Izamal’s Convento de San Antonio de Padua
How about a throwback from a trip in 2018? I was recently going through some old draft posts and found this one that I never published…
Izamal is a wonderful town in the Yucatan, Mexico. It’s easy to reach from Merida, and there are also buses from places like Valldolid. The town boasts multiple Maya pyramids within the center of town, as well as the massive Convento de San Antonio de Padua. The Convento was finished in 1561, with much of the construction material taken from local Maya temples that the Spaniards destroyed. The atrium of the Convento is said to be the second largest in the world, just after the Atrium of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City.
In December my visit was warm, sunny, and the perfect antidote to cold, gray, midwestern winters. I was surprised how busy it was — I guess we weren’t the only people visiting for the holidays.
I found a small hotel a few blocks from the square. It was clean, had strong wifi, and it had a lovely swimming pool. And it was only $19 per night ($25 per night now in 2022). If I had unlimited vacation time, I might have spent a few weeks. The town is wonderfully photogenic and the sort of place that deserves more than an overnight.
Here’s a photo of the Convento, taken through one of the portals of the atrium.
By the way, the entire town of Izamal is painted the bright yellow you see on the facade of the Convento.