|Maxcanu /Oxkintoc Bicycle Tour
Jane and I left the house at 5:30 AM riding our 20 inch folding bikes and
an hour later we were departing Mérida aboard a local bus heading
southwest 60 kilometers across the low flat semi-arid scrub brush
country of Yucatán to the colonial town of Maxcanu situated at the
beginning of the Puuc hills on the border with the neighboring state of
Campeche. read more
|MAYAPAN / ACANCEH These two unique and seldom visited
archaeological sites are interesting and very memorable if for no other
reason than they are not crammed with bus-load hordes of visitors.
What makes these two places so great is the fact that they can both be
visited in an easy day trip out of Mérida by bus. You will not need a
bicycle on this trip because easy local transportation is readily available
Start early from the bus terminal on calle 50 and 57 for the 47 kilometer
ride. Buy your bus ticket to Mayapan and the bus driver will let you off
at the entrance to these seldom visited remote and tranquil Mayan
ruins. read more
|TICUL, YUCATAN BY BIKE AND BUS:
We have made many trips to and through Ticul.
The latest post is October 18, 2010 Ticul, Dzan, Mani and Oxkutzcab
For our older posts, click on the following links:
Ticul, Muna,Dzan and Mani Feb 1, 2010
Ticul Day trip - February 2007
Santa Elena, Kabah, Uxmal, Ticul
Tecoh -Sabacche to Tekit and Ticul
Ticul, Sacalum Mucuyche and Abala
Santa Elena/Ticul Revisited Dec. 2010
The photo on the left is of the Mayan Arch in Ticul. It was
sculpted by artist, Rómulo Rozo and is one of Ticul's proudest
|MANI FIELD TRIP STARTING AT OXKUTZCAB BY BIKE AND BUS,
MARCH 2008; JOINING THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S CLUB OF
MÉRIDA. read more
|A VISIT TO MANI, YUCATAN
Mani is a small quaint, quiet and tranquil Mayan village 80 kilometers
south south-east of the capital city of Mérida. Nearby is the shoe and
pottery manufacturing city of Ticul plus the garden market capital of
Mani is also situated on the age-old seldom traveled but famous “Ruta
de Los Conventos’. read more
|MERIDA SOUTH ON CALLE 42
Leaving Mérida and heading south by bicycle we have found the quietest
route, not necessarily the fastest, taking you through an assortment of
interesting neighborhoods. Even from the north of the city you can be out
past the “periferico” or rim route overpass in less than an hour poking
along at a leisurely pace. There are only five stop lights the entire length
of calle 42, but scores of “topes”, speed bumps, which we easily glide
over on our slow moving bikes. read more
|SANTA ELENA, KABAH, UXMAL, TICUL, CITINCABCHEN AND
HUNABCHEN, YUCATAN BY BIKE AND BUS
My wife Jane and I began this three day excursion busing with our folding
bicycles to the seldom visited out of the tourist loop town of Santa Elena
formerly known as Nohcacab.
Biking down out of the Puuc hills, through Ticul and north through the
citrus country to Sacalum where we turn east and the road become
perceptively smaller.Citincabchén has one claim to fame and it is the
product of this quaint little off the road tortilla shop that turned out the
best tortillas of our trip and perhaps as good as we have ever
had…worth the trip just to sample. read more
|We are in the process of posting many more day trips from Mérida by bike/bus to visit the land of the
Maya. FOR MORE BIKE AND/OR BUS TRIPS, CHECK OUT OUR PAGES: MEXICO (The Mexico page
includeds destination in Quintana Roo) AND VALLADOLID. WE HAVE ALSO MADE MANY ADDITIONS TO
OUR MERIDA PAGE. NEW - TULUM page. NEW BLOG: Yucatan for Travelers
Check our blogs for more destinations in Yucatán: bicycleuyucatan.blogspot.com and
|MAYAN RUINS OF KIUIC AND OUR JUNGLE ADVENTURE - FEB
the Mayan city of Oxkutzcab.
