EXCURSIONS: Things to do while staying at Hacienda SacChich


While in Merida

    • Monday at 9 pm in the Grande Plaza there is a traditional Yucatecan dance concert well worth seeing.
    • Tuesday night at 9 pm there is a salsa concert in the Park of Santiago. Take a peek at the 17c church of Santiago. Have very good Yucatecan fast food at La Reina de Itzalana 57 x 70 y 72.
    • Wednesday night at 9pm is Trova night at the Olimpo Theatre near the main square
    • Thursday through Sunday nights are called, “Corazón de Mérida” (Heart of Merida.) This is when Calle 60 is closed off to traffic from the Main Plaza up to Calle 55 from 9 pm to 2 am and the restaurants and bars put their tables and chairs in the street. Thursday there is Folkloric music and dancing in Santa Lucia Park at 9pm.
    • Friday free 9PM concert at Teatro Peon Contreras and on Saturday nights you can also go to Fiesta Mexicana at the beginning of the Paseo Montejo at Calle 47. Here you will find vendors, food booths and Mexican folkloric entertainment all in the open air.
    • Sunday From 9am- 2 pm there is a tiny antique flea market and handcraft market in Santa Lucia Park 55 y 60 with dancing and salsa music. Here you will find the best dancers in town.

  • Located in a beautifully restored colonial house in downtown Merida, Los Dos is a fantastic way to spend a day. You learn directly with Chef Sterling in his own kitchen. Each class at Los Dos begins with coffee and pastries and ends with a fabulous meal that you and Chef Sterling prepare together. In between, you’ll receive fascinating background information on the importance of the Maya peoples in the development of Mexican cuisine and culture; you’ll tour the sprawling and colorful Mérida market; and in the participatory cooking class you will experience first-hand the many exotic ingredients of Yucatecan cuisine. Experience the Tastes of the Yucatan at Hacienda Sac Chich
  • Located in a beautifully restored colonial house in downtown Merida, Los Dos is a fantastic way to spend a day. You learn directly with Chef Sterling in his own kitchen. Each class at Los Dos begins with coffee and pastries and ends with a fabulous meal that you and Chef Sterling prepare together. In between, you’ll receive fascinating background information on the importance of the Maya peoples in the development of Mexican cuisine and culture; you’ll tour the sprawling and colorful Mérida market; and in the participatory cooking class you will experience first-hand the many exotic ingredients of Yucatecan cuisine. Experience the Tastes of the Yucatan at Hacienda Sac Chich
  • Mercado Municipal on Calle 65 x 56 is where all the villagers come to trade beginning at 5 am. There are great fast food stands here. Find a juice stand and try all the exotic fruit shakes.
  • Casa de Frida is good for fun decor and central Mexican cuisine. Go to Paseo Montejo and have dinner or drinks at Merida’s finest boutique hotel Rosas y Xocolate at Calle 41. The best seafood is at Marlin Azul or fish tacos at El Cangrejito. Bella Epoca has a great balcony overlooking the church ‘Iglesia de la Tercera Orden de Jesus’ c. 1618. Don’t venture beyond eating the panuchos and salbutes here. El Meson del Segoviano a Spanish restaurant on Calle is maybe the best in town. Tacos Wayane serves traditional Mayan tacos (10am until they run out of tacos approximately 1pm) and is a drive north of the plaza. Tacos Arabe (open 6:30pm-midnight) is also north of the plaza. Their tacos are served in thick flour tortillas and they are known for their special sauce.


The Puuc Route

Or “Ruta Puuc” is an interesting trip just 80 km. South of Mérida. On this route there are Mayan sites (Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, X-Lapak, Labna), the caves of Loltún, haciendas (Yaxcopoil museum, Ochil restaurant/museum, Temozon boutique hotel/restaurant), cenotes, Mayan villages, and larger Mayan city/towns (Ticul, Oxkutzcab). The Puuc Route road or as we call it the Mayapan Road is 5 minutes from Sac Chich.

