Whilst I was in the Yucatan region, Mexico I made the day trip from Merida to the Mayan temple of Uxmal. We decided that instead of visiting the very popular Chitchen Itza we’d visit the lesser known ruin of Uxmal.
It did not disappoint.
The Uxmal ruins are 62km south of the city of Merida in Yucatan, Mexico just a little over an hour to reach by car.
If travelling from Cancun journey time in a car is around 4 hours. Journey time from Campeche is approximately 2 hours by car.
Getting to Uxmal
Car hire is a popular choice in this part of Mexico and rental companies can be found here. Parking at the site costs 80MXN per car. (£3.30)
We decided to take public transport and there is a daily bus from Merida city centre to Uxmal ruins. Buses can be book online here
Head to the central bus station in Merida and ask at the ticket kiosk. A single journey to Uxmal cost us around 145MXN or £6.00 each. The buses are clean, on time and drop you off right outside the main entrance to Uxmal.
The bus was busy with a few tourists also heading to the ruins, so in a way that was reassuring that we were going in the right direction.
Opening Hours and Entrance Fee
Hours: Monday to Sunday 8am till 5pm
Entrance fees for foreigners is 413MXN (As of February, 2020).
Out of that 338 pesos goes to Yucatan and 75 pesos to the federal government. This fee is for foreigners; for Mexicans the entrance ticket price is now 176MXN.
If you want to pre book your tickets beforehand, you can buy them via Viator here
There is and ATM on site and luggage storage if needed.
The name Uxmal (Oosh-mahl) means “built three times” in Mayan Language.
The great city had a population of around 25,000 people and was founded in A.D. 700. The layout of the buildings are based around astronomy.
The central door of the Governer’s Palace is aligned with the planet Venus. After 1200 there is no record of new construction and the ruling family relocated elsewhere, resulting in the decline of population. By the time the Spanish invaded in the 1500’s it was practically abandoned.
One of the best preserved sites in Mexico it has two large scale pyramids, palaces, temples and a dove coot.
Uxmal also has a court used to play Mescoamerican ball games back in the day,(year 901) is definitely unique to see! You can still see the giant stone hoops even today.
The most impressive part for me was the Pyramid of the Magician. The tallest structure in the whole of Uxmal, it stands proud. The pyramid has rounded sides and very steep steps up to the top. The large main pyramid is off limits for climbing, it’s 35 metres high!
But don’t be too disappointed everything else is open to visitors. Make your way up to the top for some rewarding reviews… or like me, half way up…
Keep your eyes peeled for some foot long iguanas along the way too!
Wear comfortable sturdy footwear.
It’s in the hot humid jungle so bring a hat or something to protect you from the sun. I’d also advise bring plenty bottled water to avoid paying inflated tourist prices.
I’d also maybe recommend spraying insect repellent on before you get there. Like I said it’s in the jungle. There are LOTS bugs.
Thanks for reading, comment down below if you have visited these beautiful ruins!