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Uxmal and Hacienda Xocnaceh
Encounter the ghosts of the Yucatan’s splendid past at Uxmal and Hacienda Xocnaceh. See archaeological discoveries at one of the region’s oldest sites while you learn how archaeologists date and restore them
This full-day tour begins in the town of Muna. A magnificent 16th-century Franciscan church leads to the workshops of Patricia Martin, a noted artist who creates impeccable replicas of ancient Maya ceramics. Patricia demonstrates ancient Maya techniques that she uses to this day. Move on to Uxmal, the largest of the sites famed for their elaborate Puuc-style architecture, whose principal buildings are aligned to observe astronomical events. Visit the Pyramid of the Magician and the Palace of the Governor—two of the finest pre-Hispanic Mexican structures in existence—as well as the Nunnery Quadrangle and the House of the Turtles.
Continue to the private property of Hacienda Xocnaceh. At its zenith, Xocnaceh produced cattle and henequen, the “green gold” that brought tremendous wealth to the Yucatan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At Xocnaceh you’ll meet the hacienda caretaker, who describes the medicinal properties of the plants that surround his house.
The exploration and adventure continue. Xocnaceh’s main Hacienda house faces one of the region’s oldest archaeological sites, currently being studied by Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia. Although excavations are seasonal and discoveries therefore unpredictable, you’ll still get a real taste for archaeology’s sense of discovery and suspense.
Lunch is served al fresco. First stop by the old irrigation tank, now a delightful pool, for a refreshing dip that whets your appetite for lunch at the ruined hacienda church. Chapel murals evoke the hacienda’s colonial aesthetic as you enjoy cochinita pibil, the local pit-cooked pork specialty, or other delicious dishes, in an unforgettably beautiful setting. After plenty of time for relaxation, it’s back home to your hotel.