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The Ancient Pyramids of Mexico

Updated on March 10, 2015

Just South Of The Border But A World So Far Away

Between the middle of the second millennium B.C. and the 16th century A.D. Mexico was home to the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Toltec and Aztec civilizations. These ancient civilizations developed complex mathematics, writing systems, accurate calendars and unique art forms. They also enjoyed music, astronomy, religion and games of sport.

My husband and I found ourselves in the heart of this ancient world recently, exploring the awe inspiring sites of Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Edzna, Palenque, Chicanna, Becan, Xpuhil and Tulum. Each location offered up its own rich history of artifacts, pyramids and architecturally unique ruins. It was very surprising to see large numbers of tourists from Japan and Europe at most of the sites. France and Germany seemed to be especially well represented as they arrived in caravans of rugged Mercedes RV's and Range Rovers usually covered with a plethora of stickers from every conceivable location in Mexico and South and Central America. Where were the hundreds of American tourists that could be seen on the streets of Cancun only days earlier? Our Mexican guide, Jose, provided the answer. "Gringos rarely travel beyond the luxury hotels and cantinas in the Cancun area. They have no interest in our ancient culture", he remarked politely. It seemed a shame that so many U.S. visitors were nearby and yet they were missing out on such a spectacular adventure. Perhaps the news reports of drug wars and kidnappings taking place in Mexico have made U.S. tourists a little apprehensive about leaving the security of the resorts, but most of these incidents are actually occurring many miles away. The Yucatan peninsula is really not that dangerous if you use caution and some common sense, traveling only on major roadways in daylight and if possible with a group. Having someone with some Spanish speaking skills can also be helpful as you travel. Although many of the locals speak an indigenous dialect unrelated to Spanish, most speak at least some Spanish.

El Castillo Pyramid at Chichen Itza
El Castillo Pyramid at Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

We take our first steps into the Mayan world at Chichen Itza southwest of Cancun in central Yucatan. This is one of the most popular and well documented ancient sites in Mexico. Chichen Itza was a thriving Puuc city that reached its peak in 950 AD. The site is spread out over an area of 12 square miles with the monumental center boasting many picturesque structures including an observatory, nunnery, a large pyramid and a sacred water hole called a cenote. Getting to the site early affords you the opportunity to explore at your leisure before the crowds from the tour buses arrive and in the comfort of the cool morning air. There is so much area to cover that it's best to spend the better part of a day if possible.

Chichen Itza

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Structure behind the nunnery.The ObservatoryStone Staircase to platformPillarsTemple WallCenoteThe NunneryRock carvingsLooking up at El CastilloEl CastilloOrnate pillarThe ChurchPassageWall of carved skullsAnother view of El CastilloJaguar carvingStone jaguarOrnate platform
Structure behind the nunnery.
Structure behind the nunnery.
The Observatory
The Observatory
Stone Staircase to platform
Stone Staircase to platform
Pillars
Pillars
Temple Wall
Temple Wall
Cenote
Cenote
The Nunnery
The Nunnery
Rock carvings
Rock carvings
Looking up at El Castillo
Looking up at El Castillo
El Castillo
El Castillo
Ornate pillar
Ornate pillar
The Church
The Church
Passage
Passage
Wall of carved skulls
Wall of carved skulls
Another view of El Castillo
Another view of El Castillo
Jaguar carving
Jaguar carving
Stone jaguar
Stone jaguar
Ornate platform
Ornate platform

Uxmal

Overlooking Uxmal from the Temple of the Turtles
Overlooking Uxmal from the Temple of the Turtles

Close to the border of Yucatan and Campeche is an amazing site called Uxmal. This location has one of the best preserved ancient cities discovered to date. The region was established around 700 AD and was once the most important political center in the Yucatan before the rise of Chichen Itza. The pyramid at Uxmal is called The Pyramid of the Magician and is unusual in its construction, having a more rounded base as opposed to the traditional square construction found on most other pyramids. Local mythology tells a story of the pyramid being built by a dwarf and appearing magically overnight. The entire area is very serene and scenic with flowering trees and rich green grasses. Iguanas of all sizes can be seen throughout the site but they are relatively shy and quickly scurry away if you venture too close. If you arrive early enough in the morning you may witness the flying of the swallows as they swarm from their nests in the ruins by the hundreds in search of food. The buildings in Uxmal are probably the most impressive seen in any ruin. Ornately carved stone structures beckon you to enter through their ancient doorways and discover the secrets of a civilization long forgotten.

Uxmal

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Pyramid of the MagicianHall of the AmbassadorsSmall TempleBeautiful flowering plants aboundPlenty of shy iguanasPyramid of the magicianLooking up at the pyramidReverse side of the pyramidShy iguanaBeautiful carvings adorn the buildingsLooking out at the courtyardMore ornate carvings that tell a storyRows of roomsPassagewayHall of the AmbassadorsHall of the AmbassadorsPlenty of iguanasMe resting by the small templeSecret hideout of the iguanasClose up of rock carvingsAnother area of structures
Pyramid of the Magician
Pyramid of the Magician
Hall of the Ambassadors
Hall of the Ambassadors
Small Temple
Small Temple
Beautiful flowering plants abound
Beautiful flowering plants abound
Plenty of shy iguanas
Plenty of shy iguanas
Pyramid of the magician
Pyramid of the magician
Looking up at the pyramid
Looking up at the pyramid
Reverse side of the pyramid
Reverse side of the pyramid
Shy iguana
Shy iguana
Beautiful carvings adorn the buildings
Beautiful carvings adorn the buildings
Looking out at the courtyard
Looking out at the courtyard
More ornate carvings that tell a story
More ornate carvings that tell a story
Rows of rooms
Rows of rooms
Passageway
Passageway
Hall of the Ambassadors
Hall of the Ambassadors
Hall of the Ambassadors
Hall of the Ambassadors
Plenty of iguanas
Plenty of iguanas
Me resting by the small temple
Me resting by the small temple
Secret hideout of the iguanas
Secret hideout of the iguanas
Close up of rock carvings
Close up of rock carvings
Another area of structures
Another area of structures

Kabah and Sayil

Kabah
Kabah

Not as much time is needed to explore the sites of Kabah and Sayil, near the border of Yucatan and Campeche, as these ruins take up a much smaller area than those of Uxmal or Chichen Itza. However, they are definitely worth stopping to see as the architecture is beautiful. Archeologists suggest that the site of Kabah once housed a royal family and there are several ornately decorated buildings to support this assumption. Sayil too was a supposed palace for the elite class and the area around the main structure suggests that there where many gardens. Archeologists have also discovered a large number of ancient water tanks in the two square mile area of Sayil suggesting that the density of the population in that location was high.

