Visiting the Mexican Caribbean means you can enjoy a wide variety of activities, because apart from being a sun, sea and beach destination, you can also delve into the depths of the earth and explore underground rivers, bathe in fresh-water cenotes and get to know a little of the legacy of the Maya culture by visiting three of the most emblematic archaeological sites on the Riviera Maya:
- Archaeological site of Cobá
Located right in the tropical jungle, this age-old Maya city rises between two lagoons. At the height of its splendor, it covered more than 75 sq. km. (about 30 sq. miles) and had over 50,000 inhabitants; to date only about 5% of the site has been excavated and it is estimated to comprise some 6,500 structures. It is home to Nohoch Mul, the highest pyramid in the Riviera Maya at 42 meters (46 yards), and the only one which you can climb unassisted. The site is so big you can tour it by taking a bicycle ride, rickshaw style!
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Entrance fee: $80 MXN pesos (about US$4)
- Archaeological Site of Tulum
Since the ancient Maya engaged in coastal trade, the location of this city was of strategic importance for economic development. Today it is considered the Mexican Caribbean’s most iconic archaeological site, featuring some 60 structures, among them the 7.5 m. high El Castillo pyramid and a small sanctuary. There is a cave under the pyramid and a white sand beach snuggled between the cliffs; it’s the only Maya site right by the sea and well worth a visit.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Entrance fee: $80 MXN pesos
- Archaeological site of Muyil
Muyil is located south of Tulum village and was one of the first inhabited sites in Mexico, from about 300 B.C. to its decline in 1550 A.D. It covers about 38 hectares (over 90 acres) of jungle and is perfect for a day’s outing. It features an 18 meter-high pyramid known as El Castillo, and the site is also at the entrance of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, which you can explore following its canals and includes a wide-ranging diversity of marine life and ecosystems, beaches, lagoons, mangroves, jungle, birds and wildlife in their natural habitat.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Entrance fee: $45 MXN pesos
por: Salvador Torres
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