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Chichen Itza or Uxmal?

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With the time constraints of a port call, and the consideration of your interests in history, I would think that Uxmal might be the better choice. It's not quite as long a trip and you could possibly arrange an hour or two in the historical area of Merida. You could spend that time just in the historical center of the city seeing Casa de Montejo, circa 1549, the Cathedral - 1561 and some of the many plazas in the area. Merida is a beautiful spanish colonial city of 900,000. Very safe. Chichen Itza is an all day excursion with nothing else seen. Take time for a cold drink and maybe a snack at the sidewalk cafe in front of the Hotel Gran, on a plaza. Take a peek in the lobby of the hotel. It looks like a movie set and I'll be staying there in Oct.

Research: http://www.yucatantoday.com

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