Ruinas Uxmal Travel Guide

  • Ruinas Uxmal
    by illumina
  • Ruinas Uxmal
    by illumina
  • Uxmal
    Uxmal
    by Twan

Ruinas Uxmal Things to Do

  • Playground

    Well preserved, this playground allows us to understand easily how the game was played. However, with so small and so high rings the score should be very far from the actual basketball values, and, if we remember that the usual award in these games was... life...

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  • The observatory

    I couldn't get an answer to a couple of buildings clearly... out of context. One of them explained as... "maybe an observatory", another one a ruin of a spanish church. Still waiting to be classified, they said!

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  • Magics Pyramid

    This is thee biggest and most impressive of the monuments in this ruins, and climbing to the the top is... imperative. We do it with small steps and, once there, we turn around and the world collapses! "There are" no steps ahead of you, only a steep high ramp. While you think how to go back down, the pyramid bounces, in a strange sensation of...

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  • South Temple

    The majority of tourists usually finish their walk along the Archaeological Zone here. But if you aren’t tired take a walk further, cross rather wide-looking area and climb up the hill. I found out even at home that this hill has the name of the South Temple. Only a few tourists get there but they are rewarded by great views at the Archaeological...

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  • House of the Doves

    You will also see a building called the Dovecote from the top of the Great Pyramid.It has roof combs, which are unusual for Mayan temples. I don’t know why its name connected with doves but when I descended from the Great Pyramid and came to the building I saw a bird-predator watching area and may be it was waiting for doves.

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  • Great Pyramid

    After having explored the Governor's Palace you should go to the lower-level plaza behind it. You will see the Great Pyramid. This Pyramid is the only one where tourists are allowed to climb up. It's not very easy. But if you manage climb up you will see the Temple of the Macaws at its top and wonderful views at the Archeological Zone that you have...

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  • Jaguar Throne

    You will see the Jaguar Throne in the open plaza in front of the Governor's Palace. It is carved like a two-headed jaguar. It is considered that the Mayas associated them with their chiefs and kings. You can watch my 4 min 23 sec Video Mexico Uxmal part 1 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

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  • Governor's Palace unique decoration

    You will be able to see the three-level edifice with almost 100m long mosaic facade. About 100 stone masks of Chac seem to slither across the facade like a serpent. They end at the corners, where there are columns of masks. Through observation of the numerous consistent elements and stylistic distinctions, remnants of Maya architecture have become...

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  • Governor's Palace

    The Governor's Palace is the most impressive building in Uxmal.It is almost 100m long low building atop a huge platform built in the 9th and 10th centuries.It has the longest façades in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.The Spanish historian Fray Cogullado also gave this building its name.This time the name was more accurate than in case of the Nunnery...

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  • Turtle House

    The most modest building in Uxmal is the Turtle House though much smaller and less elaborate than other structures.It is a simple rectangular building on the terrace south of the Ball Court. You will see small turtles in procession in the frieze around the top of building. That’s why it has such a name.

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  • Ball Court

    Almost all Aztec’s and Maya’s cities had courts which are considered to be used for playing in ball. I don’t quite understand what was like the Mesoamerican ballgame though our guide explained several times.Nevertheless you will also see a large Ball Court for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame in Uxmal.An inscription there informs us that it was...

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  • Nunnery Quadrangle unique decoration

    The buildings of the Nunnery Quadrangle were constructed at different times. The western building has the most richly decorated façade.You will see featuring intertwined stone snakes and numerous masks of the hook-nosed rain god Chac.The decoration is typical of the Maya style. Smooth low walls that open on ornate friezes based on representations...

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Ruinas Uxmal Restaurants

  • At the Maya Ruins

    As I had a very rich and varied breakfast buffet in the hotel in Campeche I didn't have a feeling that I was hungry and need a lunch or a dinner that day. The only possibility to have a snack we had when the excursion along the Archaeological Zone was over and we had fifteen minutes before departing to Merida.I took a chance of the café where I...

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  • Restaurant at the welcome center

    There are limited eating options at Uxmal, although the restaurant at the northeast corner of the welcome center offers very good lunch dishes. I had a traditional dish-- fried tortillas topped with chicken, which was excellent. Prices are somewhat high, given that options are so limited, but not totally unreasonable. Lunch will probably cost...

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  • Outstanding Yucatecan Food

    We wanted to eat at the outdoor restaurant at Uxmal famed for its regional food, but they didn't open until 1pm, and we were ready to get on the road at noon. Sometimes it is a good thing that the restaurant you wanted is not open. We headed northeast to Santa Elena, and ate at a small cafe called Chac-Mool. This is a small, homey local restaurant....

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Ruinas Uxmal Nightlife

  • Uxmal Light and Sound show

    Every evening at dusk (approx. 7pm in winter and 8pm in summer) at Uxmal, there is a Light and Sound show. This show is held in the Nun's Quadrangle. You can either sit on the steps of the quadrangle or on chairs set up just for that purpose.If you only attend the Light and Sound show, you will pay 50 pesos, however you do not have to pay if you...

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  • The magician's Pyramid at night

    The Uxmal sound and light show features the various buildings brightly lit -- cued with a story that is broadcast over loudspeakers. There seems to be three stories talking about Mayan history, and in fact one of them supposes that the reason that the Mayans eventually left Uxmal was due to several years in a row of drought.The lights are pretty...

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  • Uxmal - Sound and Light show - A bit...

    At night we went to the Sound and Light show at Uxmal and we thought it was a bit of a disappointment. It is nice to see the site at night with coloured lights, but you are only admitted to a small part of the site. "The Nunnery" is a large square with buildings around it on which coloured lights are projected, while the story of Uxmal is told via...

