Some researchers believe that this area was inhabited from pre-Colombian times by the Pox, Chulim an Ux families. In colonial times, its oldest stage dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries. It is believed that is could have been the first land grant in the region. Information displayed at the hacienda mention the date 1698 as the year of the request for land made by Juan del Castillo y Amie. In 1784 Bernardo del Castillo appears as owner. In 1815 it was acquired by Francisco Calero y Calero, a native of the Canary Islands,a nd in 1841 sugar cultivations was introduced into Tabi; at least, the traveler John Stephens describes it in 1842, in his Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, as one of the most important in the State, and he comments on the church, the village, the hacienda store and the bullring. Tabi was then a sugar cane farm and cattle ranch. During the Caste War (1847) it suffered sugar cane plantation fires and lost many workers. In 1855 it was acquired in an auction by Felipe Peón Maldonado and from 1870 a sugar cane mill was installed there. The new owner, from 1893, was Eulogio Duarte Troncoso, who carried out substantial modifications to the main house and built a new chapel.
Like most haciendas, in the mid-19th century it turned to the cultivation and processing of sisal, as web as producing maize, honey, sugar cane, cattle, tobacco and fruit. Around 1900 was the productive apogee of Tabi, which reached a size of over 14 thousand hectares of land, producing 920 tons of sugar and employing 850 workers.
On the death of Duarte Troncoso in 1904, there was an economic recession, and many workers left Tabi. Three new partners bought it, of whom Eduardo Bolio Rendón remained in 1912 as the sole owner. Just about this time, Tabi ceased production, due to the arrival in Yucatan of Salvador Alvarado, who incited the peons to stop working.
In 1926 it was acquired by Fernanda Ayora de Vega. Later she passed ownership to her children, and it was bought in 1959 by Renán Manzanilla Mocoroa, who spent several decades there involved in apiculture and cattle raising. Finally, in 1992, it was acquired by the State Government, and in June 1994 the old hacienda and its 1335 hectares were declared a Nature Reserve. From that time, an ecological rescue program began, involving organizations such as the Conservation Corps, supervised by the Yucatan Cultural Foundation, which is responsible for the administration of the property. In 1995, the Foundation signed an agreement to collaborate with the State government to set up the Juan Bautista Tabi Hacienda Cultural, Educational, and Tourist Center.