Ok, here we are,
i don`t see Jasper, where are you little devil???
Called the City of Hills and located right in the middle of the Yucatan Peninsula, Izamal may be the oldest city in the Yucatan. Izamal was conquered by the Spaniards, and the monks in their eagerness to convert the Indians to Catholicism gave the city its religious distinction. To this day, Izamal's people are very devoted to the Immaculate Virgin.
The most important thing to see here is the Franciscan convent that was built over one of the Mayan pyramids. This convent is also famous for the monk Fray Diego de Landa, its founder, who burned all the Indian scripts, and then, feeling remorse for what he had done, tried to rewrite all he could remember of the ways of the Mayans.
It is here where Pope John Paul visited in 1993. This visit has been one of Izamal's claims to fame ever since, and is commemorated by a statue of the Pope in the convent courtyard.
Inside the church itself, you will see the beautifully restored altarpiece, the stained-glass window of St. Francis of Asissi, and many statues along the walls. The second floor is where the statue of Our Lady of Izamal, Queen and Patron Saint of Yucatan, is housed. Note all the gold-leaf paint, crystal chandeliers, flowers and elegantly painted walls. A small church store with postcards and religious souvenirs is on the first floor.
Below: The streets of Izamal at dusk.
Izamal is a jewel of a colonial city, with almost all the buildings painted an egg-yolk yellow. Cobblestoned streets and colonial lampposts complete the scenery. Clean, peaceful and quaint, this is a great town to stroll through. There are Mayan pyramids, colonial-style buildings, parks and plazas, horses and buggies, and lots of people watching.
Above: The convent at Izamal.
Upon arrival, head to the Government Palace to see the large model in the outdoor corridor. It shows the entire town and the tremendous number of Mayan pyramids that are scattered about. To the north are the Mayan ruins of Kinich Kakmo, the most important. This is a largely unrestored pyramid that looks like a very symmetrical hill. A climb to the top will reward you with a beautiful view. You will also want to visit Kabul, Itzamatul and the Conejo.
Next, visit the Museum of the Community, located under the convent in front of Cinco de Mayo Park. All the information is in Spanish, but the exhibits are interesting.
Check out the Ã“calesas (horse and buggies). They are usually in the plaza and can take you all over town for a very reasonable price.
If you want to stay overnight, there are several little one, two and three-star hotels. We recommend the Green River Hotel. For shopping, be sure to visit the Hecho a Mano store on the main square.
To get to Izamal by car, take the Periferico (beltway of Merida) to Tixcocob. You will pass the towns of Kakalchen and Citilcum on your way to Izamal. There are plenty of signs. The ride takes about 45 minutes (check the Yucatan map). By bus, the terminal is on Calle 50 by 65 and 67; buses leave every half hour, cost $24 pesos and take about an hour and 15 minutes