Kabah and Sayil

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KabahMain Structure at KabahMain structure at SayilClose-up of detail in main structure of SayilMain structure at SayilCloser view of main structure at SayilSayil from another view
Kabah
Kabah
Main Structure at Kabah
Main Structure at Kabah
Main structure at Sayil
Main structure at Sayil
Close-up of detail in main structure of Sayil
Close-up of detail in main structure of Sayil
Main structure at Sayil
Main structure at Sayil
Closer view of main structure at Sayil
Closer view of main structure at Sayil
Sayil from another view
Sayil from another view

Edzna

Edzná
Edzná

Crossing into Campeche and arriving at Edzna, it takes time to explore the area and climb to the top of the pyramid called The Five Story Building to get an overview of the ruins. This site was originally inhabited from 600 BC until 1450 AD.

A complicated water system existed in this area consisting of thirteen main channels, thirty one secondary channels and eighty four deposits of water. The region was a commercial center, selling cotton, salt and sea products to the populations in the lowlands.

Edzna

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Delightful shaded path that winds through the site.Unusual songbird found at the site.Open areaApproaching the five story building from the large open areaThe Five Story BuildingAlejandro climbing to the top of the five story buildingView from the top of The Five Story Building to the courtyard below.I am waving up at Alejandro from the base of the five story building
Delightful shaded path that winds through the site.
Delightful shaded path that winds through the site.
Unusual songbird found at the site.
Unusual songbird found at the site.
Open area
Open area
Approaching the five story building from the large open area
Approaching the five story building from the large open area
The Five Story Building
The Five Story Building
Alejandro climbing to the top of the five story building
Alejandro climbing to the top of the five story building
View from the top of The Five Story Building to the courtyard below.
View from the top of The Five Story Building to the courtyard below.
I am waving up at Alejandro from the base of the five story building
I am waving up at Alejandro from the base of the five story building

Palenque

Pyramid of Inscriptions
Pyramid of Inscriptions

After a long drive through Campeche and past Tabasco you will reach Palenque. Located in the jungles of Chiapas, this site is considered the true jewel of the Mayan world. It has been determined that this city was founded in the 5th century AD. The most dominant features at this site are the Pyramid of Inscriptions and the tower observatory in the Palace of Palenque.

The best word to describe Palenque is enchanting. The site is very large and well maintained with magnificent shade trees and wide varieties of lush vegetation. There are still areas being excavated within the dense jungle and a short walk down a narrow path into the foliage will take you back in time as you hear the howler monkeys calling from the treetops in the distance and view the remains of ancient structures barely visible, peeking from beneath the jungle's leafy camouflage.

Descend down mossy stairways to investigate primitive dwellings that seem naturally situated among the thick branches and massive tree roots. It feels like an Indiana Jones adventure movie as you explore the area. After taking a day to enjoy the archeological site it's imperative to stop in the museum and learn all you can about ancient Palenque. One of the most remarkable displays you will see there is a huge sarcophagus inscribed with what looks like a man in some sort of machine, complete with breathing tube. A legend tells the tale of the ruler, Pacal, climbing the sacred tree to visit the stars. It makes you stop and wonder what we don't yet know about these ancient civilizations.

Palenque

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Driving through the jungles of Chiapas to arrive at PalenqueEntering into PalenqueThe Pyramid of InscriptionsSitting beneath a large shade tree viewing the pyramidStanding at the base of the pyramid looking upThe palace of Palenque and tower observatoryTower ObservatoryMe beneath the tower observatory within the palace of PalenqueAlejandro exploring inside the palace of PalenqueInside the ruins of the palaceView from the top of the Temple of the SunThe Pyramid of InscriptionsMe with the Pyramid of Inscriptions just behind meExploring some of the excavation sites at the edge of the jungleAlejandro entering an underground passageTaking a snack break in the ruinsEntering the jungleAbundant blooming beautyFinding excavation site in the jungleExcavation in the jungleMe and AlejandroSo many structures still remain buried in the jungleMe enjoying the sounds of the howler monkeys in the jungleMe checking my camera outside the tombs at the end of our day
Driving through the jungles of Chiapas to arrive at Palenque
Driving through the jungles of Chiapas to arrive at Palenque
Entering into Palenque
Entering into Palenque
The Pyramid of Inscriptions
The Pyramid of Inscriptions
Sitting beneath a large shade tree viewing the pyramid
Sitting beneath a large shade tree viewing the pyramid
Standing at the base of the pyramid looking up
Standing at the base of the pyramid looking up
The palace of Palenque and tower observatory
The palace of Palenque and tower observatory
Tower Observatory
Tower Observatory
Me beneath the tower observatory within the palace of Palenque
Me beneath the tower observatory within the palace of Palenque
Alejandro exploring inside the palace of Palenque
Alejandro exploring inside the palace of Palenque
Inside the ruins of the palace
Inside the ruins of the palace
View from the top of the Temple of the Sun
View from the top of the Temple of the Sun
The Pyramid of Inscriptions
The Pyramid of Inscriptions
Me with the Pyramid of Inscriptions just behind me
Me with the Pyramid of Inscriptions just behind me
Exploring some of the excavation sites at the edge of the jungle
Exploring some of the excavation sites at the edge of the jungle
Alejandro entering an underground passage
Alejandro entering an underground passage
Taking a snack break in the ruins
Taking a snack break in the ruins
Entering the jungle
Entering the jungle
Abundant blooming beauty
Abundant blooming beauty
Finding excavation site in the jungle
Finding excavation site in the jungle
Excavation in the jungle
Excavation in the jungle
Me and Alejandro
Me and Alejandro
So many structures still remain buried in the jungle
So many structures still remain buried in the jungle
Me enjoying the sounds of the howler monkeys in the jungle
Me enjoying the sounds of the howler monkeys in the jungle
Me checking my camera outside the tombs at the end of our day
Me checking my camera outside the tombs at the end of our day

Chiapas

Agua Azul
Agua Azul

If you travel beyond Palenque in Chiapas you will most likely pass through an area under Zapatista rule. The local people often pull a rope across the roadway in order to stop the traffic and sell bananas, tamales and candy. It is a good idea to carry a supply of coins in order to purchase some of the items they offer as this helps support the economy in the area and fosters a good relationship between the tourists and the locals. Bananas are the safest food option. It is not advisable to eat any tamales or other prepared food along the roadways as this can often result in severe stomach upset and a case of what is more politely referred to as “Montezuma’s revenge”.

