One of the main draws for those who buy Yucatan real estate and make this warm-weather paradise their home is the colonial charm that the area offers. Besides the possibility of owning a beautiful colonial home, there are many nearby sites to visit including beautiful colonial towns and haciendas, the old estates of the former upper class.
These places offer a mixture of culture, cuisine and Yucatan flavor which enchant all your senses. Besides the romance of living in a colonial city like Merida, Valladolid, Izamal and other towns are magical places.
If you live in Yucatan, Merida is likely the place you will live, and thus the starting point for your adventures and discoveries. For near 500 years, the “White City” has served as the political, business and cultural center of the Yucatan Peninsula, and a starting point for exploration of the Mayan world. Founded in 1542 on the ancient Mayan city of Tho, in colonial times it became the seat of Spanish government in the Peninsula. Now with museums, parks, markets and outdoor cafes, Merida is fascinating and cosmopolitan. It has slightly more than 830,000 inhabitants, mostly descendants of Spanish and Mayan. Mayan can still be heard as a common conversational language in the streets. On Paseo Montejo, for example, you can find restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes, banks and businesses that offer all amenities.
Throughout the week there is a varied calendar of cultural and entertainment, including musical memories, dances, concerts and serenades – all deeply rooted in the traditions of Yucatan – in major parks and public spaces. Many of the activities are free. The city is an ideal place to get around riding a bike.
This picturesque city has very quaint and beautiful neighborhoods. It is located 160 kilometers east of Merida, heading to Cancun and the Riviera Maya, and 25 miles from the majestic Chichen Itza.
Valladolid has played a central role in two major events in the history of Mexico: the Caste War in 1847 and the first spark of the Mexican Revolution in 1910. It is now known as the capital of the East Mayans, a title deserved by the architectural beauty of its ancient colonial buildings like the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena, from the sixteenth century, and the Cathedral of St. Servatius, in the baroque style of the early eighteenth century, the Old Town Hall, the Churches of San Juan de Dios, Santa Ana, San Roque, Santa Lucia, La Candelaria, The Loom and the Central Park.
This town has been an important center since before the Spanish Conquest, existing as a Mayan ceremonial center; according to some scholars, it was founded in the fourteenth century by the Mayan priest Zamna.
Located right in the middle of the peninsula, 45 miles from Merida and 40 miles from Chichen Itza, Izamal is called the City of Three Cultures because it thrived during three historical periods, which are expressed with their pyramid, the courtyards of the homes, their convents, whose charm comes from the silence of the majestic walls that marked forever the trace of Spanish influence, and its streets, buildings, squares, houses and churches, all with a harmonious visual rhythm of one color: yellow.
Thanks to its historical and cultural significance, Izamal was declared Mexico’s first “Magical Town” in 2001 (a special designation given to towns which preserve history and culture in way most accessible to visitors), which has enabled it establish itself as a cultural tourist destination par excellence, besides offering quality products and services.
The town’s most significant festival is that of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception from 7 to 13 December.
Temozon is 35 minutes from the Merida International Airport. Rooms and suites are located in the original hacienda building, which was completely restored and adapted to the needs of a beautiful hotel. Each room is named after their original function – for example, pharmacy, school, the kitchen. All rooms have a hammock to allow guests to sleep in the Mayan style. The interior decoration style is from two centuries back – a time of greater prosperity for the plantations and haciendas.
Living in Merida or other parts of Yucatan, you can enjoy the discovery of these and many other beautiful colonial gems!
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