For us 5 Uxmal road trippers, the Uxmal ruins themselves were definitely the highlight of the day. Uxmal is probably one of the least visited of Mexico's must-see ruins, and yet (I think) it's also the best. The light-jungle surroundings, the serene environment, and the very impressive pyramids and temples, all combine to make Uxmal a great Maya site to visit.
The pyramid and jungle of Uxmal.
We went to Uxmal in the afternoon. This is typically the busiest time of the day for ruins; and although there were quite a lot of tourists around, I didn't feel that the place was being overrun. Uxmal is also quite big, and some areas had a bit less tourists than others.
Unfortunately, it's not permitted to climb the great pyramid at Uxmal. However, there's a temple at the top of a steep hill, and there are ancient steps carved into the hillside, which anyone can climb.
One of the temples at Uxmal.
In accordance with Matthias's policy of being "super-cheap", we hung around a few tour groups as they were going around, and eavesdropped on what the guides had to say.
We also came back to Uxmal in the evening, after the corrida in Santa Elena, and saw the light show in the main Maya plaza area. This is a very impressive show, with all the ruins lit up in eerie colours, and with dramatic music and booming Spanish narration. Although the show was, at the end of the day, a tacky technique, they did it so well that it didn't really seem that way at all.
Night lights at Uxmal.