back home to Casa Santiago.You’ll be back home by midafternoon.This trip is highly recommended by us.
Roberto’s fee for this trip does not include the cost of your admission and guide at Uxmal or lunch.
casa santiago 562 Calle 63 x 70 y 72, Centro (Santiago), Merida, Yucatan 97000
or 517 Calle 70 x 63 y 65, Centro (Santiago), Merida, Yucatan 97000
(The property is L shaped and hence has two addresses)
Skype (US number that rings in Merida) 1 314 266 1888 Sergio the manager's cell if you call while in Mexico: 999 997 4058 Sergio's cell if you call outside Mexico: 011 521 999 997 4058