This adventure was conceptualized a year earlier while the three of us
drank coffee and dreamed of adventure in our favorite coffee shop in
Itzimna, Caffe Latte. read more
|TO OXKUTZCAB VIA DZAN AND MANI
A month's worth of activities crammed into just 5 days by bike, bus and
on foot. My wife Jane and I began this adventure with a 7 kilometer
bike ride from our home in Merida to the downtown bus terminal where
we packed our bikes in the cargo hold for the nearly due-south 65
kilometer bus ride to Ticul. read more
|TECOH -Jane and I have been making a point to take at least one
adventure excursion of exploration in Yucatan each week by bus, bicycle
and occasionally just bike or bus.
We looked at the map and decided that Mani a Mayan village
continuously inhabited for the past 4,000 years would be our next day-
trip adventure.We had the bus schedule and would take departure at 8:
30AM from the downtown terminal at Calle 50 x 67 where the brand-x
buses leave from.A couple of friends eagerly wanted to join us and we
were all early to converge at the terminal.Jane and I were first to arrive
and went to buy our tickets. Surprise! Our 8:30 bus to Mani wouldn’t
leave until 9:30 .Plan “B”;Next bus out! read more
|SOTUTA - Our first visit to little Sotuta had been nearly twenty-five years
earlier at the end of the thriving henequen era when Sotuta was at the
end of the still functional narrow gauge railroad line. In those days the
town was renowned for being the stronghold for a dissident populist
democratic movement in Yucatan and even had one of the most powerful
radio stations blasting out their autonomous egalitarian message. The
Mexican military maintained a fortified barracks prominently placed on the
main city plaza from the beginnings of the Caste War that begin in 1848
and was not relinquished until 1998 when indigenous rights were at a
proverbial boiling point. read more
|TELCHAQUILLO, PIXYA, SACBE CENOTE ROUTE Biking east from
little Pixya we picked up this voluntary guide who likes to raise sand with
his spirited cross country hurried pace of bike riding. Armed with a
machete and a 16 gauge single shot shotgun Manual Chable is always
on the alert for wild game to feed his family. This scant low scrub jungle
is vigorously harvested of its meager wood supply, leña used for home
cooking because of the prohibitively high cost of LP gas.
|CUZAMÁ VIA TECOH, CHIQUILÁ, SABACCHÉ, OCHIL AND
CHUNKANÁN BY BIKE, BUS AND COLECTIVO TAXI Quiet country
roads through picturesque Yucatan are well worth the effort and pay
back with early morning tropical birds, plus brilliant tropical flowers that
change season by season sweetly perfuming the air.
Escaping Mérida’s pushy-shovey horn honking, tail-gating belligerent
bumper-to-bumper neurotic drivers is like flushing the proverbial
toilet…and it feels so good when it is finally gone.
Our escape Mérida bicycle trip is only a little over 30 kilometers long from
Tecoh to Cuzamá read more
|TECOH -SABACCHE TO TEKIT AND TICUL; BIKING THE TRANQUIL
QUIET MAYAN BACK ROADS Sabacché is more than just quiet, there
is virtually no motor vehicle activity and the only business in town
consisted of a molino to grind corn that had no tortillas and a small
convenience store in a Mayan palapa. The people were more than just
friendly, when I went to the molino to try and buy a few tortillas for a
snack I discovered that they only ground the corn to make masa. I spoke
to them in Maya and the lady asked me if I was hungry, I said yes. Even
though they had no tortillas in a few minutes a little girl arrived in the park
with tortillas and a big smile. We have always found that these wonderful
people would freely share whatever they had. read more
|XOCCHEL, HOCABA, SANAHCAT, POLABAN AND HOMAN
After our bike trip from Cobá to Valladolid, we took a bus to Xocchel and
biked some Yucatán side roads to Homan. Our destination was Cuzama
but we were biking into a strong hot wind when we spotted a bus
heading for Mérida. It took less then a minute remove our packs and
fold the bikes and sit back and let the bus carry us home.
|MOTUL, YUCATAN BY BUS
This ancient Mayan city originally known as “Zacmotul” is just
40 kilometers east of Mérida and an easy bus ride that takes
you on a scenic off the main route through a number of small
towns. If you prudently catch one of the early seven or eight AM
buses to make sure you get a seat because the bus will soon fill
up to standing room only status filled with students.
