Mexico was once the domain of the Maya, an ancient people whose civilization left an indelible mark on the world. Today, the ruins of many of their ancient cities can still be viewed at top archeological sites in the Riviera Maya, including Chichen Itza, Tulum, and more. When you book a villa in Riviera Maya with Agave Villas, it’s easy to explore all of these nearby sites and discover your own place in its storied history!
1. Tulum Ruins
The Tulum ruins are a must-see when visiting Riviera Maya! This ancient Mayan city is a sight to behold, set on a picturesque cliff facing the Caribbean Sea. It once served as an important seaport for the region, with a key role in commercial trade for the surrounding area, including neighboring cities like Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, and Coba.
These ruins are also some of the best preserved in Riviera Maya, and with their idyllic setting, it’s perfect for a day trip. Tulum beach is also nearby, with beautiful white sand that’s perfect for sunbathing, and plenty of dining and shopping options.
2. Coba Mayan Ruins
Just a short drive from Tulum in a lush jungle setting, the Coba ruins present a unique opportunity to climb a real Mayan pyramid. At 42 meters tall, the Nohoch Mul pyramid is a steep, uneven climb, but there’s a thick rope that can be used to anchor yourself, and the unforgettable view of the jungle from the top is well worth the trek!
There are three nearby cenotes, where you can beat the heat and enjoy a refreshing swim after your sweaty climb to the top of the pyramid. The surrounding areas are also a great spot for biking and hiking.
3. Ek Balam Ruins
Nestled in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula are the Ek Balam ruins, the remains of another ancient Mayan city. Most unusually, the city is still protected by its original walls. Only the center has been excavated, lending an air of mystery and adventure to the place that you’ll appreciate as you explore.
Be sure to visit El Torre, the main tower in the central Plaza, to get a glimpse of another ancient Mayan pyramid that will take your breath away.
4. Chichen Itza Ruins
Chichen Itza is perhaps the most well-known Mayan city, thanks in large part to its world-famous pyramid, El Castillo (also known as the Temple of Kukulcán). You can also view the Sagrado sinkhole, a circular pool that’s 200 feet in diameter and 50 feet deep, where it’s speculated that the Mayans performed rituals, sacrifices, and other religious ceremonies.
If you visit just one archaeological site in Riviera Maya, Chichen Itza is a contender for the most stunning of them all.
5. El Meco Ruins
This ancient site was only recently opened to the public and is home to the highest Mayan pyramid in the Cancun area. First inhabited in 200 AD, El Meco was once an important civil and ceremonial center for the city of Coba.
El Meco is one of the least excavated sites in the area, and its untouched state makes it that much more interesting to visit. It’s a great place to visit if you’d prefer to take a break from more crowded sites like Chichen Itza.
Explore Mexico’s Ancient Past with Agave Villas
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