The ‘Ruta de las Iglesias‘ was a stumbled upon, surprise adventure that made us excited, amazed and intrigued leaving with the attitude that there is way more to the Tulum area than we ever thought. Oprah would have called it an ‘Ah ha’ moment, a traveler would rub their hands together and thank the travel gods for their direction. We were just in awe that we had missed this before, but were thankful that we found it.
Ruta de las Iglesias is a fun one day trip around the Tulum area that takes you through Mayan pueblos big and small in the Quintana Roo and Yucatan area. This route of the churches could last for days if you were willing to travel through Quintana Roo, Campeche and the Yucatan. For our purposes we did a portion of this route that circles around Tulum.
Church Chasers in Quintana Roo and the Yucatan
If you are fascinated with churches, the architecture, the history of the Spanish conversion or attempted religious conversion of Mayans, the Caste war during 1830 to the late 1800′s in Mexico or Mayan pueblos in 2012, this is a self guided, self driving tour that was created by the state tourism boards. What can we say about this? Fascinating. Would we recommend this as a day trip, ABSOLUTELY! Is it easy. Man it could not be easier.
What will Church Chasers see in Quintana Roo?
A museum in Tichusco about the Final Caste War between the Spanish, Mexican and Mayan populations, several Spanish build churches in each Mayan pueblo, active churches in the area, lagoons (Senor), ranches, tricyclos on the road, Men with rifles hunting for food, over 75% non-Spanish speakers (you need to ask do you speak Spanish not do you speak English as most of the people you see are Mayan speakers, Spanish colonial buildings, Mayan homes (palapas), hammocks, super cool taxis that are three wheel motorcycles, artfully crafted sidewalks where no one is walking, jungle, community, lots of Mayan clothing (not for sale but worn by the women in the villages) very few cars, very few restaurants (bring water and snacks) large cities and small towns.
The Spanish had a large influence in the small town in Quintana Roo, with the stories told through murals in each of the churches that you see.
Hardest places to find on the Ruta de las Iglesias
The lagoon in Senor, the local eco-tour agency in Senor (xyaat.com), churches in Senor, Felipe Carillo Puerto, and Tichusco. The museum for the Caste War does have great signage but you may get a bit lost in this small town. No worries, someone will direct you.
Cost for the day of Church Chasing
Car rental – 50 usd to 70 usd
Snacks and water – 5 usd
Museum entrance – 75 pesos per person
Gas – 25 USD
Lunch in Vallodolid – 10 usd per person (that is a fancy meal)
Fruit bought at the road side stands – 5 mangoes 2 usd
Church Chasing experience PRICELESS
Try out this fun day and send us your photos on Facebook! This was a worthwhile adventure that filled in some historical blanks for us. We feel that we have not even started this route, and are ready for more! When we go on our next church chasing adventure you will be the first to know. Be open to the experience and see what really went on in Quintana Roo before the development of the beaches and see what goes on today in the heart of Mayan country!