The Magical City of Izamal

10 May

When a place is officially designated magical, it’s hard to pass up an opportunity to visit. We heard about Izamal at the artisan museum in Valladolid. I admired a painting and was told that it was the convent in Izamal, where the second largest church devoted to the Virgin Mary in Mexico is located. Pope John Paul II visited in 1993, drawing much attention to this little town. Being a fan, we added it to our itinerary (of the virgin, not necessarily the pope).

This painting of a church in Izamal, the yellow city put it on our must see list.

This painting is of the convent  in Izamal, the yellow city. All buildings in the central town are golden yellow.

Mexico has thirty-six magical pueblos. Once a town receives this coveted designation, they get federal funds for publicity and improvements. Izamal is a day trip from Merida and well worth the drive.

The yellow city.

The golden cathedral .

Izamal was once a great Mayan city. In order to convert the population to Catholicism, as in all of Mexico, the  Franciscan priests built a cathedral on top of a pyramid and in a prominent location. The colonial town grew around it.

We found a hotel with a great garden and adequate room.

I loved this grotto and want to build one on our property.

I loved this grotto and want to build one on our property.

There was a great little artisan museum. Bringing our bicycles was the greatest move we made on this trip.


The Mayan women wear similar dresses as their everyday attire. Young girls don’t want to learn the handwork and the art is being lost.

It's always about laughing at death or selling bread, take your pick.

It’s always about laughing at death or selling bread, take your pick.

There are a dozen talleres or workshops where artists craft from wood, tin, paper mâché, and sisal.


Working in your own home keeps down the overhead and allows artists to make a living.


Cotton, nylon, or sisal in varying weaves, patterns  and prices.

Yucatan traditionally produced sisal or henequen as it is called here. For this reason I bought baskets.

I bought this tortilla basket fro e nuns in the church gift shop.  The colors were amazing. I couldn't pass it up.

A tortilla basket purchased from the nuns in the church gift shop. They drove a hard bargain but who can argue with nuns? The colors were amazing. I couldn’t pass it up.

A new addition to my art collection.

Another addition to my budding art collection.

We will definitely make a point of visiting other magical towns in Mexico. Having the ability to take our bicycles made all the difference.

An update on our house construction – the foundation will be poured this week for Lisa’s workshop. It will also provide space to begin shopping for items for the house, ceiling fans, toilets, and appliances. Our builder asked this week to begun thinking about where we want the TV! We may get a house yet.


8 Responses to “The Magical City of Izamal”

  1. Lisa May 10, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    Loved this little town. Gave us great ideas about doors. I am so ready for the construction to begin. This part excites me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 May 10, 2015 at 11:29 am #

      Was such a good time Honey. You’re the best traveler.


  2. garth May 10, 2015 at 10:44 am #

    sweet travel amigas O bien viaje

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 May 10, 2015 at 11:28 am #

      We are home and it’s fun to remember the trip. It took us almost an hour to get out of town when we were ready to leave! One way streets kept taking us back to the center of town.


  3. LJones May 11, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    Love this little town (from your photos)! I hope you both had a happy mother’s day yesterday . Love from Spokane WA

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 May 12, 2015 at 6:03 am #

      There are so many interesting places to visit in the Yucatan. They’re all magical in my book.


  4. emilievardaman May 11, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    Lovely looking church!

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 May 12, 2015 at 6:06 am #

      The church has a huge inner courtyard. We didn’t see the statue since they have her on a “track” and only bring her out during certain hours. We missed it.


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