Motul, Yucatan: Cenotes, Heritage Dances, and Delicious Cuisine

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Motul, Yucatan: Cenotes, Heritage Dances, and Delicious Cuisine

Yucatan is a wonderful state from every angle, its natural attractions, beaches, cenotes, archaeological sites, history, and people will make you vibrate when you get to know it.

Motul became an official Magical Town in 2023 (Pueblo Magico) due to its richness and history, where you can enjoy its great attractions and discover the past.

In fact, Motul became the seventh Pueblo Magico in Yucatan just after Tekax, Espita, Maní, Valladolid, Izamal, and Sisal.

Where is Motul, Yucatan?

Motul is only 44 km from Merida (Yucatan’s capital), which is less than an hour’s drive.

There are several ways to get there via public transport, such as vans, buses, or a taxi. Just ask any of the locals and they’ll point you in the right direction.

8 Top things to see in Motul, Yucatan

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The Main Square

Motul has probably been around longer than other towns in Yucatan.

Its Maya past reverberates in the pride its people take in the local culture and language.

Moreover, this cultural richness is complemented by the jewels that remain from the colonial period, including one of the oldest churches on the peninsula.

Its former haciendas tell stories of a glorious and prosperous past. To tour them is to relive a golden age for the people of northern Yucatán.

Famous for its delicious huevos motuleños, the birthplace of Felipe Carrillo Puerto (known for its noble causes as a politician), and for having been the center of Yucatán’s henequen industry, Motul offers travelers an authentic and fascinating experience.

If you are wondering what to do in Motul, here are some options for an incredible visit.

1. Cenote Sambulá

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Sambulá is a closed cenote inside a cave and is up to 8 meters deep, 30 meters long, and 8 meters wide.

To access the cenote, you must descend a small masonry staircase that leads to a spacious subway room, illuminated with electric power.

In addition to admiring the impressive rock formations on the cave’s walls, you can scuba dive, snorkel, or simply swim in the refreshing, crystal-clear waters.

Cenote Sambulá has a small opening in one of the upper walls of the cavern, so at certain times of the day, some of the sun’s rays filter through and create a postcard-worthy picture.

It is not a particularly spacious cenote, but that is part of its charm. Swimming in it feels like being in an intimate natural pool.

This stunning cenote is only seven blocks from Motul’s central plaza, on Calle 26, which crosses the town from north to south.

From Mérida, take the Mérida-Motul highway through Cholul in a northeasterly direction. In less than 30 minutes you will be in the Magical Town of Motul.

2. Admire the Caminantes del Mayab

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“Caminantes del Mayab” performers

After a delicious lunch, you can enjoy this impressive folkloric dance show.

The group performs in beautiful traditional costumes, reflecting the cultural mix of the region.

Women wear their colorful huipiles while dancing to the lively rhythm of the Yucatecan vaquería.

This performance takes place at the Sambulá cenote every Saturday and Sunday between 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, (it’s a one-hour show).

3. Explore the old Ex-Hacienda Ticopó Gutiérrez

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Exhacienda Ticopó Gutiérrez is an abandoned hacienda near Motul that can be visited.

Unlike other restored haciendas, Ticopó Gutiérrez is in ruins, so it has an air of mystery and abandonment attractive to travelers.

Despite being invaded by nature, the hacienda preserves some vestiges that reveal glimpses of its better times.

The entrance is marked with two columns, adorned with ornaments made of small stones.

Some individual decorations, including mosaics and walls painted with exquisite patterns inside the main building, can be seen.

There is also a building that houses an enormous henequen machine, used for many years to produce the so-called “green gold” that was exported all over the world from the port of Progreso.

In addition, there are some pieces of machinery scattered around the outside of the hacienda, which have surely remained there for a century.

The hacienda has a terrace surrounded by vegetation and some rooms without roofs, making it the ideal setting for taking artistic and memorable photographs.

