IZAMAL: Maya “capital” of Yucatan

The pyramid at Izamal: This earthworks takes up an entire city block. The photo doesn’t do it justice. While what remains of the structure may not be as impressive as Uxmal or Chichén (both extensively restored), the amount of material alone, used to elevate the city block, is stunning.

While Merida has long been termed The White City, it is a patchwork of colors; Izamal is virtually all yellow. Merida is the capital of the State of Yucatan; Izamal could be called a capital of the Maya (los Yucatecos), at least in Yucatan (as opposed to Chiapas, or nations to the south). Some English is spoken in Izamal to welcome tourists, and some Spanish, too; but the predominant language is Mayan. The people are exceedingly friendly. High speed passenger railwork has been started (funded) this month. Eventually a modern rail line will transit from Merida to the “Maya Riviera” south of Cancun.

We toured a B&B called Macan Ché which is an oasis of lovely tropical landscaping and clever design. The few guests lunching or using wifi in the central dining palapa seemed at bliss.  I would hope to stay here on coming back for a longer visit.

The pyramid was the big draw for me. Some may prefer the fortress known as The Convent. But I’m not a fan of tearing down the worship structures of others to recycle their materials as building blocks for your own edifice. Sorry, but all religious histories seem to have their darkly-hypocritical underbellies. (Sometimes it’s downright embarrassing to attempt to pass as a Christian, even a heretical one without brand. SEE COMMENT.)


Imitation cenote pool built into ancient coral bedrock.

All taxi’s in Izamal are horse-drawn (or tricycle powered). They queue up adjacent to the main plaza, across from the convent. We took a ride. The driver let me steer. Ha! The horse knew the way.


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