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Ruinas Uxmal Transportation

  • Getting Uxmal

    Uxmal is located about 150 km north-east of Campeche and about 60 km south of Merida, capital of Yucatan State.That’s why we reached it on our way from Campeche to Merida while touring Yucatan.It took us about two hours. Mexican Federal Highway 180 is a Mexican Federal Highway that follows north through Campeche into Mérida, and finally east into...

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  • By Bus or By Car

    Most people who are staying in Merida take the bus to Uxmal which is a very reliable and affordable way to visit if your just planning on a day trip. However for those who are a bit more adventurous and want to get the true Mayan experience its best to rent a car. Renting a car will allow you to experience not only Uxmal but the many different...

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  • Getting to Uxmal

    Your options for getting to Uxmal (from Merida) are rather limited. A few second class buses leave from Merida each day; there is also a tour bus company that leaves the second class bus terminal at 8am and takes you to Uxmal and several smaller sites. This "tour" costs around 100 pesos, but covers transportation only; no tour is provided. The last...

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Ruinas Uxmal Local Customs

  • Uxmal’s iguanas

    Traveling around the world, I always miss my dogs that are waiting for me at home. So I am glad of any opportunity to talk to any local animals. In Uxmal my interlocutors were numerous iguanas.I especially liked the giant iguana that was sunbathing at the Ball Cort. She was very in harmony with ancient ruins and I had the impression that she knows...

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  • I'm just passing on this tip...

    I'm just passing on this tip as I read it on a funny sign: 'do not disturb the iguanas'... there was such a sign, honestly! and indeed there were iguanas among the Mayan ruins... and if you feel like to see my pics of these last ones, go to the travelogue Uxmal...

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Ruinas Uxmal Warnings and Dangers

  • Physical condition

    Though nested in the jungle, the ruins are very large, needing long walks under the sun. Be prepared with good walking shoes, hat, sunglasses and water, or you risk to feel uncomfortable. And check your physical condition - climbing to pyramids is as tough as... descending them!

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  • Steps can be daunting

    The climb to the top of the Great Pyramid is a long one. You may want to take several breaks on the way up, unless you are exceptionally fit or young because climbing the steps can be rather daunting.But for many people the descent is even more difficult!

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  • Touring Uxmal is thirsty work

    We were at Uxmal in March -- nowhere near the hottest time of the year. These are the bottles we collected after three days on the road.You need a lot of liquids to prevent dehydration when touring the Yucatan, and with our gringo stomachs, we tended to buy all our liquids -- i.e. we did not trust tap water. One thing that is strange about Mexico,...

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Ruinas Uxmal What to Pack

  • dek516's Profile Photo

    by dek516 Written Mar 22, 2008

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In the spring or summer months, it's best to wear light colored clothing; shorts and tank tops will probably keep you the coolest. Wear comfortable tennis shoes; a hat might also be a good idea if it's sunny.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring sun lotion to reapply during the day if you're fair-skinned-- the sun is brutal!

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Ruinas Uxmal Off The Beaten Path

  • Grupo del Cementerio

    A bit off the beaten path, the Pyramid at the Grupo del Cementerio offers an interesting building as well.

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  • Kabah - the Puuc Route

    Well worth incorporating into the trip to Uxmal is Kabah, a smaller site famous for the Codz Poop or palace of masks. It is 18kms further south east from Uxmal.

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Ruinas Uxmal Favorites

  • Uxmal Archeological Zone

    Uxmal is one of the most famous Maya cities in Yucatan not far from its capital Merida. Its Archeological Zone is considered most representative of the region's dominant architectural style.The site is open 365 days a year.
Open from 8 am to 5 pm.GUIAS official GuidesGUIAS official ratesSpanish $450,English, Francais, Italiano, Deutsch (no...

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  • Pyramid

    A spectacular view of the Pyramid can be found from the Governor's Palace. To me it is rather eerie to see these huge abandoned structures rise above the jungle canopy.

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  • The Mayan Arch

    The Mayan aristocrats were amazing architects. A trademark of their architecture was the arch. The arch is seen throughout the classic Mayan construction. What is amazing is they were able to design these arches so that openings appears in the buildings and still supported tons of stone. Centuries later, the arches and upper levels are still...

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Explore Deeper into Ruinas Uxmal
Nunnery Quadrangle
Things to Do
Pyramid’s unique decoration
Things to Do
Pyramid of the Magician
Things to Do
Museum
Things to Do
Pyramid of the Magician
Things to Do
Ball Court
Things to Do
Views of Uxmal
Things to Do
Temple of the Magicians
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Quadrangle of the Nuns
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Templo Mayor
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El Grupo del Palomar
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The Governors Palace
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Quadrangle of the Birds
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Take a Guided Tour
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The Great Pyramid
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The Nun's Quadrangle
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El Palomar
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The Ball Court
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Magician's Pyramid
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Magician's Pyramid from west
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Ball court
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The rest of the ruins...
Things to Do
Govenor's Palace
Things to Do
Nuns' Quadrangle - Cuadrangulo de las Monjas
Things to Do
Pyramid of the Magician
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Climb up the Grand Pyramid
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The Day of the Iguana
Favorites
A Thing You Can't Do
Things to Do
Great Pyramid
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Governor's Palace
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Quadrangle of the Nuns
Things to Do
Pyramid of the Magician
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Museum
Favorites
Ball Court
Things to Do
Nun's Quadrangle
Things to Do
Irrigation cisterns
Warnings and Dangers
Surviving wall of the Pigeon's Quadrangle
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Governor's Palace
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Back of the Great Pyramid
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Magician's Pyramid from the Governor's House
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Map of Ruinas Uxmal

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