The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Haciendas in the Yucatan Peninsula – Merida

In addition to Mayan ruins and archaeological sites, the Yucatan Peninsula is filled with historic haciendas that date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The haciendas, which functioned similar to plantations in the Southern US, were producers of henequen, or sisal, a strong fiber derived from the agave plant used to make twine and rope. Henequen Haciendas were the the source of the Yucatan’s wealth during the Colonial Era and the production was known as “green gold” since it was so lucrative.

While there are dozens of haciendas in the Yucatan Peninsula, here is an ultimate cheat sheet of the haciendas that surround Merida:

Hacienda Sotuta de Peon

Activity & Hotel – 45 minutes south of Merida

Set amongst vast acres of gardens and agave plantations, Hacienda Sotuta de Peon dates back to 1858 and describes itself as a ‘live hacienda’ providing visitors with a glimpse of what was once a fully operational Henequen Hacienda. Here, visitors can take a tour around the rooms of the hacienda with its Italian tiled floors and imported period furniture that was only lived in on the weekends by the owners. Visitors also are in for an interesting history lesson to see how henequen was produced through arduous manual labor and the dark side, that virtually enslaved Maya workers, forcing them to work long hours and paying them in money that could only be spent within the hacienda.

Highlights include riding on a horse-drawn “carriage” through the acres of agave plantation towards the natural cenote that sits within the hacienda grounds to swim. The Hacienda also features a hotel, Hacienda Viva Village Resort, and a restaurant serving local dishes.
Hacienda Sotuta Peon - a live Hacienda


Hacienda Temozon

Luxury Hotel – 55 minutes south of Merida

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, Hacienda Temozon recreates the belle époque of the Mexican southeast. This historic hacienda was built in 1655 and was once the most productive sisal estates in the region; now, it is one of the most luxurious hotels in the Yucatan Peninsula.  Details from the hacienda’s sisal and cattle trade are still visible throughout the grounds in a living museum experience and the richly colored architecture and period-style furniture speak to the grandeur that continues to this day in an modern expression.

The hotel features 28  large rooms with towering ceilings and comfortable beds. Each room is infused with the very Yucatecan scent of orange flower and upon contact, the linens release the delicate aroma of apple.

The highlight of Hacienda Temozon is the long swimming pool that runs through the gardens, a stunning stretch of blue with sun loungers placed alongside making for a great place to enjoy a refreshing dip in a tropical setting.
Hacienda Temozon Luxury Hotel in Yucatan

Journey Mexico Exclusive: With a minimum stay of 3 nights you will enjoy a complimentary gourmet lunch or dinner for 2 in a private setting on the lovely Hacienda grounds.


Hacienda Petac

Private Rental – 40 minutes south of Merida

Set on grounds of 250 acres just outside of the city of Merida, Hacienda Petac is a beautifully-restored 17th century estate, with just 7 rooms rented exclusively to one party. The concept is similar to that of a private home or villa rental, except its an expansive hacienda. Colorful courtyards and touches of Yucatecan decor provide Hacienda Petac with an authentic sense of place.  Here, the 24 staff members included in the guests’ all-inclusive package will go out of their way to ensure that everything is provided for the most perfect stay.
Merida Luxury Resort


Hacienda San Jose Cholul

Luxury Hotel – 50 minutes west of Merida

Hacienda San Jose in the Yucatan was built in the late 18th century and was part of several nearby communities beginning as a cattle farm and later incorporating sugar production, before converting into a Henequen Hacienda. The hacienda was restored in 1993 and converted into a luxury hotel, with a strong vision to maintain many original features that reflect the Yucatan’s history. Colorful walls greet guests as they traverse the buildings that are surrounded by lush tropical gardens and exotic flower archways. The rooms are large with tall exposed wood-beam ceilings, original tile floors, and 10-foot wooden double doors, offering comfort and luxury while taking you back in time.

Highlights at Hacienda San Jose include the various Maya-style palapas that scatter the property and the spa which offers a number of Maya inspired treatments including the aloe, avocado and chaya massage.

Journey Mexico Exclusive: With a minimum stay of 3 nights you will enjoy a complimentary 4th night stay.


Hacienda San Pedro Ochil

Activity & Restaurant- 1 hour south of Merida

Hacienda Ochil in the Yucatan Peninsula traces back to the 17th century when it functioned as a cattle ranch; however there are some archaeological indications that suggest that it was also a Maya settlement in pre-Hispanic centuries. Later in time, as with the other nearby haciendas,  it started producing sisal during the henequen boom. Today, Hacienda Ochil serves as a touristic stop which allows public visitors to view the vast history that this site has endured over centuries. The main attraction is the Museo de las Haciendas Henequeneras (Henequen Haciendas Museum) with old machinery, equipment, tools, photos, model buildings, and books on display. There is also craft workshops, mini-train/tractor tours, a restaurant, and a pool for swimming.

Photo: Secretaria de Fomento Turístico del Estado de Yucatán

Photo: Secretaria de Fomento Turístico del Estado de Yucatán


Hacienda Xcanatun

Hotel & Restaurant- 25 minutes N outside Merida

Hacienda Xcanatun is a former sisal hacienda that dates back to 1790. While on the downturn of the henequen boom, the original owners sold the property and the hacienda was converted into a barely-used summer home. By 1988, the building and lands were in complete ruins due to a hurricane, but owners Jorge Ruz and Cristina Baker saw potential for this historic hacienda to be brought back to life and converted into a luxury hotel. Now beautifully resorted, Hacienda Xcanatun is  set among lush gardens with lily ponds and sacred Maya cieba trees and is a tranquil escape just outside the city. The hotel features the Casa de Piedra restaurant, which has won various awards including its inclusion in the top 50 restaurants in Mexico as selected by by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

Journey Mexico Exclusive: With a minimum stay of 3 nights you will enjoy a complimentary 4th night stay.


For the opportunity to visit the Haciendas of the  Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, check out our Splendor of Yucatan’s Hacienda Itinerary or Family Weekend Escape to the Yucatan Tour.

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