Within the Mayan world, Xocen is known as the center of the world, a special place of contemporary Mayan culture. Its temple of the Cross Tun is one of the most imposing places of the Peninsula to live the syncretism between Mayan beliefs and Catholicism. 

There are places that are so special that it is hard 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 is one of those special places that I have had the privilege of knowing, I hope you want to know it with respect, but better not go.

Xocén, together with Kanxoc, are part of the important populations in the uprising of the Mayan peoples in the denominated 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


In Xocén there are two main temples: that of the town square, the Catholic, and that of the Cruz Tun. In this temple the Santísima Cruz Tun is worshiped, one of the most revered symbols within 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 of the Yucatan Peninsula, have the roof fallen and rebuilt, where the ceremonies continue to be held at times dictated by the father of the town. You locate it entering the town, as always a square receives you in the Mayan towns, where the church and the municipal police station are.

TUN CROSS TEMPLE: the temple of the Cruz Tun is somewhat removed from 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 does ceremonies, it is a different concept, similar to a hospital of souls where people come to interact with the Holy Cross Tun, which is very miraculous. The energy that is breathed in the temple of the Holy Cross Tun 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 Xocén community you 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. If you want to do any activity with them I leave you the contact email: [email protected]

Are specialized in nature and avitourism guides, one of the activities little by little more demanded. Are bird experts, luxury guides for anyone who wants go out to birch, as we commonly call it on the Peninsula. They also carry out altruistic activities for the children and adolescents of Xocén, with the idea of ​​training and educating towards an awareness of preservation of the environment.

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

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Xocén, Yucatán


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

These experiences living together is 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 certainly offer this type of experiences, which you will always remember 🙂

RURAL TOURISM CONTACT IN XOCÉN: [email protected] Reference person Mike. 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


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 Cruz Tun de Xocén they celebrate on May 3 the day of the Holy Cross, in case you want to join with respect on this important day for the Mayan community.

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Prayer of Xocén

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

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Xocén, towns

LOCATION: Xocén is located in the state of Yucatan, to 12 kilometers of Valladolid
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? To Xocén collective taxi arrives from Valladolid, leave near the center, for about 20 pesos the journey.
WHAT TO SEE ON THE ROAD? There is the Xla'Kaj cenote on the way to Xocén, with a local atmosphere, with a restaurant and cabins. Don't forget your swimsuit and a towel to enjoy the cenote.
COMMUNITY TOURISM:offers community tours in Xocén. Good connoisseurs and professionals.
WHAT TO BRING? Comfortable and light clothing, and hat to cover your head. From May to October the heat is hard, so protect yourself from the sun.

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.
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