Life and Travel in Puebla, Mexico

Tag Archives: Yucatán

Far more interesting and climb-able than Chichén Itzá, Uxmal is an extensive site full of intricate mosaics and curious decorations. And it even has a –shhh– hidden “Temple of Phalluses” (which we didn’t find because the path was so overgrown…but it’s there, somewhere…as are several stone phalluses which are readily on display beside said overgrown path). I loved Uxmal and would highly recommend it over Chichén Itzá. Bring snacks and water and plan to spend a good three hours here exploring all the structures (and maybe wandering down some secret pathways).

Pirámide del Adivino. Its ovular form is rather unique among pyramids.

Pirámide del Adivino. Its ovular form is rather unique among pyramids. This is the only one you can’t climb.

Mosaics of Chaac, the long-nosed rain god.

Mosaics of Chaac, the long-nosed rain god.

Uxmal, home to all of the iguanas in Yucatán (or so it seemed).

Uxmal, home to all of the iguanas in Yucatán (or so it seemed).

There were several weedy side trails to be explored!

There were several weedy side trails to be explored!

An overview of one part of the site.

An overview of one part of the site.

One of the mosaics, at the top of a pyramid.

One of the mosaics, at the top of a pyramid.


While it used to be an important port for the exportation of henequén rope, so much so that the place itself is named after said rope (sisal), Sisal is now just a sleepy fishing town. It took us over an hour just to find a place to stay, because everyone who rented rooms had “closed because of the bad weather” or “gone to the Sunday market.” We had some seafood at a restaurant right by the shore and spent the rest of the day wandering the beach. It was full of algea  and horseshoe crab shells from a recent storm, but peaceful and pleasant.

An old fort for the defense of the port.

An old fort for the defense of the port, newly renovated like the rest of the town.

Sisal2

On the small pier.

A dog's life.

A dog’s life.

 


If you’re going to go to several archeological sites in Mexico, Chichen Itzá is honestly not the best, mainly because it’s now prohibited to go into or on any of the structures, so you can only admire them from afar (which means you miss out on seeing a lot of carvings and decorations). Some large sites that do allow you to climb almost everywhere are Uxmal (also in Yucatán) and Palenque in Chiapas. But if you’re in Cancún and the only tour you can get is to Chichen Itzá, then take it! It’s still a cool site.

A snake head on the ball court. The snakes were meant to represent Quetzalcoátl, the plumed serpent god.

A snake head on the ball court. The snakes were meant to represent Quetzalcoátl, the plumed serpent god.

Fun fact: The heads of captured warriors were displayed on this platform.

Fun fact: The heads of captured warriors were displayed on this platform.

Sopa de lima. Also something you shouldn't miss!

Sopa de lima (lime, fried tortilla chips, chicken, rice, and tomatoes). A Yucatán specialty that you shouldn’t miss! We ate at a restaurant on the highway between Pisté and Mérida.

Beans, rice, and chicken a la yucateca. Definitely recommended.

Beans, rice, and chicken a la yucateca. Definitely recommended.

The church in Pisté, the town outside Chichen Itzá. Suspiciously, there are two snake heads (above the window) embedded in its walls.

The church in Pisté, the town outside Chichen Itzá. Suspiciously, there are two snake heads (above the window) embedded in its walls.


One of Mérida's many 19th-century mansions.

One of Mérida’s many 19th-century mansions.

Mérida's Cathedral.

Mérida’s Cathedral.

Inside the Cathedral.

Inside the Cathedral.

The house of Francisco de Montejo, the conquistador and founder of Mérida, conveniently stomping on some heads.

The house of Francisco de Montejo, the conquistador and founder of Mérida, seen here conveniently stomping on some heads.

Mérida's Zócalo at night

Mérida’s Zócalo at night