One of the big three along with Chichen Itzá and Uxmal, Mayapan was built by some of the Mayans who left Chichen Itzá at its demise. This is why you will see many similarities between this site and Chichen Itzá, including a large altar called by many a pyramid and what looks like the observatory of Chichen Itzá (it is not an observatory)
The site is located on the highway to Chetumal just after Acanceh and Telchaquillo, about an hour or so from Merida. You will see that the site is of far less importance than Uxmal or Chichen Itzá by
- a) it's unpaved and unmaintained road to the site;
- b) no gift shop or espresso carts
- c) no cluster of guides clutching papers and offering guide service, and
- d) a ridiculous entry fee of about 4 dollars.
A visit to this site can be combined with visits to the smallish large town of Acanceh, once an important spoke on the wheel of railway travel in the Yucatan and famous for its pyramid right in the middle of town. Other towns can be visited as well and there are even some great little and somewhat hidden cenotes in the area.