  •  Past Muna you will see signs for Loltun caves. If you start in Loltún, you can do a guided tour of the caves in the morning. Tours are the only way you can get into the caves and they start at 9:30 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 noon, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Entrance: 70 pesos, and children 5 pesos.
  • Labná was once a city of some 1,500 to 2,500 people, inhabited between 750 and 1000 AD. Presently, four buildings are restored. The large palace is well restored and houses 70 chultunes (water cisterns) that are not visible. The arch is thought to be the center of the city and the entrance to the sacbé (white road or Mayan highway) that went to Uxmal. Entrance: $37pesos.
  • X-Lapak Continue down the winding road you will come to X-Lapak a site of some 14 mounds and three semi-restored pyramids. This site and Sayil are less restored and manicured, so you can see what the sites looked like when they were discovered. Entrance: free.
  • Sayil Five km. from this turn is Sayil, which means “The Place of the Ants.” Check out the huge Stellae dating from 800-1000 AD. This site is home to a beautiful palace that included 90 bedrooms for some 350 people. From the top level of the palace you can see the church at Santa Elena and across the way a tiny ruin on the side of a mountain, which is called “the nine masks”. Entrance: $37.00 pesos.
  • Continuing on with the route, your next stop will be Kabah. You will have to turn right five km. out of Sayil at the “T” in the road. The roads are very well marked. Kabah is famous for its ornate “Palace of Chaac Masks” (Chaac is the Mayan rain god). Also take a look at the two large figures on the back of this building. Entrance: $37.00 pesos.
  • Just a few km. down the road is Uxmal. The most “manicured” of the sites and last stop in this route, Uxmal means “the thrice built city” with the colossal “Magician’s Pyramids”, impressive “Governor’s Palace”, intricate “Doves Temple” and the grand “Nuns Quadrangle”. This is one site we highly recommend you make time to see. Uxmal has a tourist center with shops, restaurants and bathrooms. Entrance: $116.00 pesos and children 5 pesos. Important Information – All sites are open 365 days a year- Open from 8 am to 5 pm.- Climbing o the top of the Pyramid of the Magician in Uxmal is no longer allowed. Uxmal is 1 hour from Sac Chich
  • As the most famous of the Mayan pyramids on the Yucatán peninsula, Chichén Itzá is the most popular Mayan ruin in México. Much has been written about it. Try to visit Chichén Itzá early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as the sun can be punishing at midday. Chichen Itza is 1.5 hour from Sac Chich. Important Information: – Climbing to the top of the pyramid is no longer allowed – The site is open 365 days a year – Light and Sound Show (approx. 45 min. to 1 hour) is at 7:00 pm every night during the Fall and Winter and 8:00 pm during Spring and Summer- Open from 8 am to 5 pm. – Entrance fees: Adults: $116.00 pesos and it includes the Light and Sound Show. Children under 13 years are 5 pesos – Head-phones for translations are available for 39 pesos. – Lockers for bags and suitcases are available at the entrance.


