Though small, Sayil is a beautiful and important Maya site, just a small distance from our Uxmal Hotels, with some fascinating architectural details and well-preserved hieroglyphics.

With ongoing research and reconstruction, this city continues to come back to life. Perhaps one day, it will be able to tell us the story of its brief glory and abrupt decline. Among Maya sites of the Yucatan, the ancient city of Sayil actually sits amid several steep hills.

From the steps of its Great Palace, one looks out at the ruins of several other significant structures, including a ball-court and several smaller palaces.

Altars and steal are plentiful, as are the ruined foundations of thousands of small dwelling structures. A series of causeways links the various building clusters, providing a relatively clear picture of the city’s layout.

As many as 10,000 people may have lived in the central area of Sayil during peak years, roughly 800 to 1,000 AD, with perhaps another 5,000 to 7,000 in the surrounding farming areas.

Sayil’s downfall appears to have been rapid, quite possibly the result of invasion and destruction by the powerful warriors of Chichen Itza.