Half day Tours (5 hours)
Tours available from February 19th to March 1st.
Mexico has 35 towns that are considered magical and one of them is located just 45 minutes from Merida. What makes a town magical? According to the requirements to be considered magical by the Mexican government, the town or city must be small with rich historical tradition. The first thing that you will notice is that the town is painted yellow… all the colonial buildings, the market, the huge convent, everything! The next thing that stands out are the cobblestone streets and the iron lampposts that give the town a tranquil ambiance. The sound of the clippity-clop of the horses pulling calesas or carriages will surely make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. As you explore the city you will see a town that is alive with three cultures – the ancient Mayan, the colonial and the present day bustling Izamal. You will enjoy your time discovering the Mayan pyramids, the amazing convent, parks and plazas, horses and buggies and enjoy lunch at a local eatery. See for yourself what makes a town magical! Lunch provided at a Regional Restaurant
Cost: 60 USD
Hacienda tour at Sotuta de Peon
Sotuta de Peon is the only henequen/sisal fiber hacienda in the area that continues to work as it did 100 years ago. A visit to Hacienda Sotuta de Peón, located 45 minutes from Mérida, is an opportunity to travel into the past. During the 2.5 hour tour, you will learn about the origins of henequen and details of the henequen boom here in Yucatán. The process, which begins with the planting, continues on to the peeling, then drying and finally the packing, is interestingly explained and the transformation from threads to ropes to textiles is shown. This is a walking tour and you will have the chance to see the centuries old machinery actually working. Don’t be shy about volunteering to help the workers – you may be surprised by the strength required!
After seeing and participating in this interesting part of the process, the visitors will get climb aboard mule drawn platforms, called trucks, and take a ride into the henequen fields. Along the way, they will stop off at a Mayan home where a Mayan gentleman will show you his home and the henequen plants. You will enjoy a regional lunch at the Hacienda at the end of the tour. The sisal fiber played a fascinating role in the development of the Yucatan, this is your opportunity to participate in that history!
Cost: 80 USD
Merida City Tour
Explore Mérida! a city that preserves its rich architectural heritage like no other. Mérida’smap reveals the traces of T’ho, a underlying preHispanic city, and sharp observers can imagine the history of the city from its neighborhoods and buildings, distinguishing between colonial, Porifirian (late nineteenth and early twentieth century), and modern building styles. Travel its shady avenues, lined with exquisite mansions from the end of the 19th century, when henequen wealth reached its zenith and the fiber’s producers sought to reaffirm their prestige and world-view in architecture (Yucatecan prosperity far exceeded that of any other part of Mexico at the time). The city is also famous for having been the birthplace of noted musicians and poets. You will also visit the anthropology museum, the cathedral, famous restored buildings in the city center, and will enjoy time for browsing in artisans’ shops. Please consider that a regional lunch will be provided in a local restaurant.
Cost: 50 USD
Maya Astronomy at Dzibilchaltun and lunch in Progreso Beach
Famed for its Temple of the Seven Dolls, Dzibilchaltún is situated and constructed so the rays of the sun will produce a startling effect on the spring and fall equinoxes. Around 1590 an open chapel was built in the central plaza, constructed of stones taken from ancient structures on site, extending the city’s two thousand-year history into the Spanish era. Visit its beautiful open cenote, notable for being placed practically at ground level.
After this, a visit to the port of Progreso, a quiet town by the beach where you will have a typical lunch with botanas and drinks at the malecón – the beachside promenade. Enjoy the cool breezes off the Gulf. The water is clean and very shallow – so great for swimming.
Cost: 70 USD
Full Day Tours (8 hours)
Tours available 3 days before and 3 days after the congress.
Uxmal means “built 3 times in the mayan lenguage and through its its name is a mystery, its beauty no. As a World Heritage site, it is one of the best restored archaeological sites in the Yucatan and certainly one of the most magnificent. It is famed for their elaborate Puuc-style architecture, whose principal buildings are aligned to observe astronomical events. Uxmal comes to life before your eyes and your visit becomes a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity. We 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. Please consider that lunch will be provided in Hacienda Ochil.
Cost: 110 USD
Situated approximately one hour outside of Merida is the Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve. A boat ride around the reserve will offer you the opportunity to observe and photograph the vast flocks of flamingos and hundreds of other birds that live in the area. You will have the chance to swim in the clear, cool fresh water springs that bubble to the surface and drain into the estuary; a stop to view the “petrified forest”; and a ride through the marshes that penetrate the dense mangrove forests that flank the estuary. You will be amazed by the hundreds of bird species that you will encounter in one place! Lunch will be provided in a beach side restaurant.
Cost: 110 USD
Chichen Itza, voted one of the new seven world wonders, is a must see when traveling to the Yucatan. The Mayans took control of this area, which had originally been built by the Toltec’s, in the late 10th Century. After reaching its peak between the 11th and 12th centuries, the space was abandoned. The dominant ruin in Chichen Itza is the towering Castle, also known as the Pyramid of Kukulcan. The Castle has 365 stairs, one for every day of the year, which archeologists attribute to the Maya´s knowledge of the skies. The Castle is built over a series of previous constructions. An interior staircase leads to the Throne of the Red Jaguar, a chamber containing a Chac-Mool and a stunning, pop-eyed jaguar. The Temple of the Jaguar gives access to the sprawling Ball Game field where priests played religious ball games. Lunch will be provided in a regional restaurant.
Cost 125 USD