Uxmal, Yucatan

Located in the southeast side of the Yucatan Peninsula, 110 km or 70 miles south from Merida, Uxmal is one of the best known cities of the Mayas. Coming from Merida on highway 261 towards Campeche, Uxmal is after Yaxcopol and Oxxintok and before Kaba

Located in the Puuc Route, this Maya Puuc Site is considered one of the finest archaeological site in the region. According to studies, it reached its peak in the Late Classic period between years 600 to 900 AC.

The architectural Puuc style is characterized by plain lower sections and heavily decorated upper sections. Carved masks as well as serpents are common details found in this style.

Perhaps, the most important building is the one known as the Pyramid of the Magician, which is 38 meters or 117 feet tall and it is the highest in the site. It is the fifth temple built on the same elliptical base. One of the preceding temples features the mouth of the god of rain, Chaac, as the door.

One of the last constructed buildings of the site is known as the Palace of the Governor and it is maybe the best example of Puuc architecture. Next to this building is the House of the Turtles, because these figures are carved in its frieze.

Four buildings house 74 small rooms and, together, they constitute what the Spanish called the Quadrangle of the Nuns. The given name was just imposed because of the resemblance of the structure to a convent. The buildings are richly decorated and they are built at different levels.

Other structures can be seen outside the central area of the site. Among them are the House of the Old Woman, the House of the Doves, and the Cemetery.

The site is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and it features a light and sound show. Both the entrance and the show charge a fee. Sunday Uxmal offers free entrance.

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