Tihosuco is one of the towns that conserves a large remnant of the history of the Maya that is rarely shown, the Caste War. An unmissable place to reach the heart of contemporary Mayan culture.

The story is written by the winners, is a phrase by the writer George Orwell that gives a lot of meaning to the uses and customs that we have repeated throughout our brief human history full of battles and wars. Within military tactics when you want a town to be diluted, culture and memory are attacked directly. Symbols, libraries, deities, temples, flags, everything that stands up to a cultural memory is tried to erase. The new created realities end up permeating day to day and become truths erasing the past.

Of all this the colonizers knew a lot when they came to these lands and so they applied during the time of the conquest. During and after the colonization there were changes and events happened so strong that nothing was the same again, it was something that completely transformed the history of this region.

It may interest you what happened in Mani's faith car, another chapter in history where the Spanish Church was the protagonist

That the Mayan people have suffered abusive situations constantly by the rulers to date, I have no doubt. Since the European colonizers enter America, it can be said that there is a caste war and a social war that lasts until today. These abuses and inequalities were triggers for the social mass of the Mayan people to rise against the established power.

Mayan soldiers of the Caste War, the vast majority peasants

The Caste War (1847-1901)

The population of Tihosuco proudly preserves and shows the history of the Mayan people, it is a place not to get lost in your walk through these lands. We go in parts because there is much to discover.

The unknown Caste War was a social war, a revolution of the Mayan people tired of the abuses of the conquering heritage, to those who had been subjected since the time of Spanish colonization. In our history there are thousands of outbreaks of social wars in the face of human power abuses over other human beings, that's how we are.


Social mass uprisings are the most powerful act of the people, it is an incredible weapon that should not be remembered that it is at the hands of any critical mass that creates it. Many basic rights have been won from the peaceful or armed organizations of the people who have firmly protested their rights. It is a revealing fact that the Caste War, being the most recent war of the historical past of Mexico, is not explained by the two states that suffered it in their own skin, not even in the country's schools, not even in Quintana Roo or Yucatán. That narration is not interested, the vast majority of power formations are not interested in remembering social revolts, power remains.

Tihosuco is the heart of the history of the 1 Breed War
Areas under the dominance of the Mayan rebels or cruzoob of Chan Santa Cruz, approximately in 1870. Source

During 54 years of war the Mayan people fought for their rights basic. In spite of taking a step in social rights after the war, the reality is that they lost the war and the inequality lasted notoriously. To this day there is an obvious imbalance that harms the great bulk of the Mayan population. Despite this difficult social reality, I believe that the people, only by gathering knowledge and courage to know the right to rise, won the war of dignity. A dignity that is the first thing that the victors crush: they slap it, laugh at it and twist it until it is diluted. In spite of all the machinery that annihilates historical memory, there is still a voice on this earth that has never been silent. That It is what dignity has, it is indomitable and hard to break. The Caste War is still alive in much of the Mayan population.

Breed War Review

They explained to me recently on a visit to Tihosuco, that two of the fathers of the social revolution, went to war for different reasons. Cecilio Chi had a preteen daughter; At that time there was still the right of pernada (permission to rape women before they married), when one day the Catholic priest of Tepich named her at a mass with other young women. Cecilio was not willing to have his daughter raped according to custom, and got up in arms to change things. For his part Jacinto Pat, was a landowned Maya, of the well-off people with social ideas. Jacinto was like other historical figures who have fought for human rights despite their social level and economic comfort, something that sometimes anchors us. About these two warriors you can learn much more in the museum, a very interesting story awaits you.

Tepich, neighboring town of Tihosuco

In the town of Tihosuco there is a lot of dignified and proud people. This is what they try to reflect and contribute to this community, the story explained by themselves. I think it is very illustrative to listen to it and know this Mayan corner.

Tihosuco is the heart of the history of the 2 Breed War
Part of the Tihosuco team, my respect to all for their great work


Tihosuco was declared Historic Monuments Zone Thanks to all its cultural wealth. We will discover a few corners of Tihosuco so you can meet him, but before that I tell you something important to understand In the Mayan world, especially in rural areas, for all or almost everything permission is requested: to take the fruit of a tree, to harvest, to enter a place be it a cenote, a road or a house.

This gesture of asking permission It's something I've taken for my life. I recognize that it gives me more awareness of respect for what I do. It is a small detail that, thanks to learning it from its culture, has expanded me. Knowing other cultures is what is wonderful, the unbeatable luxury of seeing from another perspective and thus grow.

Tihosuco is the heart of the history of the 3 Breed War
Each person leaves a pebble next to the cross, a way to ask permission to travel the path


The town of Tihosuco retains a colonial house 30, such as the Museum or the Ejidal house, which you can visit on your walk through the town. Both points are of tourist interest, the ejidataria house exhibits photos and historical documents. There is no restaurant as such, but there is a bite to the stomach, so walk, greet and enjoy the place, it's that easy.

Tihosuco is the heart of the history of the 4 Breed War
Colonial building of the Guerra de Castas museum

The church of Tihosuco

The church of Tihosuco, known as that of the Child Jesus, is located in the central square of the town, a scheme that is repeated in almost all villages. The Franciscans completed the construction of the temple in 1839. This church is impressive due to the collapse of the roof, being in a semi-open state, giving it a romantic flavor that dazzles. The roof was collapsed during the Caste War, and since then, like so many other temples with fallen ceilings as in Yaxunah, Xocén, Kikil, Tahcabo, Polyuc, remind us that there was a conflict, which in many ways remains unresolved.

