I hired Ralf Hollman, at William Lawson Company, to visit the Mayan Ruins of Uxmal. I recommend that you contact him as well. The ruins are around 50 miles from Merida and can be seen in an easy day trip while stopping to see the haciendas on the way.
At the suggestion of friends in San Miguel, and of Ralf, I opted to explore Uxmal and not go to Chichen Itza, despite the fact that it is in the book 1000 Places to See Before You Die. According to him, Chicen Itza is overrun by tourists from Cancun, there are many vendors, few great carvings and you can’t really get very close to the ruins.
The advice was perfect. I found Uxmal to be very peaceful and spiritual with wonderful pyramids, buildings and carvings, with few tourists and no vendors! Uxmal is one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are more than 150 buildings, with the major ones including the Pyramid of the Magician (or Dwarf) with its unique rounded corners, and the Nunnery Quadrangle with its four buildings containing stone latticework and carvings that feature figures of huts, feathers, birds, monkeys and snakes intertwined. There is also a ball court, the Governor’s Palace, the smaller Temple of the Turtles and the Great Pyramid. If you are staying in the area, make sure to attend the Sound and Light Show in the evening.
The Mayan town was founded in 700 A.D and had some 25,000 inhabitants. The layout of the buildings, which date from between 700 and 1000, reveals a strong knowledge of astronomy.