Uxmal and the Puuc Route


Uxmal and the Puuc Route


Uxmal is the perfect Maya archaeological site for people who don’t like crowds. It’s not as well-known and touristy as Chichen Itza and Tulum, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less interesting. It’s a prime example of the Puuc architectural style, characterized by buildings with simple lower levels and highly ornate upper sections.


The Pyramid of the Magician is one of Uxmal’s most famous structures. Standing nearly 100 feet tall, it is one of the largest structures ever built in the Maya world. It was constructed in five stages, with each building on top of the previous one (to the point where the first is no longer visible).

Not far away is the Quadrangle of the Nuns, a name bestowed by the Spaniards, who thought the building’s many rooms were reminiscent of a convent’s cells. But not a very austere convent! It is without a doubt Uxmal’s most impressively ornate structure, both inside and out.


Then there's the Governor’s Palace, which was most certainly the city’s administrative center. It’s nearly 300 feet long, with a facade covered in geometric motifs and representations of the god Chaac. The god is also honored at the House of the Turtles.

Uxmal is located on what is now known as the Puuc Route, in the Yucatan region of the same name. The Maya cities themselves were connected by limestone roads known as sacbes, the remains of which can still be seen today. There are several smaller Maya cities around Uxmal, which are also relatively uncrowded. It’s easy to visit several of them in one or two days.


Kabah, the largest after Uxmal, stands out from all the others due to its buildings with Chenes-style architecture. The Palace of the Masks, also dedicated to the god Chaac, is a must-see, with dozens of stylized faces adorning its facade.


Labna is not really a Maya city, but a religious center. Few people lived there, making it one of the smallest Maya sites on the Puuc Route. However, it boasts one of the most impressive buildings ever constructed on the American continent before modern times: the Palace, which nearly 400 feet long.


There are many other sites to visit. Uxmal and the surrounding area feature one of the greatest concentrations of Maya culture on the Yucatan Peninsula, so don't miss the opportunity to visit this region during your stay.



In the early 1990s, the city of Tulum was just a small village a mile away from the archaeological site. With tourism, the population grew to around 20,000 , and Tulum became a small city, the administrative center of the municipality of the same name. It’s not the most spectacular city in Mexico, but it’s home to many restaurants whose ingredients come directly from the region’s farmers and fishers.


It's a wonderful excursion to make during your vacation on the Yucatan Peninsula!