Are you planning a trip to Merida or Valladolid on your next vacation? If so, here are two new museums to visit in Yucatan.
First up in Merida is the Museum of Yucatecan Cuisine (Museo de la Gastronomía Yucateca). This restaurant and museum is a tasty introduction to the flavors of the Yucatan and the history of regional cuisine, from the days of the ancient Maya to the coming of the Spaniards and Caribbean and Middle Eastern recipes introduced by later settlers.
The museum is set around a beautiful old courtyard and has exhibits of ingredients, traditional kitchen utensils and a replica of a Mayan village with its thatched homes and a pib or cooking pit used to cook the classic Yucatecan dish cochinita pibil, marinated roast pork.
The museum is located on Calle 62 No. 466 x 55 & 57 in Merida. There is Jarana folk dancing on Thursdays and live music on Fridays.
The colonial town of Valladolid also has a new museum, which is a must if you are interested in Mexico’s rich culture. The Mexican Ethnic Clothing Museum (Museo de Ropa Etnica de Mexico) or MUREM showcases traditional clothing worn by Mexico’s indigenous groups in 12 different regions of the country.
There are over 60 traditional outfits from Yucatan, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Veracruz, Puebla, Hidalgo and other parts of central Mexico, Chihuahua and Nayarit, on display and more than 14 of the country’s indigenous groups are represented.
Embroidered huipiles for daily use stand next to colorful ribbon-bedecked ceremonial tunics, a jaguar fighter mask and costume and the famous china poblana dress.
Some garments date from the pre-Hispanic period and haven’t changed much in a thousand years, reflecting ancient beliefs and symbols of the natural world. Other dresses have a European design, lace and frills and were introduced during the Colonial period. Each garment has a fascinating story and the museum guides are on hand to tell them as they show you the collection.
MUREM is located on Calle 41 in Valladolid and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Of course there are many more museums to visit in Yucatan. When in Merida don’t miss the Regional Anthropology and History Museum in Palacio Canton (closed on Monday) on Paseo de Montejo, the Museo del Mundo Maya on Prolongacion Montejo, the City Museum in the old Post Office on Calle 56, Casa de Montejo on the main square, Casa Museo Quinta Montes Molina on Paseo de Montejo and the Museum of Popular Art on Calle 50, among others.
The archaeological sites of Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Dzibilchaltun also have museums and you can start delving into Maya history right here in Cancun at the Cancun Maya Museum (closed on Monday).
Cancun is also the site of an extraordinary underwater art museum, MUSA, the largest of its kind in the world. And there are many more museums to visit in Yucatan if you go further afield in the peninsula. Traveling south of Cancun and the Riviera Maya, visit the Caste War Museum in the village of Tihosuco in the Zona Maya; San Felipe Fort on the shores of the Bacalar Lagoon is home to a Pirate Museum and in Chetumal, capital of Quintana Roo there is a Museum of Maya Culture.
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