Complete list of the archaeological sites in Yucatan

Learn about the most important archaeological sites in the Yucatan peninsula you can visit without having to travel long distances.

Complete list of the archaeological sites in Yucatan
Chichén-ltzá, Yucatan. Photo by Alex Azabache / Unsplash

Observe well each of the stones that are in the areas since many of them have carved the history of the Mayans, a living culture. We recommend visiting the nearby towns to meet the Mayans of today.

Acanceh, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

The archaeological site is located in the village of Acancéh. It is located 35 kilometers southeast of the city of Mérida. The site is located in the town on No. 18 Street is the Palace of Los Estucos and No. 21 Street is the Pyramid. It is accessed through State Highway No. 18.

Acancéh is one of the most important archaeological sites in northern Yucatan. Its name means deer moan. It is composed of the Mayan words akam moan, and of keh deer. A nucleus of mounds located in the heart of the current population is known as the archaeological site of Acancéh, of which they stand out for their monumentality and materials used in its construction, the Pyramid and the Palace of the Stuccos. The latter is distinguished by the frieze painted with different colors and beautifully decorated with modeled anthropomorphic motifs.

During the Middle and Late Preclassic period (700 BC - 250 AD), Acanceh was one of the main centers of the northern Yucatan Peninsula and maintained important relationships with other sites such as Dzibilchaltún, Oxkintok, and Mayapán. Its occupation extended throughout the Classic period (250-1000 AD) and its decline corresponds to the Postclassic period. From the archaeological investigations, it has been calculated that the prehispanic settlement has an approximate surface of 3 km2. Of the 300 structures registered on the site, two of monumental type stand out: The Pyramid and the Palace of the Stuccos. The Pyramid is a substructure that was originally decorated with masks modeled in stucco and located on both sides of the four staircases; eight masks in total.


Oxkutzcab, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

The archaeological zone is 113 kilometers south of Merida, passing the town of Santa Elena. The latter is accessed by traveling Highway No. 261, km. 105 Take the Ruta de la Ruta Puuc and about km. 10 is Xlapak.

The name Xlapak means old walls, old walls, or old walls. It is one of the least restored Mayan archaeological sites in the region. It has three pyramids in restoration works and 14 general structures that remain as mounds. Some ruins in work show Mayan arches integrated into them. Its main attraction is the Palace, a structure with firm symmetry and mosaic details on its façade. On the site, Chaac masks stand out decorating the corners of the building. This housed a mask of Chac, the God of rain.

Xlapak distinguishes between the cities of Puuc by the symmetry and fine decoration of the facades of the old residences. It only has three buildings restored. The main assemblages of the site are associated with caves and chultuns and very possibly this aspect should mark in some way the settlement pattern. The architectural characteristics of their residences suggest that their period of splendor occurred between 600 and 1000 AD.

Xlapak maintained a commercial exchange with other areas of Mesoamerica in products such as salt, honey, cotton, feathers, wax, and others, which were obtained in abundance in the region. Xlapak was one of the most densely populated areas in pre-Hispanic times, dedicated to the cultivation of the land, which was achieved thanks to the development of hydraulic works such as chultunes and aguadas, artificial water collection systems. It is considered that this site was under the domain of a larger site and both, in turn, should be subject to the regional head: Uxmal. Like other sites in the Puuc region, Xlapak had its golden age during the Late Classic-Terminal period (800-1000 AD). During this time, the region became increasingly important and as a consequence, there was an extraordinary flourishing in the cultural aspects of the area. Its main chronology is the Late Classic Terminal (800-1000 AD).

Ek Balam

Temozón, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year. Box office hours: from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

It is located 190 kilometers east of the city of Mérida, Yucatán, taking Highway No. 295, which goes to Tizimín. A deviation that leads to Santa Rita is located about seven kilometers after the town of Temozón; In this town, you take the northern access and about 2 kilometers away from another detour that leads directly to Ek Balam.

Through a short sacbé (white path) bordered by ramón, cocoyol and pochote trees you will reach one of the few accesses that open on the two walls that surround this ancient Mayan city that in turn lead to a wide square flanked by huge hills, extensive platforms, impressive vaulted buildings and a ball game, all of the volumes that dwarf any human being. Fragmented stelae are observed, still dispersed, and abandoned to the inclemency of time, in which there are still characters seated on thrones, bands of glyphs, and interesting paraphernalia that envelops and gives meaning to the stony environment of the ruins.

