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Mayan ruins with a cenote in Merida Mexico

Dzibilchaltun is an archaeological site 40 minutes drive from Plaza Grande in Merida. Surprisingly it is usually not crowded; we have met people who live or were born in Merida and have never been there.

I should confess one of the things I love about living in Merida is the opportunity to bike, and the time we visited Dzibilchaltun wasn’t the exception.

We met some colleagues in the northern area of the city, so the first part of this adventure was through Merida’s newer neighborhoods. Houses there are bigger than in downtown, although, astonishingly, some streets are not paved yet.

Then, my favorite part get into lowland rainforest through dirt paths!

Most of the trail is flat; but as there are parts with many stones, if you are intrepid, you can definitely get more fun jumping on them. This is not to scare you if you don’t bike very often or if you don’t have good physical condition the same road has many areas which allow you enjoy at different levels of difficulty.

There are some towns where you can stop, rest a little while eating fruit (remember to ask for chili, yes! In Mexico you can get chili also for fruits, and you’d like the flavor). A little over an hour, we arrived at Dzibilchaltun.

Dzibilchaltun was a Mayan city older than Chichen Itza, and it was one of the most important places in northern Yucatan.

Picture: Dzibilchaltun

It has several buildings, like the “7 dolls” Temple, where an archeo-astronomical effect is still visible on March 21 and September 21. It also has a colonial chapel in the middle of the site contrasting with all the other structures. (see Mayan spirituality: equinox in Chichen Itza or Dzibilchaltun, and more)

Picture: Dzibilchaltun

2 other big plus for visiting Dzibilchaltún: there is also an excellent museum and even though, similar to other archaeological sites, it is very warm...

You’ll find a cenote (sinkhole) where you can swim! It is an open kind cenote, it’s big and located adjacent to a building, it’s surrounded by trees, and also has aquatic plants. There’s no better way to relax, even under the sun, while getting a refreshing swim!

Remember, if you go to Dzibilchaltun, don’t forget your towel and swimsuit.

Picture: Xcalah Cenote in Dzibilchaltun

Important data for visiting:

How to get Dzibilchaltun ruins from Merida:

  • Biking Tour Merida to Dzibilchaltun: Book here

  • Tour to Dzibilchaltun and Progreso beach: Book here 

  • By bus or colectivo from Merida. Details


  • If you want to enjoy this place with less visitors, avoid Sundays

  • It is advisable to bring water, and biodegradable insect repellent and sunscreen. Between April to September the weather is very warm.

  • Care for nature, take all your litter and garbage back with you; take special care of glassware and / or campfires.


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