Discover the Puuc Route and its Maya Cities


The Puuc Route is both a region of Mexico and the name of the road that runs through it. Visitors from all over the world come here to explore the many Maya archaeological sites along the route.

It’s the only place in Mexico that features so many ruins in such a small area. A one- or two-day drive along the Puuc Route is the ideal opportunity to visit several major sites from the Maya civilization, including Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Xlapac, and Labna.

What does “Puuc” mean?

The Mayan word “Puuc” means “hill” in English. In addition to being the name of a region in the state of Yucatan, it also describes the dominant architectural style in the area, which borders Campeche and Quintana Roo.

There are many Maya cities to visit along the Puuc Route. These are the treasures of the region, and you simply have to visit them!


Uxmal is one of the major Maya sites on the Puuc Route and offers a prime example of the Puuc architectural style. Even before its restoration, it was much better preserved than most other Maya ruins.

Uxmal’s magnificent structures are all equally spectacular, with an unrivaled profusion of detail in buildings such as the Pyramid of the Soothsayer, the Governor’s Palace, and the Quadrangle of the Nuns.


The second-largest site in the region after Uxmal, Kabah is notable for its Chenes-style architecture in addition to the Puuc style. The most famous building is undoubtedly the Palace of the Masks, dedicated to the harvest-protecting god Chaac.

Chaac was worshiped throughout the region, which lacked the cenotes that made up for the absence of a river in the rest of the Yucatan Peninsula.


Today, this small city is considered a suburb of Uxmal. It reached its peak just before the 11th century. Although less impressive than the first two, it nevertheless boasts a Grand Palace that is definitely worth a visit.

Sayil is also home to numerous chultuns—underground cisterns the locals used to compensate for the lack of cenotes.


This is the smallest Maya city in the region and used to be an agricultural center. The god Chaac was worshiped here as well, in Puuc buildings that are rather simple at the base and highly ornate on the upper levels.


Strictly speaking, Labna is not a city. It was a Maya religious center. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's a small area, but it contains one of the region's most remarkable monuments: the 390-foot-long Palace. Another of Labna’s highlights is its entrance arch, which has stood the test of time in an exceptionally well-preserved state.

Check out Merida after the Puuc Route

After the Maya cities of the Puuc Route, you can head to Merida, the capital of the Yucatan, where stone from nearby ancient sites was used to construct the buildings. It's a lovely place to visit and live. It also hosts a number of bullfighting events in arenas that can hold thousands of people.