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Izamal

City of the three cultures

Izamal is located in the northern central region of Yucatán, approximately 70 kilometers from the capital, Mérida. According to some scholars, it was founded in the fourth century of our era by the Mayan priest Zamna, "Rocío de Cielo". However, when the Spaniards arrived at the site in the sixteenth century, they found it practically uninhabited.

He maintained the rank of town until December 1, 1981, when he regained the city designation that had been granted provisionally in 1841.

In August of 1993, Pope John Paul II visited this Magical Town to crown the Virgin of Izamal with a solemn mass. The city then dressed in the colors of the Vatican flag, white and yellow and, in deciding to keep them, is now also known as the "Yellow City".

To start your tour, visit the Ex Convent of San Antonio de Padua, which has the second largest closed atrium in the world.

Within the set is the Temple of the Immaculate Conception, which houses inside a sculpture of the Virgin of Izamal. In this space, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, you will be able to witness an impressive light and sound show called "The Light of the Mayans".

Do not forget the nearby archaeological zone, where you will find a ceremonial plaza surrounded by five pyramids. The most prominent of these is the Kinich Kak Moo Temple. In its upper part there is a small square that probably served to perform religious ceremonies.

If you want to take a souvenir of your stay in Izamal, in the Cultural and Craft Center there is a craft museum and a shop, where you can buy pieces of folk art produced by local artisans.

If you visit during the celebration of Day of the Dead, do not forget to go to the cemetery, because every November 2 the tombs are beautifully decorated in memory and honor of the faithful departed.

Izamal is considered the oldest human settlement in the Yucatan Peninsula, a Magical Town that preserves a practically perfect harmony between its indigenous past, the colonial era and the contemporary tourist demands...

¿Qué Visitar?

What to Visit?

  • Saint Anthony of Padua Ex Monastery Built in 1561, this religious complex features the largest closed atrium in whole Mexico, similar in dimensions to the one in the Basilica of Saint Peter, Vatican City.
  • Immaculate Conception Temple You can admire here the sculpture of Our Lady of Izamal that was brought by friar Diego de Landa from Guatemala.
  • Izamal Cultural and Artisanal Center Located in a sixteenth century mansion, this center houses also an interesting museum.
  • Archaeological Site It consists of a ceremonial square surrounded by five pyramids.
¿Qué hacer?

What to do?

  • Festivity of Saint Anthony of Padua It takes place in June, and it consists of religious processions, offerings, mass, and also of popular music and dances.
  • Festivity of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception It takes place on December 8th every year, and there are religious processions, mass, and traditional music and dances.
Comida Típica

Typical Food

  • Pork meat with beans
  • Queso Relleno (Stuffed Cheese) Originally from a Dutch recipe, this delicious dish consists of a hard cheese stuffed with beef, all covered with a delicious white sauce.
  • Tamales Corn dough mixed with lard, and stuffed with pork meat or other kind of meat in a spicy green or red sauce, and finally wrapped up with corn or banana leaves to be steamed. Don´t read it, just try it!
  • Salbutes Thick tortillas made with corn dough and mixed with flour, and served with a chicken stew or pork meat pibil sauce style on top of them.
  • Longaniza A chorizo or spicy pork sausage.
¿Qué Saber?

What to Know?

  • Some researchers assure that the Mayan village was originally founded in the sixth century by the priest Zamna, which means "Dew from Heaven."
  • At the end of the postclassical period, Izamal was abandoned due to unknown reasons; this is why the conquistadors found uninhabited this town when they arrived around 1520.
  • On December 4th, 1841, the village was officially recognized as a city.
  • Izamal is considered the oldest town in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Popular Craft

  • Saddlery
  • Ceramics
  • Saddlery
Izamal

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