Follow the route of the convents with Mérida as a starting point
2022-10-21 | merida
Visiting Mérida is a perfect excuse to tour the surrounding area. The White City can be seen in approximately 3 days, but touring the surrounding towns is a good option if you have more nights booked.
The route of convents is an alternative to getting to know another part of Yucatán. Although this area of southern Mexico is known for its paradisiacal beaches, the colonial construction and the vestiges of the Mayan culture enrich the tour.
Therefore, in this article, we will help you take the city of Mérida as a starting point and make the most of the route of the convents, starting with a night of relaxation in our boutique hotel Künük.
What is the route of the convents of Yucatán?
The route of the convents of Yucatán is a tour through different towns south of Mérida. This route aims to get to know the churches built by the Spanish missionaries of the colonial era. Although visiting the different cenotes of the peninsula is more common during your stay in Merida's hotels, this route is perfect to end your trip in Bacalar.
Izamal, the beginning of the Convent Route.
Izamal is the starting point for the Convent Route. It is located 67 km east of Mérida. There is much to see within this magical town, for example, the remains of three pyramids from the Maya era and the convent with the biggest atrium in Latin America.
The Ex-Convent of San Antonio de Padua is painted yellow, the predominant color throughout the center of town. It was finished in 1562 over a Mayan temple, and the stones were reused for its construction. In the 18th century, its front was renovated.
This city is also known as the yellow city and has the title of magical town for its combination of Mayan, colonial, and modern Mexican culture. Visiting it means enjoying more Yucatecan gastronomy and seeing magical towns.
Besides the convent, in Izamal, you can visit the Kinich Kak Moo Pyramid. This is considered to be one of the largest pyramids in Mexico. In the city, you can find five pyramids; among them is the pyramid of Itzamatul.
The second stop may be Acanceh. As in Izamal, the colonial period is mixed with the pre-Hispanic. The best part of the tour of the convents is that you can visit archaeological monuments such as Canicab, Poxilá, and Ekmul, as well as the surrounding cenotes and caves.
The convent of Tecoh is dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption and is built over a Mayan pyramid. It was prevalent for the colonizers to build over temples of the conquered culture to attract them to these worship centers.
The church of this convent has many carved stones, a beautiful altar, and an interior full of paintings. You can enjoy the local food in the market and visit the municipal palace.
This town has a medieval-style arch that welcomes you. In Chumayel is the Templo de la Purísima Concepción built during the XVI century. It is an example of the medieval religious architecture brought to the Peninsula by the first colonizers. Something remarkable is that inside is a Christ carved in black wood.
“Visiting it means enjoying more Yucatecan gastronomy and seeing magical towns.”
You will visit the convent dedicated to San Pedro and San Pablo, built in the 17th century. Inside is an altarpiece with two caryatid columns and the Indian chapel from 1617.
One of the last stops on the route of the convents is Maní. This is a truly magical town, especially when the sun is setting. The convent to visit is that of San Miguel Arcángel, one of the most beautiful on the route.
All the Mayan documents were burned to convert the indigenous people to Catholicism in this convent. However, after doing so, Fray Diego de Landa began to write down everything he could remember.
This town is a perfect place to sleep. There are many activities at night; the next day, you can do the Puuc route or visit the Loltún caves. You can see the ex-convent and parish of San Antonio de Padua at this stop. Like Izamal, its population is one of the largest on the route.
The route starts in Mérida.
Although Mérida is not part of the stops on the route, it is a crucial place to start the tour. First, because it is the best-connected city to the rest of the route and because of its boutique hotels. Künük is one of them; you can find it in the historic center, a few blocks from the city's most emblematic places.