It means black jaguar in Maya. This site was, perhaps, the main activity center of the east of the state of Yucatan and probably the most important due to its monumentality. It should be noted that the Central Plaza stands out for its greatness and consists of three ceremonial structures of great proportions. In the settlement, there are also several small temples, altars, and residential buildings. The main pyramid known as La Torre is comparable by its size (30 meters high, 155 meters long, and 60 meters wide) with the outstanding Mayan structures of the northeast of Yucatan.

Ek Balam is a name in the Yucatec Mayan language, formed by the words ek ', with which the black color is called and which also means "star" or "star"; and Balam, which means "jaguar." It can then be translated as "jaguar-dark-or black". However, some Maya speakers in the region also translate it as "Lucero-jaguar". In the Relation of Ek 'Balam, written in 1579 by the encomendero Juan Gutiérrez Picón, it is mentioned that the name of the site comes from a great man named Ek Balam or Coch Cal Balam, who founded and governed it for 40 years. However, the archaeological evidence has not provided any proof of the existence of such a character. While in the emblem glyph found in stone monuments called The Hieroglyphic Serpents, it is mentioned as the name of the site in the Classic.

Ek Balam (Star Jaguar) is a Mayan city that had its maximum development during the Late Classic / Terminal (600-850 / 900 AD) and that possibly was the seat of the kingdom of "Tlalol". The first known king of Ek'Balam is Ukit Kan Le't Tok (the father of the four flint fronts) who was the builder of most of the sumptuous palace that we now know as Acropolis and many other works. Likewise, he was the promoter of technical and cultural advances, as well as architectural and decorative wealth, whose best example is Structure 35 Sub, located inside the Acropolis and known as Sak Xok Nahh (White House of Reading ), which served as a tomb for Ukit Kan Le't Tok, who was buried with a rich offering consisting of more than 7,000 pieces such as ceramic vessels, shell objects, snail and tumbaga.


Hoctún, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

The site is located 72 kilometers from the City of Merida, Yucatan, from where you take the Federal Highway No. 180, to Cancun until you reach the town of Hoctun where there is a clearing that leads to Izamal. Another way to get there is using a narrow road from the town of Tixkokob passing through Euan, Cacalchén, and Citilcum; from this last point, a wider road starts towards Izamal. When you get to the city you will have to take 28th Street which is located in the back of the Convent after surrounding it, in the background, you can see the Pyramid called "The Kinich Kak Moo", which is surrounded by the urban layout ( streets 27 and 29). The other structures are also occupying some properties of the population; those that are open to the public are "El Itzamatul", "El Conejo" and "Habuc", as well as the convent of San Antonio de Padua, built on a pre-Hispanic basement called Ppap Hol Chak.

The name of the site must have been Itsamal. Thanks to the Mayan documents known as Chilam Balam de Chumayel, it is known that the population of Izamal was an important ally of the society that inhabited Chichén Itzá in its fight against Mayapán. In addition to important pre-Hispanic monuments, among which the Kinich Kak Moo stands out as the largest in the Yucatan peninsula, the current population conserves numerous colonial buildings, including one of the most beautiful convents built by the Franciscan order in Yucatan.

The ceremonial civic nucleus of Izamal is one of the most voluminous of the lowlands of the Mayan area since its buildings surpass the million cubic meters, Izamal has a long sequence of development, with more than two thousand five hundred years of occupation. The moments of greatest activity seem to correspond to the end of the Protoclassic (150 AD - 250 AD) and the Early Classic (250-600 AD), which coincide with the construction of the most important buildings and of the extensive network of sacbes or roads that reflect the political and economic importance that Izamal had reached, as rector of an important region of the North of the Yucatan Peninsula. The cataloging of sculptures and numerous stones that were part of the decoration of the old buildings has signaled the strong presence of the Puuc style. Its main chronology is Protoclassic (150 BC-250 AD) / Early Classic (250-600 AD) to the Late Classic (600-800 AD). The end of the apogee of the city begins during the Early Postclassic period (1000-1200 AD), a situation in which the growing importance of the Itzá seated in Chichén Itzá probably influenced. It was called the first magical city of Mexico and is also known as the city of the Three Cultures.


