Mayan Ruins Mexico

Mayan Ruins - Uxmal Mexico
Mayan Ruins - Uxmal Mexico

When travelers start researching Mayan ruins Mexico, they are often surprised by the large number of choices for archaeological sites. Ancient Mayan ruins extend far behind Chichen Itza, and for the adventurous traveler there are some off the beaten path options that will lead you deep into the Mexican jungle. Many of the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan were only discovered in the twentieth century, some by foot, while others were discovered by air. Towering mounds were discovered by archaeologists while flying over the jungle, and when they were explored, a wealth of artifacts was found. From art to architecture, these sites will display clues as to how the ancient Mayans lived.

One of the most popular Mayan ruins tours is at Tulum, located along the Caribbean Sea. This walled city is located at the top of sea cliffs and is one of the best-preserved coastal sites in Mexico. For travelers who want to experience some history during a beach vacation, but not go too far from their resort, Tulum is a great option. If you’re feeling adventurous, another archaeological site is only 27 miles away, and connected by a modern road. Hop in your rental car and head for Coba, a Mayan site with an impressive pyramid. This expansive site wasn’t explored until the 1920s, but since a road opened in the 1970s and 80s, the site has grown in popularity with tourists.

Tulum, Coba, and Chichen Itza are the three most popular Mayan ruins in Cancun. From this beach paradise, it is easy to explore any of these three sites. Organized tours are available, or independent travelers may choose to rent a car for the day to explore at their own pace. Another Mayan ruins Mexico in the area that is popular is San Gervasio, the Mayan ruins on the island of Cozumel. Whether you are staying on the island or making a day trip from the mainland, the religious site of San Gervasio is well worth visiting. The lush landscape and wildlife are enough of a reason to visit, and the ancient Mayan ruins are spectacular, too.

Some travelers might be looking for self-guided Mayan ruins tours. Leave some of the more popular Mayan attractions behind for the sites that are deeper in the jungle and less frequented. The Yaxchilan ruins require a boat to reach, but when you walk up the ramp, through the jungle, and into the main plaza you are rewarded with spectacular views. Another ancient Mayan ruins site where you can avoid the crowds is Kohunlich. Known for the Temple of the Masks, this site has eight-foot stone carvings that impress even the seasoned traveler.

Another rarely visited Mayan ruins Mexico is Ek Balam. The further ruins are away from the sea, the less crowds they experience on a day to day basis. Ek Balam translates as “black jaguar,” and this archaeological site contains an impressive tomb with a doorway that is the shape of a jaguar’s mouth. Other Mayan ruins tours include the great pyramids of Comalcalco and Calakmul. The largest Mayan archeological site ever uncovered, Calakmul is deep in the jungles near the Guatemala border. A variety of murals and stone carvings make this archaeological site special. Whether you explore the spectacular site of Chichen Itza or venture off the beaten path for a tour of one of the lesser-known ruins deep in the jungle, the intelligence and artistry of this ancient culture is sure to impress.

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