Updated on February 26, 2019
Mayan ruins near Cancún: Uncover the giant monuments the Maya left behind in Mexico
When you visit Cancún, Mexico, take a step back in time and go to the majestic Mayan ruins on the Yucatán Peninsula. And even if you’re not a history buff, the Mayan ruins will truly move you. So, come see these wondrous man-made monuments and experience Mayan history first-hand. The Mayan ruins will consume you and leave you breathless as you approach them on foot.
Archaeologists are still trying to uncover many aspects of the ancient heritage from these Mayan ruins. Unfortunately, much has been lost and some has been purposely destroyed. However, various Mayan treasures were recovered. Therefore, historians now have a grasp of what took place when these magical Mayan ruins were first constructed. So, read more to learn about these monuments that were abandoned in Mexico long ago.
Recently named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, The Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá exhibit great archaeological significance. And, they are a testament to Mayan ingenuity and achievement. In fact, the great pyramid of Kukulcan is so well preserved and the site is so large, that crowds of people come to see it daily. Fortunately, the magnitude of the site swallows up the hordes as if not many people are there at all.
Since the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá are so popular, there’s a big light-and-sound show starting every evening at sunset. And, this show lights up the great pyramid of Kukulcan in a fancy way each and every night. Finally, being a near-three-hour drive from Cancún, plan for this to be a full-day event.
Deep in the jungle, Cobá provides the most extensive view of Mayan culture in all of Mexico. The reason for this is two-fold. First, historians believe there were once 50,000 inhabitants in the Cobá region, leaving a large archaeological trail. Second, the Mayan community around these ancient ruins still thrives to this day. So, they share their customs and traditions with the public through various tourism outlets and workshops.
The Mayan ruins at Cobá boast the highest pyramid on the Yucatan Peninsula – Nohoch Mul. And, Cobá isn’t too far to drive. It’s about 2.5 hours from Cancún and about 1.5 hours from Playa del Carmen.
Cobá, which is situated among five small lakes on a dry plain, has a network of ancient roads. They connect temples and plazas within the city. And, there are long roads that connect to other sites of ancient Mayan ruins on the Yucatán Peninsula – the longest being just over 62 miles west to Yaxuná. Finally, occupation of Cobá dates back to around 700 AD.
Perched high upon limestone cliffs, the Mayan ruins of Tulum overlooks the amazing turquoise Caribbean Sea. This site was the primary seaport for the nearby city of Cobá. And, Tulum was one of the last Mayan cities ever constructed. It was built back in the late 1200’s AD. Lastly, Tulum served at least three functions: observing the movement of planets, trading jade and turquoise, and warning boats about the barrier reef with an ancient lighthouse.
Tulum is only 45-minutes south of Playa del Carmen. So, it couples nicely with a visit to Cobá. For fun, these ancient Mayan ruins are only walking distance to the quaint beach town. It offers clothing boutiques, high-end restaurants & chic accommodations. And, don’t forget your swim suit. The Caribbean Sea, with its white-sand beaches, is a great place to spend an afternoon with friends and family. You can jump right into the turquoise waters behind the Mayan ruins.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Come visit Playa del Carmen and find everything you need for a wonderful vacation, all year round!
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House Hunters International Episode #2
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House Hunters International Episode #3
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House Hunters International Episode #4
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Mayan ruins – PART TWO
Part two is coming next. And, it’ll extend the list of ancient Mayan ruins. Also, it’ll reveal great pictures and information about Ek’ Balam, Uxmal, Dzibanché, and Mayapán. Fortunately, all of these Mayan ruins are easily accessible, and very enjoyable to visit. Soon, a link to part two will be added here, once it’s published. So, be sure to bookmark this post, and reload it later, to see the link when it arrives.
Come visit soon
Thank you for reading Mayan ruins near Cancún: Uncover the giant monuments the Maya left behind in Mexico, written by Greg Hixon. Be sure to check out other posts in Jason Waller‘s blog: Blog.PlayaRealEstateGroup.com. There, you’ll learn about the many wonderful aspects of Playa del Carmen, Mexico and the surrounding areas along the Riviera Maya, from blog posts like this.