The splendor of Mayan architecture.
Uxmal is one of the most important Mayan cities in Yucatan, and an essential part of the Puuc route, where carvings in pyramids are still visible. There are several legends regarding its construction and occupation, such as the legend of Princess Sac Nicté and the legend of the dwarf, which narrate a fantastic past for what you’re seeing in the present, harmonizing both eras.
The Uxmal archeological site is located in the Santa Elena Valley, south of the Puuc hills, in the southwest of the Yucatan Peninsula. Its occupation dates back to 500 BC, but it wasn’t until the 9th and 12th centuries (AD) that it was the seat of the political and economic powers of the Peninsular Mayans of the Puuc region. Its population is estimated to have been close to 25,000 people over a territory of 37.5 km2 (14.5 square miles). That’s why, according to experts, the Mayans built chultunes, or water deposits, and a complex water supply system (bukteoobop) to take advantage of rain water. The architecture in Uxmal is one of the most authentic examples of the Puuc style, and decorative elements like the rain god Chaac masks, the columns, the two-headed jaguar and other iconic symbols are proof of Uxmal’s spot in the most important cultural and commercial circuits of the Classic Mayan period. Uxmal is a city of history and legends, of aluxes (Mayan elves) and wizards, and of breathtaking beauty that makes you observe it closely, recreating its days of splendor in your head.
Foreigners 182 pesos; Nationals 128 pesos (both include the light and sound show). Entrance to the light and sound show only is 75 and 48 pesos, respectively. On Sundays, Mexican nationals enter for free.
How to get there
By car from Merida: Take 65th street until Itzaes Ave.; you’ll see signs for Uxmal. It’ll take about 50 minutes. By bus from Merida: From the TAME 2nd class bus station, on 69th street between 68th and 70th in downtown Merida, buses run at 6:00, 8:20, 9:05 and 10:40 am, and 12:05 and 2:35 pm. Bus fare is 65 pesos; it takes 1 hour 30 minutes and it stops by the site’s entrance.
Opem: 8 am to 5 pm.On Sundays, Mexican nationals and foreign residents enter for free. Light and sound show schedules: Winter/ 7 pm. Summer/ 8 pm.
Suggestions and Information
First of all, make sure to bring a hat and sunblock. There are unofficial guides you can hire individually. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes so you’ll be able to walk and tour the site without any problems. In Uxmal climbing the pyramids is not allowed. Check the weather in advance so your visit won’t be ruined by rain.Remember it’s important to respect the place you are visiting.
Services include hotel, restaurant, light and sound, tourist guide and interpreters, ticket booths, parking, shops, coffee shop, restrooms, ATM, bookstore, and site miniguide. Guided tours, workshops, field trips, summer workshops and Hanal Pixan (Mayan Day of the Dead celebration) exhibitions also take place at the archeological site.
On the same trip you can visit Hacienda Yaxcopoil, a museum in the village of the same name, and a cenote in the village of Pebá.