More Adventures

  • A traditional Mayan steam ritual. The Hotel Na’lu’lum in Tecoh on the Convent route has a traditional temascal and also a good restaurant. You will need reservations for Temescal.
  • Located 60 miles southwest of Merida, Celestún is a quaint fishing village. Take a boat excursions through the tidal estuary of the Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve that afford views and photo opportunities of the vast flocks of flamingos and hundreds of other bird species; a swim in a fresh water springs and ride through a mangrove forest and through the sloughs that penetrate the dense mangrove forests that flank the estuary. The tourist guides tour boats leave from the estuary side of the peninsula. Celestún is also known for its seafood restaurants, such as La Palapa, located on the beach. You will also find a 36-foot tall lighthouse and salt fields past the town along with an eco resort called eco Paraiso.
  • 30 minutes from Sac Chich, Izamal is a beautiful colonial town. All of the colonial buildings are painted a golden yellow including the market, the huge convent, everything. The most important thing to see here is the Franciscan convent that was built over one of the Mayan pyramids. Cobblestone streets and colonial lampposts complete the scenery. Clean, peaceful and quaint, this is a great town to stroll through or go for a ride onto the horse drawn carriages and take a ride around this charming city. There are Mayan pyramids, colonial-style buildings, parks and plazas, horses and buggies, and lots of people watching. For shopping, be sure to visit the Hecho a Mano store on the main square. Have a bite to eat at Knich restaurant near downtown.
  • Hacienda Yaxcopoil – is an old cattle ranch in colonial times that became a henequen farm in the 19th century. This rare hacienda remains in the authentic state it was in 100 years ago. It is the best known and most accessible henequen hacienda in the Merida Mexico area.
  • Kiuic Reserve – is the first entity of its kind in the state of Yucatán. It is a place where students and others have done environmental impact studies and are working on developing a management plan. Kaxil Kiuic covers about 4000 acres. The area of Mayan pyramids in Kiuic (located in the middle of the reserve) is characterized by their civic and ceremonial architecture and is in quite good condition. But this is not just an archaeology site; it is also a research and preservation center dedicated to the study of the dry tropical forest, which is typical in this region of the tropics. It is here at Kiuic that John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood explored and illustrated some of the pyramids they found in the area. The site and center is not open to the general public but to group tours, which can be arranged through their web site. The biodiversity and deep historical roots make the Bio-cultural Reserve Kiuic an authentic and globally relevant place, where those that are interested in the history and culture of the Mayas can enter the jungle for a first-hand experience.
  • Campeche is located 2 hours from Sac Chich. It is the state of Campeche west of Yucatan. Campeche is a World heritage Site. It was once the principal town of the Mayan province of Ah Pech. The Centro Historico is built within fortified battlements, bulwarks, and gates, which have all been restored and can be toured. The area of the city that is within these walls is beautifully renovated and easily walked. The town has a beautifully renovated Centro Histórico. There you can hop on an open- air trolley ride that takes you to many historical areas you cannot walk to and gives you a great sense of the town. The Starwood Hotel Hacienda Puerta Campeche has a good restaurant and has interesting architecture, or there are many local restaurants to choose from. La Pigua is a popular more upscale seafood restaurant in town. The malecon is a good place to view the Gulf and stroll, and there is a public beach south of town. The market is a good place to wander through.


Convent Route

The Convent Route is a day trip that will take you somewhat off the beaten path and into the heart of the Yucatán. Meandering through the countryside of the west-central part of the state, you will visit Mayan villages and archaeological sites, colonial churches, cathedrals and convents, courtyards and cenotes, all dating back centuries. The convent route and the Puuc route are on the same road, taking smaller roads off of the Mayapan Road. The convents can be combined with the various ruins and caves of the Puuc.

