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Archaeological Sites

The Mayan civilization was one of the original cultures of the New World that extended for more than 3,000 years in southeastern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and the western part of Honduras and El Salvador. In their most flourishing era they had one of the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world. The Mayan culture is known for its spectacular art, its impressive architecture and its sophisticated mathematical and astronomical systems, all very advanced for its time.

This culture is still alive because its descendants have been responsible for preserving it by sharing it with the world through its gastronomy, parties, ceremonies, beliefs, traditions and customs.

Among the many attractions that make the Mexican Caribbean unique is to have access to this fascinating culture through the majestic archeological sites and vestiges that are found throughout its territory.

Archeological Sites in Cancún

 

El Rey

Located at kilometer 18 of Boulevard Kukulcán in the hotel zone. The site is important for its unusual architecture. It was a religious and administrative area in which important ceremonies were held. It consists of 47 structures in which two main squares stand out. Its inhabitants were engaged in fishing, salt extraction and maritime commercial activities. The site dates back to 1200 - 1550 A.D.

 

San Miguelito

It is located at km 16.5 of the hotel zone. It is distributed in four sets of which the Chaak Palace stands out, a large building with large interior spaces and a lobby with columns that supported a flat roof; It is a public functions building, as it is an open area, equipped with sidewalks, which is located in front of a shrine. Access to the site is through the Maya Museum of Cancun.

Yamil Lu’um

It only has a structure called "The Temple of the Scorpion" that is believed to function as an observatory as it faces the sea. It is located at kilometer 12 between the Park Royal Cancun and Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort hotels.

El Meco

Located at kilometer 2.7 of the Puerto Juárez - Punta Sam highway north of Cancun. It highlights the main structure known as "El Castillo", which is the highest in the northern region of the state.

Archaeological Sites in the Riviera Maya

Tulum

It is one of the most beautiful archeological treasures in Mexico, and is the most emblematic of the Mexican Caribbean. "Zamá", as it was known by the Mayans and meaning "tomorrow" or "dawn" was built on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. It has more than 60 structures, highlighting El Castillo which has a height of 7.5 meters; and just down there is a cave and a small beach in a cliffside division that must have been perfect for the canoes of the merchants that came to this region. This feature of the site is probably one of the reasons why the Maya founded the city of Tulum here, which would later become a prominent commercial port.

Cobá

This ancient Mayan city rises between two beautiful lagoons. It is estimated that there are about 6,500 structures in the area, surrounded by a thick jungle; In fact, only 5% of the site has been discovered. In its era of splendor the site stretched more than 75 square kilometers and inhabited about 50,000 inhabitants. Cobá is divided into several groups: The Cobá Group, the Nohoch-Mul Group, which has the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula with 42 meters high; the Mecanxoc Group and the “D” Group.

Muyil

It is one of the oldest cities, it is located 20 minutes south of Tulum, next to the lagoon of Muyil. It has a large vegetation and three bases, in addition to the structure called El Castillo, with a height of 17 meters.

 

Archaeological Sites in Grand Costa Maya

 

Kohunlich

It is located about 69 kilometers west of Chetumal. It was founded in 200 BC; and the most important structure is the Temple of the Masks, a pyramid of the early classic whose central staircase is flanked by huge masks.

Chacchoben

70 kilometers from Chetumal, Chacchoben was born as a small village in 200 BC. However, it is currently considered one of the largest settlements in the area known as the Lakes Region. Its name refers to the "red corn". Among the structures that stand out the most are the groups called the Gran Basamento, Las Vías and Grupo II, which includes the highest building.

Dzibanché

It is one of the largest and most important sites in the south of Quintana Roo. Its foundation dates from 200 BC. The most important buildings in the area include the Temple of the Cormorants, the Temple of the Captives and the Temple of the Dinteles. It is located 80 km from the city of Chetumal.

Kinichná

Two kilometers north of the Dzibanché settlement is the Kinichná complex which means “Casa del Sol” in Maya. This set is distinguished by the construction of a monumental three-level Acropolis integrated with a series of low buildings around a square, which are believed to have functioned as platforms for smaller temples.

Oxtankah

It is the largest and most important city that has been discovered in Chetumal Bay. Its inhabitants sailed by canoe through the canals of the region and entered the Caribbean Sea to trade. In addition to their numerous structures, they built wells and chultunes to stock up on fresh water.

In addition to the Mayan structures, there are the remains of a Spanish chapel that was built in the middle of the 16th century, it is said that it emerged and reached its peak during the Classic period of the Mayan culture (250 and 600 A.D.).