Hacienda Mucuyché and its 2 cenotes are ideal for tourists and empresses alike

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
A centuries-old archway frames the main entrance to hacienda Mucuyché. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magzine

With a long history dating back several centuries, impressive architecture, and pristine cenotes, Hacienda Mucuyché has a lot to offer. 

The hacienda itself dates as far back as the 17th century, but most of its remaining architecture dates no earlier than the 19th century.

One of hacienda Mucuyché’s many grand structures, complete with Moorish-inspired archways. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Upon inspection, it is clear that several of the materials used to build the hacienda, especially large slabs of carved stone, date back to the time of the Maya.

The use of pillaged materials from ancient constructions is extremely common in colonial-era constructions in Yucatán and across Mesoamerica. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

At its height in the late 19th and early 20th century, the sisal-producing hacienda was one of many owned by the Peon family.

Henequen was once nicknamed the “green gold” of Yucatán and was used for many purposes across the world, including industry and the making of rope for large ships. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Though it’s a little hard to imagine just how important this crop once was, henequen fiber production and exports once made Yucatán tremendously wealthy and greatly fueled the architectural renaissance the state experienced starting in the early 19th century. 

The raw henequen plans were processed into fine but extremely tough fibers, which were exported around the world. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

When touring the hacienda, it’s possible to see a great many of the tools and machinery used in the production of henequen produced from an agave whose scientific name is fourcroydes.

Henequen is still produced today in Yucatán, but its value on the market plummeted in the early 20th century with the invention of strong synthetic fibers like polyester. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

But aside from the hacienda’s grand architecture and interesting history as a plantation, the main attraction at Mucuyché is definitely its two gorgeous cenotes.

Cenote Carlota and its sparkling waters in Hacienda Mucuyché, Yucatán. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

The first is called Cenote Carlota, named in honor of Emperess Carlota of Mexico, the wife of Emperor Maximilian who ruled Mexico from 1864 to 1867. 

A portrait of Maximilian and Carlota in regalia as an Imperial couple of Mexico at the stairway down to the cenote.Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

The imperial couple visited the hacienda on their way from Campeche to Mérida, spending the night in its opulent casonas. It is said that Carlota was the first person to swim in the cenote that now bears her name — though this claim seems unlikely and is easily disputable. 

Cenote Carlota is easy to access thanks to its carved stone staircase. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine
The main entrance to the cenote is easy to get into and leads through a path cut through limestone to an exit on the other end. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Mucuyché’s second cenote, known as the Cenote Azul Maya, is completely underground and may cause claustrophobia for some people.

The Cenote Azul Maya is beautifully lit by blue lights which give it an almost mystical appearance difficult to capture through photography. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Both cenotes at Hacienda Mucuyché can only be accessed as part of a tour and require the use of a life jacket, which is included in the cost of entry.

If you go

Hacienda Mucuyché is located in the village of the same name, roughly 30 miles south of Mérida. 

Map showing the location of Mucuyché relative to Mérida, Yucatán. Photo: Google Maps

Aside from the tour which includes a guided visit of the hacienda itself and its cenotes, Mucuyché also has a lovely pool with restaurant service which is surprisingly good. 

Hacienda Mucuyché is full of splendid architectural details which really help one imagine how amazing it would have looked in its heyday. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Given its fantastic infrastructure, hacienda Mucuyché is an ideal destination for people traveling with children or folks with limited mobility.

That being said, admittance to hacienda Mucuyché does not come cheap with general admission for adults starting at 590 pesos, and children at 350.

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