Holding a rich and glorious, yet also ominous, place in the history of the country, Mexico’s stunning haciendas are unique memorials that offer tangible links to Mexico’s past. Dating back as far as the 1500’s, immediately following the colonization of Mexico by the Spanish, haciendas have played an important part in what Mexico is today.
Old photo – Hacienda Xcanatun
Let’s start with a look back. As the Spanish first settled in Mexico, land grants were given to conquistadores, officials of the crown and Spanish dignitaries by the Spanish monarchy. Some land grants were even given to regular Spaniards who petitioned the crown, volunteering to move to the new land for Spanish Crown.
Initially the land grants were not far-reaching, yet, fairly quickly these land grand grew—via land acquisition or simply by confiscating lands “owned” by the indigenous people. As their acreage grew, some matching the size of whole countries in Europe, the Spaniards built large, colonial-style estates from which to operate business enterprises usually centered around agriculture, mining or livestock. These large estates became the great haciendas of Mexico.
Old photo – Hacienda Xcanatun
During the 1700s, the haciendas had become bustling operations and construction grew from simple houses to elaborate grounds with additional living quarters, large stables for animals, buildings for workers and even churches and stores. They became communities within the seemingly endless boundaries of the estate. For 200 years, the haciendas would grow in size, power and influence, even as the political and ruling system in Mexico changed hands from the Spanish, to Mexico, to the French and back to Mexico.
Then, in November of 1910, things changed, and the beginning of the end of the great haciendas commenced. This was the time of the Mexican Revolution, led by Pancho Villa, Venustiano Carranza, and Emiliano Zapata. As part of the revolutionary uprising against the long-standing regime, the revolutionary soldiers decimated the haciendas as a show of power—raiding, ransacking and burning every hacienda they came across. The massive lands the haciendas occupied were eventually given back to the people and the owners of the haciendas were only allowed to keep 200 acres.
Hacienda Labor de Rivera
Some haciendas were rebuilt and continued to function at a fraction of what they were prior to the revolution while others simply became residences. Yet, many lay in ruins, shells of the grand estates they once were.
As many of these once regal buildings lay in decay, even as recently as this millennium, they were purchased and restored. Many became unique, luxury properties where guests are able to re-live and re-experience the incredibly rich history residing in the walls of these stunning properties.
Hacienda de San Antonio
Our team has hand-selected the best-of-the-best of these hacienda properties across Mexico. These properties have flawlessly combined the primitive feel of the haciendas, when the “charros” and plantation workers walked the grounds and the owning family lived in lavish, yet bygone, opulence, with modern luxuries and comforts to create a wonderfully exclusive Mexican experience.
With our wide selection of haciendas, we are able to provide distinct experiences for all types of travelers—from couples to families to groups. Stay at a hacienda in the heart of a city for easy exploration, or one just outside the city for an escape after a day of touring, or one close to ancient archeological sites to dive deeper into Mexico’s rich history or even one perfect for families with fun, interactive experiences for the kids.
Hacienda San Gabriel de las Palmas
Make your trip a brief escape for a long weekend, stay a bit longer or, best of all, create a multi-destination itinerary and mix a stay at a hacienda with a visit to a beach resort and get the best of both worlds.
Anyway you choose, Journey Mexico can help you plan a memorable and custom-tailored travel experience to the most incredible and luxurious haciendas throughout Mexico. Relive a departed era and important time in Mexico’s past with a truly unique Mexican experience today.
– Featured Luxury Haciendas –
Located just outside of Merida City, this beautifully-restored hacienda, set among lush gardens is like a tranquil escape from the city. The hacienda dates back to 1790 and was almost in ruins when the owners bought it and worked on converting it into a luxury hotel.
Flanked by an active volcano in the highlands of Mexico, Hacienda San Antonio is set around lush tropical gardens that center on a majestic water feature. Located just 30 minutes from Colima airport, and with its own private airstrip, the hacienda is easily accessible from the surrounding area.
Built in 1700, Hacienda Uayamon is located in the Yucatan Peninsula outside Campeche and boasts a kind of rustic modern luxury.
Set among beautiful grounds, with soring palm trees, tranquil fountains and waterfalls, this 16th century Franciscan monastery was built on the order of conquistador Hernán Cortés and is now a luxury hotel. Considered a museum as well as a resort and spa, guests will enjoy staying in a historical monument.