Izamal: The Yellow City


Izamal’s colourful nickname was apparent from the moment we entered the outskirts of town; the yellow city.

On the edge of town the buildings were a pale amber, growing to rich sandy lemons and creamy golds as we neared the centre of town. It wasn’t just the historical buildings and churches that sported this mustard exterior–it was every single building in the city centre and even some in the residential part of the village.

Inventory at the local paint store must be easy.

Izamal is an important Maya site with the ruins of four large pyramids that, unlike other Mayan ruins, are located right in the centre of town. If you decided to move here, you could literally be neighbours with a 2200 year old temple and view the structure from your kitchen window.

I climbed to the top of the Kinich Kak Mo Pyramid, with screaming lungs, but was rewarded with a panoramic view of the whole city as well as the entire surrounding Yucatán region. Built during the early-Classic period, this pyramid to the Mayan sun god spans an entire block and was built around by modern day Izamal.

The best way to see the city is by a mixture of walking and by horse drawn carriage. You can reach the pyramids and city centre easily by foot, but it’s worth a ride around the rest of the spanning city to see the other sites and to get a better idea of how the locals really live. I got to ride up front with the driver and even got to try my hand at holding the reigns. Now I know what to do if blogging doesn’t pan out

Izamal is hands down one of the most architecturally beautiful cities in the Yucatan peninsula.

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Visit Izamal on your own Escapade Cancun : Mayan Treasures
or Experience Collection Duo Cancun Merida

This trip was made possible by 
Transat HolidaysVisit Mexico and Yucatan Tourism.

All views and opinions are my own.

Have you been to a colour-themed city?


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14 Responses to “Izamal: The Yellow City”

  1. Kerry
    December 29, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    Oh! Mexico is still quite a few months away for me on this trip, but you have just put this town on the must-visit list! I love how much colour you’ve been able to capture, it seems like a wonderfully magic place. All the yellow reminds me of Hoi An!
    Kerry recently posted..A not-so-Christmassy Christmas

    • Seattle Dredge
      December 30, 2013 at 12:05 am #

      Funnily, the tourism board actually coined it as a ‘magic town’, so magical is a good description, haha. I haven’t been to Hoi An, but it sounds like I need to make a visit :]

  2. Stephanie - The Travel Chica
    December 30, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Gorgeous photo collection.

  3. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    December 31, 2013 at 1:10 am #

    I loved reading this! The background of the city was very interesting. These pictures are absolutely stunning. Thank you for sharing!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..Happy Holidays! A Special Video Christmas Card From GGT to You

    • Seattle Dredge
      January 4, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

      Thanks–it’s easy to take photos of such a pretty place 😀
      Seattle Dredge recently posted..Samui Safari

  4. Angie Away
    January 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    I don’t even think they could notice a gloomy day there. Such a beautiful city, and that food! What is it!?

    • Seattle Dredge
      January 4, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

      I was thinking the same thing–it was actually quite grey part of the time and I hardly noticed. The first dish is shredded chicken tostadas (basically just an open face taco) and the second is pickled onion on chicken with fried plantains, rice, avacado, etc. :]
      Seattle Dredge recently posted..Samui Safari

  5. Cam
    January 31, 2014 at 12:36 am #

    What a cute little town.
    We visited Jodhpur in India, which is the Blue City.

    • Seattle Dredge
      February 4, 2014 at 1:04 am #

      Ah, I’ve always wanted to go there.. or any other blue city for that matter.

  6. Jennifer
    February 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Those are indeed some yellow buildings! Love the pink car against the yellow building. Great color combo!

  7. Mayan Explore
    February 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Amazing article and pics! Congratulations. We also write about Mexico. Here’s our latest article about a secluded fishing village in Quintana Roo. We hope you will like it. http://blog.mayanexplore.com/2014/02/mexico-is-cancun-and-something-else_25.html

  8. isabella
    August 22, 2017 at 9:52 am #

    Amazing pictures!!

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