Oxkutzcab, Yucatán

The entrance is with a guide in these schedules: 9:30, 11:00, 12:30, 14:00, 15:00, and 16:00 hours, all the days of the year.

It is located 110 kilometers southwest of the city of Merida and is also at a distance of 10 km. to the south of the town of Oxkutzcab. It is accessed by the Federal Highway No. 180, which goes to Campeche by the long route. From Ticul it is necessary to travel by the Federal Highway No. 184 towards Oxkutzcab, and of this population to go for the highway paved with course southwest for space of seven kilometers. The visitor can arrive at the site by public transport.

The archaeological investigations carried out around the origin of man in the north of the Yucatan peninsula, have given satisfactory results, for example, that the arrival of the first settlers who inhabited Loltún occurred between 9000 and 3000 years BC, approximately. The man of that time was nomadic and was characterized by living on the hunting of mammals. Parallel to hunting, the collection of tubers, seeds, and fruits was part of their diet, which is why they are called hunter-gatherers. Under that way of life, the entrances to the caves and the rocky shelters like those of Loltún became the favorite places to make their camps, temporary rooms during certain times of the year.

Loltún etymologically comes from the Yucatecan Maya Lol "Flor" and Tun "Piedra", "Flor de Piedra". At present, the grottos of Loltún are the archaeological site that contains the widest chronological sequence in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula. The cultural evidence in these caves also suggests use as a camp in the early stages and later housing. The sequence of occupation begins with materials that are the product of the early presence of man in the Yucatan Peninsula, around 9000 BC. C., and continue with the domestication of plants and animals and later the incorporation of architecture and sculpture, to their daily activities, which illustrates the social process that led the nomadic man to become sedentary. From the Classic period, caves are no longer used as a dwelling place and there is only evidence of their use as a place for water supply. Other important elements are the 145 wall paintings and the 42 petroglyphs located so far. Chronology: 9000 a. C. to 1500 d. C. Main chronological location: Late Preclassic, 400 a. C. to 200 d. C.


Tinum, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

In the city of Mérida, Yucatán, take Highway No. 180, via Valladolid, and 400 meters from kilometer 123, on the left bank, take a deviation that leads to the site. The area is only 6 kilometers from Chichén Itzá. The visitor can arrive at the site through public transport.

Located 6 km from Chichén Itzá, it is a cavern that served as the ceremonial center of the ancient Mayan settlers. You can admire stalactites and other rock formations, but the most important space is a room that is located 200 meters from the entrance and where a structure called the Throne of Balam is located. At the center of this room, 7 meters high, stands a large pillar formed by the fusion of a stalactite with a stalagmite resembling a large ceiba, called "La Ceiba Sagrada." Ceremonial objects are made of materials such as ceramics, lithics, and shells, among others. Among the ancient inhabitants of Mesoamerica, caves were considered entrances to the underworld and among the Maya, the ceiba was the sacred tree, assimilated as an axis mundi that unites the sky, the earth, and the underworld. Main chronological location: Early Postclassic, 900 to 1200 AD

There is a strong association between caverns and deities of water and rain since many caves contain water deposits. In the Maya area, there is the ancient belief that caves, like Balamkanché, are the refuge of the rain gods. The cave of Balamkanché was known by the people of the region for a long time and it had conducted studies on the fauna of the place since 1932. José Humberto Gómez was a tour guide, who as a hobby, explored the grotto for ten years, until on September 15, 1959, he noticed that a section of one of the cameras seemed unnatural. Upon examining it, he realized that it was masonry covered with stucco and that it covered access to other unknown chambers that had remained sealed since pre-Hispanic times.


Maxcanú, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

From the city of Mérida, it can be accessed by taking the Federal Highway No. 180, which connects the capital of the State of Yucatán with the city of Campeche, but at kilometer 57 (2 km, before arriving at the town of Maxcanú) you will find the cruise of the state highway that goes to the town of Muna, away from there 32 km; Following this road and only 11 km away, is the town of Calcehtok (exhausted from Calcehtok). From this last point, take the road towards the caves of Calcehtok (which are 3 km away, from the town of the same name), to deviate 1.5 kilometers later along the western branch of the road. Four kilometers later, the Oxkintok site is reached (the total distance from the city of Mérida is approximately 74 km).

