Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Izamal Merida is one of the 35 "Magical Towns" of Mexico

Izamal Merida is one of the 80 + "Magical Towns" of Mexico. Known as the oldest city in Yucatan, it is a small town, with an estimated population of 15,000 people.

Where is Izamal, Merida located? This beautiful town is located in the middle of the Yucatan Peninsula, in the Mexican State of Yucatan, about 40 miles east from the state capital, Merida.

Izamal Convent
Izama is also known as "The Yellow City", since the entire downtown is painted in egg-yolk yellow.

It is probably one of the eldest cities in Yucatan, founded in the 4th century A.D. by Itzamna, leader and patriarch of the Mayan people. Actually known as the "City of three cultures", Izamal brings together elements of the pre Hispanic, colonial and contemporary eras.

It is also called the "City of the Hills" because of the archaeological remains located in the town centre, including the pyramids of Itzamatul, Kabul and Hucpintok.

What to do in Izamal Merida:
  • Visit the Franciscan Monastery, built on top of a Mayan pyramid.
  • Visit the Government Palace, a large city model with pyramids, colonial buildings, parks, plazas, horses and people.
  • Visit the Kinich Kakmo pyramid, the largest pre Hispanic temple in Yucatan.
  • Visit the Community Museum, located under the Convent.
  • Visit the Santuario de la Virgen de Izamal: The monastery's principal church is the sanctuary. 
  • There's a 30 minute sound and light show here Monday to Saturday 8:30 pm in summer and 7:30 pm in winter.
  • On Sundays you can enjoy "Izamal en Domingo" in the Parque Zamna from 9 am to 3 pm, where you will see a big exposition of Mexican art, music and gastronomy.
  • Hire a horse-drawn carriage to take you to where local Mayan artisans work to create crafts.
  • Shop in Hecho a mano store on the main square. 

Izamal is a picturesque colonial town. Beautiful old houses painted in white and ochre, cobblestone streets, colonial lamp posts and horse sounds create a magic scenery, making this place a real "Magical Town".

Visit Izamal to experience three cultures at the same time: ancient Mayas, colonial Mexico and present day. Izamal is a Mexican monument with color, history and pride.

Did you know that?
• Izamal features 20 Mayan structures still standing and around the city. The most famous one is K´inich K´ak´Mo, named after the ruler “Great sun Fire Macaw“. It is one of the largest pyramids in Yucatan.
• A small museum in the church commemorates the visit of Pope John Paul II to Izamal in 1993, the International Year of Indigenous People, when he pledged the Catholic Church support to the Mayan people.
• In 1949 the Virgin de Guadalupe was adopted as the patron saint of the Yucatan.

Where to eat in Izamal?
We recommend you the restaurant El Toro in front of the monastery. It is a restaurant specialized in Yucatec food with also some international dishes.

How to get to Izamal from Cancun?
- From Cancun you can take the highway 180, west for 3.5 hours approximately or 273 km (169 mi). look for the direction sign that reads Izamal and turn north. It is also 80 km (50 miles) east of Merida.
- By bus from Cancun: take a first class bus of the company ADO to Valladolid and then a second class bus to Izamal.

Where to stay in Izamal Merida:
- Romantic Hotel Santo Domingo (Traveler's Choice Award 2012).
- Hacienda Sacnite.
- Eco Hotel Green River.
- Hotel Iztamaltun.

Cheap hotels and hostels in Izamal
- Hotel San Miguel Arcangel.
- Rinconada del Convento.

For more information please contact us at info@mayanexplore.com 

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Izamal Convent