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Worth a visit
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Listed under Towns in Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico.

  • Photo of Izamal
  • Photo of Izamal
  • Photo of Izamal
  • Photo of Izamal
  • Photo of Izamal
Photo of Izamal
Photo by flickr user dan taylor
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Colonial gem called the 'The Yellow City”, for its yellow painted buildings, and “The City of Hills” for its hills – which are now thought to be Mayan pyramids that have thoroughly grown over. It's taken archaeologists decades of work to uncover the 160 sites that they have so far, but there are thousands more – the Mayans built their city here over hundreds of years, and Wikipedia says that they built more than s million cubic metres worth of buildings. When the Spanish wanted to colonise Izamal they decided it would be too difficult to raise the main temple pyramid – which was over ten levels high, with a base that covered two acres of land – so they just knocked the top off and built a Christian structure in its place and did the same with the Mayan palace, on the top of which they built a monastery. But this didn't wholly halt Mayan traditions, and walking round Izamal you're going to hear just as many people speaking the Mayan dialects as you are speaking Spanish.

Easily explored on foot and makes for a good day trip from Merida.

Written by  Blair Metcalfe.

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