The Mayan word Oxkintok, for a long time and by a literal interpretation, was customarily translated as "three days of burning", since it is composed by the words Ox: three; Kin: day or sun; and Tok: flint; that is, "three days flint" or "three cutting suns". Currently, the "city of the three flint soles" is used as a possible meaning. Oxkintok is also known as Maxacan or Tzat Tun Tzat.

Oxkintok is considered one of the most important settlements in northern Yucatan and, perhaps, the oldest city in the central Puuc region. Its position allowed it to control the flow of commercial goods from the south of the peninsula and connect with other contemporary cultures. Its main chronology is Superior Preclassic and extends until the Early Postclassic, from 300 a. C. to approximately 1200 d. C.


Santa Elena, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

From Mérida take highway 261 towards Campeche; After traveling 101 kilometers, you reach this archaeological zone. From the town of Santa Elena, where you continue on the Federal Highway No. 261, for nine kilometers to the south. The archaeological site is located on the side of Federal Highway No. 261. The visitor can arrive at the site through public transport.

Kabah is one of the most extensive and important sites in northern Yucatan. It is located in a valley where the rocky outcrops and the hills that close the valley to the west are used to build the different architectural complexes. The nuclear sector presents several structures comparable in size to those found in sites such as Uxmal and Chichén Itzá and are magnificent examples of the Puuc architectural style. In general terms, the main buildings in Kabah are divided into three groups aligned on an east-west axis. The rest of the settlement is scattered, forming small sets in the form of courtyards and/or squares.

Kabah is one of the few settlements that preserve its pre-Hispanic name. The name of Kabah has been interpreted as Lord of the strong or powerful hand. The city was always in the consciousness of the Maya, even after the Spanish conquest, and it is mentioned in the ancient texts of the Chilam Balam of Chumayel, for what is supposed to be a site of similar importance to that of Uxmal. The Mayan people developed one of the most notable architectural styles, the Puuc, which means Serrania or spine in the Mayan language. With that name is known as a region located northwest of the state of Yucatan. The vegetation of the area is a low jungle, the flora, and the fauna are diverse; the soils are red, fertile, apt for agriculture, but on the surface, there is no water, so the subsistence of man depended exclusively on the rains. Thus, the so-called chultunes or underground water deposits were developed, which were abundant in pre-Hispanic times and are currently essential, as are the aguadas.

It is commonly assumed that the sites of the Puuc Region occupy a temporality of 600 to 900 d. C., but it is undeniable that sites like Kabah go back at least to the Early Classic. One of the outstanding features of the area is the confluence of architectural styles because despite being located in the Puuc Region, elements of the Petén and Chenes style can be appreciated. Chronology: 600 a. C. to 1000 d. C. Main chronological location: Late Classic: 600 to 1000 d. C.


Tinum, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

It is located 115 kilometers east of the city of Mérida, in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. The access is achieved through the paved road number 180, towards the town of Pisté, which is 2 kilometers from the center of the archaeological site. It is also possible to get through the Kantunil-Xcan toll road. The visitor can arrive at the site through public transport.

Chichén Itzá is the best example of the migratory movements that occurred in Mesoamerica towards the Early Postclassic, since it gathers features of material culture from both the Maya area and central Mexico, particularly of Tolteca affiliation. Chichén Itzá was also the capital of a large territory in the Yucatan Peninsula, headed by the League of Mayapán, from 987 until 1200 AD. C.

The Chichen Itza archaeological zone is famous worldwide for the game of light and shadow that at each equinox occurs on the staircase of the pyramidal basement known as the castle. In this, the sun, as it rises over the horizon, illuminates the west balcony of the base, creating triangles of light and shadow that seem to descend to the serpent head in the ruffle of the arch. This event, achieved from the correct orientation and inclination of the planes of the basement, shows the great level of astronomical and architectural knowledge that the Maya possessed, and that has led to being one of the most studied cultures and regions around these issues, in addition to the territorial political organization and the exploitation of resources. Chronology 525 to 1200 d. C. Main chronological location: Postclassic Early 900 to 1200 d. C.

The indigenous books written at the beginning of the Conquest, relate that Chichén Itzá was founded by the Itza, a Mayan-Chontal people who come from the west; its name means, the city on the edge of the well of the Itza. The area had a long occupation that began before the Christian era, but it was until the end of the Classic period that the site acquired the proportions and urban characteristics that we admire today. Between the main construcmos enconmoos: the Church, the Akab-Dzib, the Red House, the House of the Stag and the Building of the Nuns, the Game of Ball, the Snail, the temples of the Jaguars, and the Bearded Man.

