town in Maní Municipality, Yucatan, Mexico

Maní is a small Mayan town in the core of Yucatán, Mexico, about 100 km south of the state capital, Merida. Mani is one of Mexico's designated Pueblos Mágicos. It is a small town with about 4100 residents (2020) and a colorful history.

Understand edit

History edit

Mani is a very old town, having been established by the Maya around 2000 BC. It was a center of the Mayan Tutul Xiu dynasty and an important religious center.

The town's moment in history came early in the colonial period on July 12, 1562 when a Spanish friar named Diego de Landa held an inquisitional book burning in front of the town's Monastery of San Miguel Arcangel. He had gathered all the Mayan codices he could find as well as more than 5000 sculptures that he considered "idols" and proceeded to destroy them all in what was one of history's most vicious acts of cultural vandalism. Church officials were unhappy with Landa exceeding his authority and ordered him to atone for his sins by researching and writing an authoritative book about the Mayan civilization. Landa wrote that book, but he is still remembered as a scumbag. Who knows what wisdom and knowledge could have been learned from the ancient codices.

In 1850, Mani was the site of a conflict during Mexico's Caste War.

Get in edit

Map of Maní

By bus edit

Mani is about 2 hours by bus from Merida. The LUS and Noreste bus lines serve the route with frequent departures. A ticket to Mani will cost about M$50. If you can't find a direct bus to Mani, take the LUS bus to Teabo and then use a taxi for the last few kilometers.

Get around edit

The town is compact and easily walkable, and most of what you'll want to see is right in town. Taxis are available at a sitio near the zocalo.

You won't get lost in Mani, streets are in a simple grid layout and every street is numbered. Even-numbered calles go north-south and odd-numbered calles go east-west.

See edit

Monastery of St Michael Archangel in Maní
  • 1 Parroquia y Exconvento de San Miguel Arcangel (Monastery of St Michael the Archangel). Colonial church and monastery built in 1549. The church's limestone facade is lightly adorned but features a prominent amphitheatre where religious ceremonies could be conducted outdoors. The interior features a number of artworks, including frescoe murals, a number of iconic statues, and three baroque style altars.

Do edit

  • 1 Cenote XCabachen, Calle 25 y Calle 26, Centro. Small cenote that is more important for its mythology than as a practical water source. If you want to see an impressive cenote, go elsewhere. This one has little water and does not allow swimming. The mythology is that the cenote in Mani will be the last cenote with water when the end of the world comes, and the god Kukulcan will guard the entrance and demand the sacrifice of a baby, after which he will provide a conch shell of water that if drunk, will allow a person to never feel thirst again.

Meliponarios edit

Mani is famous for its meliponarios, which are places where local beekeepers keep their hives and produce honey. There are several of these in and around Mani. Honey is an important component of Yucatan regional cuisine and is used to produce several kinds of tasty alcoholic beverages not found outside the Yucatan region.

  • 2 Meliponario "U Naajil Yuum K'iin", Calle 34 y Calle 29, +52 997 105 8121. Daily 09:00 - 17:00. Fascinating place to learn about the melipona bees, and endemic species in the Yucatan that produce a unique tasting honey. The Mayan bee hives are unlike any you've seen elsewhere in the world. The hives are inside hollowed logs that are stacked on a rack. Knowledgable guides will show you and answer questions.
  • 3 Meliponario Lool-Há, Calle 20. W-Su 11:00 - 16:00 (closed M-Tu). Tours of honey bee hives and tastings of honey.
  • 4 Meliponario los Jazmines (Xunan-Kab), Calle 26 #15, +52 997 973 3336. Daily 09:00 - 18:00. Tours of the honey bee hives and tastings. Honey available for sale.

Festivals edit

  • Festival of the Virgin of the Assumption, 15 to 24 August, regional music and dance, homemade foods, and carnival games

Buy edit

Small shops sell local craft goods

The Yucatan is historically known for producing henequen from agave leaves. Many haciendas during the Colonial Mexico era grew rich exporting henequen (sisal) for making rope. In the Yucatan, henequen is still harvested on a small scale, and is sometimes used for hand-made artisanal products, including woven henequen cloth for clothing, and sometimes for high-quality hammocks (though cheap, nylon string hammocks are far more common in tourist markets). Good woven products or a genuine henequen hammock could make for good souvenirs to bring home from your trip.

  • 1 Mercadito Artesanal, Calle 27 #380. Small artesania marketplace selling mostly hand-woven shirts, blouses, blankets, and tote bags.

Eat edit

  • 1 Restaurante El Conquista, calle 25 214-A entre Calles 28 y 30, +52 997 121 3866. Daily 11:00 - 18:00. Traditional palapa style dining room with casual atmosphere. Homemade regional Yucatecan cuisine specializing in pokchuc, habanero salsas are available as are a variety of aguas frescas. Large portions, small prices. Credit cards accepted. M$200.
  • 2 Cocina Tradicional de Maní, Calle 21 entre 26 y 28 No. 201. Daily 12:00 - 18:00. Traditional homemade Yucatecan regional cuisine, including Manik (the house specialty), pokchuc and sopa de lima are fixtures of a Yucatecan menu.
  • 3 El Príncipe Tutul Xiu, Calle 26 1190, Centro, +52 997 978 4257. Daily 11:00 - 18:30. Traditional Yucatecan restaurant with a large palapa-style dining room. Quick service and reasonable prices. M$200.

Drink edit

Sleep edit

  • 1 Hotel Sac Naj, Calle 23 #209, between Calles 26 and 28, Centro, +52 997 129 8197. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Simple basic hotel with clean, comfortable rooms and low prices. Off-street parking available. Good choice for the budget traveler.
  • 2 Posada Mary, Centro, +52 997 108 5043. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Small basic hotel with reasonable rates.

Connect edit

Cellular coverage is mostly 4G as of late 2023 in the town of Mani with 3G being the best you'll get on the roads outside town. It's pretty remote and coverage drops should be expected in rural areas.

Go next edit

This city travel guide to Maní is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.