Hacienda Mundaca

sights / Historic

Hacienda Mundaca information

Location
Isla Mujeres , Mexico
Address
Av Rueda Medina
Prices
admission M$20
Opening hours
9am-4pm
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A 19th-century slave trader and reputed pirate, Fermín Antonio Mundaca de Marechaja, fell in love with a local woman known as La Trigueña (The Brunette). To win her, Mundaca built a two-story mansion complete with gardens and graceful archways. But while Mundaca was building the house, La Trigueña married another islander. Brokenhearted, Mundaca died, and the hacienda fell into disrepair.

The ruins are about 4km south of town; they're easily reached by bike, taxi, or bus if you don’t mind waiting.

Some documents indicate that Mundaca died during a visit to Mérida and was buried there. Others say he died on the island, and indeed there’s a grave in the town cemetery that supposedly contains his remains. Despite the skull and crossbones on his headstone (a common memento mori), there’s no evidence that Mundaca was ever a pirate. Instead, it is said he accumulated his wealth by transporting slaves from Africa to Cuba, where they were forced to work in mines and sugar-cane fields.

Today the complex has some walls and foundations, a large central pond, some rusting cannons and a partially rebuilt house. At the southern end stands a gateway with an impressive stone arch. The shady grounds make for pleasant strolling, but watch out for the droppings of spiny-tailed iguanas.