Inside the Mayan world Xocén It is known as the center of the world, a special place of contemporary Mayan culture. Its temple of the Tun Cross is one of the most impressive places in the Peninsula to experience the syncretism between Mayan beliefs and Catholicism. 

There are places so special that it is difficult to write about them, especially to protect them from ourselves and our desire to possess what is foreign as if it were our own. I feel that our current tendency to trivialize the places visited through an ephemeral photo of «I was here»It is making us, if possible, more sugar than we already are.

Tourism sometimes entails this point of possession of the alien, this innate predation of the human being. We must remind ourselves that nothing is ours, that we must arrive with respect to the places. Many times this interest arises only from what we know, value and want. Xocén It is one of those special places that I have had the privilege of knowing, I hope you want to know it from the respect, but you better not go.

Xocén, along with Kanxoc, are part of the important populations in the uprising of the Mayan peoples in the so-called War of Castes (1847-1901). Here begins an interesting route through the populations of the east of the Peninsula, less touristized and more authentic.

Xocén, Yucatán


En Xocén There are two main temples: the one in the town square, the Catholic, and the Tun Cross. In this temple, the Holy Tun Cross is worshiped, one of the most revered symbols in contemporary Mayan culture. The best known is the Temple of the Talking Cross, by Felipe Carrillo Puerto.

It is very interesting how both temples coexist that project the syncretism of the Mayan world. Xocén is truly a unique place.

To know the history of the Cruz Tun well I leave you the document by Renán A. Góngora-Biachi and Pedro Gonz · lez-MartÌnez.

Xocén, Yucatán
Plaza of Xocén


We are going to know the two main temples of Xocén and their differences.

XOCÉN CATHOLIC TEMPLE: the Catholic temple, like many temples in the Yucatan Peninsula, have a fallen and rebuilt roof, where ceremonies continue to be held at times dictated by the father of the town. You locate it entering the town, as always a square welcomes you in the Mayan towns, where the church and the municipal police station are.

CRUZ TUN TEMPLE: The Temple of the Tun Cross is somewhat out of the center of Xocén, It is open all day and it is forbidden to take pictures inside. Essentially reminiscent of the well-known temple of San Juan Bautista, in Chiapas. Here there is no priest who performs ceremonies, it is a different concept, similar to a hospital of souls where people come to interact with the Holy Tun Cross, which is very miraculous. The energy that is breathed in the temple of the Holy Tun Cross is very powerful. You can enter, put three candles (that is the custom) and give your request to the holy cross.

Without a doubt a different place where you can peek into beliefs and traditions. You don't have to be a believer, what you need is respect for a clean and healthy gaze.

Xocén, Yucatán
Xocén Catholic Temple
Xocen, Yucatan
Mayan details in the catholic temple of Xocén
Temple of the Cross, Xocén
Temple of the Holy Cross Tun. You can not take pictures inside


In the community of Xocén You can find rural tourism activities that you can do with local nature guides. Here you will have the opportunity to live in the community and do activities that they themselves offer you.

I recommend them with love and respect, they have been years knowing them and seeing how they progress in their work with effort and perseverance. I recommend you contact them in advance, sometimes they are not on site.

DIRECT CONTACT: if you want to do any activity with them, I'll leave you the email: / cell phone: +52 985 211 7068

They are specialized in nature guides and birdwatching, one of the activities that is little by little more in demand. They are experts in birds, luxury guides for anyone who wants to go out to birch, as we commonly call it in the Peninsula. They also carry out altruistic activities for children and adolescents of Xocén, with the idea of ​​training and educating towards a conscience of preservation of the environment.

They also offer tours in the community where you have the opportunity to live closely with the inhabitants, learn to cook or have a healer visit you, among other activities.

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Xocén, Yucatán


We show you one of the activities you can do with the Xocén guides: ready for a unique gastronomic experience? Learn how to make cocoa in a traditional way. From the welcoming Mayan family that welcomes you, the opportunity to have the doors of their home open for you, the close coexistence, the smells of cocoa, the luxury of living in a Mayan kitchen with women.

These experiences living together are the closest thing you can take as a souvenir of your trip through Yucatan. I hope you enjoy this closeness and experience with the Mayan community. In our trips we undoubtedly offer this type of experience, which you will always remember 🙂

RURAL TOURISM CONTACT IN XOCÉN: Reference person Mike. Cell phone: 985 211 7068 Contact at least a couple of days before for any activity
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Cocoa beans
Discover Xocén, the center of the Mayan world in Yucatan 3
Cleaning cocoa beans, where we all cooperate
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Cooking cocoa on the comal
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Making the cocoa mass


From Valladolid, a collective taxi leaves (they are taxis with a capacity of up to 4 people, and they leave when they are full). You can find the taxi rank towards Xocén on calle 43 x 44. The cost is 30 pesos per person each way.

Discover Xocén, the center of the Mayan world in Yucatan 6


Over the years I have been approaching and understanding this part of the Mayan world not so visible, the one that matters as much or more than the visible to understand the culture. Far from having the deep knowledge that I would like, I am learning by observing its culture, an open door to a world that passes invisible before our eyes if we are not attentive to it.

In the temple of the Tun Cross of Xocén They celebrate the day of the Holy Cross on May 3, in case you want to join with respect on this very important day for the Mayan community.

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Prayer of Xocén

Remember that in our Mayan Culture section you will find articles related to contemporary Mayan culture. I wish human beings had more sensitive souls and could interact with our cultural and natural environment in a more conscious way.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

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