While in Chiapas it is highly recommended that you take time to visit Agua Azul and Misol Ha.

Chiapas

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Agua AzulAmazing blue waters of Agua AzulThe falls of Agua AzulAgua Azul fallsAbove the fallsMe above the falls at Agua AzulSnack stand at Agua AzulYou are entering Zapatista territory.Young girl selling bananas along the roadwayMisol HaMe exploring under the falls at Misol HaUnder the fallsAlejandro climbing up to the cave under the fallsPathway to the falls
Agua Azul
Agua Azul
Amazing blue waters of Agua Azul
Amazing blue waters of Agua Azul
The falls of Agua Azul
The falls of Agua Azul
Agua Azul falls
Agua Azul falls
Above the falls
Above the falls
Me above the falls at Agua Azul
Me above the falls at Agua Azul
Snack stand at Agua Azul
Snack stand at Agua Azul
You are entering Zapatista territory.
You are entering Zapatista territory.
Young girl selling bananas along the roadway
Young girl selling bananas along the roadway
Misol Ha
Misol Ha
Me exploring under the falls at Misol Ha
Me exploring under the falls at Misol Ha
Under the falls
Under the falls
Alejandro climbing up to the cave under the falls
Alejandro climbing up to the cave under the falls
Pathway to the falls
Pathway to the falls

Becan, Xpuhil and Chicanna

Chicaná
Chicaná

Driving back in the direction of Cancun in Quintana Roo, it's worthwhile to stop a few more times in Campeche to visit Becan, Xpuhil and Chicanna. All of these sites have their own unique qualities that are very interesting and extremely scenic. Chicanna is still under excavation and archaeologists remain mystified as to its origins and purpose. It is a good sized site and its most notable structure is what appears to be a temple with a gaping jaw as a doorway. Nearby is Becan which was founded around 600 BC and has a fair sized pyramid as well as the remains of other large buildings. Pathways wind all through the area and shade trees make the walk very comfortable. If you stop in Xpuhil it may be a bit of a challenge to find a hotel, so it's probably better to plan an early day trip with a more populated late day destination in mind. If you must arrive late in Xpuhil you might get lucky and find a one room hotel that is vacant for the night. The archeological site of Xpuhil is like a nature hike through the woods with occasional ruins to view on your way to the main structure, three tall towers built side by side. One tower has a very steep, narrow, nearly hidden staircase that will afford you an overall view of the area. The staircase is not recommended if you are uncomfortable in tight spaces. It is speculated that Xpuhil was also founded around 600 BC. Meandering around these sites can be really enjoyable and even though not much is yet known about these locations, it is nonetheless a rare and amazing experience.

Becan, Xpuhil and Chicanna

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Entering BecánAncient ruins at BecánAlejandro exploring an interior passage at BecánAlejandro scaling structure 8 at BecánPyramid at BecánMe climbing up to the top of the pyramid of BecánView from the top of the pyramid of BecánLooking up from the base of the pyramid of BecánExploring the ruins at BecánMore structures at BecánStructure 2 at BecánClose up of details in stone work at BecánXpuhilVery tight and steep staircase at XpuhilAlejandro climbs to the heights of XpuhilDetails of stone carvings at XpuhilMe following a pathway through the trees as we leave XpuhilOne room hotel in XpuhilMe at ChicanáClose up details of rock carvings at ChicanáAnother structure at ChicanáTemple that looks like an open mouth at ChicanáMe sitting on the lower jaw between the teeth at ChicanáClose up detail of stone carvings at ChicanáDelicate flower along the pathway at Chicaná
Entering Becán
Entering Becán
Ancient ruins at Becán
Ancient ruins at Becán
Alejandro exploring an interior passage at Becán
Alejandro exploring an interior passage at Becán
Alejandro scaling structure 8 at Becán
Alejandro scaling structure 8 at Becán
Pyramid at Becán
Pyramid at Becán
Me climbing up to the top of the pyramid of Becán
Me climbing up to the top of the pyramid of Becán
View from the top of the pyramid of Becán
View from the top of the pyramid of Becán
Looking up from the base of the pyramid of Becán
Looking up from the base of the pyramid of Becán
Exploring the ruins at Becán
Exploring the ruins at Becán
More structures at Becán
More structures at Becán
Structure 2 at Becán
Structure 2 at Becán
Close up of details in stone work at Becán
Close up of details in stone work at Becán
Xpuhil
Xpuhil
Very tight and steep staircase at Xpuhil
Very tight and steep staircase at Xpuhil
Alejandro climbs to the heights of Xpuhil
Alejandro climbs to the heights of Xpuhil
Details of stone carvings at Xpuhil
Details of stone carvings at Xpuhil
Me following a pathway through the trees as we leave Xpuhil
Me following a pathway through the trees as we leave Xpuhil
One room hotel in Xpuhil
One room hotel in Xpuhil
Me at Chicaná
Me at Chicaná
Close up details of rock carvings at Chicaná
Close up details of rock carvings at Chicaná
Another structure at Chicaná
Another structure at Chicaná
Temple that looks like an open mouth at Chicaná
Temple that looks like an open mouth at Chicaná
Me sitting on the lower jaw between the teeth at Chicaná
Me sitting on the lower jaw between the teeth at Chicaná
Close up detail of stone carvings at Chicaná
Close up detail of stone carvings at Chicaná
Delicate flower along the pathway at Chicaná
Delicate flower along the pathway at Chicaná

Tulum

Iguana at Tulum
Iguana at Tulum

A final destination that should not be missed is Tulum in Quintana Roo. Tulum sits at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Caribbean and the scenery can only be described as breathtaking. The aqua waters of the sea below make this site one of the most picturesque places in Mexico. The ruins themselves are rather simple in design but with some very ornate carvings on some of the structures. It is here in Tulum that you will finally find a good number of U.S. tourists, most being guided on bus tours. The site can sometimes get crowded but not to the point where you must struggle to get some decent photographs. If you manage to arrive ahead of the afternoon tour buses Tulum can actually be a very tranquil place.

