Ticul is a small city of about 35,000 people 90 kilometers south of Mérida. Nicknamed La Perla del Sur, or Pearl of the South, the city has been continuously inhabited since Pre-Columbian times as early as the 7th century BCE.
The city itself is charming, clean, and is well known to people in Yucatán as the home of the state’s footwear industry. But Ticul is no one-trick pony. It is also famous for producing high-quality pottery.
When entering the town on the road from the nearby town of Muna, you will notice a string of several shops ceiling ceramic crafts, plates, ornaments, and pots.
The concentration of these shops is so high that on some blocks you may find up to five or six shops selling ceramic goods. This also means that prices are fairly low and you will be able to buy up items such as medium-sized pots for plants at around 150 pesos — roughly a third of what you are likely to pay for the same item in Mérida.
If you can’t find what you are looking for, which seems unlikely given the variety on offer, you can always have a piece made up to your own specifications.
While exploring the ceramic shops you will come across all sorts of handicrafts and everyday items.
You will also find a variety of items replicating the ancient Maya aesthetic of the region. These reproductions vary greatly in quality and price but are usually handmade — unlike many items for sale at archaeological sites like Chichén Itzá which are actually imported from China.
Though Ticul is best known for its ceramic crafts, some artisans also produce stunning wood carvings.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, business in Ticul has been rather slow. While some degree of bargaining is expected, make sure you don’t overdo it, as prices are already reasonable.
If you are interested in visiting several shops but don’t feel like walking around too much, you are in luck. Ticul’s trici taxi rickshaw drivers offer tours of the town’s many establishments.
If you go
To get to Ticul from Mérida get on the highway to Campeche and then take the detour to Muna. Drive through Muna and continue southeast for 20 kilometers.