When you visit the Yucatan, there are three things you must see: at least one Mayan site (and I highly recommend several), at least one cenote (and I highly recommend as many as you can fit in), and at least one hacienda. One hacienda that is now more of a museum than a working hacienda is Yaxcopoil, just an hour outside Mérida.
Hacienda Yaxcopoil (yaksh-ko-PEL) is located on Highway 261, on the road to Uxmal. You enter through a driveway to the left of the large entrance arch, which is closed, probably to save it from accidental destruction by vehicles hitting it as they pass through. It is a stunning piece, and suggests to me architectural design borrowed from the Middle East. Its curved arches contain lights, making it look like a giant candelabra.
The walkway up the middle of the front yard is still mostly intact, as are the steps leading to the wide front porch stretching the entire width of the main building. Inside the main hallway we paid our entrance fee, and then continued on. I expected this building to be pretty much the entire hacienda, but I was in for a bit of a surprise as we discovered room after room, structure after structure, and fields that stretched on for, seemingly, miles and miles.
The main building contained much of the owners’ family’s living quarters. There were bedrooms with much of their original furniture, and a salon, all with their original pasta tile floors still intact and gorgeous. I am constantly amazed at how well these old pasta tiles hold up in construction, design and color retention.
|Pool and bathhouse rooms|
|View from the Maintenance Building|
There are several haciendas in the Yucatan, and some are still working haciendas, where you can see workers cultivating and processing henequen into rope, baskets, purses, rugs, and many other products. A trip to the Yucatan should definitely include a trip to at least one hacienda.