Mayan Ruins at Uxmal – Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Mayan archaeological sites can be found throughout the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico with Chichen Itza being the most famous and most visited.  Last month, a trip to Merida provided easy access to Uxmal.  It’s about a 75-minute drive from Merida to Uxmal.  We arrived at 7:45 am so were the first ones into the site when it opened at 8 am.  Try to arrive early in the morning so you have the opportunity to photograph site highlights without other people in your images.

Uxmal’s buildings date from 700 to 1000 A.D. and their layout reveals astronomical knowledge of its inhabitants and builders.  Unlike most other pre-hispanic towns, Uxmal is not laid out geometrically.  Instead, it’s organized in relation to astronomical phenomena like the rising and setting of Venus.  The ruins of the ceremonial structures at Uxmal as well as other nearby sites represent the pinnacle of late Maya art and architecture.  Uxmal was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Uxmal guided tours
The Magician’s Pyramid at Uxmal. View from the entrance to the site.
Uxmal guided tours
Steps at the Nun’s Quadrangle – Uxmal.
Uxmal guided tour
The Ball Court – Uxmal, Mexico.
Uxmal guided tour
Uxmal Archaeological Site, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Hours of operation: 8 am – 5 pm; 7 days a week

Entrance fee: 188 MXN (as of August 2014)

Location: approx. 80 km south of Merida in municipality of Santa Elena, Yucatan.

It took an hour and 15 minutes to make the drive from downtown Merida.  We hired a driver in Merida for 1000 MXN and he waited for 2 hours while we explored the site.