New ecotourism routes were announced at Xcunyá. Photo: Courtesy

Xcunyá, Yucatán — Mérida Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal has inaugurated three new ecotourism routes at this tiny village comisaría.

The Caminos del Mayab will be run by a local cooperative after being given a head-start by the Mérida City Council and tourism officials.

Accompanied by the director of social development, Cecilia Patrón Laviada; director of tourism promotion, Carolina Cárdenas Sosa and Xcunyá Commissioner Federico Dzul Fuente, Vila Dosal officially handed off the official documents to the cooperative’s president, Griselda Couoh Mena.

New ecotourism routes were announced at Xcunyá. Photo: Courtesy

Tiny Xcunyá, a satellite of Mérida, is 15 kilometers north of the city center, east of the Mérida-Progreso highway. With under 900 inhabitants, Xcunyá has a beautiful old hacienda that includes a gothic church named for San Juan Bautista.

The mayor said that this commitment will be replicated in other villages.

Highlighting both nature and culture, ecotourism walks in Xcunyá include 3 routes:

  • The ecological route encounters honeybee production, natural herb gardens and a backyard orchard before heading to Áak Park, which all takes about 35 minutes.
  • The adventure route runs through backyard gardens and the honeybee hives, and then explores the old cemetery, also about 35 minutes in duration.
  • The “fantasma” route encounters the beekeepers, and then leads to a “ghost town,” Xcunyá’s Hacienda Misnébalam, and takes about of 45 minutes. Legend has it an angry spirit drove away Misnébalam’s inhabitants.

All three routes pass by the Gothic-style church and the old, supposedly haunted hacienda.

The director of social development, Cecilia Patrón Laviada, said 26 local families participated in creating the routes, including those working in honey-producing meliponarios, orchards, mills, shops and bakeries.

To make the program possible, Mérida’s City Council invested 200,000 pesos for equipment and training.

Tours are on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can hoof it, or rent a bike and helmet for 50 pesos. For further information visit www.merida.gob.mx/turismo.