UPDATE: The tour for Feb. 10 is full, but we have opened up another date for the following day. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Yucatán is well known for being home to some of the grandest Maya cities in Mesoamerica.
For example, the area now occupied by Mérida’s downtown was a thriving Maya city known as Ichcanzijó before the conquest, also often referred to as T’Hó.
Ichcanzijó is believed to have been founded in the 5th Century BCE, but the remains of other settlements date more than a millennia further back in time.
For example, the relatively recently developed section of Mérida known as Caucel was once home to thousands of prehispanic structures, hundreds of which still survive today. However, many, like Xaman Susula, are covered in vegetation and hard to get to.
Though there is no academic consensus to argue that modern Caucel was once a unified city-state, the sheer amount of ancient temples in the region, all dating to roughly the same period, combined with the presence of ancient roads (sacbè) make the hypothesis of a Nohoch (meaning big) Caucel seem plausible.
Another of the largest concentrations of Prehispanic archaeology in Mérida can be found in the settlement known as Chen Hó — often described as one of the area’s oldest elite suburbs of Maya antiquity.
Another of the most impressive archaeological complexes in Mérida is found within Ya’axtal Park. The site, often referred to as Xoclan, features several remarkable structures, including what is likely the largest pyramid within the city’s ring road.
If all of this sounds interesting to you, email us to join our group on Saturday, Feb. 10, for a day trip to several of Mérida’s archaeological highlights guided by Carlos Rosado van der Gracht (yours truly).