Izamal – A Magic Town in the Yucatan


Izamal Merida is one of the 35 “Magical Towns” of Mexico. Known as the oldest city in Yucatan, tt is a small town, with the estimated population of 15,000 people.

Where is located Izamal Merida? Is located in the middle of the Yucatan Peninsula, in the Mexican state of Yucatan, about 40 miles east from the state capital, Mérida.

It is known as “The Yellow City”, since the entire downtown is painted in egg-yolk yellow.

It is probably one of the eldest cities in Yucatan, founded in the 4th century A.D. by Itzamna, leader and patriarch of the Mayan people. Actually known as the “City of three cultures”, Izamal brings together elements of the pre Hispanic, colonial and contemporary eras.

It is also called the “City of the Hills” because of the archaeological remains located in the town centre, including the pyramids of Itzamatul, Kabul and Hucpintok and the talles in Yucatan, the 115 feet tall pyramid of Kinich-Kakmo.


What to do in Izamal Merida:

  • Visit the Franciscan Monastery, built on top of a Mayan pyramid;
  • Visit the he Government Palace, a large city model with pyramids, colonial buildings, parks, plazas, horses and people;
  • Visit the Kinich Kakmo pyramid, the largest pre Hispanic temple in Yucatan;
  • Visit the Community Museum, located under the Conven.
  • Visit the Santuario de la Virgen de Izamal: The monastery’s principal church is this santuray. The main holiday in Izamal is on August 15.
  • There’s a 30 minute sound and light show here three days a week on tuesday, thursday, friday and saturday at 8:30 pm in summer and 7:30 pm in winter.
  • On sundays you can enjoy “Izamal en Domingo” in the Parque Zamna from 9 am to 3 pm , where you will see a big exposition of mexican art , music and gastronomy.
  • Hire a horse – drawn carriage ( calsea) to take you to the homes where the local mayan artisans work to create crafts.
  • Shop in Hecho a mano store on the main square

Izamal Merida is a picturesque colonial town. Its’ beautiful old houses painted in white and ochre, streets made of cobblestone, colonial lamp posts and sounds of horses, create a magic scenery, making from this place a real “Magical Town”

Visit Izamal Merida is to visit three cultures at the same time: the ancient Mayan, the colonial mexico and the present day. Izamal is a mexican monument with color, history and pride.

mayanexplore.com - Izamal Mexico 8

Did you know that?

• In Izamal Merida There are 20 Mayan structures still standing and around Izamal. The most famous one is K´inich K´ak´Mo, named after the ruler “Great sun Fire Macaw “It is one of the largest pyramids in the Yucatan.
• A small museum in the church commemorates the visit of Pope John Paul II to Izamal in 1993, the International Year of Indigenous People, when he pledged the Catholic Church s support for the Mayan people.
• In 1949 the Virgin de Guadalupe was adopted as the patron saint of the Yucatan.

Where to eat in Izamal?

We recommend you the restaurant El Toro in front of the monastery. It is a restaurant specialized in yucatec food with also some international dishes.

How to get to Izamal Merida from Cancun?

– From Cancun you can take the highway 180 , west for 3.5 hours approximately 273 km ( 169 mi). Wath for the sign that reads Izamal and turn nord. It is also 80 km ( 50 miles) east of Merida

– By bus in Cancun : You can take a first class bus of the company ADO to Valladolid and then a second class bus to Izamal

Where to stay in Izamal Merida:

– Homantic Hotel Santo Domingo ( Traveler’s Choice Award 2012)

– Hacienda Sacnite

– Eco Hotel Green River

– Hotel Iztamaltun

Cheap hotels and hostels in Izamal:

– Hotel Macanche Bed & Breakfast

– Hotel San Miguel Arcangel

– Rinconada del Convento

For more information please contact us at info@mayanexplore.com

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About mayanexplore.com

Travel guide to the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum. Features hotels, original activities, tours, restaurants and wedding planning.
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