Tulum

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Me at entranceTulum from the beachMain structureLots of iguanas willing to pose for a photographClose up of ornate structureFloral beautyWalking through the structuresMain structureBehind main structureStairs down to the beachLooking out over the shorelineAnother interesting structurePosing iguanaThis iguana was down by the water well and would not relinquish his spot on the rock no matter how many people stood near him.pillars of stoneAlejandro through the doorwayGiftshopPapantla flyers performing outside the ruins
Me at entrance
Me at entrance
Tulum from the beach
Tulum from the beach
Main structure
Main structure
Lots of iguanas willing to pose for a photograph
Lots of iguanas willing to pose for a photograph
Close up of ornate structure
Close up of ornate structure
Floral beauty
Floral beauty
Walking through the structures
Walking through the structures
Main structure
Main structure
Behind main structure
Behind main structure
Stairs down to the beach
Stairs down to the beach
Looking out over the shoreline
Looking out over the shoreline
Another interesting structure
Another interesting structure
Posing iguana
Posing iguana
This iguana was down by the water well and would not relinquish his spot on the rock no matter how many people stood near him.
This iguana was down by the water well and would not relinquish his spot on the rock no matter how many people stood near him.
pillars of stone
pillars of stone
Alejandro through the doorway
Alejandro through the doorway
Giftshop
Giftshop
Papantla flyers performing outside the ruins
Papantla flyers performing outside the ruins

Cancun

Beach at Cancun
Beach at Cancun

If you remain in Cancun for a while, enjoy some of the ambiance the city offers. There are plenty of good, clean and reasonably priced restaurants in Cancun as well as some very nice lodgings. You might even choose to stay in a hostel if you are trying to economize. You may be pleasantly surprised by the quality of your accommodations. You can also drive around the outskirts of Cancun and find some very beautiful locations to photograph and enjoy. Beware, however, as local traffic police sometimes try to extort money in order to avoid issuing traffic tickets. (If you have violated a traffic law it might be better to pay the “fine” in order to avoid any long delays in your vacation plans that could be caused by receiving a ticket.)

A final note; for every ancient site we visited there are probably ten more we missed. The region is literally rich with ruins, many not yet excavated and some still waiting to be discovered.

Around Cancun

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A cove of many colorsCharming little hotel on the coveTranquil walk out over the waterFishing boatsMe getting my luggage from our little rental car outside the first lovely hostel where we stayedEntrance to the first hostel where we stayedAlejandro relaxing in our comfortable room. The community kitchen was on the same floor.The second hostel where we stayed.A lovely, inexpensive, clean roomRoom has a fridge and sink so you can have a quick snack in the morningLots of beautiful flowers around town.
A cove of many colors
A cove of many colors
Charming little hotel on the cove
Charming little hotel on the cove
Tranquil walk out over the water
Tranquil walk out over the water
Fishing boats
Fishing boats
Me getting my luggage from our little rental car outside the first lovely hostel where we stayed
Me getting my luggage from our little rental car outside the first lovely hostel where we stayed
Entrance to the first hostel where we stayed
Entrance to the first hostel where we stayed
Alejandro relaxing in our comfortable room. The community kitchen was on the same floor.
Alejandro relaxing in our comfortable room. The community kitchen was on the same floor.
The second hostel where we stayed.
The second hostel where we stayed.
A lovely, inexpensive, clean room
A lovely, inexpensive, clean room
Room has a fridge and sink so you can have a quick snack in the morning
Room has a fridge and sink so you can have a quick snack in the morning
Lots of beautiful flowers around town.
Lots of beautiful flowers around town.

More pyramids outside the Yucatan peninsula - There are many more ancient and amazing sites in the interior of Mexico

Pyramid of the sun at Teotihuacan near Mexico City
Pyramid of the sun at Teotihuacan near Mexico City

Although there are hundreds of beautiful locations, pyramids and ruins to see in the Yucatan peninsula you might want to visit the interior of Mexico in order to see some really amazing ancient sites such as Teotihuacan, Xochicalco, Tenochtitlan, Tula, El Tajin, Monte Alban as well as many others. As time passes more sites are being unearthed throughout the Maya region and each site is unique and amazing. Mexico is our close neighbor and the culture and land is so rich with experiences it would be a shame to miss any of it.

Teotihuacan - An ancient marvel

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View of the pyramid of the sun as seen from the pyramid of the moon 2005Avenue of the dead 2005Me in 2005 by the pyramid of the moonMe and Alejandro in 2014 on the top of the pyramid of the sun2014 Alesia at the top of the pyramid of the sunLooking out from the top of the pyramid of the sun 2014Pyramid of the sun as seen from the avenue of the dead. 2014Me by the pyramid of the moon with pyramid of the sun in background. 2014Me and Alesia 2014Alejandro in front of the pyramid of the moon. 2014Alesia and me in front of the pyramid of the moon. 2014Alesia hanging out on the pyramid of the moon. 20142014 Pyramid of the sunAlesia with pyramid of the sun in background. 2014
View of the pyramid of the sun as seen from the pyramid of the moon 2005
View of the pyramid of the sun as seen from the pyramid of the moon 2005
Avenue of the dead 2005
Avenue of the dead 2005
Me in 2005 by the pyramid of the moon
Me in 2005 by the pyramid of the moon
Me and Alejandro in 2014 on the top of the pyramid of the sun
Me and Alejandro in 2014 on the top of the pyramid of the sun
2014 Alesia at the top of the pyramid of the sun
2014 Alesia at the top of the pyramid of the sun
Looking out from the top of the pyramid of the sun 2014
Looking out from the top of the pyramid of the sun 2014
Pyramid of the sun as seen from the avenue of the dead. 2014
Pyramid of the sun as seen from the avenue of the dead. 2014
Me by the pyramid of the moon with pyramid of the sun in background. 2014
Me by the pyramid of the moon with pyramid of the sun in background. 2014
Me and Alesia 2014
Me and Alesia 2014
Alejandro in front of the pyramid of the moon. 2014
Alejandro in front of the pyramid of the moon. 2014
Alesia and me in front of the pyramid of the moon. 2014
Alesia and me in front of the pyramid of the moon. 2014
Alesia hanging out on the pyramid of the moon. 2014
Alesia hanging out on the pyramid of the moon. 2014
2014 Pyramid of the sun
2014 Pyramid of the sun
Alesia with pyramid of the sun in background. 2014
Alesia with pyramid of the sun in background. 2014

