Story 21: Back to the Pu’uc Region

We rarely write about this area because it’s on so many itineraries that it barely counts as a “Back Road.” You’ve all been to Uxmal, and many have continued south and east on the Pu’uc Region route, visiting the small but important sites of Kabah, Sayil and Labná.

We’ve been there too, but a LONG time ago, back before COVID. And these sites were closed for a very long time even after the pandemic eased off. So, friends visiting from the USA gave us the push to head down there again.

And the main point is: if you’ve been before, it’s time to go back. We’re pretty sure that some of the promised tourism infrastructure funding promised by the Maya Train project has found its way here, so there are improvements going on all over the place. (A quality unofficial English language Maya Train site is at .)

Our trip took us through Muna with a stop at the workshop of famous artist Patricia Martin. Sra. Martin is a renowned expert at reproducing Mayan art, especially on pottery. We rarely stop there without picking up something, and international visitors usually find a piece, which Patricia wraps very carefully in bubblewrap for the trip home. BUY GAS IN MUNA; you won’t find it past here! There’s a Pemex right in the town center.

We passed right by Uxmal and relaxed for the afternoon and night at Valerie Pickles’ well known resort The Pickled Onion. The pool, dinner and drinks are just what you need at the end of a hot day.

Our first stop was Kabah. So much more has been restored over these past several years, and all the old signage has been replaced. Kabah has always been a favorite for us. Be sure to cross the road and walk up the path to the beautifully restored corbel arch, which was the entry to the city from the sac bé from Uxmal!

(Valerie told us there is a museum being built on the highway between Pickled Onion and Kabah; we did see some sort of construction going on by the roadside.)

This is an example of one of the new signs, a large detailed map of the region showing the nearby Maya sites in the Pu’uc region.

All the sites are getting brand new restrooms and other facilities! But they are not yet operational as of mid March 2024, so be prepared. (To our Facebook group members: please let us know if you visit and find the facilities completed!)

Just another example of the new restoration and updated signage at these Pu’uc region sites.

The Xlapak site was not even on the list of sites to visit before and is an excellent addition! Both Sayil and Xlapak are true “walk in the woods” sites; if you miss hiking forested trails wherever you lived up north, these two places are very special.

Refer back to the map above: we chose to complete the loop from Labná back to Muna, but I don’t recommend it unless you want to visit the “Fruit Basket” city of Oxkutzcab or “Shoes and Pots” town of Ticul. If you’re just headed back to Merida and home, better to turn around at Labná and come back the way you came.

(If you do go our route, the back road up to Oxkutzcab is really pretty good, but you must watch for some axle-snapping potholes along the way.)