Along Highway 261 heading north, we come to Uxmal. Nothing prepares you for the splendor of this site, hidden as it is from the nearby highway. It is always green and lovely, with wonderful views across the peninsula from The Grand Pyramid. The crowds are few, and no vendors are allowed within the grounds.
Head east to Tekax and wind over the hills to Chacmultun, a site hidden among the hills with some stunning views across the Yucatan Peninsula from the top. Stop at the market towns of Ticul and Oxkutzcab along the way. You might even shop at the mercado there and pick up lunch.
Going north from Muna, stop to see the two haciendas of Yaxcopoil and Ochil. Both are old henequen plantations. Yaxcopoil has been left as it was, furniture and machinery still in place. Ochil has been semi-restored with lovely grounds and a great restaurant in the main house. They also have a fine crafts museum of art work from all over Mexico.
Close to Abala, off Hwy 261, there are two cenotes: Kankirixche, just beyond the village of Abala, and San Antonio Mulix, behind the village of Cacao. Both are small and quite different from those along the Quintana Roo coast.
Exploring the Yucatan Peninsula
Why Visit the Yucatan? Many of you, perhaps most, think of the Yucatan as Cancun, Playa, beaches, and white sand. But years ago, when I first came here, it was not the main reason to visit. It was the Mayas. Their culture, their ancient temples and pyramids, their small villages and their gentle ways. It ‘s why I came. And it is still here. So perhaps once again, you might like to go back to the real Yucatan. Where the people I first met still are. Permit me to show you a different Yucatan, the interior.
The Flycatcher Inn Hotel is located in the small village of Santa Elena, where John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood stayed while rediscovering the archaeological sites of Uxmal and the Puuc group. They stayed in what is now a small museum, attached to the church.
Just 8 kilometers to the south begins the Ruta Puuc, with the smaller exquisite sites of Kabah, Sayil, and Labna. Each one is full of small details that many people miss, passing through too quickly. Take your time and explore these sites. They are well worth it.
For those of you who are a little more adventurous, you can head to Campeche for the day, or to Hochob, south of the village of Hopelchen. You will pass through one of the major colonies of Mennonites along the way.
Also, you could drive to the little known ruins of Xcalumkin, just off the highway between Bolonchen and Hecelchakan, the latter of which has a tiny museum and a small restaurant near the park.
We just loved the Flycatcher Inn. It was comfortable, clean and charming. The service was so warm and friendly. And every morning we woke up, greeted by the birds and the sunlight, just minutes from our next adventure. It was a pleasure to spend a few days out in the lovely Yucatan countryside after spending time in the city of Merida. We highly recommend using Flycatcher as a base from which to set out each day on a new daytrip!