The yellow city of Yucatán: Izamal

usuario Alexia Arana

Izamal, a place where time stands still, the yellow city that is located in the state of Yucatan, is a Magical Town that you will not want to leave. It was one of the most important cities for the Mayans, and it is considered one of the oldest.

Where is Izamal?

It is located within the state of Yucatán, in the southeast of the country, and about 72 kilometers (115 miles) from Mérida, one of the most important cities in the state. To get to Izamal from Mérida, you just have to take the Mérida-Cancun highway and turn off at km 48 towards Izamal, the trip takes approximately 45 minutes by car.

You can also take a bus at the terminal located on Calle 67, the departures to Izamal are every hour, and it will take you one hour to get there by bus.

It is a colonial city founded in the 16th century, on what were the vestiges of an ancient city of the Mayan civilization. The stories say that before it was known as the ‘City of the Hills’, because in ancient times there were many pyramids.

Time stands still in this city, Izamal combines its pre-Hispanic past, its colonial period, and today to perfection.

What to visit in Izamal?

The city is completely painted yellow, it maintains an air of aesthetic elegance. The architecture and style of the buildings, houses and streets go back to the charm of the colonial era, so with each step, you will feel that you are traveling back in time.

The first thing is to visit the Plaza Zamná, which in Mayan means "Dew that descends from the sky", and was named like that due to a very important character in the history of the Mayans. It is the oldest and is only a fifth of the size that it was in its golden age.

You will find several places to visit and learn more about Izamal and taste the delicious gastronomy of Yucatan. The best of Izamal are the panuchos and salbutes, a total delight that you can find in the market next to Plaza Zamná.

What cannot be missing on each trip is the photo to remember, have your camera ready because the magic of Izamal will captivate you, and you will want to take a photo of each place in the city.

We recommend you take a photo of the characteristic letters of each Magical Town, and then you will have an unforgettable memory of Izamal.

A few steps from Plaza Zamná, is the Franciscan Convent of San Antonio de Padua, founded in 1549, it became one of the most important buildings in Mesoamerica. Located on the plateau of the main hill of the city, just like everything in Izamal, it is completely painted yellow, it makes it an incredible place to take photos for Instagram.

Inside the convent, you will find baroque-style altarpieces, covered with a gold bath, and various scenes that represent the most important moments in Catholicism, such as the death of Jesus, his birth, etc.

At the bottom, there is a sculpture of Fray Diego de Landa, who was in charge of founding the convent; this sculpture was brought from Guatemala.

At night, the convent presents a show about the past and present of the Mayan culture. It is a documentary that perfectly combines the history of the Mayans, presented with musical compositions, performed by Yucatecos and children of Mayan origin. The viewer can be transported to the time of the Mayans and learn more about their greatness.

After visiting one of the most important buildings in Izamal, something not to miss on this trip to the past is visiting one of the most significant pyramids of the Mayan culture.

The pyramid of Kinich Kakmo, which means ‘Fire Macaw with Solar Face’, the Mayans believed that the god Kinich, came down to earth in the heat of the noonday sun. His visit meant that he purified the sacrifices and offerings that were brought to the Mayan pantheon, and took the form of a macaw.

This pyramid has the largest area in the whole Yucatan Peninsula and it is the the third in Mexico, after that of the Sun pyramid in Teotihuacán and Cholula in Puebla.

Mexico is full of magical and unique places, so we invite you to continue discovering more of the incredible places that Mexico has for you

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