Uxmal, enveloped by legends, myths and anecdotes, poetic by name and by nature, is situated within a series of hills known as the “Puuc” or “mountainous area” in Maya. The name was later given to describe the architectural style of region
Uxmal was probably was founded by the Xiues tribe during the classic Mayan period between 600 and 900 AD; the city flourished, with a population of approximately 20 000 inhabitants.
The surrounding land allowed the fabrication of the chultunes, cisterns ingeniously built by the Maya to store rainwater since cenotes don’t exist in this area. Highly fertile terrain sustained the agricultural activity necessary to support the ancient settlers. Worship of water, the earth, sun and Venus are all evident in the orientation and decoration of the structures in Uxmal.
The city of Uxmal is made up of 15 groups of buildings distributed from north to south over about 2 Km’s. Among the most noteworthy areas are the Pyramid of the Wizard, the Plaza of the Birds, the Nunnery, the Ball Court, the Governor´s Palace, the Great Pyramid, and the Pigeon House; from the northern group the old Woman´s House, the Cemetery and the Temple of the Phalli. The wide variety and quantity of buildings which exists speak of the social complexity and political, economic and religious activities which once thrived here.
The most impressive structure, reaching a height of over 35 meters is the House of the Wizard. According to legend, this pyramid in Uxmal was built in just one night by a dwarf. In reality it was built in five stages, with the staircase facing west, towards the setting sun in the summer solstices. The Convent was not named by the Spaniards for its similarity to a European convent. It was probably used as a school for healers, astrologers and priests. The Governor‘s Palace is an excellent example of the rain God Chaac, serpents and astrological symbols, and is considered the most beautiful construction in Mesoamerica for its style and imposing proportions.
The group of four elongated buildings surrounding the patio is the Nunnery. It is remarkable for its magnificent decoration with motifs, lattice motifs; Lattice-work and human figures alternating with serpents, turtle heads, owls and masks of Chaac.
It’s believed that the downfall of Uxmal was probably due to a social revolt which put an end to the governing elite. There’s a certain refined air about Uxmal that touches visitors from outset.
Known as “the thrice built,” Uxmal is one of the Mayan sites on the Yucatan peninsula that has the most majestic, spectacular, architectural characteristics. Its beauty is characterized by the low, horizontal palaces that are arranged around patios and quadrangle courtyards which are rich in sculptured details elaborated with thousands of small stones perfectly polished and adjusted, forming geometric mosaics with a perfection that is found in no other Mayan sites in the entire area. Afterwards, visit an impressive cenote, and then you will be invited to a Mayan home for lunch, shown around, see their customs, even learn some words in Maya. This is the opportunity to see the real Mayan roots.
• Entrance to the archaeological site
Bring hat or cap, comfortable clothes, camera, bathing suit, towel, biodegradable sun block and repellent
This tour operates with minimum 4 people, however contact us for availability.