The beautiful yellow city.
This majestic colonial city tells its story through its streets and yellow and white colored houses; a legend claims the city carries these colors in honor and devotion to the color of corn. Izamal, called the city of the three cultures, has a great history that combines Mayan roots with a viceroyal influence. The main sights include the breathtaking convent of Izamal, with the largest atrium in the American continent, built over the Pap-Hol-Chac (House of Thunder) pyramid.
Izamal is Mayan for “dew from heaven”, in honor of the great priest Zamna, founder of the city and mediator to Mayan god Itzamná, “supreme creator of all things.” Start your visit at the San Antonio de Padua convent. If you’reinterested in the history of cultures clashing, rent a bicycle or take a “calesa” or horse carriage and visit the Kinich-Kamó pyramid and other Mayan sites in town. Then visit the city center, City Hall and the artisan corridor, where you can shop and admire the talent of the people of Izamal. You can also visit the Centro Cultural y Artesanal Izamal, where you can learn about handicrafts in all of Mexico, and have coffee while you get a massage at its spa, or if you prefer, step into the Community Museum or the Regional Center for Fine Arts. Izamal is a unique city. The identity of this quiet town comes from a mix of historic cultures that have coexisted for two centuries: the remains of the Mayan civilization, the architecture of the Spanish colony and the busy pace of modern life. The combination that arises from these different ways to perceive life is best described by Izamal’s nickname: “The city of the three cultures.”
The “Light of the Mayans” light and sound show is presented at 8:30 pm Monday through Saturday. It costs $90 pesos for foreigners, $65 for Mexican nationals and $12 for children under 13.
How to get there
From Merida by car take federal road 180 to the intersection with the Hoctun-Izamal road; take the ramp on your right and drive to Izamal, 71 km total (44 mi). By bus, take the Merida-Izamal bus at the Noreste bus terminal on Calle 67 No. 551 in Merida Centro.
The “Light of the Mayans” light and sound show is presented at 8:30 pm Monday through Saturday.
Suggestions and Information
Make sure to wear lightweight clothing, a hat, sunblock and comfortable shoes, and bring bottled water to explore the streets and climb the pyramids comfortably. Don’t miss out on a calesa (horse carriage) ride by the convent and archeological sites. We recommend visiting during the festivals celebrating Our Lady of Izamal (The Immaculate Conception), as she has been proclaimed the patron saint of Yucatan, with a huge popular party in her honor on December 8. On May 31, or the weekend closest to that date, there is a pilgrimage by the Archdiocese of Yucatan, through which it keeps its promise to celebrate its patron saint; on August 22, the anniversary of the papal coronation of the image, which took place in 1949, is celebrated. Remember, it’s important to respect the area you’re visiting and keep it clean.
Hotel, restaurant, restrooms, light and sound show, horse carriage tour and bus station services.
Valladolid, Mérida, Tizimin, Rio Lagartos, Dzilam de Bravo.