  • Hacienda Sotuta de Peón is the only henequén/sisal fiber hacienda in the area that continues to work as it did 100 years ago. They do a two and a half hour guided. The tour begins in the hacienda house. After seeing this visitors will get onto the horse-drawn platforms (called trucks), and take a ride into the henequén fields/plantations. Along the way, they will stop off at a Mayan home where you will be shown you the simple daily life of the Mayas. The last stop on the ride takes you to a cenote where you can swim. There are changing rooms and towels provided. The tour ends at the main house of the hacienda where, if you like, you can go to the restaurant and have a Yucatecan meal.
  • Acanceh in Mayan translates to “moan of the deer”. The main attraction is the Plaza de las Tres Culturas. Note the temple dedicated to our Lady of the Nativity and the chapel of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Several blocks away are more archaeological sites with hieroglyphs. Ask around for the Temple of the Stuccoes, which is about four blocks away. Entry: 31 pesos. Acanceh is 1 mile down the road from Sac Chich.
  • Tecoh 8 km. down the road from Acanceh is Tecoh, which has a market and a very ornate church and convent dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption. The carved stones and altar, along with the statues and painting, are impressive. This church is built on a very large Mayan pyramid. Across the street from the Tecoh exit on the Mayapan road at km. 22.9 is Na’Lu’um Restaurant, which serves contemporary Yucatecan regional cuisine. Open from 8 am – 8 pm. It is also a small hotel and offers Temazcal baths.
  •  Telchaquillo a small village that has a small chapel and a wonderful cenote in the plaza that you can visit. Stairs have been carved for your convenience.Tab 4 content goes here.
  • Several kilometers out of Telchaquillo off to the right you will find the Mayan archaeological site of Mayapán. This walled city has 4,000 mounds, of which six are in different stages of advanced restoration. Mayapán is the size of Chichén Itzá, and you will find the buildings are replicas of the ones in Chichén Itzá. Visiting this site allows you to observe many mounds in their original state (covered with trees, shrubs, etc.) and to see others in transformation with the archeologists actually working on them. Mayapán is considered the last great Mayan capital. Entry: 31 pesos. This is about 20 minutes down the road from Sac Chich
  • Continue 30 km to Tekit, a large prosperous-looking village. There you will find the parish of “San Antonio De Padua”, with a large temple that houses many ornate statues of saints in their individual niches. The altar itself is very simple.
  • The next village is a little over 7 km. away, and it is a small one named Mama. Mama is famous for its large beautiful bell-globed church containing a large garden, a well, and a closed atrium along with frescos on the wall, statues of saints in the niches, and a very ornate altar. It is believed this is the oldest church on the route. The temple and ex-Franciscan convent shows the beautiful bell tower as well as a closed atrium, which is the most famous of the region.
  • Teabo is known for its two sacred buildings: the Parish and the ex convent of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, built during the XVII century. The interior boasts an altarpiece with a pair of caryatid columns and the Chapel of the Indians from 1617. This area is also known for its dresses and embroidered huipiles (women’s dresses).Tab 8 content goes here.
  • Following the route for 10 more km., you will next come to Chumayel (Place of the Seeds) where the famous document “Chilam Balam” was found, sacred book of the Mayas. Here you can see the Temple of Immaculate Conception built in the XVI century. This is an example of the medieval religious architecture brought to Yucatán by the first Spaniards. In the interior is the black wooden Christ, especially interesting.
  • The final stop on the Convent Route is Maní, where you will find a large church, convent and museum with explanations in English, Spanish, French and Maya. The convent, Temple of the Convent of Saint Michael Archangel, dates from 1549. (Note: the convent here is undergoing extensive restoration.) This is the place where Fray Diego de Landa ordered the burning and destruction of many Mayan statues and documents during the Franciscan movement to convert the indigenous peoples to Christianity. They destroyed 5000 idols, 13 altars, 27 deerskin parchments, and 197 vessels of varying shapes and sizes. Upon realizing his great error, Fray Diego began to write everything he could recall. This document is called “History of the Things of Yucatán.” If you are in Yucatán during Holy Week, be sure to visit Maní. Maní is another good place to have lunch in the Restaurante El Príncipe Tutul-Xiu.



  • Three that are near Hacienda Sac Chich is the Cuzama cenotes. An antique wooden buggy type of cart pulled by a horse is the mode of transportation used on the Cuzam’a cenote trip and you travel through a sisal plantation with three refreshing cenotes as the goal of the trip. To do this trip we suggest you go on a weekday to avoid the crowds. You simply drive to Cuzama and turn right at the Plaza and travel down that road toward the hacienda and stop when you see carts. Someone will quickly adopt you and take you away! We usually try to choose the cart with the least skinny horse. Bring towels, bug spray and snacks and wear shoes that are good for going up and down a ladder. Fear of heights is not recommended. You climb down on ladders made of the rails so this may not be for all. This is a 2-3 hour trip. Cuzama is 30 minutes from Sac Chich.
  • For a cenote experience that will take less time you can simply drive up to Homun cenote, walk down the concrete staircase and you will be in a cenote. Homun cenote is a few miles past the town of Cuzama. Just continue on the main road you came in on and you will see a graveyard on the left, a palapa restaurant on the right. Turn right into the driveway before the palapa and park anywhere. The entry is 50 pesos per person. This is just 10 minutes past Cuzama. We suggest avoiding cenotes on the weekends when there are more locals and tourists.
  • Dzibilchaltún is a great place to wander, enjoy the peaceful surroundings, and climb the structures. Dzibilchaltún is also a unique National Ecological Park. Xlacah (which means “old village”) cenote is within the grounds for a refreshing swim. This cenote is open to the public until 4 PM. It tends to get a little busy on weekends. Note: INAH’s Museo del Pueblo Maya is closed from March 16, 2010 for maintenance. To get to Dzibilchaltún, take the Merida Periferico north and then turn right onto the Mérida-Progreso highway north. After 11 km. you will see the sign to turn right. Drive for about 3 more km. The entrance fee is $82pesos, children 5 pesos.
  • A local outfit that specializes in, off the beaten track cenote exploration. They visit several cenotes, a Mayan ruin, an abandoned hacienda and then have lunch with a Mayan family in one of the villages, always a memorable day.


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