Snaking our way to Sotuta

On our way

Last Saturday the weather in Yucatan was as close to perfect as it ever gets. Jorge and I could not stand being cooped up, so a car ride seemed like a safe way to scratch our itch. We decided to visit Sotuta, a town 75 kilometers from Merida. The name means, “place surrounded by water” which is derived from the fact that cenotes are common in the area. However, we did not seek them out because we did not want to encounter any crowds during our escape from the confines of social distancing.

The road shown in the above photograph is the highway from Merida. To reach Sotuta, you need to exit and that road is winding, narrow and a bit hilly. The curves are not well banked. No photo of this because I dared not distract myself long enough to take one.

Monument to Nachi Cocom, Maya resistance leader

Sotuta is the ancestral home of the COCOM family. In the pre-Columbian era, they fought often for supremacy over the Itzaes from Chichen Itza, but once the Spaniards arrived, they became the focus of the Cocum war efforts. One of Yucatan’s most famous defenders against the Conquistadores was a man named, Nachi Cocom. He lived and died, a martyr to his cause, during the first half of the 1500s AD.

Tajonal growing along the roadside

The drive to Sotuta is particularly picturesque at this time of year because f the abundance of wildflowers along the roadside. The “tajonal” is the most common and the bright yellow blooms attract many bees. It is the pollen from this plant that gives Yucatecan honey its distinctive taste.

Sotuta’s church
Entrace to the church’s atrium
Another view of Sotuta’s church

The most destinctive structure in town is the Spanish colonial church that features a large atrium.

We had hoped to find a local fonda where we could have lunch, but the pandemic has nixed that. So back to Merida we drove, much happier that when we set off four hours earlier. Getting out into the countryside always lifts our spirits.

And our little pup, Buddy also enjoyed the outing!

The road home. Even when there were not many flowers to enjoy, we had the sky. I often describe the skies in Yucatan as a gigantic – panoramic – ever-changing mural.

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include reading, painting, cooking and travel.

11 thoughts on “Snaking our way to Sotuta

    1. You got it Loretta. Actually we could have eaten in Izamal at the restaurant where you and I have been many times. But we didn’t want to risk driving in th dark. You know how inight falls so quickly here. Missing you as always!


  1. My favorite town out that way is Mama. The church is truly a working church and oh what a church.

    An outing from Merida that I encourage is Isla of Arena. The drive out past the little burgs, the causeway over the low country on Yucatan’s west coast and then an isolated sport fishing center with a museum dedicated to a mid fifties movie icon. I usually make a pilgrimage out there when I’m in Yucatan, just to see the changes. It is a nice day trip Joanna.


    1. WE have tried to go to Isla Arena but never had luck. The road is really poor and fishermen from Campeche and Yucatan regularly dipute the spit’s ownership… Once our Yucatan plates got us into hot waterwhen the Campeche native guardsmen identified us as folks from their rivals. But as is often the case on that border… a lot of noise was made but nothing more than that. We followed the advice and drive back to where you came from…


  2. Thank you for this lovely trip to Sotuta. I am pretty sure we visited there on an IWC outing, or Matt and I may have wandered there on our own. I am missing Yucatan honey.

    Matt and I are getting through the dark cold Kalispell winter but it is still early. We are eligible for vaccines here but so far there is not enough supply. Thank God we have a functional federal government. Our State government is all Republican but less likely to do us immediate harm.

    We socialize with just one other couple. We haven’t seen family since September. I am not complaining. We are safe and warm and well fed. We miss everything and everyone in Mérida.

    Hugs, Linda

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Well I hope you and our other friends who live here part time will be back next year… who knows? The roll out of the vaccine is proving to be difficult but we should expect that. Imagine how many people must get one! Seven billion… It will take a while… Jorge and I are “doing our best” Some days are easier than others…


  3. I think Wayne and I visited the village after we attended the Latin American Bloggers Conference in Merida — which must have been held just after Cortes landed in Mexico. The church was open while we were there, but it was one of the few churches that was. Do you know why the churches are locked up so often? Maybe the churches here are, as well.


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