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TICUL - UXMAL
Ticul is located 100 km south of Merida, 19 km northeast of Uxmal, and 17 km from the Loltun caves. It is on both the Convent and Puuc Route circuits. This should not be confused with Tikal in Guatemala.
Ticul is a small city of 30k people, large enough to accommodate hotels, restaurants a market, telegraph office, banks, pharmacies, medical assistance, internet e-mail services, and bus stations. If you are just passing through on your way to the Mayan Riviera then this is a better place to buy items like hammocks, pottery and hupils.
Ticul has a diversified craft enterprise consisting of collectives primarily manufacturing shoes, pottery, hupils, and hammocks. In some instances you may even be buying the item from the person who made it which means you pay no middlemen and a larger percentage of the gross profit will go right to the person who made the object.
Pottery chard's found at Ticul date as far back as 600 BC which demonstrate that some of the locals could possibly date their ancestry right back to the ancient Olmecs. Evidence to back this suspicion can be found close by at Loltun caves where carvings remain, corresponding to the distinct development stages of the Maya historical record.
In Ticul you will find a mixture of cultures. You will see the old; colonial buildings, the Cathedral, thatched roof homes, and some new, like the open-air stage by the Cathedral and the museum at Uxmal.
Ticul has got to be one of Mexico's best-kept secrets. While tourists flock to Playa del Carmen and southward to Palenque they overlook this excellent location to set up camp and stay for a week or two.
There are quite a few Mayan ruin sites within a short drive and natural wonders that defy the imagination. You are in Mayan territory and if you can speak Spanish or good Spengish then you can get to talk to some of the locals who are very friendly and quite interested in learning about you.
UXMAL HOTELSFor current Uxmal hotel and resort information including rates, availability and secure on-line reservations please see:
Uxmal Hotels and Resorts
If you are traveling to visit Uxmal ruins and only wish to stay for a day or two then you have two options. You can stay at Uxmal ruins or you can stay in Ticul 19 kms away. It is of course less expensive to stay in Ticul but then you have to travel back and forth to Uxmal.
We recommend that if you are only staying a day or two and you can fit it into your budget, stay close to the ruins. If you are staying for a week or longer to explore the surrounding area, then you may want to secure cheap accommodations in Ticul.
Taking the bus to Uxmal is done using second or third class buses out of Merida. First you must travel to Merida then Uxmal. If you are traveling from Campeche, you transfer at Oxkintok.
To check bus schedules click here.
The bus terminal in Ticul is at Calle 69 between 68 and 70.
Progreso - Uxmal
If you get lost in Merida do not worry. Drive southeast until you find the highway. The best person to ask for directions is a taxi driver or a police officer.
Merida - Uxmal
Campeche - Uxmal
Ticul To Uxmal
Ticul's streets [Calles] are numbered:
The majority of roads and highways in and around Ticul are in excellent condition. Some roads have just been built or repaved in the last two years. The thing is, most of the roads are two lanes and they wind around a lot so there are many blind corners. If you drive fast because you are in a rush to get to a ruin site or something then you are at risk because there are lots of very slow moving vehicles in the region. And when we say slow moving vehicles we mean dump trucks, farm tractors, and heavy machinery.
Passing can be risky and you really have to be on your guard driving in the jungle with those hair-pin turns so we advise to drive with extreme caution because if you got into an accident it may be some time before any help gets to you. Drive slowly and enjoy the scenery.
UXMAL RUINSOf the popular Mayan ruin sites, Uxmal, albeit somewhat popular, is not held by many enthusiasts to be a site of any significant reckoning. Our understanding is that Uxmal has a vivid Azteca flavor to it demonstrating the latter part of the Mayan record, which parallel with the invasion of Azteca Feathered Serpent cult and then the Spanish conquistadors.
Uxmal has an interesting feel to it. Much different than Chichen Itza. Where as Chichen Itza has an extremely political ambiance about it, with the large ballcourt and complexes dedicated to the warrior class. Uxmal on the other hand has an elaborate stadium and large structures that have more of an artistic look to them than an economic or military look.
The cult of the Feathered Serpent is everywhere at Uxmal. There is no denying that this philosophy permeated every aspect of Mayan culture during this period [either by force or by voluntary integration].
In our modern society the use of art is focused on marketing products and services. This marketing art is everywhere in the United States and Canada. At Uxmal there is also a collective effort to market a single stratagem. What that specific stratagem is nobody knows and scholars can only theorize, however what is predominant is the concept of the Feathered Serpent.
As you travel south the Feathered Serpent becomes less and less visible until it transmutes into something totally different in appearance but similar in nature. This change is noticeable in Palenque where the Maya style still maintained its essence while the cultures more influenced by the Azteca adopted and merged Azteca beliefs and practices into their own forming a new branch [Chichen Itza].
What exists in Uxmal appears to be a society dedicated to worshipping the cult of the Feathered Serpent. Possibly before the Azteca arrived, Uxmal may have been a culture focused on the arts. A city of schools, books, architecture and imagination. Once the Azteca arrived they obviously did not destroy everything, but instead built over everything with the orientation being that of a bias towards the Feathered Serpent.
Much advertised is the Uxmal light and laser show which is okay if you happen to be there when its on but what is much better to witness and experience is when the Cave Swallows come out and fly around the inside of the Nunnery Quadrangle.
The Nunnery Quadrangle is so-called because its four inward-facing buildings create the tranquil atmosphere of a convent courtyard. The walls are covered with carvings which is quite breath taking in itself. But when the birds start flying around chirping their heads off it becomes quite a magical event.
Birds are active in the morning so if you want to experience this try to arrive well before 10:00 am.
THINGS TO DOInteresting things to see in Ticul are the XVII century Temple of San Antonio, The Chapel of La Mejorada, The Chapel of San Miguel and the cenote Kukuyache, which is close to town.
English guided tours are available at: 11:00 am and 3:00 PM.
The entrance is 3 kms from town and you must have a guide to go in. Guides can be found in Ticul.