Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Diversion Excursion: Ticul, Yucatan, Mexico

Ticul (tea-cool), is located approximately
100 kilometers south of Merida and makes for a great day trip and a very enjoyable
“diversion excursion”.

Not to be confused with Tikal (tea-cal), the magnificent Mayan ruin and UNESCO World Heritage Sight in Guatemala, Ticul has no Mayan ruins to offer. What it does have to offer is some very fine Mexican pottery (clay pots and decorative items, carefully reproduced Mayan artifacts), and a bustling cottage industry in the production of shoes! Shoe stores and pottery stores line the main street and you can easily shop ‘till you drop! Prices are reasonable, selection is unsurpassed, and quality is excellent.

The locals are friendly and accustomed to tourists from all over the world and you are welcomed with open arms! You can also find a good selection of restaurants, hotels, and most services you would expect in a larger city. I can’t remember the total number of times I have been to Ticul since moving to Mexico, but this will not be my last trip! If you ever have the chance to go, you owe it to yourself to see first hand how Mexican pottery is made, fired, decorated, and sold in the Yucatan! You are also welcome at the various shoe factories to witness the making of a pair of handmade sandals or dress shoes.

Quality reproductions of Mayan "stelae" are available to the discriminating buyer.

Life size statues of Mayan Gods stand like centurions guarding the streets and parks of this interesting little pueblo.

The clay. The simple potter's wheel. The ancient kiln. The Master Potter. All pots are hand thrown, left to dry in the sun, then fired. When cool, some pots are left in their natural terracotta color while others are artfully and very colorfully decorated in the traditional bright colors so often found in Mexican art forms of all types.

Pots drying/baking in the Yucatecan sun and getting ready to be fired in the wood burning kiln.

This is not "paint by number"! All decorative finishes are applied by hand, left to dry and then sold to the locals and tourists who appreciate the handmade quality of the decorative and utilitarian pottery that can be had in Ticul.

Some examples of both decorative and utilitarian pots. Prices range from the approximate equivalent of #4.00 - $8.00 US and slightly higher for the larger ones.

Wow! An irresistible explosion of color! Nicely decorated with bright, cheerful colors, how can one say no? (Normally, I can't!)

And no pueblo is complete without its main park and charming church. Ticul is no exception.

What a great "diversion excursion"! I'll be back!


  1. Mick,
    I think it's great that you went ahead and came
    up with this "Blog thing". It should keep you
    out of trouble and take up some of your spare
    time. I'll be sure to check it out every so
    often. Thanks, Dave B

  2. Beautiful pictures and description, we took the trip to Ticul after reading about it on your blog! Keep up the good work!