The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Uxmal is considered by many to be one of the most spectacular arqueological cities of the ancient Mayan world. Without a doubt, its impressive architecture and lovely tranquil setting makes it one of the most enjoyable and magical sites to visit in the Yucatan peninsula.
Situated 80 km south of Merida in the heart of the beautiful Puuc region (this is the only area of the Yucatan peninsula that has hills), Uxmal is at its most magical first thing in morning before the tour buses arrive, so we will pick you up early from your hotel or B & B to arrive soon after the site opens.
Uxmal was one of the first large settlements in the Puuc, founded around 700 A.D, and today is famous for its magnificent monuments with their highly-decorated Puuc style of architecture, including the soaring 'Pyramid of the Magician' and the grand 'Nunnery Quadrangle', with its geometric design and ornate carvings on every building.
In Uxmal you will have a private tour with a certified archaeology guide, with plenty of time after to explore and enjoy the site by yourselves. Then when you're ready we'll continue on to Hacienda San Pedro Ochil, a beautiful 17th century hacienda from the henequen or sisal era. Entering its gates you'll feel as though you're travelling back in time into an era of grandeur and splendor.
Hacienda Ochil has several artisan workshops, a small museum tracing its history and restoration, and a lovely terrace restaurant overlooking lush tropical gardens that serves authentic Yucatecan dishes, such as its delicious sopa de lima (a chichen broth soup with lime and crispy tortilla strips) and cochinita pibil (marinated pork wrapped in banana leaves and roasted on hot rocks underground), the most famous dish of the Yucatan.
After lunch we will continue on to Cenote X-Batun, one of the most beautiful open cenotes (water sinkholes) in the area. Once the only source of fresh water in the jungles of Yucatan, cenotes were a sacred place for the ancient Maya and considered to be the entrance to the underworld.
You'll have a chance to swim in its glistening turquoise water or (if you'd prefer not to get wet!) just simply enjoy the incredible peace and tranquility of this very special place.
From here we'll head back to Merida and drop you off at your hotel in time for a late afternoon siesta!
Length of tour: Around 7 to 8 hours
Other tour options
Uxmal & Hacienda Yaxcopoil
One of the highlights of a visit to the Yucatan is exploring its magnificent haciendas.
As an alternative to Cenote X-Batun, we can include in the tour a visit to the atmospheric 17th century Hacienda Yaxcopoil, a once grand henequen plantation, and today a photographer's paradise!
Hacienda Yaxcopoil was once considered one of the most important rural estates in the Yucatan due to its size and magnificence, and it is now operated as a museum, providing a glimpse into former colonial times.
It is one of the few haciendas in Yucatan that has been maintained in its original condition, and the spaces and furnishings that were used in the late 19th century have been preserved almost intact.
It is fascinating to wander through the main house, visit the casa de maquina (machine house) where the hennequen shredding machines were used. and stroll through the tropical grounds. To visit Yaxcopoil is a trip into the past.