The bus leaves from the terminal on the corner of 52 and 67 in the city
center and the departures are frequent…have fun!
|XCANCHAKAN AND MAHZUCIL
When John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood arrived at this
spot back in 1842 the sugar industry was just beginning, henequen
production hadn’t yet begun, and the sixty year Caste War was only a
fermenting time-bomb waiting to explode and Yucatán was considering
the status of an independent country. Explore these quiet roads by
|HUNUCMÁ is an ancient Mayan city whose name means “agua de
ciénega” or water of the lagoon. This Yucatán city of 22,000 inhabitants
is an outpost on the way from the capital city of Mérida to the old Spanish
seaport of Sisal. Sisal gave its name world wide to the henequen fiber
that was produced in Yucatán and then shipped out of that isolated
minuscule town, then the port of Mérida.
Previously Hunucmá with its 16th century Spanish colonial church
abounded with fruit trees that yielded an export crop but in 2002
hurricane Isidoro flattened many of those trees. read more
|YUCATAN ROADWAYS THAT EVOLVED OVER THE CENTURIES
BEGINNING WITH THE MAYAN SACBE INFRASTRUCTURE
In the course of human events that shaped the cultural evolution of the
Yucatan peninsula the sacbe road network erected by the ancient
Maya laid the groundwork for transportation systems that continue in
use to this very day. read more
|PETO, YUCATAN REVISITED IN 2008
Twenty-five years ago Jane and I disembarked Mérida on the narrow
gauge train for one of our most memorable Yucatan adventures…we still
have the original time-tables and tickets.
We set off from Mérida aboard one of the last narrow gauge trains still
operating in the world headed into an unknown realm departing for the
end of the line. read more
|ICHMUL, YUCATAN was and still is a garrisoned military outpost that
dates back in time to the beginning of the 60 year Caste War that
began in the 1840s.
This sleepy tiny town has little to show but the old and older because
nothing of significance has happened here since the beginning of the
Caste War that began in the 1840s when the town was abandoned
completely. Only recently have people began to repopulate Ichmul.
|TICUL, SACALUM, MUCUYCHE AND ABALA, YUCATAN
This continues our journey from Ichmul, through Peto and on to Ticul,
Sacalum, Mucuyche and ending in Abalá.
At Peto we made a miraculous connection and in less than five minutes
of our arrival there we were on another bus headed north to Ticul.
We arrived in Ticul before dark and went directly to the Posada El
Jardin Cabañas our favorite lodging. read more
|PROGRESO, YUCATAN - El Puerto de Progreso
Progreso is on the north coast of the Yucatán peninsula. Five hundred
miles of coke bottle green Gulf of México stretch out in all directions
from the beaches of Progreso. The sea breezes are fresh and briny
and make this relatively new town in old tropical México positively
pleasant read more
|KIMBILÁ, IZAMAL, CITILCUM: BIKE AND BUS
This is becoming a rare sight in Yucatan these days. Henequen cut
and neatly stacked atop this antique truck rolls through town to be
processed into sisal rope fiber. Jane shops at one of the many
Kimbilá stores featuring the locally made handy-work of the talented
sewing artisans. Izamal is a major photo-op stop and tourist
destination in Yucatan and I will not attempt to do justice to the many
impressive Mayan pyramids or spectacular colonial structures
|CALKINI, BECAL, HALACHÓ, CHUC HOLOCH AND NUNKINI BY BIKE
Calkini is located seventy-five kilometers southwest of Mérida on the old
Spanish highway known as the Camino Real half way to the capital city
of Campeche In order to best enjoy and get a good prospective of this
matchless area I recommend that you travel to Calkini by second class
bus that will take you on a two and a half hour scenic tour through the
small off the main road Mayan villages along the way.
Catch this bus to Calkini at Mérida’s TAME terminal located on Calle 69
between 68 and 70 read more
|TEKAX, KANKAB, CHACMULTÚN, TIXCUYTÚN, TIXMÉHAUC,
CANTAMAYEC AND SOTUTA BY BIKE AND BUS
We have been visiting one of our favorite colonial Yucatan towns,
Tekax, since the days of the old narrow gauge railway train nearly a
quarter century ago and have been eating at the same marvelous
restaurant all these years. El Huinic de la Ermita restaurant, owned by
our very good longtime friend Carlos Carrillo Góngora, is located at the
foot of the 16th century Ermita chapel that is prominently and
conspicuously perched above the city.
