Sayil A Day Trip Out Of Hotel Ria Celestun, Celestun, Mexico
Sayil Travel Blog› entry 2 of 10 › view all entries
Sayil is a small Classic Maya Puuc site that is located about 2 miles south of Kabah on the Puuc Route, about 2 miles east of Route 261 at Latitude 20° 14' 0" North, by Longitude 89° 39' 0" West. Sayil is located amongst small hills. It was first occupied prior to 250 AD, monumental building began around 600 AD but was at its zenith between 700 AD and 1000 AD. The maximum population is estimated to have been less than 10,000. It is likely that Sayil was an ally to Uxmal due to its much smaller size and its close proximity.It is also connected to Uxmal with a sacbe (white road).
Structures to visit are El Palacio which is a 3 stories tall with 98 room and it is 280 feet long; El Mirador which is a small 5 room Chenes style structure with a roof comb and the ball court.
El Palacio at Sayil is one of the most beautiful of all Maya structures, this palace is just one step below the imposing Palace of the Governor and the Nunnery Quadrangle at Uxmal. El Palacio is the most important building at Sayil. The building phases for this structure spanned from just prior to 670 AD to around 1000 AD. The long low form set on a large platform just draws you into the site. El Palacio is on three levels and contains 98 rooms. The front facade faces south and looks down on the entrance to the grand sacbe (white road). The first and third levels each have an interior corridor. Both of these corridors were in a poor state on my last visit. The second level, the most highly ornamented of the three levels has two corridors. There is a grand stairway that leads you from the ground to each of the three levels.
El Mirador can be found by taking the path leading south from El Palacio for about 1,300 feet. El Mirador was constructed prior to 600 AD. This is a small (5 room) Chenes structure with a roof comb. This is a very early example of a roof comb. There is still red paint visible in some of the recesses of the roof comb. I recommend a telephoto lens of binoculars to see the red paint.
Sayil also has a ball court and several small palaces. On my last visit there had been little to no reconstruction or consolidation to these more minor structures.
There are two sacbe (white roads) to explore. You can follow a sacbe to either Uxmal or Kabah.
The parking lot is adequate and there are a number of arts and craft shops adjacent to the entrance on my last visit.