The ancient Maya city of Uxmal (pronounced “ooshmal”) is in the Yucatan Peninsula (along with its former ally, Chichen Itza) and dates from about 5th century AD though its peak period was 7thC – 10thC AD.
Uxmal can have several meanings as the original Maya term (oxmal/uchmal) can be translated as Three Times Built or Things to Come.
Many visitors prefer Uxmal to more famous Chichen Itza due to Chichen’s massive crowds and the prohibition on climbing pyramids. It really is a buzz standing at the top of a pyramid, overlooking the entire ancient site and the lush landscape all around it. Palenque offers the same experience but is quite remote.
Uxmal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was originally well constructed and has been carefully restored for tourist purposes so it’s well worth a visit, especially since it’s easy to reach, just 50 miles (78 kms) south of the attractive town of Merida. A half day or one day visit is enough for most tourists.
Uxmal is open every day of the year and runs a colourful Sound and Light show at 7pm on autumn and winter evenings and 8pm in spring and summer. Local hotels are not that great so most travellers stay in Merida.