- It’s a rather small city, perfect to relax with all conveniences.
- Stay in the center is the best since the other roads are dusty.
- There’s plenty of ATMs around, perfect to bring cash when going to cenotes.
We stayed at the wonderful Casa Sisal which we recommend. Central small hotel with clean and fresh rooms, small swimming pool, hot shower, AC and lovely staff.
🚲 Getting there
It took us 3 hours drive on decent roads from Holbox.
We stayed 2 days and 3 nights and felt that was good.
We didn’t checked out the Mercado Municipal for lunch but seems pretty good.
Cenotes tour 💦
On our first day, we went for a tour of all the surrounding beautiful cenotes, or fresh water pools, of the area. There are many of them, so it was quite hard to decide which ones to go. We searched upfront online, and looked for covered ones with impressive setup featuring stalactites as well as open. We shortlisted the following:
- Oxman: Open cenote in an Hacienda - 80MXN
- Suytun: Fully covered with platform in the middle - 30MXN
- Samula and Xkeken: Two covered impressives cenotes for one - 140MXN
- Zaci: Half covered, warm water and 9 meters jumps, in the center - 30MXN
There were all amazing and maximum 10km away from the city, having a car was perfect to visit those easily. There was plenty of other ones but we felt that was enough, our strategy was to pick different kinds to get a good overview. Bring water, snacks, cash and towel!
City tour 🌃
On our second day, we decided to take it easy and simply walk around the city, including another cheeky stop at the Zaci Cenote. The city is rather small, so not a big amount of things to see.
We hanged around the center, from the Convent of San Bernardino to the Iglesia de San Servacio passing by the lovely Calzada de los Frailes. Everything was very close making it a pleasant walk. We took the opportunity to relax, checked shops and made some pictures before heading for dinner.
Chichen Itza and Ik Kil 🏛
After checking-out from the hotel on our last day, we headed towards the famous Chichen Itza on our way to Merida. It took us one hour drive, making us arriving around 1PM. Since it was pretty hot, we decided to start by visiting the famous Cenote Ik Kil where cliff diving competitions used to happen.
We paid 70MXN/person and made our way down to the water pool. While it was packed with sweaty tourist, it was incredible. The cenote is half open and very wide including a base to jump from 8 meters, perfect for a swim! For more details, check Cenote Finder.
After swimming for a bit, we drove towards the pyramid 5 minutes further, while stopping at La Palapa for a delicious and cheap lunch. Post food coma, we arrived at the main entrance, paid 80MXN to park the car, and bought the tickets to enter for 500MXN/person. It was about 3PM when we entered, and that was perfect with not-too-much-people and not-that-hot vibe.
As good tourist, we first rushed to the impressive pyramid, took many pictures from all its angles, and then simply walked around the site. We checked the Cenote Sagrado, the extreme football court and the beautiful warriors temple before heading back to the car. In total it took us 2 hours to visit without a guide, but we guessed it could take way more. It clearly worthed to visit it.
We then carried on our way up to Merida with an extra little stop to Izamal, a lovely little town famous for its full-yellow appearance. We simply parked in the city center, and took a little walk around to admire the architecture and the colors, before continuing our drive. We stayed in total one hour but felt rushed, two or three hours would have been better to enjoy a drink around.
- Yakunaj: Amazing burritos and guacamole for good price.
- Conkafecito: Great coffee selection, wifi, sockets and friendly staff.
- TresVanBien: Pricy but delicious empanadas, need at least two each.
- Yerbabuena Del Sisal: Designed space with good prices and veggies options.