Hacienda Yaxcopoil

Top choice in Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

If you visit one hacienda, make it this one. This vast estate grew and processed henequén (agave plant fibers, used to make rope); many of its numerous French Renaissance–style buildings have undergone picturesque restorations. The interior of the main building is superb. You can enter the sheds with the giant rasping machines that turned the leaves into fiber. The caretaker used to work cutting henequén and has stories to share (should you speak Spanish; tip suggested).

If you fall in love with this place and its garden, you can stay in a lovely restored room with antique furniture (there's only one room so you'll have the hacienda to yourself; US$110 including breakfast, US$15 extra for dinner). Frequent Mérida–Ticul buses pass Yaxcopoil, 33km southwest of Mérida off Hwy 261, but it’s easiest to drive.

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