Cruise the Puuc Hills

Mexico, Yucatán

The Puuc hills, the only hills in Yucatán, were the birthplace of the most advanced architectural style in the ancient Americas. Visit the elegant Uxmal ruins on the 'RUTA PUUC' and combine it with different activities: a tour at Hacienda Sotuta de Peón, a stroll in the jungle gardens of Choco Story in Uxmal and a walk in the primordial Loltún caves. 


There is much more to see on this route, like the ruins of Labná, Kabáh, Sayil, Xlapak or haciendas Yaxcopoil and Ochil but I find the suggested combination the most interesting. 

1. Hacienda Sotuta de Peón (Hammocks/Haciendas)

Day 1

I consider Sotuta de Peón the best hacienda in Yucatán. Here you will step into the colonial times of Mexico. It was a henequén estate in the 19th century and the current owner restored it to its beauty and function: during the three-hour tour they will demonstrate to you how sisal fibre was produced from the henequén plant with the machinery of the time. You will see the owner's colonial house with European furniture, visit a Maya hut made of earth and palm leaves (sitting in the middle of the henequén field) and swim in the cave cenote of Dzul Ha.


2. Uxmal (Ruins)

Day 1

If you visit only one Maya ruins in Mexico, this is the one. Simply the most elegant architecture with the most intriguing iconography. You will need at least two hours, particularly if you want to climb the Great Pyramid (it is not possible any more to climb the Magician's Pyramid).


3. Loltún caves (Hammocks/Jungle)

Day 2

Don't expect wooden boardwalks. You will be walking on the dry river-beds of this ancient cave, feeling its age and pre-historic ambience. You will face the rituals of the ancient Maya who left behind petroglyphs, hand prints, bas-reliefs, stone water containers, burials. Extinct animal remains of mammoth, bison, felines and other animal bones that were found here indicate a colder climate period with a different environment from that of the present.


4. Choco Story Uxmal (Hammocks/Museums)

This is an outdoor museum, where you can walk in the jungle garden with labelled tropical plants, learn about the Maya chocolate story in the Maya pavilions, taste a cocoa drink, experience a Maya ceremony, and spend time with the animals at the fauna refuge.


While you can get back to Mérida from either Loltún caves or Choco Story in about the same time, it is better to come to Loltún from Uxmal first because Choco Story is open till 7pm so you are more likely to do both in one day. You will need an hour and a half for each place.

TripsLydia JonesComment