What’s Up With the Convent Route?

Perhaps someone out there can enlighten me?

I have been on the so-called convent route on several occasions now and have found, to my great disappointment, that the so called convent route, promoted in literature and online by everyone, is comprised of small, albeit mostly charming, towns – each one with an impressive and apparently restored church of some kind, and almost always … CLOSED.

Does anyone have a clue as to the operating hours of these places? I have looked at the first 5 sites that come up in a Google search and while most recommend leaving Merida in the morning, none mention that you probably won’t see anything beyond an outside wall at most of these places.

Thanks for your help!

5 thoughts on “What’s Up With the Convent Route?

  1. Same thing has happened to us numerous times. We leave early and do get to see the first churches open —Acanceh, Tecoh, Telchaquillo, and Tekit. By now it is noon, and the rest have closed. Don’t think I’ve ever seen Chumayel, and Mani has been iffy. Same thing happens in Ticul. I think they close that church at 11 AM.

    Maybe have to do the route backwards!

  2. Well I think it’s just a real winning way to deliver on something you are promoting. Perhaps they could rename it the ‘Occasionally Open Convent Route’ .

  3. From the editor of Yucatan Today:

    I have been trying to get to the bottom of this too. All of the tour companies whose websites I looked at do not offer a tour of the Convent Route. I tried to get phone numbers for the various municipalities to call each one and ask, but no luck. Their individual websites, where they exist, talk about the convents but do not mention hours, probably because they are not fixed…they vary depending on the needs of the local residents, festival days, events such as weddings and funerals, patron saint days, etc.

    I think Judy is on to something here. The churches are probably open in the mornings because that is the time of day that people use them. In the afternoons people are having siestas and comida, not going to church. The hours that the churches are open to the public is probably based on the needs of the people who worship there, not we tourists who want to see the inside…as frustrating as that is for you and me! Who knows, maybe there is a caretaker who has to be present when the church is open and that person is not always available. Even the cathedral in Merida is often closed when I want to take visitors inside.

    I am planning to do this trip myself later this summer. With Judy’s advice in mind, I may split it into two days and see if that works, and in each town I will try to find someone who can tell me the hours the churches are open.

    Meanwhile, I have updated our article online and will do the same in our magazine, cautioning visitors that the churches may not be open and they may have to see them only from the outside.

  4. That is a great idea! About telling the tourists and visitors that the churches may not be open! Thanks!

  5. my husband & i tried to see the church in tecoh around mid day, we asked someone on the street & were told it didn’t open until 3:00pm!!
    so probably is open early & reopens later!!

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