Several of Yucatán’s Archaeological Sites Lack Toilets, Electricity For Now

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Brand new bathrooms and other amenities are under construction at several sites, especially in the Puuc region, but this fact is of little comfort to those who need bathrooms now. Above, facilities are not quite ready at Labná. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Tourists at several of Yucatán’s archaeological sites, including Labná and Sayil, are in for a rude reality.

That’s because dozens of archaeological sites, big and small, are undergoing major infrastructure overhauls. In the meantime, bathrooms and electricity are lacking.

Tourism authorities are betting that improved infrastructure and facilities will attract more visitors to less explored sites like Sayil and Xlapak. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Visitors who don’t “hold it in” are reduced to finding a private spot in the bushes.

When completed, the new facilities will include brand-new bathrooms and other amenities, including shops featuring handcrafts and kiosks with cold beverages and light snacks.

Not even portable toilets have been set up.

Earlier: Childbirth, Health, and Medicine in Ancient Mesoamerica

Makeshift ticket booths have been set up to charge admittance to several sites, such as Labná, above. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

This is not the case at all sites, especially the large ones like Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, which have kept the bulk of their facilities in working order while construction of new infrastructure is underway. 

The problem is not unique to Yucatán as visitors to sites like Palenque are experiencing similar issues. 

A construction site within Palenque in Chiapas is complete with portable bathrooms that are not accessible to tourists. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Though at least at Palenque, infrastructure like bathrooms, while not finished, are at least further along — though basics like water, electricity, and toilet paper are still missing. 

A handful of tourists could be heard calling out in distress after discovering that no toilet paper was available at the under-construction onsite bathrooms in Palenque. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

The effort to improve tourism infrastructure is part of the PROMESA program funded by the Tren Maya project.

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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