Xochicalco

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Gran pyramid of Xochicalco 2002Looking out over Xochicalco 2002Exploring Xochicalco 2002Around the side of the Gran pyramid. 2014Xochicalco 2014Alejandro waiting outside the observatory 2014Alesia waiting outside the observatory 2014Looking through the opening in the observatory which allows the sun to indicate when to plant and harvest. 2014Upper area above observatory. 2014Exploring Xochicalco 2014Alejandro exploring 2014Alesia checking out the ruins 2014Resident Iguana 2014A wall of beautiful stone carvings. 2014Close-up of some of the stone work. 2014Looking out from the top of the site. 2014Xochicalco 2014Alesia checking out the view 2014A view over the site. 2014Me, Alesia and Alejandro at Xochicalco. 2014An amazing vista 2014Xochicalco 2014Alesia on the edge. 2014Gran pyramid 2014Leaving Xochicalco 2014
Gran pyramid of Xochicalco 2002
Gran pyramid of Xochicalco 2002
Looking out over Xochicalco 2002
Looking out over Xochicalco 2002
Exploring Xochicalco 2002
Exploring Xochicalco 2002
Around the side of the Gran pyramid. 2014
Around the side of the Gran pyramid. 2014
Xochicalco 2014
Xochicalco 2014
Alejandro waiting outside the observatory 2014
Alejandro waiting outside the observatory 2014
Alesia waiting outside the observatory 2014
Alesia waiting outside the observatory 2014
Looking through the opening in the observatory which allows the sun to indicate when to plant and harvest. 2014
Looking through the opening in the observatory which allows the sun to indicate when to plant and harvest. 2014
Upper area above observatory. 2014
Upper area above observatory. 2014
Exploring Xochicalco 2014
Exploring Xochicalco 2014
Alejandro exploring 2014
Alejandro exploring 2014
Alesia checking out the ruins 2014
Alesia checking out the ruins 2014
Resident Iguana 2014
Resident Iguana 2014
A wall of beautiful stone carvings. 2014
A wall of beautiful stone carvings. 2014
Close-up of some of the stone work. 2014
Close-up of some of the stone work. 2014
Looking out from the top of the site. 2014
Looking out from the top of the site. 2014
Xochicalco 2014
Xochicalco 2014
Alesia checking out the view 2014
Alesia checking out the view 2014
A view over the site. 2014
A view over the site. 2014
Me, Alesia and Alejandro at Xochicalco. 2014
Me, Alesia and Alejandro at Xochicalco. 2014
An amazing vista 2014
An amazing vista 2014
Xochicalco 2014
Xochicalco 2014
Alesia on the edge. 2014
Alesia on the edge. 2014
Gran pyramid 2014
Gran pyramid 2014
Leaving Xochicalco 2014
Leaving Xochicalco 2014

Tenochtitlan (Temple Mayor) - In the heart of Mexico City (Zocalo)

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Outside walls of Tenochtitlan 2007Interior wall of Tenochtitlan 2007Steps of Tenochtitlan 2007Stone sentinels 2014Choc-mool 2014Interior Tenochtitlan 2014Interior Tenochtitlan 2014Interior Tenochtitlan 2014Carvings on interior walls 2014Close-up of carvings 2014
Outside walls of Tenochtitlan 2007
Outside walls of Tenochtitlan 2007
Interior wall of Tenochtitlan 2007
Interior wall of Tenochtitlan 2007
Steps of Tenochtitlan 2007
Steps of Tenochtitlan 2007
Stone sentinels 2014
Stone sentinels 2014
Choc-mool 2014
Choc-mool 2014
Interior Tenochtitlan 2014
Interior Tenochtitlan 2014
Interior Tenochtitlan 2014
Interior Tenochtitlan 2014
Interior Tenochtitlan 2014
Interior Tenochtitlan 2014
Carvings on interior walls 2014
Carvings on interior walls 2014
Close-up of carvings 2014
Close-up of carvings 2014

A few other pyramids in Mexico - There are hundreds of pyramids in Mexico and these are only the few we have seen.

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The pyramid of the niches at El TajinSite of El TajinStructure at El TajinPyramid of the giants at TulaThe giants of TulaPyramid of the sun at TulaAlejandro at TeopanzolcoMe on the steps of TeopanzolcoStructure of TeopanzolcoMonte AlbanView over Monte Alban courtyardStructure and stone carvings at Monte AlbanMe exploring the ruins of MitlaAlejandro in a passageway at MitlaClose up of stone work at MitlaPyramid of Tepoztlan
The pyramid of the niches at El Tajin
The pyramid of the niches at El Tajin
Site of El Tajin
Site of El Tajin
Structure at El Tajin
Structure at El Tajin
Pyramid of the giants at Tula
Pyramid of the giants at Tula
The giants of Tula
The giants of Tula
Pyramid of the sun at Tula
Pyramid of the sun at Tula
Alejandro at Teopanzolco
Alejandro at Teopanzolco
Me on the steps of Teopanzolco
Me on the steps of Teopanzolco
Structure of Teopanzolco
Structure of Teopanzolco
Monte Alban
Monte Alban
View over Monte Alban courtyard
View over Monte Alban courtyard
Structure and stone carvings at Monte Alban
Structure and stone carvings at Monte Alban
Me exploring the ruins of Mitla
Me exploring the ruins of Mitla
Alejandro in a passageway at Mitla
Alejandro in a passageway at Mitla
Close up of stone work at Mitla
Close up of stone work at Mitla
Pyramid of Tepoztlan
Pyramid of Tepoztlan

