These are a must see if you are in the Puuc Hills region. Loltun Caves are the most interesting "grutas" in the entire Yucatan Peninsula. Carbon dating the artefacts found in these caves shows that they were first used, by man, ome 2500 years ago.
You have to take a scheduled guide/tour through these caves (1 hour in duration)....and once again, on the Puuc Route trail, we had the caves all to ourselves!
Loltun is open daily from 9am - 5pm and in 1999 cost US$4. You are taken through 1.5kms of this underground labyrinth. Back in '99 tours were at 9:30am, 11am 12:30pm, 2pm or 3pm. The general rules was if the guide felt there were enough people the topur would leave earlier and for a few extra $ you could bribe (perhaps) a guide to take you at a different time! Also in 1999 the guides were NOT paid by the government so depended upon a tip at the end. I would not imagine this has changed.
Of all the cities in the Puuc Hills, after Uxmal, I recommend Labna.
There is El Arco which is a magnificent arch. It was once part of a building that seperated two courtyards. It is extremely well preserved and on one side of the arch there are mosaic reliefs of Mayan huts.
Standing opposite from El Arco is El Mirador which is a pyramid with a temple on top. It looks like a watchtower. The pyramid is not very well preserved but El Mirador is rather striking... especially with our friend, the lonely vulture, perched on top! I think Mr. Vulture was aggitated at having to share the city with us!
The Palacio is connected by a sacbe ("white path") to El Mirador and El Arco. It is one of the longest buildings in the Puuc Hills but not the most impressive, in desgin (apparently!)
As with Kabah, Sayil & Xlapak there were no other visitors at all :)
Open daily from 8am - 5pm and in 1999 cost US$2.
Labna is extraordinary for the chac masks in El Palacio. This is the largest structure on your left on your approach from the main gate. On the end of the long building, look for the carving of the human head peering out of the snake’s mouth. Many of these impressive decorative carvings are at eye level and are easily photographed unlike many of the other Puuc sites where the mask are much higher in the structures.
On Sunday why not take advantage of free admission to the Mayan ruins and visit the Ruta Puuc sites including Labna. With this tour you can also see Sayil, Xlapak, Kabah and then finally Uxmal. Uxmal is the largest of the these and is one of the largest in Mexico.
From the Merida's Terminal de Segunda Clase, you can buy your round trip ticket that goes through all the above sites. Buy a day in advance. The bus will first go to Uxmal and drop off those going there directly. Stay on and go to the smaller sites. It will come back to Uxmal and pick you up again a few hours later.
You only have to pay the cost of the bus ticket. If you are in Merida on a Sunday I highly recommend taking advantage of this.