Izamal, the yellow town

Its easy to reach Izamal from Mérida by bus. You catch the bus from the northeast bus terminal and is 1 1/2 hour to Izamal (27$). Izamal is about 70 km east of Merida.

This small town is incredible beautiful, and looks like a magic movie set, it’s picturesque and known for obvious reasons by ‘The Yellow Town’ because most of its buildings are painted in a beautiful and eye-catching mustard yellow colour.

The impressive franciscan monastery stands out in the heart of this yellow town. It houses a museum and a church. In front of the monastery they have horses dressed in ridiculous floral hats pull carriages of tourists around the town.

Walking around town by foot getting lost and discovering it’s cobblestone streets it’s very pleasant. It’s also possible to visit by foot the archaeological sites.

Kinch Kak moo, is a small site that has a Mayan pyramid that you can climb and enjoy the view from the top over the city, the pyramid it might not be as big, well preserved or stunning as Chichén Itzá but is still very impressive.

The ‘centro cultural y artesanal‘ (cultural and Artesanal centre) it’s a small museum that displays a selection of outstanding examples of folk art from across Mexico. The pieces are truly beautiful and colourful.

The local market near the monastery is a good place to eat traditional Yucatan food.

There’s not much more to see and do in this town, and that is also part of it’s charm. I would say that Izamal is a  mandatory stop when visiting Yucatan, even if only for a day,  Izamal is simply enchanting!

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

36 thoughts on “Izamal, the yellow town

  1. dfolstad58

    Excellent photos, and lots of them. Minor spelling error archeological. I think some people might be interested in food and that makes for a nice photo also in the restaurant. I also liked the length of the post as perfect for a blog. Thank you for the obvious well thought spacing of photos and narrative. I enjoyed reading this.

  2. evainmexicoblog

    I’m so glad I found this post as I’ll be able to to visit it soon – thank you

  3. leannacrowley

    How interesting . I spent the summer in Merida and wish we had known this then.

  4. carolineontheglobe

    Very yellow place 😛 It must look incredibly good when the sun shines on the yellow buildings…double effect 😀

    • cook the beans

      That’s true, I got some lovely sunny days there and it was truly beautiful ?

  5. Kenaia

    Your pictures are beautiful! I’m totally inspired to visit. Thank you for posting this!

    • cook the beans

      you definitely need to visit Izamal if you end up traveling through Yucatan, is such a beautiful place that doesn’t get many tourist 🙂

    • cook the beans

      Izamal it’s an interesting and beautiful place for sure. if yellow is your favourite colour this town will suit you perfectly 😉

  6. Chrissy

    Beautiful pictures! Cobblestone streets and yellow buildings sound amazing. I didn’t know there was such a place with mostly yellow buildings.

    • cook the beans

      I know its so cool that most of the building are painted with such a vibrant colour 🙂

  7. Jennifer Bliss

    WOW! LOVE the pics! And I have always liked that shade of yellow! Sounds like a lovely place for sure!

  8. Mel & Suan

    Darn. Recalled we asked the reason for it being yellow from another post some time back… think it had to do with the availability of dyes… can you refresh us?

    • cook the beans

      Izamal was not always a ‘yellow town’ the houses used to be painted in a variety of pastel hues but still some were already yellow because the city was a pilgrimage site where Mayans offer respect a sun god.
      In 1993, Juan Pablo II visited Izamal, and they decided to paint all the houses, including the convent, the same color, they opted for yellow because the sun, the corn, and then the Vatican flag are yellow 🙂

  9. lizi and nic

    It’s such a beautiful city! We couldn’t believe how few tourists we saw considering the attractions and how easy it is to reach. ?

  10. suffusedsupper

    Oh my goodness, I absolutely loved Izamal! It rained so hard when I went, and the poor horses had to find shelter.

  11. anuragbakhshi

    Oh wow. Such a cute place, had never even heard of it. And yellow is my favorite color, especially on buildings ☺️

    • cook the beans

      they truly are beautiful, when I was visiting the weather was great, the sky clear but I can imagine that even when it’s cloudy all the yellow will lift your mood, just like the sun 🙂

  12. DeniseBalog

    Wow! Incredibly beautiful. Love the yellow!! One can’t go wrong on taking pictures that “pop”! Thank you for sharing!! Love your description of the horses in the hats!!

    • cook the beans

      It’s true some places don’t need good cameras or great photographic skills they are just amazing and you can’t go wrong whatever you shoot ?

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