Cholula - A massive pyramid buried beneath a historic church

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Due to the fact that the church is also an historic site, the pyramid of Cholula is mainly accessible via tunnels dug by archaeologists.Beneath the hill is a maze of tunnels, most of which are blocked off to keep people from getting hopelessly lost in the labyrinthA side tunnel beckons to be explored.Some of the structure is visible on the exterior of the hill below the churchThe actual base of this pyramid is said to be the largest in the world.Erosion has taken its toll but the exterior structure is still impressive nonetheless.More of the structureFaintly visible carvings are still viewable on some structuresA make-shift roof protects some of the ancient artwork that adorns the walls of the structure where archaeologists still study the culture.You can get an idea of the size of the base by the distance from the church that is slightly visible in the center of the picture.A large structure juts from the hillside with stairs to an overall viewOne tunnel that exits on the hillThe church above the pyramid of CholulaVisiting the churchView from the top of the hillA scale model at the museum near the pyramid that depicts the site as it is beneath the hillside and the surrounding ancient structures above ground.A resident of the hillHaving a snackLittle ground squirrel takes interest in my cameraHummingbird visiting the local flowersLittle bird foraging for food
Due to the fact that the church is also an historic site, the pyramid of Cholula is mainly accessible via tunnels dug by archaeologists.
Due to the fact that the church is also an historic site, the pyramid of Cholula is mainly accessible via tunnels dug by archaeologists.
Beneath the hill is a maze of tunnels, most of which are blocked off to keep people from getting hopelessly lost in the labyrinth
Beneath the hill is a maze of tunnels, most of which are blocked off to keep people from getting hopelessly lost in the labyrinth
A side tunnel beckons to be explored.
A side tunnel beckons to be explored.
Some of the structure is visible on the exterior of the hill below the church
Some of the structure is visible on the exterior of the hill below the church
The actual base of this pyramid is said to be the largest in the world.
The actual base of this pyramid is said to be the largest in the world.
Erosion has taken its toll but the exterior structure is still impressive nonetheless.
Erosion has taken its toll but the exterior structure is still impressive nonetheless.
More of the structure
More of the structure
Faintly visible carvings are still viewable on some structures
Faintly visible carvings are still viewable on some structures
A make-shift roof protects some of the ancient artwork that adorns the walls of the structure where archaeologists still study the culture.
A make-shift roof protects some of the ancient artwork that adorns the walls of the structure where archaeologists still study the culture.
You can get an idea of the size of the base by the distance from the church that is slightly visible in the center of the picture.
You can get an idea of the size of the base by the distance from the church that is slightly visible in the center of the picture.
A large structure juts from the hillside with stairs to an overall view
A large structure juts from the hillside with stairs to an overall view
One tunnel that exits on the hill
One tunnel that exits on the hill
The church above the pyramid of Cholula
The church above the pyramid of Cholula
Visiting the church
Visiting the church
View from the top of the hill
View from the top of the hill
A scale model at the museum near the pyramid that depicts the site as it is beneath the hillside and the surrounding ancient structures above ground.
A scale model at the museum near the pyramid that depicts the site as it is beneath the hillside and the surrounding ancient structures above ground.
A resident of the hill
A resident of the hill
Having a snack
Having a snack
Little ground squirrel takes interest in my camera
Little ground squirrel takes interest in my camera
Hummingbird visiting the local flowers
Hummingbird visiting the local flowers
Little bird foraging for food
Little bird foraging for food

An Ancient Temple Above Malinalco - A long trek up a steep hill but it's worth it.

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Taking a break on the way up the mountain.Arriving at the top of the mountain.The ancient temple with wooden steps constructed for accessibility.Just outside the templeInside the templeStructure next to templeFront of templeExploring the areaMore of the siteAlesia exploringView over MalinalcoOver the edgeAlesia on the edgeHeading back down the mountain
Taking a break on the way up the mountain.
Taking a break on the way up the mountain.
Arriving at the top of the mountain.
Arriving at the top of the mountain.
The ancient temple with wooden steps constructed for accessibility.
The ancient temple with wooden steps constructed for accessibility.
Just outside the temple
Just outside the temple
Inside the temple
Inside the temple
Structure next to temple
Structure next to temple
Front of temple
Front of temple
Exploring the area
Exploring the area
More of the site
More of the site
Alesia exploring
Alesia exploring
View over Malinalco
View over Malinalco
Over the edge
Over the edge
Alesia on the edge
Alesia on the edge
Heading back down the mountain
Heading back down the mountain

More journeys into the Yucatan Peninsula and beyond

Not far from the road on the way to Chichen Itza is an interesting site called Ek Balam. The area is not too large but has a fair amount of very interesting structures amid shaded trails. The most beautiful portion of this site is the temple near the top of the tallest structure. The cost for this site is currently 62 pesos and well worth it. There are facilities available as well as small shops. The site is open daily from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Ek Balam

Climbing to the top of Ek Balam
Climbing to the top of Ek Balam
Ek Balam
Ek Balam
Temple of Ek Balam
Temple of Ek Balam
View from the top of Ek Balam
View from the top of Ek Balam
Another view of the temple at Ek Balam
Another view of the temple at Ek Balam
Structure at Ek Balam
Structure at Ek Balam
Interior room at Ek Balam
Interior room at Ek Balam
interesting fossils in the steps of Ek Balam
interesting fossils in the steps of Ek Balam
Structure at Ek Balam
Structure at Ek Balam
Roomed structure at Ek Balam
Roomed structure at Ek Balam
Gateway to Ek Balam
Gateway to Ek Balam
Me and my daughter playing tourist at Ek Balam
Me and my daughter playing tourist at Ek Balam

A Nice Way To Cool Down

The Yucatan area is dotted with hundreds of cenotes (underground pools of fresh water). Even in the winter months the heat can be oppressive and these lovely pools offer a break from the hot sun. We located a small cenote not far from Ek Balam called Sak Awa that offered an island in the center of the water that gives you the sense of a very private beach. We had the cenote all to ourselves all day and thoroughly enjoyed the cold water and curious fishes.

Cenote Sak Awa

Looking down into the cenote
Looking down into the cenote
View from the steps down into the cenote
View from the steps down into the cenote
Water in the cenote. The water is cold and extremely clear by the deepest area.
Water in the cenote. The water is cold and extremely clear by the deepest area.
Black catfish populate the cenote and are curious about swimmers.
Black catfish populate the cenote and are curious about swimmers.
Interiors walls of the cenote
Interiors walls of the cenote

Chichen Itza (the second time around)

While in Yucatan we could not pass up another chance to see Chichen Itza. This site never disappoints as it is massive and full of very interesting structures as well as some big iguana who are happy to pose for photos. The cost is currently 216 pesos and 30 pesos for parking. There are facilities at the entrance and within the site and an excellent restaurant and some very nice shops.The site is open daily from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Try to arrive early to beat the heat and tour buses and make sure to bring water as it can get hot as you walk around and although there is plenty of shade many of the structures are in the open areas where the sun can get intense.