Between 415 and 435 after Christ began the establishment of Chichén Itzá with the first buildings, in a combination of Puuc and Chenes styles. Approximately in the year 500 the Church, the Akab-Dzib, the Red House, the House of the Stag, and the Building of the Nuns were built. The Itza conquered the city towards the end of the Classic and introduced the cult to Kukulkan, militarism, and a series of new cultural elements associated with previous traditions that gave rise to a style called Mayan-Yucatec. In this occupation were built, among other monuments, the Ball Game, El Caracol, and the temples of the Jaguars and Barbadoes.

With the arrival of the Toltecs, who took the city between 967 and 987, a new style was created that mixed the Mayan traditions with the contributions of the conquerors. The frequent effigies of the feathered serpent (Quetzacóatl) in the decoration of columns and pillars, the enormous heads of reptiles, and the famous statues of Chac Mool are the most evident signs of the Toltec influence. Finally, between 1185 and 1204 the city was conquered by the princes of Mayapán, who introduced the cult to the Sun, fire, and war. Typical buildings of this period are the temples of Venus, the Tzompantli (wall of skulls), the Market, the Group of the Thousand Columns, and El Castillo in its final stage.

With the rise of Mayapán as the new center of power in the peninsula, Chichén Itzá gradually depopulated from the 12th century and although in later centuries the area (in particular the sacred cenote and El Castillo) still functioned as scenarios for Mayan pilgrimages and ceremonies, the era of the splendor of the city was over. Fray Diego de Landa described parts of the site in 1556, but the first extensive explorations were carried out by John Stephens in 1841 and 1842; his reports were accompanied by drawings by F. Catherwood.

After Chichén Itzá intervened Le Plogeon (1875), Holmes (1895) and Maudslay (1900), among others, although it was only thanks to the pieces obtained by Edward Thompson in the sacred cenote that the place began to be known internationally, in the first years of the twentieth century. Between 1923 and 1939, groups of Mexican and foreign archaeologists consolidated much of the city. These works were later continued by the National Institute of Anthropology and History, which is in charge until the date of the care of the site.


Mérida, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 08:00 to 17:00 and the Museum from Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 16:00, every day of the year.

It is located about 15 kilometers from the city of Merida, in the direction of the north coast, taking the federal highway 261 until the deviation to Chablekal. Starting from the city of Mérida, in the direction of the north coast, go 8 kilometers along the Mérida-Puerto Progreso highway (No. 261), to take the diversion that takes you to the towns of Chablekal and Conkal, the town before Dzibilchaltún at the end of which is the deviation that leads to the archaeological zone. The visitor can arrive at the site through public transport.

The word Dzibilchaltún is formed by four Mayan words: Dzib, writing; il, locative; a shawl, flat; and tun, stone; which can be translated as "place where there is writing on the flat stones". Dzibilchaltún is a settlement that has a long occupational sequence from the Late Preclassic to the Late Postclassic, for this reason, it became one of the largest settlements on the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The distribution of the architectonic spaces is of concentric type and reached to cover an area of ​​16 km².

The first three kilometers correspond to the central part and are characterized by the abundance of monumental constructions of the type of the Central Plaza and the Temple of the Seven Dead; the remaining 13 square kilometers include architectural ensembles that are becoming more dispersed and the last part consists of buildings with stepped platforms around squares and small pyramids without a vault. In total, about eight thousand four hundred structures have been registered. The vaults of the stone buildings were built utilizing the system of semi-circular stones and the walls were built based on courses of overstressed stones, joined by a mixture and covered on their external and internal sides with a layer of stucco.


Santa Elena, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

The site is 78 kilometers southwest of the city of Merida. From the city of Mérida, it is necessary to travel along the Federal Highway No. 261 in the direction of Santa Elena. 9 kilometers after the town of Muna Lázaro Cárdenas is located and 3 kilometers later, the archaeological site. The visitor can arrive at the site through public transport.

