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All about Ruta Puuc in Mexico

Updated: April 6, 2024

Main Category: Day Trips


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Author: Tobias

Ruta Puuc, is mainly associated with the smaller and less touristy Maya sites of Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak and Labná. Ruta Puuc is about 125km away from Mérida. The journey by car takes about 2h from the city center of Mérida and the place is most of the time tranquilly.




Day Trips


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Uxmal, Yucatán, Mexiko







125km from Mérida

Travel Time:

2h from Mérida


No entry fee

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Ruta Puuc

Puuc is a Maya region (or route) as well as an architectural style. The „Ruta Puuc“ begins 80km south of Mérida. It is a side road of the national road MEX 261, which branches off from it to the east south of the town of Santa Elena and includes many places of interest.

But in fact there is no exact route for "Ruta Puuc" - usually it is mainly associated with the smaller and less touristy Maya archaeological sites of Kabah, Labná, Xlapak or Sayil and the "Puuc style" is mainly characterised by the ornaments and decorations on the buildings.

Often Mérida is the starting point for a tour and the archaeological site of Uxmal is the first major stop. There are also many old colonial towns, haciendas (e.g. the Hacienda Yaxcopoil), churches, cenotes and caves along the route.

The two cave systems Grutas de Lol-Tún and Grutas de Calcehtok, which were used by the Maya as religious sites and as a refuge during the caste war, are also part of the Ruta Puuc.

Ruta Puuc is off the traditional tourist routes, so there are far fewer tourists at the individual sights, fewer annoying vendors and the entrance fees to the individual sites are also much cheaper than to the better-known places.

We have more background information and travel tips on Mayan archaeological sites.

The world of archaeology

Some interesting figures about Mayan archaeological sites on the Yucatan Peninsula:

Figures about Mayan archaeological sites
Figures about Mayan archaeological sites

Associated sights with the Ruta Puuc:

What is the best way to go?

If you want to drive the entire Ruta Puuc and visit all the sights, you will need two to three days. However, most people go on a day trip and visit perhaps 2 or 3 sites, which is actually enough to get a good impression of this part of the Yucatan Peninsula.

So you can either book a tour or use a car. A rental car is probably the best way to get around because it is the most flexible. Public transport is almost non-existent in this part of Yucatán and therefore not recommended.

Image Source: ©Bernard Dupont, flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The picture was modified (resized, image improvements)


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Best Mérida Day Trips

If you would like to explore the Yucatan Peninsula and Mérida with a guided tour, there are wonderful experiences from Viator. We have selected the three best tours for you.

You save time and nerves, get all the insider tips you need from an expert tour guide and can join up with others if you wish. And it's also safer to travel in a group.

Chichen Itza, Private Cenote, Food Experience & the magic Izamal

My Top Recommendation (likely to sell out)

Chichen Itza, Private Cenote, Food Experience & the magic Izamal

The very best Chichén Itzá tour and free cancellation. It starts from US-$97

average rating is 5 out of 5
Best Mérida Day Trips

Another very special experience

Tour to Cenote of Santa Barbara and Acanceh area from Merida

This! Super beautiful cenotes! You have free cancellation. It starts from US-$114

average rating is 5 out of 5
Best Mérida Day Trips

Not either/or, but also!

Celestun Beach Mangrove Boat Ride from Merida

One more must-have. You also have free cancellation. It starts from US-$122

average rating is 4.5 out of 5
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Viator Travel Promotions

Our partner and market leader, Viator, offers a wide range of exciting Thing to do in Mérida and on the Yucatán Peninsula.


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