Millions of tourists head to Mexico every year to explore some of its magnificent sites. If you are a tourist with an interest in historical places then Mexico has got some amazing archeological sites. The Mayan Ruins Mexico is famous all over the world and has got something really special and amazing to offer the tourists.
The Mayan Ruins got landmark significance due to their historic architectural designs. Tourists visiting them could attempt to even climb on those huge temple-pyramids. The Mayan ruins in abundance are there not only in Mexico but also in Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala. However, the ones in Mexico are the best for their historic charm and are highly recommended for tourists.
The best thing about the most in-demand Mayan Ruins for the visitors is that they are not too far from Mexico City. It is in San Juan Teotihuacan municipality which is within the State of Mexico and just 40 kilometers away from Mexico City.
There are plenty of day tours available from the city which allows you to explore those ruins throughout the day. You can also get the services of a local guide there who will walk you through the history of the ruins along with some fun facts about those ruins as well. The list with brief details of the most famous Mayan Ruins in Mexico are given below:
#1, Chichen Itza
This is undoubtedly the most loved and most visited Mayan ruin in Mexico. This one is located in the Yucatan peninsula. You will be shocked to learn that 2.5 million tourists visit this Mayan ruin every year. This archeological site has a rich history of a diverse population. You will see that reflected in the different architectural styles throughout the site. The archeologists call it the prime example of the Mayan Toltec civilization. As per the research, this was first settled roughly in the mid 400s by the Maya population.
This city as told by the archeological experts has fallen around 1440 AD. It then got abandoned in the thick forest for five centuries until the excavations of modern times began. These ruins are so fascinating for the tourists for their uniqueness and to be in great shape still. They would provide all tourists with a very exciting glimpse into the old times. Tourists not so long ago were able to climb up this extraordinary ruin but that access is now closed due to the wear and tear of the ruin.
The word Uxmal in Mayan means ‘thrice built’. This name refers to the construction approach of the structure. It is such that the Pyramid of the Magician was constructed over existing pyramids. In this specific case, archeologists have discovered as many as five levels of constructions. Uxmal was among the largest Mayan cities of the Yucatan peninsula. It was on the Puuc Route. The height of the structure was home to as many as 20,000 residents of the Maya civilization.
Uxmal flourished much late in the Classic Period and it is believed to be around 900 AD. It was well before this structure was overruled by several of the nearby settlements. The rulers of the Uxmal are also believed to have been part of Labna, Kabah, and Sayil, which are other neighboring settlements. There are multiple white roads known as sacbes in Maya that connect these nearby sites. Visiting this site would be an absolute treat for the visitors.
#3, Monte Alban
It is recognized as one of the first pre-Colombian cities of Mexico. It was founded in 500 BC. It was dominated by agriculture through its many years of development and other population changes. It is located in Oaxaca, which is a southern Mexican state. It covers quite a few cultures as it stood alive for as long as 13 centuries. The historical influence of the place also puts it on the list of the UNESCO world heritage site.
It is a very popular Mayan ruin site for tourists as quite a significant piece of the city remains intact. It includes tombs, palaces, temples, historical ball courts, and astronomical observatories, etc. The ball court of the site is the one that is believed to have hosted Ollama games. It is a game very similar to modern-day football.
Tulum ruins are just by the sea and it offers so many exciting opportunities for the tourists coming here. It is just a few hours of drive away from Chichen Itza. It is regarded as a landmark walled city of Tulum. It is rested right over a cliff that overlooks the beautiful sea just next to it. These ruins of Tulum have the crystal blue Caribbean beach which is safe and good enough to swim if you require. The views are extremely incredible all around it and it will make your day for sure.
For the Maya, Tulum is believed to be one of their significant religious and trading center. It was between the 1st and the 16th century. The people there use to trade in jade, turquoise, copper bells, food, axes, cotton, and even chocolates. It is because of such unique and prime location of Tulum right next to the beautiful Riviera Maya cost that it was so many tourists. This is not too much of a big site so it may get extremely crowded especially during the peak seasons and daytime. The Temple of the Frescoes. This is where you could also see inside the painted murals.
If you are in Tulum and done with its sightseeing then just 40 kilometers to its west is Coba. It covers an area of 80 square miles and within that are five large lakes as well. There is a lot of mystery associated with the place and it is less popular as compared to a few other Mayan ruins nearby. The archaeologists believe that it might produce the largest excavation of Mayan one day.
As of now, it is not touched so visitors could imagine things just as they want or to build any story behind the pyramids and mounds. This air of mystery is something that makes it so special and attractive for tourists. If you are fit enough for some exciting efforts then do make sure to climb up 120 steps that will take you right to the top of Nohoch Mul. It is the tallest structure on a peninsula which overlooks the ruins covered under the jungle.
