Uxmal and Chichen Itza, the two most notable and accessible archaeological sites on the Yucatan peninsula are destinations in and of themselves. Each site has the infrastructure to accommodate overnight groups of up to 250 people.
In 2007, Chichen Itza was named one of the seven “New Wonders of the World”; since then, visits to the sprawling ancient Mayan complex increased, making it one of Mexico’s best known and visited attractions. But Uxmal, though less known, is equally spectacular and should not be overlooked.
CHICHEN ITZA HOTELS
Hotel options in Chichen Itza include the Hotel and Bungalows Mayaland, a 60-room venue which also has two meeting rooms and a restaurant, and Hacienda Chichen and Yaxin Spa, which has 28 sleeping rooms and one meeting room and restaurant. Both hotels are located within the archeological site, giving easy access to the ruins, and nestling your guests in an exquisitely green jungle setting.
WHAT DO DO IN CHICHEN ITZA
Chichen Itza is three hours from the Cancun-Riviera Maya zone, making it a viable day trip for groups staying at one of the beach resorts. One excellent option for groups looking to explore Chichen Itza and the culture of the Yucatan Peninsula is to book a tour through Xichen Tours, the tour division of adventure park operator Experiencias Xcaret. Xichen Tours will take your group from your hotel to the Chichen Itza site in a luxury bus. After exploring the ruins, you’ll head to the charming colonial city Valladolid, located 30 minutes away, for a delicious buffet lunch in a traditional Mexican hacienda. Click here to send an RFP to Xichen Tour.
There are three excellent hotel options in Uxmal, each with ample space for dining or meeting as a group. The Uxmal Resort Maya is the largest with 82 rooms. The newest and the closest to the ruins, is the Lodge at Uxmal Mayaland with 40 spacious rooms. The option with the most history is the Hacienda Uxmal Mayaland (55 rooms), which dates to the 17th century and, as one of the oldest haciendas in the entire Yucatan peninsula, has been a point of convergence for international travelers for hundreds of years. Guests of the Hacienda Uxmal have included Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Henry Kissinger and Indira Gandhi.
WHAT TO DO IN UXMAL
Uxmal is 45 minutes south of Merida, the capital of Yucatan State, in the hilly interior area of the Peninsula. Given the relatively small number of people that visit Uxmal, visitors can explore the site for hours at their own pace and without feeling rushed or crowded by other tourists. Many consider the delicate design and architectural work at Uxmal to represent the pinnacle of Mayan imagination and craftsmanship. Licensed English-speaking guides can be hired through the hotels and will tell visitors the history of Uxmal’s construction, its eccentric rulers, including a clever dwarf wizard, and the fascinating story of the city’s rediscovery and reconstruction.
Hacienda Uxmal is the perfect place for a refreshing drink after a day at the ruins. Those with wish to explore further afield will find a number of interesting, nearby archeological sites including, Labna, Kabah, Sayil and Xlapak.