A very pleasant and especially romantic thing to do is to climb the
native stone stairs meandering up to the Ermita chapel in early evening
to watch the city lights pop on as the stars above begin to fill the
tropical twilight sky read more
|SANTA ELENA, YUCATÁN
The Maya held many secrets of survival here in this semi-arid nearly
soil-less rocky terrain where they managed to flourish.
Amazingly the Mayan temples south and east of here plus Uxmal all
escaped the plunder of the Spanish conquistadors. read more
|We packed a week’s worth of activities into just one day.
A twenty minute, seven kilometer bike ride from our home to the
Noreste bus terminal in downtown Mérida is a joy with no traffic and a
21ºC salubrious temperature.
We were able to sizzle along with no stops and did not see traffic until
we passed the main market that was already bustling with busy early
Our second class bus took us on a very sinuous scenic small village
route, off the main road.
At eight-thirty we were off-loading at Libre Unión which is little more
than a wide place in the road some ninety kilometers east of Mérida.
We were on the quiet colonial streets of Yaxcabá before nine AM.
|Oxkutzcab, Yucatán - Changing Times
Jane and I originally visited Oxkutzcab nearly thirty years ago when we
the last operating in the world. That train has been out of service for
more than twenty years now and few people even remember it
In those days Oxkutzcab was a frontier town with a vast jungle
extending south across the Puuc Hills and off into Central America.
One thing that has hardly changed in all those years is that it is still a
frontier. We surprised on this return trip. Even though the area has
suffered from a lack of income due to many of its citizens being
expelled from the US where they had worked as undocumented
workers, the city seemed to have gained a new invigorating attitude.
|CHUMAYEL,TEABO, TIPIKAL AND MANI
You may travel the world over and never find a stranger or more
interesting adventuresome get-a-way.
This route was the key that unlocked the door to a rarely visited out
of the tourist loop places and began our three day sojourn.
We boarded a second class bus from Mérida bound for Chumayel
with our folding bicycles stowed below. For two hours we sat back
and were whisked along the seldom traveled back roads of Yucatán
witnessing the quiet and quaint Mayan villages unaffected by the
passing centuries. read more
|LABNÁ, XLAPAK, SAYIL AND KABAH - RUTA PUUC 2011 - Three
lovely days in Yucatán.
We invite you to come along with us on our bike-bus tour where we
will share this eco-friendly adventure.
We boarded the 9:30 AM Lus bus at the Noreste terminal at calle 50
y 67 bound for Oxkutzcab. Our folding Dahon bicycles were stowed
Just twenty kilometers out of Mérida at Acanceh we had already left
behind the big city rush. Bustling open air markets, festive circus
carnivals, wooden scaffold bullfight rings, jubilant marching
processions, street venders, people powered tricycles (triciclos de
carga),and more all generated a cacophony of bizarre sounds
commingled with a tantalizing olfactory enticement of regional
cooking generating uncontrollable mouth watering temptations.
This is the real Yucatán that tourists miss most! read more
|IZAMAL, YUCATÁN, TO KANTUNIL WITH VISITS TO
CUAUHTÉMOC, SUDZAL AND XANABA
One of the all time best one-day Yucatán get-away excursions we
As tourist end destinations go, Izamal is one of Yucatán’s finest and
well worth a day or two of your time to explore and get to know.
Izamal has a rich Mayan and conquistador history. Huge temple
pyramids are still part of the town. A 16th century Franciscan
monastery is situated atop one of them. read more
|Aké; this is a small tranquil and quiet village located just 32
kilometers east of Mérida that makes a lovely bike/bus/taxi day trip
where you will be treated to a rare commodity in this day and time.
Believe it or not at Aké there are absolutely no tour buses, trinket
vending peddlers, hammock hawkers or glitzy accommodations. This
is the main attraction for those that want to experience a small slice
of vintage Yucatan off the beaten tourist path. read more
|Our book—built one stone at a time like the Mayan pyramids.
Yucatán's Magic–Mérida Side Trips: Treasures of Mayab
Over a quarter of a century of inspired exploration and recording of our travels has led my wife and me
to compile an impressive collection of outings that are the foundation for this book, built one story at a
Available from Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle.
For Barnes & Nobles Nook, click here.
For EPUB edition: click here.