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January 26, 2012

Uxmal is one of the top four Mayan sites in Mexico and as a result is more expensive and more crowded than most of the others we have been too. It is only an hours drive from Merida (either on a fast toll road or a slightly slower but still good Libre)  but it is also within day trip range of tour buses from Cancun.

The nice thing about Uxmal is that they let you camp in a grassy lot next to the ruins and there is even free WIFI. If you camp overnight you can visit the Sound & Light show in the evening which is included with your entrance fee.

The Site of Uxmal itself is nice with a much higher level of ornamentation on the buildings than we had seen elsewhere.#

Uxmal is an Unesco World Heritage Site and is considered to be the finest achievement of the Puuc-region Maya who rose to power hen many of the other Southern cities were disintegrating. The city started its ultimate decline near 1000 AD.

The site is split into two main parts: near the entrance are the Piramide del Advino which stands 30m high and is part of the same complex as the Cuadranglo de los Pajaros and Cuadranglo de las Monjas. The other part of the site consists of the Palacio del Gobernador and the partly restored Gran Piramide. One thing that is really nice about the site is that it is surrounded by almost unbroken jungle for as far as the eye can see.

We returned to the site at 7pm for the Sound & Light show and after 5 minutes the excitement of seeing the buildings lit up in various colours had abated and it a was pretty boring 45 minutes . You sit in the Cuadranglo de las Monjas and can see much of the site from here. There is a story (in Spanish) which is belted out by big speakers but we didn’t have the translation headsets (which we would recommend).

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