Located strategically in the heart of the Puuc Route (an area with several Puuc influence archeological sites), as well as the Convent Route, Ticul is a city with its own attractions and traditions that might surprise you. With figurines and vases made from artisanal clay, fashionable women’s footwear, history, and culture, Ticul has everything you need to begin your adventure through Yucatán’s south.
A stroll through history
With the distinctive tranquility that you’ll find in the small towns of Yucatán, just 85 km from Mérida, you’ll discover Ticul, also known as the “Pearl in the South,” a home to both Maya and colonial culture.
On its main street, you’ll be able to take a look at the church of San Antonio de Padua with its red stone walls. Right next to it, check out the figurines honoring Maya warriors.
Another attraction is the Maya Arch made by Colombian sculptor Rómulo Rozo Peña, who also created the Monumento a la Patria in Mérida. The arch, a homage to Maya architecture, was built in Ticul between 1937 and 1938 and is located on Calle 42.
The shoe capital
In Ticul (or as I like to call it, “Shoe lover’s paradise”), you can take part in a very special shopping tour. Inside this town’s many stores and factories, a variety of footwear is made; from sandals, to the trendiest items you’ve surely been dreaming about. Truth be told, no woman visits Ticul and leaves without buying at least one pair of shoes thanks to the affordable prices and incredible selection available. Just so you get an idea, prices start at $100 pesos.
To begin your tour, you can take a bicycle taxi (you’ll find them around the main park) and ask to be taken to the Zapaterías, or shoe stores. Make sure to tell the driver what kind of shoes you’re looking for so he can take you to the right neighborhood and factory.
Another of Ticul’s vocations is pottery. This custom has evolved throughout generations and has been passed down within families that are dedicated to preserving this tradition.
At first, the potters only made vases to hold water, but the artisan’s creativity and ability has driven them to make decorative pieces such as flower and plant pots, animal figures, statues, and items with Maya influence.
You may be wondering, what makes Ticul pottery so special? The distinctive red color of the clay, which is caused by the mineral composition of the soil in southern Yucatán, is very unique and makes it visually striking.
It’s believed that this is where one of the most emblematic Yucatecan dishes was created: Poc Chuc. We can’t say for sure, but what we can tell you is that this meal made with grilled pork, bathed in tomato sauce, and accompanied with fried onions, beans, and handmade tortillas can be enjoyed at many restaurants in Ticul, such as the Príncipe Tutul Xiú (located just a few blocks from the main street).
Let’s add another must-try dish to your menu: Pollo Ticuleño. For this delicacy, chicken is marinated in a combination of Achiote paste, tomato, sweet chili, and other species. Absolutely delicious!
The market and its surrounding areas also have many different places where you can have lunch and dinner at very reasonable prices.
On the way to the Convent Route
From Ticul, you can visit several churches and former convents that will take you on a journey through the history of evangelization in Yucatán, such as: Maní, Chumayel, Mama, Tekit, Telchaquillo, Tecoh, and Acanceh. This is a great way to understand our state’s history from a key point and appreciate the altarpieces and colonial architecture of the area.
A journey through the hills
Since you will also find this town along the Puuc Route, Ticul is an excellent starting point for archaeology and adventure. Marvel at ancient architecture and discover Maya culture by visiting the sites of Labná, Xlapak, Sayil, Kabáh, and Uxmal. Spend the day at these archaeological sites and then stay the night in Ticul, or start your journey in Ticul and head back to Mérida after your expedition through these Maya sites.
It is also located close to the Loltún caves, one of the most important subsurface formations in the state.
Ticul has everything you need to be the starting point for your next weekend getaway. It is truly a door to Maya culture, colonial history, and the vitality of a talented community that creates pottery and leather goods.
How to get there
From Periférico, take the Exit 1 (take a look at our map on page 22) towards Uxmal. After you pass Muna, take the detour towards Ticul. The drive is about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Where to eat
Príncipe Tutul Xiú
Calle 29 #191 x 20 Santiago
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