This site is popular among tourists for its neighborhood and the architecture itself alike. The structure is encapsulated in a very romantic forest in the Chiapas region. The city was at its peak period between 500 to 700 centuries AD. The place is celebrated far and wide for its excellent structural craftsmanship and creativity. As many as 1400 structures at this site have already been discovered. This exploration is believed to be only 10 percent of the total.
The ruins here are very well preserved and are believed to be among the top representations of the classical period of Mayan. The site also has a lot of information regarding the living style of the Mayans. This is all thanks to the hieroglyphic inscriptions which were discovered well within the Temple. This place is excellent ad superb for photography as well. The local guides here could provide tourists with a great wealth of information about the Mayan civilization and their lifestyle.
#7, Ek Balam
Yucatan has got quite a few exciting Mayan ruins and this Ek Balam is one of them. It is found near the Valladolid region. Ek Balam’s literal meaning in the May language is Black Jaguar. The tourists here could have a very interesting day where they could climb and explore the amazing ruins. There is also a very enjoyable and beautiful X’Canche. It is a cenote sinkhole at the site which is dominated by crystal clear and fresh blue water.
Ek Balam is also the place of the tomb of King Ukit Kan Lek. It lies right within the largest pyramid of Ek Balam. Alongside this stands 45 more historical structures as well. The walls of the ruins are among the major highlights of the structure that surrounds the entire site. If you could climb to the highest pyramid of the structure then you will be able to witness some incredible views. You will be thoroughly amazed by the calligraphy plastered and some amazing artwork on the walls. It could be found on some of the buildings and the experience will be unforgettable.
Chacchoben ruins are regarded as one of the most considerable sites of the Mayan civilization. This is also a ruin that only has a small portion of it that is opened for the public and tourists. A lot of the original temples here are in their exact ancient condition and are waiting to get restored. The city in its region was home to one of the largest communities by 360 AD. By Mayans, it was regarded as the ceremonious activity center.
The most prominent ritual plaza of Maya here was the Gran Basamento. The ruins are surrounded by a very thick forest. It now has a variety of plants and several other creatures which include puma, jaguar, and tapir as well. Traces of red around the bottom of the structures are something that will attract tourists a lot. These colors prove that these structures once were completely painted in red. This is getting quickly degraded due to the unrelenting sun.
Edzna means ‘House of the Itzas’ in the Mays language. Due to this, a lot of people including the archeological experts believe that this particular city was the home of the Itza clan or family. This was well before they progressed further to discover the landmark Chichen Itza site. This specific site in one way or the other is a mystery. All this makes it one of the best stops for tourists on the road trip that goes through the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
In the history of the Mayan civilization, this was one of their major cities around the 200 AD era. However, it got completely abandoned in 1450. There is no definite reason still found about its destruction. In 1907, it was rediscovered and now it is host to an amazing Evening Light Show as well that beautifully lit-up these ruins. It is highly recommended to the tourists to visit Gran Acropolis when visiting Edzna. It is the Temple of the Masks which has its great history that will interest you a lot.
These so beautiful and impressive Teotihuacan ruins are just outside Mexico City. It brings to this day a great mix of cultures. The real founders of this are still not known to date despite there are evident features from several different cultures within its architecture. It is primarily believed to be Aztec tough. The artifacts and the items that are found within the ruins of this amazing city suggest that the place was probably once home to different elite people. It belonged to Maya and as well as several other cultures.
It all makes a very interesting and knowledgeable historical analysis of this superb ruin. The prime attraction of the site is the Moon Pyramid. There are a plethora of secrets hidden under it which are getting revealed slowly and steadily. It is because archeological digging is still in progress. Many years ago, archeologists on this same site discovered skeletons of humans and animals which were believed to be inhumanely treated. This could be part of some ritualistic sacrifice for the gods during those ancient times. Citadel could be explored once you visit this city. It is a huge plaza that is surrounded from all sides by the temples.
If we take a good deep look at the Maya civilizations then there are as many as 4,400 archeological sites of that civilization. They are spread throughout the Latin America region where the majority of them are in Mexico. It can take somebody a whole lifetime to explore every Mayan ruin in the country.
To make things easier for you, we have crafted a list of the most popular and attractive Mayan ruins in Mexico above. A few of these archeological sites date back to 600 BC which makes them so inspiring and worth visiting. Apart from experiencing these historic sites as they are, you may also indulge yourself in several other activities. It could be climbing right on top of the tallest pyramid there or maybe just cycle around the city as old as 1500 years. If you want some more excitement, then you may also take a dip in the ocean with the ruins in the backdrop.