The Spanish colonial town of Merida makes a great base for exploring the Yucatan, with plenty of easy day trips in the area. About 30 kilometers south of town, you’ll find Hacienda Yaxcopoil (YASH-coh-poh-EEL), a 19th century sisal plantation house that has been restored as a museum. Of the many plantation haciendas in the area around Merida, this is one of the best preserved. Most have been abandoned, but other have been restored as restaurants, hotels and gift shops. You can see a list of other haciendas to visit here.
Hacienda YaxcopoilWhere: About 30km south of Merida
Hours: 8am–6pm Mon–Fri; 9am–3pm Sundays
Entrance fee: 100 pesos
Time: Expect to spend 1 hour
Yaxcopoil was a sisal plantation that once boasted 22,000 acres. Though the property is now only 3% of its former size, the house has been preserved as a museum and event venue, often being rented out for weddings and films. There are numerous rooms to peruse that are all preserved in their 19th century style, and don’t miss the office, which holds many of the original documents from the era. The “Maya Room” holds all of the ancient artifacts found on the property, which once included more than six Mayan pyramids from the 250–900AD era. There is also a guesthouse on the property that may be booked through their website.
Getting there: The hacienda is located on Highway 261 going south from Merida on the road to Uxmal. If you’re renting a car, you can easily combine this with a trip to Uxmal and the other Mayan sites on the Puuc Route. If you’re going by public transportation, according to the directions on their website, you can take a colectivo (small bus) from Merida. The colectivo stop is located on the side of the Mercado Lucas de Galvez that is on Calle 65 between Calle 54 and Calle 52. Ask for the colectivo that goes to Uman. Once you are in Uman, on the west side of the park across from the entrance to the church you will need to get on another colectivo that will take you to Yaxcopoil. It will stop directly across from the entrance to Hacienda Yaxcopoil.
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