4. Hacienda Kancabchén in Motul, Yucatan

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This Hacienda is highly sought-after for weddings and events

Hacienda Kancabchén is one of the henequen haciendas located near the Magical Town of Motul.

If you are in this region, a fun, relaxing, and educational experience awaits you at Hacienda Kancabchén. Learn about all there is to do at this must-see stop in Motul.

5. Visit the Felipe Carrillo Puerto Museum

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The Felipe Carrillo Puerto Museum is dedicated to the memory of the former governor, an almost mythical character in the history of Yucatán.

A defender of the Mayan language, Felipe was a pioneer who sought to develop the arts and culture in the state and to improve education levels.

Discover all in this fascinating attraction in the Magical Town of Motul.

The museum is actually the house where the politician, journalist, and revolutionary leader lived. It is divided into three main rooms.

*The first, where Felipe Carrillo Puerto is said to have been born, welcomes visitors with a brief explanation of Motul and its history with photographs, products made in the community, and explanatory texts.

*The second room is dedicated to the life of Carrillo Puerto, his studies, his political struggle, and his inauguration as governor of Yucatán.

This fact is captured in a monolithic sculpture in the form of an open book in which the famous first speech he gave to the people is engraved.

The governor delivered the speech in the Mayan language and it appears as such, but there is a Spanish translation on one of the screens.

The last room includes some of Carrillo Puerto’s books and personal objects such as a compass, a railroad watch, a logbook, and clothing, among other things.

The museum’s interior patio serves as a cultural forum.

6. Motul’s central plaza

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motul yucatan

Motul’s central plaza is the heart of town, the place from which all adventures start.

Surrounded by historic buildings and shops, adorned with vegetation and monuments, it is the meeting point that buzzes with the energy of this Pueblo Mágico.

Discover everything you can find at Motul’s main square, the first stop on your trip to this charming corner of Yucatán.

The plaza comprises two twin parks: José María Campos Park and Felipe Carrillo Puerto Park.

The former has an abundance of trees and has a cross-path design leading to a beautiful kiosk in the center.

Here you will also find the classic colored letters where you can take a souvenir photo. Around this park, you will find the iconic municipal palace and several shops.

The parks are divided by a small commercial center with restaurants, a bank, and a cab stand.

7. Temple and ex-convent of San Juan Bautista

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The temple and ex-convent of San Juan Bautista in Motul is one of the most outstanding architectural jewels in Yucatán’s Pueblo Mágico.

Like many religious precincts in the Yucatán peninsula, the temple and ex-convent of San Juan Bautista is a work of the Franciscan order.

Although the oldest part of the building was begun in 1567, the church itself was completed in 1651.

In the 19th century, the convents were dying out and the Franciscans were leaving the country.

However, the part of the building that corresponds to the church was maintained through armed conflicts and the inclement passage of time.

8. Try Huevos Motuleños!

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The classic presentation of Motuleño Eggs

You have probably heard of huevos motuleños, a dish native to this region.

It is said to have been created in the 1920s by Mr. Jorge Siqueff for Governor Felipe Carrillo Puerto.

Among the ingredients that stand out are plantain, fresh cheese, peas, ham, and habanero chile.

You cannot miss the opportunity to try them and immerse yourself in an experience of tradition, accompanied by exquisite freshly brewed coffee or seasonal agua fresca.

The best place to enjoy this typical dish is at the municipal market, where Doña Evelia prepares it masterfully.

Nevertheless, you will also find other places that offer this delicacy and you will surely enjoy them just as much.

Motul, Yucatan: Final thoughts

Now you know. Motul offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich cultural traditions, and delectable flavors that captivate the heart and soul.

Whether you’re exploring the depths of its crystal-clear cenote in Samula, immersing yourself in the rhythms of traditional dances, or savoring the delicious local dishes, Motul promises an unforgettable experience.

So, pack your bags and embark on your own adventure to discover the hidden gems of this Yucatecan treasure.

Motul awaits you with open arms and a warm smile, ready to share its wonders with all who visit.

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