The Convent Route is a day trip that reveals both the history and soul of the Yucatan. Visit centuries-old churches, cathedrals, convents and Mayan villages.
The churches featured in this route were built after the arrival of the Franciscans in 1524. Many of the original Mayan buildings were destroyed or built on top of (which you’ll get a glimpse of in the route).
The following piece outlines the nine stops in the Convent Route. Make sure to get an early start the morning of your trip so you get to as many open churches as possible. Start on Route 18 (look for the signs that say Kanasin) and follow the road to the first stop, Acanceh.
Stop 1: Acanceh
The main attraction in Acanceh is The Plaza de las Tres Culturas (The Square of the Three Cultures). The plaza brings together the Grand Pyramid, a colonial church, and a modern day church in the same place.
Don’t miss these sites:
1. Temple of the Stuccoes aka “Stucco Palace”
2. Chapel and convent of the Virgin of Guadalupe (both from the XVI century)
Stop 2: Tecoh
Discover an ornate church with beautiful paintings as well as a convent dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption (1751).
Interesting Fact: Although this church appears to have been built on a hill, it really sits atop a large Mayan Pyramid.
Stop 3: Telchaquillo
Telchaquillo is a small village with a beautiful, quiet chapel.
Interesting Fact: A gorgeous cenote can be found near the chapel in this village.
(Find out more about Cenotes of the World and The Yucatan)
Stop 4: Mayapan
The Mayapan archeological site is about the size of Chichen Itza. There are approximately 4,000 mounds, many of which are still in their original state, so you may find archeologists working on them during your visit!
Interesting Fact: There are actually replicas of buildings from Chichen Itza, including Castillo de Kukulcán.
Stop 5: Tekit
San Antonio de Padua was built in 1591. The temple holds very elaborate statues of Saints; the convent next door houses paintings from the XVI century.
Interesting Fact: Tekit means “Place where there were rubber trees”
Stop 6: Mama
The Church of the Ascension, a beautiful bell-globed church, was built in the XVII century . It is believed to be the oldest church on the route.
Interesting Fact: Mama Means “No, No” in English.
Stop 7: Chumayel
The Temple of Immaculate Conception was built in the XVI century and is a perfect example of the medieval architecture brought by the Spaniards.
Interesting Fact: The renowned sacred book of the Mayas, the “Chilam Balam” was found here.
Stop 8: Teabo
The convent of Saint Peter and Saint Paul was formed in 1607 and almost six decades later, the Temple of Saint Peter the Apostle was constructed (1664.)
Interesting Fact: Teabo is very famous for its embroidered textiles. Make sure to visit shops in the town during your visit!
Stop 9: Mani
The Temple of the Convent of Saint Michael Archangel (1549) & a museum are the key attractions in the small town of Mani.
Interesting Fact: During the 1500’s, Friar Diego de Landa famously, in the “Auto de Fe”, burned and destroyed almost all written Mayan manuscripts in his attempt to help his mission of converting Mayas to Christianity.
Interested in learning more about great day trips in the Yucatan? We’ve outlined another route, called the Puuc Route, which leads you to archeological sites, caves, cenotes and Mayan Villages. Learn more about Puuc Route Map and Infographics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mayapan_2.jpg, Author credit to Marie-Christine Ferland