Uxmal is the most representative settlement of the architecture of the Puuc Region since its facades are decorated with masks of Chac, the God of Rain, friezes, panels with hieroglyphics, and high crests. Among the most representative buildings is the Pyramid of the Adivino, the Quadrangle of the Nuns, and the House of the Doves. In addition, due to its majesty, diversity, and the state of preservation of its monuments, the visitor will be able to learn about the numerous aspects of the prehispanic Mayan culture, such as its flourishing and society whose vestiges are admirable. Main chronological location: Late Classic 600 to 900 AD

Uxmal is apparently a Mayan Yucatan toponym derived from an ox, which means three, and badly refers to the times a job is repeated, the meaning of Uxmal can be three times built or occupied. Unlike most other pre-Hispanic cities, the layout of Uxmal's structures does not seem to follow a geometric order. Its space is organized more subtly, based on two principles: first, the buildings are oriented about astronomical phenomena, such as the rise and descent of Venus, and secondly, they are adapted to the topography of the place, composed of a series of hills. It is characteristic of the site that the facades of the main buildings are arranged in two horizontal elements, the lower flat and the upper one richly decorated.


Oxkutzcab, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

Starting from the city of Mérida, you take Federal Highway No. 261, heading to Umán, until you reach the town of Muna, where you choose two roads: the first, following the same federal road passing through the town of Santa Elena and the archaeological zone of Kabah. From km 105 you take the Ruta Puuc road and 7 kilometers later you will find Sayil. It is located 25 kilometers southeast of Uxmal. The visitor can arrive at the site by public transport.

Sayil is one of the most important cities in the Puuc region. It is located in a narrow valley, surrounded by hills. The geological characteristics of the place make the surface water completely absent, so the old settlers had to drill the rocky soil to build tanks or chultunes for water. Its size, concentration, and architectural elaboration, similar to that of Uxmal and Kabah, reflect that it had a high population index and that the degree of social organization and the levels of craft specialization were high. Studies of settlement patterns have revealed that Sayil included in its area of ​​support sites such as Sayil, Sodzil, Xcavil de Yaxché, Chac, and Chac Grotto, which would concentrate together with Sayil the number of 17,000 people. Chronology: Late Classic, 800 to 1000 AD.

Sayil means Place of the arriera ants. In the Mayan language, the word say is used to refer to this species of insects that usually cut and carry pieces of leaves. In contrast to most known names for pre-Hispanic sites, this could have true antiquity. Sayil was built in a long valley, surrounded by low hills, sometimes somewhat steep. The locality presents a difficult perspective for human life, due to the complete absence of surface water. For this reason, the Mayans built a large number of underground tanks or cisterns, known as Chultunes, to capture and store rainwater. Like Uxmal and Kabah, Sayil is one of the three most extensive and complex Mayan cities in the region.


Tixkokob, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

It is located 35 kilometers from the city of Mérida, and access is via the federal highway 80 that leads to the town of Tixkokob. When arriving at this last point it is necessary to deviate in a northeasterly direction along the paved road, towards the town of Aké. The site is on the outskirts of this place.

Occupation in Aké started from the Late Preclassic (300 BC to 300 AD) and continued until the post-Classic period (1300 to 1450 AD). Aké reached a high urban level from a very early age and maintained relations with sites such as Izamal, which was joined by a sacbe of 32 kilometers long and its influence reached the Rio Bec region, in Campeche, and Coba in Quintana Roo.

Aké is one of the most important in the north of Yucatan and is now known as the Ruins of Aké by the hacienda of San Lorenzo Aké that stands on the ancient Mayan vestiges. The Mayan word Aké refers to a surname and, therefore, can also indicate belonging to a lineage; in another sense, it refers to a type of plant (vine). This archaeological zone may have played an important role in the region. This is suggested by its large size, the long period in which it was inhabited, the presence of the sacbé that bound it to Izamal, the four intermediate sites that cross that road, and its geographical location (between Tihó and the old Mérida and Izamal).


Tecoh, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

It is located southeast of the city of Merida. To access the Mayapán archaeological zone, start from the city of Mérida, from where State Highway No. 18 should be taken. From the municipal seat of Tecoh, it is necessary to travel to the town of Telchaquillo, which is 1.5 kilometers from Mayapán, where you will find the archaeological site.

