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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Motul, the magic town home of the famous Huevos Motuleños and birthplace of revolution

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Earlier this summer, the town of Motul de Carrillo Puerto, along with Espita and Tekax, was named one of Yucatán’s three newest Pueblos Magicos, or Magical Towns.

In recent years, several of Motul’s landmarks, including its city hall and church, have been restored in a bid to beautify the city and bring in visitors. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

But unlike Espita or Tekax, which are a little over two hours from Mérida (in different directions), Motul lay less than an hour from Centro.

Also, unlike Espita or Tekax, Motul is a good deal larger, and though it is by no means a large city, it certainly has a hustle and bustle to it. 

An aerial view of downtown Motul from just across its main market. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Among Yucatecos, Motul is best known for one thing, Huevos Motuleños, or Motul-style eggs. This breakfast staple is made by bathing fried eggs set atop fried (or baked) tortillas in a thick tomato sauce, with ham, cheese, and peas — with a side of fried plantains and a chile habanero, of course. 

Huevos Motuleños can be found on breakfast menus across the Peninsula and further afield, but any self-respecting Yucateco will tell you the ones at Motul’s market can’t be beat. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

The most famous place to eat Huevos Motuleños is in a restaurant in Motul’s main market called Doña Evelia.

“I am not pretentious enough to think of myself as a chef. I am a traditional cook, and that is more than enough for me,” says Doña Evelia. Photo: Courtesy

Motul’s market is also worth visiting in its own right, as it has plenty of shops where you can find foodstuff most often unavailable in places like Mérida.

Aside from food and shopping, Motul’s market also often has musical groups or soloists busking for tips. 

An older gentleman plays Frank Sinatra melodies on his slightly out-of-tune Saxophone in Motul’s market. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Motul is also known nationwide for its most famous son, former revolutionary, journalist, and governor Felipe Carrillo Puerto.

In 1909, Carrillo Puerto joined the Mexican Revolution, fighting on the side of the Constitutionalists. He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming governor of Yucatán in 1922. As governor, he implemented a number of progressive reforms, including land reform, women’s suffrage, and the establishment of schools and hospitals for the Maya people.

Wealthy landowners of Yucatán launched a coup against Gov. Carrillo Puerto, who was assassinated in 1924 along with several of his associates. Photo: Courtesy

Carillo Puerto’s short-lived romance with the American journalist Alma Reed has oddly enough become the stuff of legend in Yucatán (despite the fact that he was already married) and even inspired one of the region best known trova compositions, Peregrina

Given its proximity to Mérida as well as several attractions, including archaeological sites and cenotes, Motul makes for a great hub to explore the Peninsula while avoiding the hubbub of its capital city.

Cenote Sambula is one of several in the region and happens to be within Motul’s city limits. Photo: Carlos Rosado wwvan der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

If you go

Motul de Carillo Puerto in the north of the Mexican state of Yucatán. Map: Google Maps

To spend the night in Motul, there are several hotels with a wide range of prices. For example, a night at Hacienda San Jose will cost you roughly 3,500 pesos per night, while more basic accommodations can be found at around the 600 peso mark.

Motul is home to several grand casonas built in the late 19th and early 20th century that nowadays double as businesses such as cell phone repair shops and tiny restaurants. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine
A little-known fact is that Motul owes its name to a Maya priest born in the 11th century by the name of Zac Mutul. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine
For more information about Motul and its market check out this video recently produced by Yucatán Magazine

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.
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