Within the route of Segment 3 of the Maya Train, which goes from Calkiní, Campeche, to Izamal, Yucatán, lies Sayil, an ancient Mayan city that is part of the Puuc Route. Sayil is known for the mosaic decoration on the façade of its main building, known as the Great Palace or North Palace.
Sayil is located within the boundaries of the municipality of Oxkutzcab, Yucatán. Despite being one of the less-visited sites on the Puuc Route, it is one of the most significant Mayan settlements of its time, thanks to its fine architecture and its capacity to collect water to support agriculture.
Tourists visiting this archaeological site can admire 22 architectural and cultural treasures, including the Great Palace, sculptures, stucco work, and mural paintings.
This site thrived between the years 600 and 900 AD, and it has been discovered that its architecture is divided into three areas: one for elite buildings, one for general population residences, and another for satellite settlements that paid tribute to the lords of the main building.
The North Palace stands out for its façades, which were constructed in different stages of occupation but maintained the aesthetics and symmetry of the main structure.
The building consists of over 90 rooms, designed with balance in mind, even though they were constructed years apart. Despite not having a direct source of water, the inhabitants of this archaeological site chose this location due to its fertile soil, solving the water issue with the construction of chultunes, which are water reservoirs.
Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History estimate that during its period of occupation, Sayil had up to 10,000 habitants.