The archaeological evidence indicates that Mayapán was occupied from before the Christian era until its abandonment around the year 1450 AD. Its apogee corresponded precisely to the Postclassic, between the period between 1200 and 1450 AD, when it became the great capital of the provinces of the center-North and North of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mayapán covers an area of ​​more than four square kilometers, which are concentrated, approximately 4 thousand structures. Mayapán consists of a central area in which are located the main buildings, civic, administrative, and religious as well as the residences of the ruling class. These are rooms supported by columns or pillars, temples, and shrines; these spacious structures are built on plinths, have wide entrances divided by columns, an altar in the back, and sidewalks at their sides; Also noteworthy are the circular buildings known as "observatories".

Mayapán, in Mayan Yucatec language, derives from the words: Mayab, which corresponds to the name of the Yucatan Peninsula before the conquest; ma 'refers to the negative; ya'ab, much, enough, abundant and bread that means flag, standard, or banner, which translates as the flag of the Mayans.

On the site and through the architecture you can see the strong influence of Chichen Itza, an example of this is the main building or better known as Castillo de Kukulkán, which is equal to Chichen Itza only smaller.


Oxkutzcab, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

It is located 120 kilometers southeast of the city of Mérida and accessed by the Federal Highway No. A14 261 passing through the towns of Muna and Santa Elena, in km. 105, you take a detour that leads to the town of Cooperativa Emiliano Zapata, better known as the Puuc Route, since through it you can access Sayil, Xlapak, Labná, and finally to Loltún. The visitor can arrive at the site by public transport.

This site, like others located in the Puuc Region, was of importance in the Classical period, but the settlement was likely under the control of a site that functioned as a regional capital. During this time the most important economic and political centers of the region were: Uxmal, Sayil, and Kabah, which along with Oxkintok, Labna and Nohpat seem to have controlled the entire Puuc mountain range, as well as some portions of the northern plains; it is presumed that the scheme of the basic socio-political organization was that of large autonomous centers with a full state organization; it seems clear that these settlements centralized to a very high degree the majority of the functions of the region. The management of spaces and architectural elements demonstrate the interaction that existed between political entities. Chronology: 200 a. C. to 1000 d. C. Main chronological location: Late Classic and Early Postclassic, 800 to 1000 d. C.


Tekax, Yucatán

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every day of the year.

The site is 130 kilometers southeast of the city of Merida. To access the site, you should take the free Federal Highway No. 180, upon reaching Tekax, you will drive to the communities of Canek and Kancab. From this last point, there is a breach with a south course, which after two kilometers ends in Chacmultún. The site is located approximately 600 meters from this town. The visitor can arrive at the site through public transport.

Chacmultún is a word from the Yucatec Mayan language that means Mounds of red stone, a clear allusion to the old buildings of the site, which are characterized by the pink color of the carved blocks that cover and decorate their facades.

Chacmultún belongs to the Puuc Region; this area receives that name due to the mountainous area or set of low hills (100 meters in height approximately) that break the flat landscape of the south of Yucatan and north of Campeche. It is also called the type of Mayan architecture that is characterized by the excellent carving of the ashlars that line the buildings, the games of chiaroscuro, and the use of stone mosaic, achieved with tambourines and rectangular blocks, human figures, and animals, geometric patterns, lattices and masks of multiple pieces that decorate the facades.

The Puuc Region and the prehispanic settlements that prospered in it had their apogee between the years 600 and 1000 after Christ (Late Classic). The site was contemporary to cities such as Edzna, Oxkintok, Uxmal, and Kabah. Chacmultún had a gradual growth from the Late Preclassic period (300 before Christ-300 after Christ) until reaching its maximum development in the Terminal Classic (900-1000 AD). Later it became the main city of the Far East of the Puuc region. In it, all kinds of goods and services were concentrated, both in neighboring areas and in distant ones, and remained occupied until the 15th century.

The first settlements of the city depended strongly on caves or underground cavities in which there was water, low floods, and natural water supplies assorted by the rainy season. Then, during the first centuries of our era, there were innovations in rainwater harvesting (modified aguadas and chultunes-underground deposits to capture and store rainwater) as well as an intensification of agriculture, phenomena that entailed greater social complexity. The oldest buildings show a relatively coarse construction system, with roughly carved ashlars and simple decoration. Later the blocks were better cut and polished, with new forms that not only enriched the buildings for their better finish but also for different reasons such as drums, cylinders, and columns that adorned the facades.