After leaving the Mayapan ruins, we stopped in the small town of Acanceh to grab lunch and explore around a little. As you are driving back on Highway 184 north from the Mayapan site toward Highway 180, the exit for Acanceh is well signed on the righthand side. And there will be no doubt when you’ve arrived in Acanceh! There is a pretty church sitting across from a Mayan pyramid right in the town square.
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After leaving the car in the main square, which apparently doubles as a parking lot, we set off in search of food. I’m not sure if Acanceh has any conventional restaurants or not, but our minds were pretty made up on street tacos anyway.
We stumbled across an outdoor market where several food vendors were already shutting down for the day even though it was only about 1:00pm. Perhaps because it was New Years Eve? Fortunately, we next decided to walk around the municipal market and among the butchers and produce sellers, we found a few taco stands in the rear of the building.
The tacos we had were advertised as “Super Tacos” with three different types of meat in each one. Probably best not to ask what the three meats actually were! But I will say, these tacos were absolutely fantastic, full of rich flavor. Colleen theorized that the reason they were so tasty was the approximately 50% fat content. Also, if you are a germaphobe, you might not have the best experience eating at the market. There were a ton of flies, stray dogs, etc. but it didn’t bother us personally.
Belly now full, I gave my camera and my legs a little exercise. The large Catholic church painted golden yellow is the Parroquia de Nuestra Senora de la Natividad and dates back to the 1500’s. There is a smaller, pale yellow chapel nearby which is dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Next to the town square is a small park, Plaza Principal. There is a feature in the park which depicts a deer getting shot with an arrow. While this might seem slightly macabre, the word Acanceh means “groan of the deer” in the Mayan language.
The pyramid is known as the “Palace of the Stuccos” and is said to have many impressive stucco friezes, which are protected from the elements with metal roofing. For a fee, you can climb the pyramid and view the stuccos. We didn’t do this, but In retrospect, I kinda wish we had. But at this point, we still had about a 2 hour drive to our next destination of Valladolid and I wanted to arrive with some good daylight remaining to take photos around Valladolid.