Hacienda Temozón


From the late 1600s through the early 1900s, haciendas were the core of Yucatán’s economy. These large estates were farms, ranches, and factories… and as the owners accumulated more and more wealth, they also became centers of art and culture.

The estates were similar to the European feudal lands; indigenous Mayan laborers were essentially slaves.

The primary cash crop in Yucatán was fiber from the henequen cactus, a variety of agave. The durable fiber was strong and water resistant… it was used to manufacture cord, burlap, hammocks, and most importantly, rope for the booming shipping industry.

Today, many haciendas have been restored as museums, hotels, and even private residences. There are several within an hour’s drive of Merida.

We stayed at Hacienda Temozón. Rated one of the top ten haciendas in Yucatán, it has played host to US Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, and Mexican Presidente Ernesto Zedillo and Presidente Felipe Calderón, as well as numerous other celebrities.

We arrived late at night, and had some difficulty finding the turnoff from the highway. Despite a few signs, we were sure we were lost as we drove the narrow road, rutted and pitted with potholes, and passing right through a small village. Eventually, however, we reached the warm and inviting hacienda, and our experience there for the next few days was one of the highlights of our visit to Yucatán.

The hacienda proved a great home base for our exploration of Uxmal and the Ruta Puca, and once we were familiar with it, the narrow road was easy to navigate.

We also enjoyed some wonderful meals in the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, which specializes in Yucatán cuisine.


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