Eknakán, in Mexico’s Yucatán, is the site of one of many haciendas as well as a German Gothic-style church—which is what makes it an interesting small village to experience. Known as the Iglesia de la Soledad (La Soledad Church), the yellow church stands tall over the center of town, with stained glass–diffused lighting throughout.
Originally built as a cattle ranch, Hacienda Eknakán was transformed for the production of henequen, a type of agave plant. You can explore the grounds and step inside the church, which currently acts as a museum, to see numerous stained glass windows, a large painting of the Virgin Mary, and other religious artifacts. There is also a beautiful cenote (limestone sinkhole) just south of Eknakán called Papakal, with clear water and dozens of stalagmites and stalactites.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Eknakán is a must-see for first-time visitors to the Riviera Maya and the Yucatán.
- Wear comfortable shoes, as the best way to explore the town is on foot.
- If you plan to visit the cenote, tote a swimsuit, towel, sunblock, and dry change of clothes.
- The hacienda and cenote are not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Eknakán lies southeast of Mérida, about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the town of Cuzamá via the Acanceh–Cuzamá Highway. To avoid the hassle of renting a car in Mexico, opt for a tour from Mérida that includes transportation.
When to Get There
As with all of Riviera Maya and the Yucatán, Eknakán is lovely year-round. This area receives far fewer tourists than other popular resort destinations on the peninsula, and is rarely crowded. Wet weather is likely from May to October.
On the grounds of the hacienda, just south of town, lies Cenote Papakal. It’s part of a group of cenotes, or underground sinkholes, in the Cuzamá area of the Yucatán, and most travelers and area tours hit up several in one day. Some tours journey to the cenotes by horse-drawn cart from Mérida. At Papakal, you can take a cool dip in the clear, mineral-rich waters and see interesting rock formations.