Just 30 minutes from Mérida, off the road to Motul you will find Yaxkukul. This traditional small town is similar to many other towns that you will find around Yucatán. But, Yaxkukul has something that sets it apart and fills locals with pride: The Yaxkukul horchata factory.
The Yaxkukul horchata factory
The factory has been operating for over 27 years and its rice-based horchata has gained popularity throughout the peninsula because of its unique flavor and artisanal production. Stopping to buy a bottle of concentrate is a must when you’re in this neck of the woods. Not only does this traditional beverage taste good, but it will make you feel good to know that you’re supporting a local business which has grown thanks to its quality product and its partner’s hard work.
Horchata is such a matter of local pride that a bottle of this drink is even drawn of the Yaxkukul welcome letters, which will be our next stop. Take a photo at the Yaxkukul welcome letters, and then take a closer look at the Neo-Maya style Municipal Palace; you’ll see that its roof has traditional wood rafters and the floors are traditional “pasta” mosaics. This building, which was inaugurated in 1942, houses the local police and the mayor’s offices, you’ll also find lots of friendly doggies who chill out in the palace’s halls looking for a shady place to take a nap.
Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria church
When you’re done, cross the street to see the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria church. It has three beautiful stained-glass windows which decorate its façade. On the inside, the church is small and modest, but beautifully taken care of by its congregation. Step outside, and look at the bell tower which is also iconic of this town.
A drive around town
If you wish, take a drive around town, just be sure to drive carefully since cars tend to go slower here, it’s also very important to pay close attention on each street corner for kids and pets. On the streets of Yaxkukul, you’ll see that many homes maintain a very traditional Yucatecan way of life. In many cases, homes will have a small construction towards the front and a large back yard full of trees and plants.
Hacienda San Juan de las Flores: Ciudad Blanca Brewing Co.
If you keep exploring, you will reach Hacienda San Juan de las Flores. This incredible hacienda was once a henequen field and warehouse until it was abandoned after the Guerra de Castas. Five years ago, it was purchased and its remodel began; now it has many attractions including a palapa and a beautiful air conditioned hall which is rented for private events, lots of animals who live on the lands, a citrus orchard and corn field, and much to our surprise… it’s home to it’s own brewery: Ciudad Blanca Brewing Co., complete with a bar where they can arrange tastings. It’s necessary to arrange tours, events, and tastings ahead of time since they are still in the process of remodeling.
Where to eat
After visiting Yaxkukul, you can continue on your way to Motul, which is well known for Huevos Motuleños. If you prefer, on your way back to Mérida, make a stop in Baca for some authentic Thai cuisine at Casa de los Lotos. When you’re finished eating, take a relaxing stroll to see the lotus and lily garden, the koi fish, the enormous crystals, and the entrance to the cenote. The restaurant is part of a complex which offers free treatment to people living with cancer and is one of the ways the raise the funds they need for this work.
Editorial by Maggie Rosado
Photography ny Maggie Rosado, Violeta H. Cantarell and Hacienda San Juan de las Flores Facebook
Calle 21, Yaxkukul (road to Motul)
FB: Horchatas Yaxkukul
Mon. – Fri. 8 am – 8 pm, Sat. 8 am – 5 pm
Hacienda San Juan de las Flores
Calle 20 x 13, Yaxkukul
Cel. 9992 76 14 34
FB: Hacienda San Juan de las Flores
Reservations according to availability
La Casa de Los Lotos
Calle Trigésima 10, Cipche, Baca
Cel. 9919 59 40 15
FB: La Casa de los Lotos Comida Tailandesa
Mon. – Tue. 7 am – 4 pm, Sun. 9 am – 4 pm. (Reservations are recommended
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