Friday, April 19, 2013

Happy Guest Comments

Jeff and his wife spent a week exploring the area with our driver/guide Angel - here is what they had to say:

We're back in cool Connecticut after a great trip to the Yucatan. Angel was great. He showed us a lot of Mayan life in addition to the ruins, and was a delight in every respect. Do you have his email address? I'd like to drop him a line. Thanks for the wine at The Pickled Onion. All the accommodations were great, though, hedonist that I am, I liked the Hacienda Chichen best. We realize we just scratched the surface, but what we saw makes me want to go back for a longer period. Maybe some day!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Happy Guest Comments!

Greg and his family came into Progreso on the Carnival cruiseship and here is what he had to say about his tour with us:

Our family had a great time. This was a great experience. Angel our guide was fantastic He is a quality person and great resource. We felt very comfortable and safe with him. If we head back to progreso we would definitely use your services again  

Greg from Indiana 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Things to do on the Highway to Uxmal - The Hacienda Ochil

Ochil is another hacienda, one of the hundreds of them that are scattered throughout the peninsula of Yucatan in various stages of decomposition or restoration, depending on who the owner his, the depth of his or her pockets. In the case of Ochil, which has been semi-restored, the owners have very deep pockets; indeed, they also own the luxury haciendas run by Starwood. One interesting thing about these hacienda owners is that they have set up a fund or foundation through Banamex, the Mexican bank they also happen to own, that encourages and assists local artisans in the communities where the haciendas are located to produce and sell artesanias. At Ochil, for example, you will see workshops set up for textiles and filigree production as well as stone cutting and carving.

Unlike many haciendas, this one is easy to visit as it is on the way to Uxmal, a popular destination for people visiting the Yucatan. Located near the Abala exit on the highway from Uman to Uxmal, there is a large sign on the side of the road that you really can't miss. 

It is a pleasant place to have lunch, visit some of the artisans workshops mentioned above or simply have a tamarind margarita cocktail. If the light is right, in the late afternoon perhaps, it is also a fantastic place to take photographs as the hacienda is full of pleasing architectural details, colors and angles that you will not tire of. 

Keep in mind that if you only want to visit the hacienda, they will ask for an entry fee. Among the other things to see or do at the hacienda: a gift shop which was once the chapel - look at the walls, the niches and notice how everything of value has been chipped off and looted (before the present owners rescued the property from abandon); the small museum and of course the James Turrell designed (thanks Missy!) amphitheater in the depression that leads to the (unswimmable) cenote.

(above) the chimney or smokestack

(above) one of the former workers houses

(above) miniature railway contraption

(above) arches abound

(above) amphitheater and cenote

(above) definitely a Moorish arch

(above) papayas

(above) fountain

(above) former irrigation tank now a small pool

(above) the restaurant

(above) Yucatecan appy sampler platter