Ruta Puuc (the Hill Route)

 
 

 



 

A road extending south from Uxmal passes three smaller but interesting Mayan sites, and an extensive cavern that was known by the Mayans and used as a ceremonial site.  Each of the sites along Ruta Puuc has unique features, and all are worth seeing.

Kabah

The main structure at Kabah is a magnificent three-story building.  There is also a façade with over 250 carved masks.

Labná

Several small structures; the most notable is a magnificent triangular arch (the Mayans did not know how to construct true arches).

Sayil

The main building has three stories, each decorated with unique carvings:  animal forms, mysterious symbols, and figurines.  There are 85 chambers in the building, though their exact use is not known.

Grutas Loltún

The Loltún grottoes are a series of caverns that were known to the ancient Olmec civilization, and later used by the Mayans as a ceremonial site.  The caves contain the bones of mammoths and other prehistoric animals, as well as stalactites, stalagmites, and petroglyphs.

There are guided tours of the caves (in English and Spanish); the tours take a little over an hour.  There is a bit of scrambling, and some of the stones are slick and wet, so wear good shoes with rubber soles.   The tour finishes at a beautiful cenote (a deep sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath).


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