A journey through Yucatan State

Puuc Route and Uxmal   An interesting, varied overview of the Mayan civilization awaits you justo 50 miles from Merida. Known as the Puuc Route, the sites include Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak, Labna and the caves of Lol Tun. The Puuc Route has something for everyone. Each of the sites has restored Mayan pyramids and others covered with brush, trees and jungle. There are three ways to make this trip: rent a car, book a tour through a travel agency or take a bus from the terminal.   An interesting option is to make the Convent Route one day, sleep in Oxkutzcab and continue the Puuc Route the next day starting at the Lol Tun caves. Take the guided tour of the caves in the morning, do the rest of the circuit and end up in Uxmal in the afternoon with the optional light & sound show at night.   The next stop is Labna, inhabited between 750 and 1000 AD. Presently four buildings have been restored. Notice the caretaker’s open, thatched-roof home as you enter the site. The Palace at this site has 70 “chultunes” (water cisterns) that are not visible. Tere is also the much-photographed, artistically intricate arch of Labna. There is also a watercolor of this arch in the Watercolor of Yucatan collection. Four kilometers down the winding road is Xlapak (unglued walls), a site of some 14 mounds and three partially restored pyramids. This site and the followings are lees restored and manicured, so you can see how they were found. Notice the many carved stones just lying around on the ground.   Five kilometers from this turn is Sayil, the Place of the Ants. At the entrance is the outdoor museum under a thatched roof. Check the huge stellae dating from 800-1000 AD. From the top level of the main palace you can see the church at Santa Elena (where the mummies are located) and across the way a tiny ruin on the side of a mountain, called “the nine masks”. The next stop is Kabah. Kabah is famous for its Palace of Chaac Masks (Chaac is the rain good). Also here is the arch that is thought to be the center of the city and the entrance to the “sac-be” (white road) that went to Uxmal. Just a few kilometers down the road is Uxmal. The most manicured of the sites and the last stop on this route, Uxmal is the thrice-built city with the colossal Magicians’ Pyramid, impressive Governor’s Palace, intricate Doves’ Temple and grand Nuns’ Quadrangle. Don’t miss the spectacular Light & Sound show every evening. It is the only place in the tour that has hotels. You are guaranteed a memorable stay in the tropical, colonial, jungle atmosphere of the Yucatan State.

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