Mexico Travel

Published on November 1st, 2013 | by Paz


Exploring Uxmal with kids

If you are visiting the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula, the Mayan ruins at Uxmal (pronounced oush-mall) is a must see. Although not as famous as Chichen Itza, Uxmal is one of the best preserved Mayan ruins and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After exploring Uxmal with kids it was easy to why everyone told us we could not miss Uxmal. Although Chichen Itza is impressive, Uxmal has much more to explore, more intricate facades, and more for the kids to climb, touch, and see.

One benefit I have found since we are now road schooling (home schooling) was that I wasn’t worried about the days missed from school as we ventured out onto the ruins. We did our reading and math assignments in the morning before we took off and spent the day exploring.

Entrance Fee

Adults: $187 MXN Pesos = roughly $15.00 USD per person

Kids: $6 MXN Pesos = roughly .50 cents per child

Another reason why you should travel with kids is because of the discounts they get. Your budget can stretch a bit further and they have an experience of a lifetime.

Guide or No Guide???

We have a strong NO GUIDE rule in our family. Although guides might have tons of great information, they want you to pay attention to them. The problem with this is that so does our 6 and 3 year old. So by adding a guide it kind of feels like adding an extra whiny child. They want you to listen to all the information they have to give, follow them where they go, not take too much time in any particular area, and of course pay them.

See how they can feel like adding a whiny toddler to your party. Although I would love to walk, stare, and listen to loads of information about buildings, statues, and historical facts, well that just isn’t my life right now. I have an active 3 yr old that brings along trucks and race cars. Not sure how the guide would feel about discussing the speed of the race car zooming down the ruins. Not really Mayan history, however very important to a 3 yr old.

I also have an inquisitive 6 yr old that likes to venture off the path and linger at the most obscure places.

With no guide we can stop, play, and find out how fast those race cars will actually go. We can go off the beaten path and play under a tree or try and catch some lizards.

I am sure one day we will use guides as I am always listening to those walking by that have loads of information, but for right now we enjoy the flexibility of not using one.

Exploring Uxmal with trucks

Abe got a truck from his Nonna and it made it to Uxmal.

There were tons of lizards everywhere. I stopped taking pictures after lizard 25… be careful not to put your hands in any holes. It might actually be a lizard’s home.

Nunnery Quadrangle – one of the most impressive parts of Uxmal. Full of places for the kids to run, climb and the elaborate façades are fabulous!!

A family picture in the Quadrangle. We rarely get a picture of all of us! So here is the gang.

Nunnery Quadrangle – West Building

Pictures like these is why taking a guide is hard. They just don’t get us.

Abe and I pretending to be Ninjas. I learned all my moves from him.

Governor’s Palace – Standing on the Governor’s Palace plateau over looking Uxmal. It is an amazing view.

A baby lizard.

You can run and climb all over Uxmal. A great place for curious little ones.

Messoamerican Ballgame ōllamaliztli Nahuatl pronunciation: [oːlːamaˈlistɬi]

This game goes back to 1,400 B.C.

Thousand year old stones laying everywhere. If they lasted this long, I am sure they can handle these two.

Not sure if you can see it, but the gang is tired here. After 3 hours in the hot sun, everyone is looking forward to the air conditioning in the car rental.


There is a restaurant at Uxmal and although convenient it is extremely touristy and over-priced. Honestly it didn’t look appetizing at all. I would recommend making your way towards Santa Elena on Hwy 180. It is only about 15 minutes down the road and you can find some great food in this small town. We ate at “4 Hermanos” right in the center and had 13 tacos, 2 tortas, and 3 sodas for 145 pesos or $12.00 USD. A great deal and authentic Mexican food.

Uxmal is great for exploring with kids and is not as crowded as other Mayan ruins. It is a must see if you are in the Yucatan.

About the Author

Paz is an avid adventurer in life and food. Traveling across the globe with her family they enjoy cultural immersion and checking out the local eateries.

3 Responses to Exploring Uxmal with kids

  1. Angela White says:

    Fun! Caleb would be doing the same thing as Abe. When Paul and I went on our belated honeymoon we went to Mahahual Mexico (we stayed at the Balamku Inn) and traveled down near Chetumal to the Chacchoben ruins. It was amazing! And they built it during a time when there was no round wheels! No idea how they did it. It’s hard to believe but I was 4 months pregnant with Caleb at the time we went! I would walk for half an hour and need a break.

    • Paz says:

      Right it is totally crazy to try and imagine how they did it. Abe just loved jumping on all the rocks and trying to climb up everything. lol Thank goodness Lupita is a bit more careful and she kept him from breaking a leg about 3 times.

  2. Cat says:

    Thanks for this post! So beautiful. We didn’t get to Uxmal on our recent trip, but it looks like a great place for kids. Also a plus that it doesn’t look very crowded. I went to Palenque some years ago and was able to climb up (and down inside the center) of one of the pyramids. Without the crowds, you can experience that quiet, grounded feeling that Mayan ruins have.

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