The Mayan zone is located in the heart of Quintana Roo and includes the municipalities of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, named as the capital of the Mayan culture, and José María Morelos. It owns just over 90% of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.

Located in the heart of the state of Quintana Roo, the Mayan Zone is composed mainly of small peasant communities inhabited by the descendants of the Maya.

This zone also includes the towns of Felipe Carrillo Puerto and José María Morelos, both important enclaves during the Caste War of 1847.

This region has managed to preserve its customs and the Mayan language, as well as the traditions and ways of life of the past centuries, which constitutes an important cultural legacy.

Felipe Carrillo Puerto and its historical centre

It is located about 69 km (42.8 mi) south of Tulum and has more than 90% of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, where three of the four Mayan ceremonial centres of the reserve are located.

Felipe Carrillo Puerto
Felipe Carrillo Puerto

La Casa de la Cultura

Casa de la Cultura, a building with arched structures which served as a general headquarters for Mayan commanders and leaders, nowadays you can visit its halls where painting, music, handicrafts and Maya classes are taught, also in their halls, they are exhibited exhibitions by local, national and sometimes international artists.

Pila de los Azotes (Stack of the Whips)

It was built between 1864 and 1870, this pile was used to punish those who violated the laws according to the uses and customs of the Mayans.

The culprit was led to the door of the church kneeling before the Cross and with arms outstretched received up to 12 lashes. Later he prayed before the cross and was free from guilt. If the malefactor was foreign he received the same punishment but not in the Church, if not in the Pile of the Scourges. The one who committed adultery was flogged 50 times and the aggrieved person poured orange juice in the wounds.

Chan Museum Santa Cruz Balam Nah

Museum of Mayan culture "Chan Santa Cruz", named in honor of the old name of the city. In it you can see everything related to the daily life of the Mayans, as well as events and temporary exhibitions of national and international artists. The museum offers a guide service. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Balam Nah Church

Balam Nah Church (house of the jaguar) that stands out since it is the only one built by Mayas using white slaves.

El Santuario de la Cruz Parlante

The Sanctuary of the Talking Cross, cradle of the city and of adoration to the Talking Cross, tells the legend that a cross that spoke was presented in a cedar tree next to a sacred cenote, and the Cross united the Mayans and He led them in the struggle against their oppressors.

Currently, you can visit the cenote and the shrine, respecting the rules of the guardians of the ceremonial center, a distinction passed down from generation to generation.


Located 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) from Felipe Carrillo Puerto, it is an authentic Mayan community in which the inhabitants are willing to open their hearts and homes to visitors.

This is a way to get to know your daily life closely, reflecting the traditions and customs that have been inherited for centuries within the Mayan community.

Laguna Azul de Señor

The beautiful lagoon surrounded by thick jungle is located only 7 km from the town of Señor. The community offers tours to learn more about the flora and fauna of the region, especially medicinal plants. You can also go canoeing and perform various water activities.


This town full of culture and traditions is located less than 1 hour from the city of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. In the Main Square, you can visit its monumental Church and convent of the "divine child".

If you want to delve further into its history, do not miss the Museum devoted to the War of the Castes that exhibits paintings, documents and some weapons related to the conflict.

Ruta de las Iglesias (Route of the Churches)

This route follows the history of Franciscan evangelization during the colonial era. The temples, in spite of not having elaborate ornamentation, have an interesting narrative of the way in which the inhabitants of the region resisted the colonization of the Spaniards.

The route includes the temple to the Virgin of Guadalupe de Xcabil, the temple to the Virgen de la Concepción in Huaymax, the church of San Pedro Apóstol in Sabay and the churches dedicated to San Francisco and the Virgin Mary in Sacalaca. It is a magical journey through true Mayan communities.

José María Morelos

Its history goes back to the pre-Hispanic era when it was inhabited by the indigenous Mayan leadership of Cochua. Centuries later it was populated with camps that came to exploit the chicle and sapwood.

José María Morelos
José María Morelos

This history has resulted in its cuisine and traditions being a mixture of Christian and Mayan beliefs that are reflected in its celebrations such as the Feast of the Magi, the Spring Fair and the Celebration of the Three Crosses, celebration where pilgrimages are made where you pray and plant a ceiba tree that represents the Tree of Life of the Mayans.