Uxmal road trip
At 8am this morning, 5 backpackers piled into a Mexian rental car, and took off on a day-long road trip to the Maya ruins of Uxmal. We covered a big route through the area south of Mérida, and then we visited Acanceh, Mayapán, Mama, Labná, Kabah, and Santa Elena, as well as Uxmal itself.
Matthias was the leader, the organiser, and the driver for the trip. Kanako, Julie, Kimiko, and myself just came along for the ride. Our car was a basic little 2-door, 5-seater Volkswagen, but it sped down them Mexican roads nice 'n' fast, and it did a good job of getting us where we wanted to go.
Our first stop on the road trip was to Acanceh, which is a small, quaint village just south-east of Mérida. There's a beautiful church there, as well as a reasonable-sized pyramid, which is tucked between a few houses in the middle of town. We only stopped here for a few minutes, then we moved on.
The pyramid at Acanceh.
Our next stop, Mayapán, is one of the best-kept secrets in the Mérida area. Mayapán is a breathtaking Maya ruins site, complete with a formidable pyramid (which you can climb), with several huts and temple-like structures, and with a gorgeous surrounding of flat, dense, uninhabited jungle, stretching out to the horizon in every direction.
The Mayapán pyramid, and me.
Mayapán isn't as big as Uxmal or Teotihuacan, but it's just as nice. Even better is that, unlike with these other sites, almost no tourists seem to visit Mayapán! When we were tehre, we had the whole place to ourselves. And I tell you what: it sure was good to feel that serenity.
Myself, Kimiko, Julie, and Kanako (left-to-right) atop the Mayapán pyramid.
Next stop was Mama, another little Mexican village, with a big Mexican church at its town centre. As with Acanceh, we stopped here for a bit, checked out the church, then continued on our merry way.
After Mama came Labná, another Maya ruins site in this Zona Arqueológica district. Labná has some interesting things inside the grounds, including a giant stone chair, built on top of (what looks to be) a massive artificial hill. I was the only one in our group stupid enough to climb up the hill — unfortunately, I couldn't get up onto the giant chair itself.
The Mexican comfy chair.
There are also some great orange trees at Labná. We picked some oranges off the trees, and ate them right there. They were very bitter, but otherwise not bad.
Orange tree at Labná.
We didn't really stop at Kabah: you can see these ruins from the road. So we just got out of the car here, stood at the gate and took a few happy snaps, and then continued on our merry way.
That's it for the morning part of the road trip. Stay tuned for more about Santa Elena and Uxmal.