Chichen Itza

El Castillo at Chichen Itza
El Castillo at Chichen Itza
The Observatory at Chichen Itza
The Observatory at Chichen Itza
Source
The Nunnery at Chichen Itza
The Nunnery at Chichen Itza
I am not sure what this structure is called but I call it "The Hole In The Wall". It gives you a peak into the structure from the outside.
I am not sure what this structure is called but I call it "The Hole In The Wall". It gives you a peak into the structure from the outside.
The Pillars
The Pillars
Iguana poses for a photo
Iguana poses for a photo

Uxmal (again)

Another site well worth seeing more than once is Uxmal. This is also a very large site and probably the best preserved ruin in Mexico. There are nice walkways through the area with shade trees and flowering vines as well as a large population of very photogenic iguana. The cost is currently199 pesos and a 30 peso parking fee. There is a luxury hotel just off the site with an impressive grass roofed restaurant. There are facilities at the entrance as well as some nice shops and an excellent restaurant. This site is open daily from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. It is good to arrive early to beat the heat and maybe even get a chance to see the swallows exit the ruins for their morning flight. The late great author, Michael Chichton once visited this site and wrote about it in his book "Travels".

Uxmal

Pyramid of the Magician
Pyramid of the Magician
Looking up from the base of the Pyramid of the Magician.
Looking up from the base of the Pyramid of the Magician.
Around to the other side of the pyramid
Around to the other side of the pyramid
Some of the impressive stone work at Uxmal
Some of the impressive stone work at Uxmal
More amazing stone work
More amazing stone work
Building at the back of the courtyard behind the pyramid
Building at the back of the courtyard behind the pyramid
Another view of the pyramid from beyond the courtyard
Another view of the pyramid from beyond the courtyard
Hall of the Ambassadors
Hall of the Ambassadors
Another structure beyond the main areas
Another structure beyond the main areas
An iguana is happy to pose for a photo
An iguana is happy to pose for a photo
A neglected building above the graveyard area
A neglected building above the graveyard area
Pyramid of the Magician
Pyramid of the Magician

Palenque (A happy return)

Palenque is by far my favorite site in all of Mexico. The area is on the edge of the jungles of Chiapas and you can often hear and see howler monkeys and spider monkeys in the treetops. The site is large and very peaceful and beautiful. The heat is not so oppressive here as the jungle offers cool breezes from the lush vegetation and numerous streams within. I can lose myself to this site as there is so much to see and many of the structures are within the jungle canopy and offer up such a unique experience. If you visit this site plan to spend the whole day as you will want to take advantage of every minute. There is also a museum just outside the main parking area and a lovely waterfall. There are several small eateries and lots of small shops. The admission cost is 64 pesos. There are facilities within the site. Palenque ruins are open daily from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Palenque

Entering the site from the upper parking area
Entering the site from the upper parking area
Pyramid of the Inscriptions
Pyramid of the Inscriptions
A morning mist from the jungle cools the area
A morning mist from the jungle cools the area
Interior courtyard of the palace structure
Interior courtyard of the palace structure
The observation tower
The observation tower
Another view of the Pyramid of Inscriptions
Another view of the Pyramid of Inscriptions
Temple of the Sun as seen from the Palace
Temple of the Sun as seen from the Palace
Structure under the tree canopy
Structure under the tree canopy
A view into the jungle
A view into the jungle
A structure almost blends with the jungle
A structure almost blends with the jungle
A howler monkey watches from the treetops
A howler monkey watches from the treetops
A howler monkey making his very loud calls
A howler monkey making his very loud calls
A spider monkey watches us
A spider monkey watches us
A green and beautiful site
A green and beautiful site

Cascada Roberto Barrios

A very lovely waterfall called Roberto Barrios is located within a nearby Zapatista village. It is a short walk from where you can park but the site is very beautiful and well worth seeing. The cost is 70 pesos. There are no facilities or shops or restaurants but the area is not too large and shouldn't take long to view and photograph. Locals use the area for swimming and will not mind if you decide to take a dip.Keep your eyes and ears open and you might even spot some monkeys.

Cascada Roberto Barrios

Cascada with caves
Cascada with caves
Cascada (waterfall)
Cascada (waterfall)
Monkey swings through the trees
Monkey swings through the trees
Twin Cascadas
Twin Cascadas
An inviting pool of cool blue water
An inviting pool of cool blue water

Tonina

Another lovely site to visit in Chiapas is called Tonina. The area is green and beautiful and the ruins are impressive. There are facilities on site and a small restaurant with a small section of T-shirts and a few other trinkets. The climb is not too difficult and the view from the top is spectacular. We traveled there on a Sunday and there was no charge but I have read online that the weekday fee is 45 pesos. This site is open 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily.

Tonina

You can rent horses to ride to the site but the walk is really not that far.
You can rent horses to ride to the site but the walk is really not that far.
The scene is green
The scene is green
Tonina in the distance
Tonina in the distance
Ground level structure at Tonina
Ground level structure at Tonina
Looking up at Tonina from ground level
Looking up at Tonina from ground level
Looking down at building at first level of Tonina
Looking down at building at first level of Tonina
Standing on higher level looking up to the top
Standing on higher level looking up to the top
Climbing to a higher level of Tonina
Climbing to a higher level of Tonina
View from the top of Tonina
View from the top of Tonina
Looking down on the lower levels
Looking down on the lower levels
A sentinel watches over Tonina
A sentinel watches over Tonina

Misol Ha

After visiting Tonina and driving back toward Palenque it got late and we were tired. We stopped at Aqua Azul and paid 45 pesos but the falls were closed and the idea of staying in a local posada (hostel) for the night didn't seem too inviting for us so we continued on to Cascada Misol Ha and were delighted to find a cozy cabin near the waterfall for 400 pesos. There was also a pretty good restaurant at the site that offered a fair selection of dinners. Our sleep was very restful with the sound of the waterfall nearby and we woke in the morning to the distant calls of howler monkeys in the jungle outside our back window. I have read that the cost of seeing the waterfall is normally 25 pesos but because we rented a cabin we were admitted as part of the rental package. There are facilities on site, a restaurant and a gift shop.

