Calakmul Mexico is the site of one of the largest ancient Mayan cities ever discovered. Located deep in the jungle near the Guatemalan border, the Calakmul ruins were rediscovered in the air in 1931. This Mayan superpower city is estimated to have had a population of 50,000 and spread 57 square miles. Tours of Calakmul couldn’t possibly touch upon all of the 6,750 ancient structures that were found on site, but they will visit the great pyramids.
The largest pyramid at Kalakmul, as it's also spelled, reaches heights of 180 feet, making it the tallest of all the Maya pyramids. When this great pyramid was explored, four tombs were discovered inside. Many of the findings from this archeological site are now on display at the spectacular National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. One of the most interesting relics is called a stele, or carved stone slab. Archaeologists found 117 of these stelae at the Calakmul ruins.
No other Mayan ruins contain more of these carved stone slabs. Most of the examples that were found in Calakmul Mexico are paired sets depicting rulers and their wives. Mayan art is known as being fairly advanced, and humans are often portrayed realistically and with skill. Visitors interested in art will also love tours of Calakmul that reveal elaborate murals. These murals are unique because they do not depict the elite classes, but rather show common market scenes.
The reason for the decline of this and other ancient Mayan cities is widely debated, but in this case, one contributing factor may have been the depletion of natural resources. Calakmul was constantly in competition with Tikal, and power exchanged hands between the two cities many times over the years. Other Mayan ruins in Mexico travelers can visit are the famous Chichen Itza, Tikal, and Tulum.