Friday, May 29, 2009


The Mayan ruins at Uxmal are just an hour and a half from Mérida. On the strength of a recommendation from our friend (and Maya fanatic) Ric, we visited the site on a day trip.

Uxmal was home to the Puuc Maya, and has a very different style to other ruins like Chichén Itzá; the Temple of the Magician (above) in particular, with its rounded corners, shows just how different.

The buildings are covered with ornate and very well-preserved decoration, such as this snake. We had the whole site almost to ourselves, which was a nice change from Chichén Itzá, where tourists and people selling souvenirs fill the site.

The ring in the photo above was part of the ball court, and was used in the Mayan ball game. No-one is quite sure exactly how the game was played, except that the ball was very heavy and could only be hit with the hip or shoulder. It's thought that points were scored by getting the ball through the ring, which was difficult - games could last all day. What is fairly certain is that the game carried great importance for the Maya. Ball courts are found in many Mayan cities, usually in prominent, central positions.

Uxmal was a fascinating and enchanting site to visit, made all the more enjoyable because it was so quiet. It's incredibly hot here at this time of year though - mid-afternoon temperatures can reach the mid 40s Celsius - so once again we scurried back to the hostel and straight into the pool!


1 comment:

Rics said...

Very glad you guys liked it! :) I think its a small arquitechtural (does this word exist?)gem... The palace of the governor is simple a beautiful building, I think. :) You just forgot to mention the amazing amount of iguanas that inhabits the place! :)