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Mayapan vs Uxmal?

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devon, alberta
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Mayapan vs Uxmal?

This will be our first long (3 month) trip to our place in Telchac and my very best buddy will be visiting in March - her first trip to the Yucatan. Now she would like to see some Mayan ruins but we have been to Chichinetza 3 times so that's been there done that! We have been to Uxmal and loved it but have been reading about Mayapan so thought I would ask what thoughts are between the two! And are there English speaking guides at both (none of us speak enuf Spanish to get along)? Thanks for your input!

San Jose, California
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1. Re: Mayapan vs Uxmal?

We visited 9 Mayan sites in the Yucatan - Mayapan wasn't one of them though, so I can't make a direct comparison - BUT - of the sites that we did visit, Uxmal was my favorite. You have been there, so you are familiar with the site, but for myself, I liked that it basically had it all - the large central temple, many other buildings and structures that you can wander around and through, the pyramid that you can climb, etc. There were some crowds, but it is easy to find yourselves basically alone as you wander the site. I also like that they don't allow vendors inside the site. I do think there are English-speaking guides as well.

Washington DC
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2. Re: Mayapan vs Uxmal?

Very near to Uxmal, which is worth several visits, are Kabah, Sayil & Labna. I have not heard raves about Mayapan, but I do plan to visit it this Jan. Will report after.

Olmsted Falls, Ohio
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3. Re: Mayapan vs Uxmal?

I am a bit of an archaeology buff, so I have visited many of the Mayan sites in the Yucatan, including Mayapan. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there, BUT in no way can it compare to Uxmal. Although it was a very large city in its day, the area of ruins to be visited is fairly small. It also was built relatively late, long after the civilization had passed its zenith. In grand architecture and artistry, Mayapan cannot hold a candle to Uxmal which was built during the Mayan "Classic Period". Since your friend has never been to the Yucatan, you want to show her something impressive that truly represents the Mayan culture at its height.

The thing I liked best about Mayapan was that I practically had the site to myself. But since it draws very few tourists, it is most unlikely that you would find a guide at the site. (Uxmal, on the other hand does have guides.)

Traverse City...
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4. Re: Mayapan vs Uxmal?

Like the first response, we loved Uxmal, haven't been to Mayapan (yet). But there are 100+ reviews in the "Things to Do" section. You might have a look at that. If you do, you'll read what a couple of the resident experts on this forum had to say (and very well) about their visits. Or perhaps they'll again answer your question here....

west. pennsylvania
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5. Re: Mayapan vs Uxmal?

Uxmal=breathtaking and spacious

Mayapan=quiet quiet and perfectly manicured

We have been to approx 25 sites on the peninsula, some in Belize plus Tikal in Guatemala. We loved Mayapan and will remember it fondly. Just don't expect Uxmal grandeur.

as mimac said above, alot to see along the Ruta Puuc. Try to see them all rather than repeat, IMO.

Kind of off subject, but Izamal is cool. You never know when you're going to bump into an old ruin....like while getting an ice cream cone or just walking down the street. Have fun explorin.

Don't think I saw guides there-not enough traffic. But if you invest in a Moon Handbook-Yucatan Peninsula I think you will def get your money's worth in site maps and historical tidbits on most major ruins.

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6. Re: Mayapan vs Uxmal?

If you dont want to see Uxmal again, I would go to Labna and Kabah, not necessarily Mayapan. All three of those sites are less dramatic, but hauntingly beautiful...

Merida, Yucatan
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7. Re: Mayapan vs Uxmal?

Take your friend to Uxmal, no doubt in my mind.

Cape Cod
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8. Re: Mayapan vs Uxmal?

If you've been to Chichen Itza three times, Mayapan might be interesting because you can tell the builders were trying to emulate the City of the Sacred Well when they constructed it. Otherwise, Uxmal all the way. And YucatanLiving's suggestion is also good, because the ruins she mentioned individually are more interested than Mayapan. Toss in the cavern Loltun, and you're friends will have an adventure.

Merida, Mexico
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9. Re: Mayapan vs Uxmal?

Poor Mayapan. So ambitious and so forgotten. As EJ pointed out, the Mayapan site was built up by the Itza people who tried to recreate their city Chichen Itza and features buildings that closely resemble the ones at Chichen, but of course there are less of them. There is an observatory that is not an observatory but an altar, and the giant pyramid honoring Kukulkan is there as well, which you can also climb for a magnificent view of what mortals like you and I back in the day would have never been able to see.

Pottery shards abound and there are two great avocado trees growing out of the dry cenote/cave which has a passage (not visitable) that leads away from the center to an exit outside the walled city.

Mayapan was destroyed first by its own people who revolted against and killed their leaders (all except one who was away on a business trip - his name was Canek) who had decided that selling a few of their subjects off here and there was a good money-making proposition and then again by the Spanish who found the site interesting and used it as a quarry, making off with every carved stone they could find as well using all those nicely pre-cut square ones for building. You can see the Mayan stones in the walls of the church at Telchaquillo across the street and at the hacienda Xcanchakan down the road.

Mayapan is a good stop if you combine it with some towns on the optimistically-named convent route like Tecoh, Acanceh and even Mani if you are thinking pork for lunch.

10. Re: Mayapan vs Uxmal?

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