Cascada Misol Ha
Cascada Misol Ha
A well kept pathway takes you under the falls
A well kept pathway takes you under the falls
You can stop at the back of the falls or if you are a little more adventurous you can continue up to a cave beside the falls. Deep inside the cave is a small underground waterfall and shallow pool.
You can stop at the back of the falls or if you are a little more adventurous you can continue up to a cave beside the falls. Deep inside the cave is a small underground waterfall and shallow pool.
looking out from the cave beyond the waterfall
looking out from the cave beyond the waterfall
inside the cave and going deeper
inside the cave and going deeper
Underground waterfall and shallow pool inside the cave. Be sure to bring a flashlight as it is pitch dark in the depths of the cave. There are bats on the ceiling that may fly around a bit if startled but they won't bother you.
Underground waterfall and shallow pool inside the cave. Be sure to bring a flashlight as it is pitch dark in the depths of the cave. There are bats on the ceiling that may fly around a bit if startled but they won't bother you.
Little cabin we rented near the waterfall. There are several at this location and they are within sight of the waterfall.
Little cabin we rented near the waterfall. There are several at this location and they are within sight of the waterfall.

Balamku

A small but worthwhile site in Campeche is called Balamku. It is within a couple miles of the bio-reserve of Calakmul and only takes about an hour to explore. There is an amazing stone carving within one of the structures that should not be missed. It is behind a locked door so if you ask for someone to open it for you when you arrive it is a good idea. (A tip is always appreciated by the guy who has to walk back and unlock the door for you.) There are facilities at the entrance but no food or gift shop. The price is currently 39 pesos and the site is open from 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. daily. Bring water as it gets hot even in the winter months.

Balamku

Structure at Balamku
Structure at Balamku
Stone carving that is in the locked area. Ask at the entrance for someone to unlock the door for you. Don't forget to give a tip!
Stone carving that is in the locked area. Ask at the entrance for someone to unlock the door for you. Don't forget to give a tip!
Close up of some of the details in the stonework
Close up of some of the details in the stonework
Standing outside the doorway that was unlocked for us
Standing outside the doorway that was unlocked for us
Part of the main structure at Balamku
Part of the main structure at Balamku
Climbing to the top of the structure
Climbing to the top of the structure
View of the main structure
View of the main structure
Another angle of the main structure
Another angle of the main structure
Another large building at Balamku
Another large building at Balamku

Calakmul and the bio-reserve

You cannot see Calakmul without passing through the bio-reserve. It is about 60 km from the main highway through the reserve to the entrance of the pyramid site. You currently pay 28 pesos per person plus 56 pesos per car to use the roadway to the bio-reserve then you pay 61 pesos per car to drive into the reserve and 52 pesos per person for the site itself. There are facilities but no food, water or shops of any kind on the site. It is essential to bring water and maybe even a snack as the site is very large and you can spend the better part of a day exploring everything there is to see. There is also plenty of wildlife on this site. We saw spider and howler monkeys, lots of ocellated turkeys, a fox, a hawk, several curassows and a very colorful woodpecker. Near the entrance off the main highway is a beautiful hotel and restaurant called Hotel Puerta Calakmul if you want to have an excellent meal and stay close to the reserve. The cost is currently 160 USD per night for a very lovely private cabana. About a couple of miles down the main highway is another option called Cabanas Calakmul for a rustic private cabana for 600 pesos if you have a smaller budget. There is a little outdoor restaurant at this location that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Calakmul

Ocellated turkeys within the bio-reserve
Ocellated turkeys within the bio-reserve
The taller of the two pyramids at Calakmul
The taller of the two pyramids at Calakmul
Looking over at the second tallest pyramid at Calakmul
Looking over at the second tallest pyramid at Calakmul
Looking down from the top of the taller pyramid
Looking down from the top of the taller pyramid
Colorful woodpecker watching me as I climb back down from the pyramid
Colorful woodpecker watching me as I climb back down from the pyramid
Second largest pyramid at Calakmul. There is a large structure behind this structure that is visible from the taller pyramid.
Second largest pyramid at Calakmul. There is a large structure behind this structure that is visible from the taller pyramid.
A curassow peaks fro behind a tree
A curassow peaks fro behind a tree
Baby monkey with its mother
Baby monkey with its mother
Hawk at Calakmul
Hawk at Calakmul
One of the cabanas at Cabanas Calakmul
One of the cabanas at Cabanas Calakmul
Interior of cabana at Cabanas Calakmul. The room is comfortable with plenty of outlets for charging phones, etc. and the private bathroom has hot showers. Mosquito netting was not even necessary as the windows have screens.
Interior of cabana at Cabanas Calakmul. The room is comfortable with plenty of outlets for charging phones, etc. and the private bathroom has hot showers. Mosquito netting was not even necessary as the windows have screens.
Little outdoor restaurant at Cabanas Calakmul
Little outdoor restaurant at Cabanas Calakmul
For an excellent meal try the restaurant at Hotel Puerta Calakmul located off the highway near the entrance to the bio-reserve.
For an excellent meal try the restaurant at Hotel Puerta Calakmul located off the highway near the entrance to the bio-reserve.

For Your Information

Map of ancient sites
Map of ancient sites

An Interesting Graph Of Pyramid Sizes

Comparing the sizes of the pyramids of the world
Comparing the sizes of the pyramids of the world

A Timeline of MesoAmerican Cultures

Information on Mexico and Pyramids of Mexico

Mexico: A Guide to the Archaeological Sites
Mexico: A Guide to the Archaeological Sites

This is my favorite of all books on Mexican pyramids. The map in the front of the book also gives you an idea of where to look for these sites.

 
Lonely Planet Mexico (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Mexico (Travel Guide)

good idea to take a guide to the country

 

Guestbook Comments - I welcome any comments or suggestions.

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    • Risha Linda profile image
      Author

      Risha Linda Mateos 2 years ago from Florida

      Sounds like a terrible memory, sorry you must miss the sites. The energies at Palenque were "lighter" than those of Chichen Itza, Teotihuacan or several of the other sites we visited. Perhaps it was the jungle that restored that lightness or perhaps the history was somehow different. Something to consider if you do ever decide to travel the region. Take care.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 3 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Risha, I believe the guide was right about the decided lack of American tourists at those sites. Great hub, but I have personal reasons for having no desire to visit these ancient wonders - a horrifying memory of a past life at Teotihuacan when some 25,000 of its inhabitants were buried alive in a common grave.

      Upped and shared anyway. ;D