Yucatán is a great travel destination with many attractions to offer. From the beautiful capital city of Mérida to white-sand beaches. From hidden cenotes to amazing archeological sites. Great cuisine, friendly people, vibrant atmosphere, culture and a lot of history. This place has everything you could ask for! Today we want to tell you about 6 beautiful churches in Yucatán. There are of course so many more beautiful churches and places but for now we want to share with you our favorite ones. They are all easy to reach from Mérida and you can visit them on a pleasant day trip discovering the surrounding of the city.
Iglesia de Santo Domingo – Uayma
This is probably the most picturesque church you will find in Yucatán. The Church of Santo Domingo is located in Uayma, 15 kilometers North-West of Valladolid and it was built by the Spaniards in 1646 using stones from nearby Mayan temples (including Chichen Itzá). In the 19 Century, the church was practically destroyed during the Caste War of Yucatán and it was only until 2005 that it was completely restored. Make sure to add Uayma to your list, it’s definitely a place not to be missed! You will love the colorful walls and the rich details. It’s a great spot to take cool pictures!
Convento de San Miguel Arcángel – Maní
This beautiful convent is located in Maní, a little town 100 km southeast of Mérida. Maní is the center of the so-called “convents’ route”, a route that takes you to the most significant convents around the area. The town is “the place where everything happened”, as it witnessed many important changes in the history of the conquer of the Yucatán Peninsula. The convent dates approximately back to 1549, and it was home to one of the first evangelization schools and one of the first hospitals in America. Here you can also find one of the biggest open chapel of Latin America. As these weren’t enough reasons to visit Maní, make sure to stop at the restaurant Principe Tutul Xiú. This is definitely a must-try to taste the yummy Yucatecan cuisine. Try the Poc Chuc, you are gonna thank me later! If you want to know more about the Yucatecan gastronomy, check out this article.
Ex Convento de San Antonio Padua – Izamal
This ex-convent is located right in the center of the beautiful yellow city of Izamal, 65 km east of Mérida. In the 16th century, the Spanish conquerors built a Christian church on the top of a large pyramid, as well as a Franciscan convent called San Antonio de Padua. Here you can admire the second largest atrium in the world (after St. Peter’s Square in Rome), an impressive 7806 square meters esplanade surrounded by 75 arches. In the ’90s, the Pope Juan Pablo II decided to visit Izamal for its religious importance, and it remains to this day a place of religious pilgrimage for the Catholic congregation. On the 8th of December, the inhabitants of the city celebrate Our Lady of Izamal (the patron of Yucatán) with a big fiesta and many activities. Definitely add Izamal to your list and get your camera ready, you will fall in love with its yellow buildings! Want to know more about Izamal? Check this out.
Parroquia de San Bernardino de Siena – Valladolid
The church and former Convent of San Bernardino is located in the magic town of Valladolid, approximately 160 km east of Mérida and it is one of the oldest and most important colonial complexes. It is known that it was founded around 1552 and it was the first home of the Franciscan Order in the city, also used to “convert” the Yucatec Maya descendants. You will find the church surrounded by a pretty park at the end of the most picturesque street of Valladolid, la Calzada de los Frailes. At night, you can also enjoy a light show projected on the external walls. Get ready to walk around and admire the colorful buildings. Valladolid is such a beauty, every little corner is just so pretty! Check this out to know more about this pueblo mágico (magic town).
Catedral de San Ildefonso – Mérida
Right in the heart of the city of Mérida you will find the Cathedral of San Ildefonso. This is the first cathedral ever built in Continental America and it is the oldest one of México. Once the city of Mérida was founded, the conquistadores started to build the church in 1562 under the authorization and demand of Pope Pio IV and King Felipe II. The building was completed in 1598 and it is now one of the iconic places of Mérida. Make sure to visit this church and take the time to appreciate its beauty. If you want to know more about the historical buildings the city has to offer, have a look here.
Ex-convento y parroquia de San Pedro – Yaxcabá
This is definitely an off-the-beaten-path kind of church. It is located in the small little town of Yaxcabá, 100 km southeast of Mérida. The church is a majestic architectural work painted in burnt red. But what makes this place special is not only the building itself, but the impressive cenote next to it. You have to see it yourself to realize how unique the landscape is! Cenotes are all around Yucatán and they are known for its incredible beauty but trust me when I say that it doesn’t happen often to find a natural swimming hole next to a church. Make sure to head to Yaxcabá to see it with your own eyes. In the area, there are also many other cenotes you can visit to spend a great day in nature. If you want to know more about cenotes, read here.
I hope you liked this article and you have added these places to your list. Get ready to fall in love with Yucatán, this magic land is waiting for you!