Izamal is one of the so-called Magic towns from Mexico, a population with an undeniable charm. Mandatory visit for the traveler who approaches Yucatan.

Izamal is listed as a Magic Town of Mexico, for keeping alive its traditions and its urban beauty.

Izamal is known as the city of the three cultures by the combination of its pre-Hispanic past, the colonial period and the current epoch. It is popularly known as the yellow townWhen you visit it, it will be easy for you to know why, and it will not be long before you realize what magic.

Visits near Merida that I wouldn't miss

what to do in izamal
Izamal Yucatan
Izamal Yucatan


The arrival of the colonizers in the 16th century transformed the well-known Itzamná, one of the ancient Mayan cities most important of the Peninsula, in a colonial-style Catholic town. The settlements chosen by the colonizers were about ancient Mayan cities, to build the new history erasing the traces of the past.

In ancient Itzamná were some of the most imposing Mayan pyramids of the Yucatan Peninsula. The Franciscans, who had power clash with the other Catholic orders, chose this place to build the monumental Convent of San Antonio de Padua, with one of the largest atriums in America. Erasing, improving and overcoming the past, the unquestionable power of the victors.

El Convent of San Antonio de Padua they built it with the stones extracted from the ancient Mayan temples, just as the conquerors throughout the ages, it is a practice military usual: you destroy the old to create the new, and in passing you avoid leaving memories to the old settlers.

convent san antonio de padua izamal
Convent of San Antonio de Padua s.XVI
Kinich Kak Moo izamal
View of Izamal from Kinich Kak Moo


Izamal It is a quiet village imbued with humble and affable Yucatec character, where we breathe a leisurely time that we can only feel in some towns. The izamaleños want to chat with foreigners with the sincere politeness of making you feel at home, proud of their land.


Convent San Antonio de Padua is the tourist icing. This Franciscan convent, where young people are still trained as priests, is a must see. Its forms, the beautiful atrium, its color, makes it a color with very attractive characteristics to photograph.

It is an attractive building, and its facade facing west gives you some luxury sunsets.

Convent of San Antonio de Padua Open from 6 to 20 hours. Free entrance.



In the town we find some vestiges of Mayan ruins, the best known enclosure is that of Kinich Kak Moo. From the highest pyramid you have great views of Izamal. Admission is free, so without excuses, to climb to the top of Izamal.

Kinich Kak Moo Open from 8 to 17 hours. Free entrance.

Kinich Kak Moo archeological site


There is almost no better population in Yucatán that invites you to stroll as Izamal does: cobbled streets, tranquility and the little traffic in the historic center make Izamal a joy.



A popular way to learn stories told by a local is to give a ride in buggy. Even knowing that it is an activity that affects local cooperatives, WE ARE NOT FRIENDS of this type of activities with animals, because of how bad the horses spend on the asphalt. It is cruel to them according to our understanding.

There are more interesting ways to walk around Izamal than in a buggy. Hit the little leg and walk the town quietly, it is beautiful.

Izamal, Yucatan


A Izamal neighbors from other towns arrive to the convent of San Antonio de Padua to celebrate their wedding, quinceañeras, the baptism of a relative. Izamal is a place dyed traditions and with a rich cultural life that the locals keep constantly alive. The calendar in Izamal tour around the religion, celebrate all the religious festivities of the year

There is always an event that steals your time while walking

It is the best way to soak up the place, walking, getting distracted in the street, talking, visiting shops. There are several beautiful crafts, some cultural center, exhibitions, simple street details. Walk and enjoy.

Many come to visit during the day arriving from other towns such as Valladolid and Mérida. For me it is to live it with pause. In Izamal one becomes entangled without realizing it, you will discover that charm of which its squares speak, the churches, its people, its streets, the artisans. Chatting for a while and exchanging views with the villagers is a nice way to be.

Discover Izamal, the yellow town of Yucatán 1
Discover Izamal, the yellow town of Yucatán 2
Izamal convent
Quinceañera celebrating her day at the Convent of San Antonio de Padua
izamal holy week
San Antonio de Padua convent
how to go to Izamal


We will see how to get to Izamal from the two closest big cities: Mérida and Valladolid.


BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT: the combis leave from Mérida from 54 street with the 65, next to the similar pharmacy. They leave when they are filled, 40 pesos per person. From Izamal they will return to Merida from the same point. BY HIGHWAY: In 1 hour you are in Izamal, the road is good and it is not quota. They are 70 kilometers.


BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT: From the ADO terminal in Valladolid a daily bus leaves to Izamal, check the schedules at the terminal or on the ADO website. BY HIGHWAY: on the toll road you are in an hour and a half in Izamal, for the free it takes about 20 more minutes.

convent san antonio de padua izamal


En Izamal you can enjoy the local gastronomy, tasting street food as it is Mexican tradition, or approaching any of the Yucatecan restaurants, like the Kinich restaurant,  The Mestizos, The Bull or the Zamma. The first with peninsular fame, all offer typical dishes of the area.

In the morning you can go to the breakfast, as many locals do.

kinich izamal restaurant
izamal restaurants


We have visited the town numerous times and many of them have spent the night. It has a wide and varied hotel offer to find your ideal option

To make your search easier we write an entry about where to sleep in Izamal, We hope you find it useful.

Izamal Yucatan

Izamal He has a thousand reasons for me to see him with affection, he reminds me of my grandparents. It is a beautiful place where you can look out to live this serene Yucatan that I adore so much.

LOCATION: Izamal is located 71 kilometers from Merida. Mérida-Cancún highway, detour at km 45. 45 minutes by car. It is well indicated, you must take the road towards Cancun and Chichen.
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? Collective transport departs from Mérida on Calle 54 between 65 and 67 (1h) and a daily bus leaves from Valladolid (2 hours).
Tricks and tips: try to coincide with a religious celebration to see the atmosphere. Some of the most notable celebrations: August 22 Coronation of the Virgin, October 18 Santo Cristo Negro and December 8 Virgen de Izamal. On Sundays they do different cultural events in the Plaza.

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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