Caterina Rancho

Hacienda Santa Rosa Brings The Richness of Mexico’s History To Life

Located in the North-East of the Yucatan Peninsula, Hacienda Santa Rosa brings the richness of the area’s history to life. For those traveling through Quintana Roo in and around Tulum, Cancun, or Playa Del Carmen, Hacienda Santa Rosa is a link in a chain known as the Sisal Haciendas, each constructed during the XIXth and XXth centuries for the cultivation, extraction, processing, and distribution of Sisal (a type of native agave that can be made into a fiber used for paper, cloth, dartboards, and more). As a group, the Sisal Haciendas are characterized by their wide spaces under open sky, which were historically used to dry the sisal in the garden.

In many ways, Hacienda Santa Rosa epitomizes the look of the other Sisel Haciendas– with its neat geometry and doorways opening onto the native beauty outside. But Santa Rosa distinguishes itself with the evidence of its own history: elements of its garden design are drawn from the different eras of its various owners, who added their own elements of colonial and modern architecture. The garden plunge pools are built according to an old Mayan technique, using the bark of the Chukum (a tree whose bark is naturally waterproof) to make a resin. Plants fill in earlier history, with aloe growing liberally along pathways and 103 registered medical plants used by the Mayas in the area. (Supposedly, Mayan goblins– known as Aluxes— appear in the countryside at night.) The result is slightly eclectic balance, but one that feels like an appropriate homage to the Hacienda’s history– as well as the land’s.

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