La Ruta Puuc is an official name given to a 41 km network of secondary roads through Yucatán state along which one can tour Mexico's Mayan Puuc cultural heritage. The route is marked with signs. Important sites on the route include Uxmal, Kabah, and Labna. Puuc is the Mayan word for "hills", and the Puuc region of the Yucatan is area of small rolling hills on a peninsula which is otherwise quite flat. Some travellers spend several days visiting all the sites along this route.

Codz Poop in Kabah

In Mayan archeology, the Puuc style is characterized by the elaborate ornamentation of the facades of ceremonial buildings such as temples and palaces, using limestone quarried in the region.

Mayan archaeological sites on the Ruta Puuc edit

Masks of the rain god, Chaac, at Xlapak
  • Uxmal - important Mayan spiritual center, it features the Pyramid of the Magician
  • Kabah - second largest site in the Puuc region after Uxmal and connected to that city by an 18-km long sacbe
  • Sayil - small city of about 10,000 from the Late Classic period, peaked about 900 AD
  • Labna - famed for its entrance arch, its Palace of Columns, and for an obelisk (Stele 9) that is believed to be a huge phallic symbol
  • Xlapak - smaller site with some excellent relief sculptures
  • Loltún - a system of underground caves (cenotes) in which one can see evidence of Mayan ceremonial practices

Get in edit

  • ATS offers a daily bus tour, including Sundays, leaving from the Merida's 2nd class bus station at 8:00AM. On Sundays, entrance to the sites for Mexican residents is free.

Prepare edit

  • Since you will be outside for long periods exploring various ruins, ensure that you wear a wide-brimmed hat to provide some shade and wear loose and light clothing. Be certain to bring plenty of fluids and at least some snacks.
  • The sunlight will likely be intense for much of the day. Ensure that your camera (or film) is able to take pictures in bright light.
  • Do at least some preliminary research on the different sites before you visit. Otherwise they will start to blend into one another and you will not appreciate the differences between most of them.

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