Haciendas emerged in Mexico as the dominant form of landownership, and one of the principal social institutions of the Spanish empire in the 16th century. These haciendas were considered self-sufficient communities and contained a variety of churches, general stores, hospitals and schools. As many as 1,000 people might have lived on a single estate, all of whom were subject to the landowner’s control.
However, revolution took over Mexico in 1910 and protests against the hacienda system accelerated its downfall. Across the country haciendas were ransacked, while others were abandoned and left to decay. Most would remain untouched for decades. Today, Mexican haciendas are the ideal destination for travelers looking for something more than a luxury hotel. History and culture are intertwined with excellent service, offering the visitor a comprehensive and exclusive boutique experience.
Throughout Mexico one can find a variety of haciendas, ranging from those with wooded gardens in the surrounding mining regions of San Miguel and Santa María Regla in Hidalgo, the cattle haciendas in Tlaxcala, the henequen haciendas in Campeche, and the haciendas of the Yucatan Peninsula, immersed in the mystery of the cenote filled jungles and ancient history of the Mayan civilization.
The great variety and complexity of Spanish colonial society is an essential part of Mexican history. Haciendas are today considered to be sought after attractions in many of Mexico’s towns and are increasingly popular amongst those looking for an authentic experience in the heart of Mexican culture.