This ex-hacienda, located in Mucuyché (“tree of the turtledove”), south of the pueblo, used to farm henequén. The splendor of its partially restored buildings is still apparent. But the most impressive sights are the cenotes. Cenote Carlota has a canal covered in luscious vegetation. Cenote Azul is more like a cave, with living stalactites, which grow a little bit every day.
Take the highway to Uxmal for approximately 57 kilometers, passing Hacienda San Pedro Ochil. The next pueblo is Abalá, follow the signs to Mucuyché until you arrive at the hacienda, where a large stone arch will welcome you. There is parking, bathrooms, dressing rooms, and lockers. Wear comfortable clothes, tennis shoes or sandals, and bathing suit. Pack water and lots of energy for adventure-style exploring!
My eyes are filled with amazement by the the beautiful architecture. During the tour, I began to imagine the splendor and richness built by the global demand for henequén, and I understood why Carlota from Belgium was so impacted by her visit to the hacienda.
Constructed in modules, you will see Arabic and French style arches throughout the 11 hectares of the property. Explore the buildings, including the façade with its 10 arches, the dining room, stables, chapel, and the machine room (return here after swimming to take photos with the antique machinery that demonstrates the huge production capacity of the era), and the main living area. The color blue of this hacienda is different from many others, most of which are yellow or red.
In 1865, the empress Carlota visited Yucatán, and arrived at this hacienda, which was the property of Don Manuel José Peón and his wife, Doña Loreto. The hacienda had 5,000 hectares of property, with the necessary machinery for processing, as well as elegant and elaborate rooms meant for receiving important guests. Carlota descended the stairs leading to the semi-open cenote, just like we can do today as travelers. Now, the crystal waters of this grand cenote is named after Carlota, where she once swam.
After the half hour tour, the moment for refreshment in the cenotes arrives. Follow the directions of the staff and use the life vests, and above all: do not touch the stalactites. They also give you goggles and a snorkel so that you can spend time looking at the faraway floor of the cenotes, thanks to the crystal clear water.
Carefully descend the stairs to Cenote Carlota, which is 5 to 7 meters deep, then swim along the canal, which will leave you impressed by its walls of vegetation. Prepare yourself for what’s to come, which is a cenote in the form of a cavern, with stalactites in abundance. Its name is “Azul” (blue), because of the spectacular way the light enters and illuminates the space. Ideally, try to visit between 11 am – 12 pm in order to appreciate the natural light.
After swimming, relax in the gardens and appreciate the tropical vegetation. There are many nooks and crannies which serve as inspiration for improvised photo shoots. Nearby, you’ll find Hacienda Ochil with its traditional Yucatecan restaurant. If you have more energy for adventures, continue 20 kilometers further until you get to Ticul, the pueblo of “zapatos” (shoes). Here there’s another great option for Yucatecan food at “El Príncipe Tutul Xiú.”
Hacienda Muchuyché is working on some surprises, like a large pool and more visiting hours. Follow them on social media to stay informed. Currently, they don’t have a restaurant, but you can buy water or soda in the hacienda.
Adults $400 pesos
Seniors with INAPAM $200 pesos
Kids 6 – 12 $200 pesos
Kids younger than 5 enter for free.
Includes historic tour of the hacienda, cenote tour, life vest, and snorkel gear. Parking, picnic area, bathrooms, showers, change rooms, and locker rental. Hourly tours, 9 am – 2 pm. The hacienda closes at 4 pm.
Cel. 9995 47 60 87. (Schedule of attention: Monday – Friday, 9 am – 7 pm; Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 2 pm).
FB: Cenotes Hacienda Mucuyche
Editorial by Violeta H. Cantarell
Photos by Andrea Mier y Terán for Yucatán Today
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