The Heart of the Mayan Civilization: Exploring Ruins

 

EXPLORING MAYAN RUINS

 

Visiting the ruins is like meeting the soul of the Mayan civilization. Hot, lush and mysterious, the ruins stand stoically in time. There can be crowds and entrance fees. It is good to plan ahead or book a tour. Here is a list of the closest ruins to visit.

Tulum Ruins
Only 5 min from Soliman Bay

Tulum is a Late Postclassic site situated on cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea and was probably occupied at the time of the Spanish Conquest. It is a small site with architecture in a style similar to that at the bigger cities of Chichen Itza and Mayapan. The site was probably founded to expand the coastal trade routes of the Yucatán Peninsula. Bring your swimsuit and towel, the beach is amazing.

Coba
Appoximately 1 hour 20 min from Soliman Bay

A large site situated among five small lakes on a dry plain in sub-tropical rain forest. The main phase of occupation of the city dates to the Late Classic through to the Early Postclassic, from about AD 700 to 1100. This Mayan ceremonial center offers one of the key pieces of ancient prophecy which led people to think that the end of the world was close. Filled with ancient ruins and temples underneath wild vegetation, here guests can still climb to the top to see the sacbe and take in the vastness and immeasurable beauty of the surrounding rainforest, rich with life.

Ek Balam
Approximately 2 hours 20 min from Soliman Bay

A great site to visit if you’re looking for something off the beaten path. El Torre (the tower), is one of the largest Mayan structures in the Yucatan and measures over 500ft/151m long, 200ft/60m wide and reaches 100ft/30m high. It’s home to some of the most intricate design motifs found in the Yucatan. 45 structures have been mapped. Note: includes the gorgeous cenote we pictured here.

Chichen Itza 
Approximately 2 hours 45 min from Soliman Bay

The second most visited archaeological site in all of Mexico. Steeped in Mayan lore, this is one of the mythical Mayan metropolises referred to in Mesoamerican literature. With its diverse architecture, the site is a lesson in historical styles. The main attraction is the 1,500-year-old, massive Kukulkan pyramid, El Castillo (the castle), listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It has a fascinating backstory – its construction ensures that during each Vernal Equinox, the dying sun casts a shadow of a serpent writhing down the steps of the pyramid itself.