If the main entrance is closed, try entering from the side of the temple

On the other side of the temple is the cemetery, a pattern that is also repeated. In this case, many cemetery benches are rubble from the same church. In the cemeteries the important mass of the dead is celebrated on November 2. Surely you will find a child who shyly tries to explain the history of the temple to earn a tip.

church_Tihosuco_Quintana Roo
Tihosuco_Quintana Roo
Tihosuco is the heart of the history of the 5 Breed War

Tihosuco Caste War Museum

Tihosuco's great pride is his museum about the Caste War. It is a fundamental part in the history of this area, in a few places they name it and talk about the Caste War. This Tihosuco museum is the one that includes more information thanks to documents, letters, photographs and instruments of this war. Very interesting, also if the museum workers illustrate your visit, they make it even more interesting.

PRICE: The entrance is 100 pesos per person. In the interior gardens of the old colonial house there is a botanical garden dedicated to medicinal plants, very important in the Mayan tradition. The museum has a beautiful tunkul that you can use if you like to get good sound. It has bathroom services.

Tihosuco is the heart of the history of the 6 Breed War
Tunk'ul you can use at the entrance of the museum
Tihosuco is the heart of the history of the 7 Breed War
There are many graphic documents of the time
Tihosuco is the heart of the history of the 8 Breed War
Botanical garden of ancient and contemporary Mayan medicinal plants

The abandoned town of TeLa / L'al kaj

For me this place is a past, a place of incredible magic. You have the opportunity to visit an abandoned village in the jungle, where to know the history walking in nature. Local guides explain in great detail and knowledge the history of the place while walking through ruins.

Some ruins that take you to the climax when you access the Catholic temple dedicated to San Miguel de Arcángel, which is in a dilapidated state and consumed by the beautiful jungle. A place full of magic that brings you the best of smiles. In the main square there is a cenote, there is a well and even a distillery you can see on the guided tour.

HOW DO YOU GET TO FABRIC? Local guides offer to accompany you to this town. No matter if you have or don't transport, they can support you in that. This abandoned town is more than 30 minutes from Tihosuco, you must have an adventurous spirit to look out here, and I know you will love it, because it is a special place.

PRICE and CONTACT: contact before visiting Tela with the ejidatarios of Tihosuco, they will be your local guides. I leave you the contact of Bartholomew (984 217 6685) and Lucy (983 700 2317), with any of the two you can contact. The price of the tour is about 400 pesos per person, they tell you the details. You can go in your own car or in your transport. They offer other activities.

RECOMMENDED CLOTHING FOR THIS ACTIVITY: Closed shoe, long pants, carry your water bottle and hat. Biodegradable insect repellent and blocker (personally I prefer to cover myself from the sun naturally than with potingues).

In the middle of the jungle a town in ruins
Tela_Tihosuco_Quintana Roo
Tihosuco, Tela, Yucatán
Telá Distillery

The X'Arcos estate

Tihosuco has been and is an important part of the history of this region. Its colonial houses and its church are part of the mark of this glorious past. At the end of the 18th century, and thanks to its strategic location, it was a key point in smuggling through Bacalar and Vigía Chico, located on the Caribbean coast. These piracy and smuggling routes came from Europe, Jamaica, Boston, New Orleans and Nassau. They were the same ones used for the supply of weapons during the Caste War. Tihosuco was also a thriving area in agriculture.

This past leads us to several prosperous Haciendas in the area, including the X'Arcos hacienda. In the first decades of the nineteenth century, Tihosuco was a very prosperous place, which thanks to extensive agriculture gave way to the establishment of farms, many sugar factories. This meant that many farmers went from having their land, to plowing the land of the landowner.

HOW TO GET TO THE HACIENDA? Local guides are the same as those who can accompany you to this hidden place where you can see another part of the story. Personally I had an extraordinary guide because we were lucky to visit these places with the local guides, who go hand in hand in many ways with the anthropologist and mayista Richard M. Leventhal along with his team, who have been working at Tihosuco for years. Richard is an extraordinary person, an enthusiastic child with a knowledge and humanity so broad that he generously and brilliantly envelops his surroundings. What function would the estimated sealed room Richard have? Thanks for that window to the history and luxury of timeshare with you.

PRICE and CONTACT: Contact before visiting Hacienda X-Arcos with the ejidatarios of Tihosuco, they will be your local guides. I leave you the contact of Bartholomew (984 217 6685) and Lucy (983 700 2317), with any of the two you can contact. The price is about 300 pesos per person, they tell you the details of the tour. You can go in your own car or in your transport. They offer other activities.

RECOMMENDED CLOTHING FOR THIS ACTIVITY: Closed shoe, long pants, carry your water bottle and hat. Biodegradable insect repellent and blocker (personally I prefer to cover myself from the sun naturally than with potingues).

Hacienda X-Arcos, Tihosuco
Tihosuco_Quintana Roo
Hacienda Well

If you got to read here, please listen to Bartolo, local guide of Tihosuco and ejidatario of the population. Really, if you like history and are looking for something different, here you can enjoy as in few places.

I hope you are encouraged to visit the town of Tihosuco, it is the perfect place to know about the Mayan people, but this time the story explained from their own voices. Here is another contact from the Tihosuco cooperative that offers different products.

U Belilek Kaxtik Kuxtal
Carlos Chan Espinosa
Phone: +521 983 103 03 67
E-Mail:  ubkk_1@hotmail.com
E-Mail:  chancarlos26@hotmail.com

We usually include Tihosuco in our personalized routes and on the fly & drives that we offer from our agency. We will always try to get you closer to the best of this land.

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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