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“Dzibilchaltun - a lovely afternoon visit”

Dzibilchaltun Ruins
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Dzibilchaltun Ruins Tour and Progreso Beach Break from Merida
Ranked #8 of 117 things to do in Merida
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed January 15, 2008

If you are spending some time in Merida or it's surrounding areas, I would recommend a visit to Dzibilchaltun. This Mayan archaeological site less than 10 miles from Merida. The ruins here aren't as grand as Chichen Itza, but the area has much to offer. There is an air conditioned museum on the premises, several old mayan structures including the temple of the seven dolls and the remains of an old church, mayan gardens, homes, etc to explore and also a beautiful clear, fresh water swimming hole (cenote). The combination of features of this area make for a nice visit any time of day. Even in the heat of the afternoon, you can break up your sightseeing with a dip in the cenote or visit to the airconditioned museum. If you should happen to be visiting during the Fall or Spring equinox (21st of the month), this is a MUST SEE as the main temple was built so that the sunrise lights up the main corridor. Bring your bathing suit along, you won't regret a swim in the cenote. It is wonderful and WARM. If you are not a good swimmer, bring a tube or float along as the water is very deep in most areas. All this is included in the cost of approx. $6 U.S. Kids under 13 are free. It will cost you an extra $1 to park.

8  Thank The_organizer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 13, 2008

While the other, more famous, Mayan ruins of Uxmal and Chichen Itzá are more visited, Dzibilchaltun provides an almost effortless taste of what the Mayans were all about. There are some temples, the most famous of which is the Seven Dolls where the equinox phenomenon can be observed on March 21, the ruins of a catholic church that was built with stones 'borrowed' from the Mayan ruins. It's fun to examine the walls and look for those carved Mayan stones.

The air-conditioned museum is quite interesting and well done, although the combination of tiny brown type on a beige background with low lighting will make reading difficult without glasses for those of us who have problems in that area.

The cenote is a beautiful and refreshing (if you are swimming) and is located at one end of the uncovered ruins. I say uncovered, because only 40% of the site has been actually cleared; there is a lot of stuff still lurking in the scrubby underbrush.

Someone posted a note about chiggers - these little buggers bit my ankles hard and two weeks later I am still scratching. DO take repellent and spray your legs and feet liberally.

Dzibilchaltun can be visited in a comfortable half-day excursion either from Merida or Progreso.

4  Thank BillLawson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2007

Dzibilchaltun is located approximately halfway between Merida & Progreso, and is a 5 min drive to the east of this recently improved highway. It is of less importance than Chichen Itza & Uxmal & receives a fraction of their visitor traffic.

It, though, is not without significance. The House of the Dolls, the main pyramid structure, is aligned so that the setting sun shines directly through the doors of the temple at the March & Sept equinox.

The 7 clay dolls found in this structure are on display in the impressive on-site museum. After sweating your way round the site, spending time in the attractive, air-conditioned museum is both informative & refreshing.

There are 3 or 4 other large structures worth investigating, and the cenote is near to these. You can swim in the wonderfully fresh water, but it is incredibly deep in places, so take care.

One tip, there is very little information posted in front of the pyramid structures, so you'll get a lot more out of the visit by getting a guide. I think they all speak good English.

I've never tried the on-site restuarant, but if I were a tourist, I'd be far more inclined to eat at Hacienda Xkanatun (situated on the Merida-Progreso road, just outside the Merida city limits), or in Progreso, if you wish to take in the local coastline & eat seafood.

So, why visit Dzibilchaltun when you can go to Chichen & Uxmal?

1. If you're a pyramid nut & would like to see all three, the site will certainly engage you.

2. Dzibilchaltun is an easy 20 min drive from central Merida, compared to 1.5-2 hours for Chichen & Uxmal.

3. It is FAR less crowded.

4. It can be combined nicely with a visit to Progreso or lunch at Xkanatun.

9  Thank londoner_in_yucatan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2007

Dzibilchaltun (tzee-BEEL-chahl-toon) Mayan Ruin is an excellent Mayan archeological site that is just 30 minutes outside of Progresso Mexico (Yucatan). It is well worth your time and the nominal taxi/entrance fee (taxi = $10-15 USD; entrance fee = $7 - 10 USD). You can hire a guide for about $20 USD and get a fully narrated tour or simply join one of the tour groups that are already visiting the site (no charge if you simply blend in with the crowd).

Dzibilchaltun is the site of the House of the Seven Dolls (beautiful astronomic Mayan temple), Xlacah (ISH-lah-cah) cenote sacred natural swimming area, large ceremonial plaza, a 16th century Spanish Catholic church, an impressive museum featuring Mayan artifacts, and beautiful grounds. The Dzibilchaltun complex offers an information office, a small gift shop, and a restaurant. I would recommend skipping the restaurant since the so-called authentic Mexican food is little more than poorly prepared nachos, tacos, and rice at a price not in synchrony with the nominal entrance fee.

The best way to get to Dzibilchaltun is to take a taxi. If, however, you are driving yourself take the Merida-Progreso highway north. After seven miles you will see the sign to turn right. Drive for about two more miles. You will see signs directing you to turn right after you pass the village.

5  Thank Papdadio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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