New sections of Uxmal will soon be open for the public to explore.
It is more likely than not that these new sections will be open to the public by the end of the year, though no official date has been announced.
The announcement was made during a press conference before an upcoming conference on tourism and archaeology in Yucatán’s Puuc region.
In reality, these structures have been intermittently accessible for those willing to wander through the brush at certain points during the past few decades.
However, the move to officially incorporate these new areas into the official visitor’s trail means that restoration efforts and newly cleared paths are likely to be part of the plan.
Uxmal is an ancient Maya city of the Classical period in the present-day Mexican state of Yucatán. It is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Maya culture and is the second-most visited archaeological attraction in Yucatán, only behind Chichén Itzá.
“We have wanted to do this for quite a long time now, so this is extremely good news. Currently, Uxmal receives roughly 350,000 visitors a year. Still, with these improvements and the connectivity offered by the Tren Maya, we can see that number jump to nearly one million,” said archaeologist José Huchim Herrera, director of the Uxmal Archaeological Park.
Among the restored structures and complexes is the grand temple known as El Palomar, the Puuc Cemetery adorned with glyphs and figures of human skulls, as well as the Palace of the Phalluses, among several others.
Structures like the Grand Pyramid adjacent to the Governor’s Palace are also receiving maintenance. However, this will likely mean that scaling this temple (the largest in Uxmal) will no longer be possible.
Uxmal is about 90 kilometers south of downtown Mérida and takes an hour and a half to reach by car. It is easy to find tour operators in downtown Mérida who offer day trips there. Uxmal is large, and the main ceremonial center alone takes no less than two hours to explore, so bring water, good shoes, a hat, and sunblock.