3 Mayan Ruins Near Cancun You’ve Never Heard Of

Cancun is much more than beaches and bars, of course any experienced traveler knows this! This tourist destination is located in an area rich in history and culture, so visiting Mayan ruins sites near Cancun is almost mandatory for those who want to get more out of their trips.

Just in the state of Quintana Roo there are 18 ancient Mayan cities listed in the network of INAH sites. The most popular archaeological sites near Cancun are Chichén Itzá (located in the neighboring state of Yucatán), Tulum and Cobá. These receive thousands of visitors each year, travelers from all over the world who want to know more about this fascinating civilization and be surrounded by its incredible constructions.

What other archaeological sites near Cancun are there to explore?

01.- Take a tour to Ek Balam, Yucatán!

Ek Balam means “black jaguar” in Maya and is the name of an impressive pre-hispanic city located near Valladolid, Yucatán. In the archaeological zone of Ek Balam you will not find huge crowds like in Tulum and Chichén Itzá! You will find buildings of considerable size that can still be clmbed, as well as very well preserved stucco friezes on the upper facade of the temple known as “Acrópolis” that will leave you breathless.

Zonas arqueológicas cercanas a Cancún | Ek Balam

Take a tour to Ek Balam and the Cenote Maya with Alltournative to have a whole day of adventures, with a guided tour of the archaeological site, a Mayan ceremony, a tour through an orchard with fruits and vegetables from the region, as well as food and activities at the huge Cenote Maya: rappel, diving, zipline with water landing, “trepachangas” and more.

Zonas arqueológicas cercanas a Cancún | Acrópolis de Ek Balam

02.- Visit the archaeological site of Muyil when you are in Tulum

Muyil was one of the first Mayan settlements on the coasts of what is now the state of Quintana Roo. This small archaeological zone is located within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve; through it you can admire the architectural style known as “Petén” (characteristic of other Mayan cities, such as Tikal, in Guatemala).

Zonas arqueológicas cercanas a Cancún | Muyil

Very few people go to Muyil, so the experience is very intimate and peaceful, inviting meditation and connection with nature and with the interesting pre-Hispanic past of Mexico. Do not forget to visit the temple in Muyil dedicated to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of fertility. They still bring floral offerings to this ancient deity!

03.- Be the first to explore the archaeological site of Ichkabal!

Have you not heard or read anything about the archaeological site of Ichkabal? Maybe it’s because it’s not yet open to the public! The exploration of this archaeological site only began in 1995. The archaeological site of Ichkabal is located near Bacalar, Quintana Roo, approximately 340 kilometers from Cancun.


Built around 300 BC, Ichkabal is older than Calakmul and has a temple taller than El Castillo of Chichén Itzá. The findings indicate that this city was very important politically and commercially for the ancient Mayans. Get ready to get to discover the Mayan ruins of Ichkabal before 2020!

With so many Mayan ruins near Cancun, you’ll have to come on vacation again and again! You will combine days of relaxation on the beach facing the sea with days of fun in water parks and exploration trips in enigmatic pre-Hispanic cities; in that way you will get a complete view of the past and the present of this beautiful region of Mexico.


MCT Admin
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