Archaeological Zones in Cancun

Posted on May 31, 2023 by Eduardo

Cancun is a privileged territory, thanks to the fact that it has places to visit such as its paradisiacal beaches with their fine white sand that fascinates us all, the Caribbean charm, its nightlife and of course the Archaeological Zones in Cancun, offers us the opportunity to meet one of the most important civilizations, as well as ancient ones in history.

If you are wondering how many archeological zones there are in Cancun, the answer is 4, but near the city we have many more that amount to more than 20 archeological sites that comprise the Riviera Maya.

However, in this post we will only tell you about the 6 most known and visited archeological sites in and near the city.

Archaeological Zones in Cancun

These archeological zones are at the top of the list of things to do in Cancun and therefore you can’t miss the opportunity to visit at least 2 or 3 of these places that we will list below.

Tulum Archaeological Zone

The magisterial town of Tulum is one of the archaeological cultural sites that limits about 130 kilometers from Cancun, these Mayan ruins are located on the shores of the sea.

The Archaeological Zone of Tulum, offers us to visualize in all its splendor the Mexican Caribbean. In addition, you can enjoy views of buildings typical of the region, you can see the Mayan pyramids and you can also swim in the beach.

The construction of the El Castillo building was a reference since it served as a lighthouse that indicated to navigators when they looked at the mainland, if they didn’t do it in time they would run with the bad luck of getting shipwrecked and crashing into the region’s reefs.

This archaeological site is characterized by its great importance as a commercial port in its golden days. Its main buildings are: Temple of the Frescoes, the Great Platform and of course The Castle in which you can enjoy an incredible view, as well as you can’t miss the sea from the cliff.

Take note and don’t forget to prepare your bathing kit so you don’t get caught off guard, the beaches are located less than a kilometer away.


The city of Cobá shone in the Classic period according to history, it maintained a very close contact with the Mayan cities located to the South, like Calamar in Campeche and Tikal in Guatemala. The highest pyramid of the Yucatan Peninsula is located here, with 42 meters of height and of the Estela Uno; Nohoch Mul, famous for believing to indicate the date of the end of the world on 12/12/2012 when in fact it was the end of an era.

You can’t miss visiting La Iglesia and climbing the pyramid Nohoch Mul since it is one of the few archaeological zones where you can still climb to appreciate the jungle from the heights, but always try to ascend very carefully since it is somewhat risky, you can also ride a bicycle, among other tours.

King’s Ruins Archaeological Zone

One of the largest archeological zones in Cancun, it dates back to the year 300 and according to what we have as a reference, it was occupied until the year 1550. Its flourishing period is from the Middle Preclassic to the Late Postclassic between 1200 and 1550 A.D.

One of its main characteristics is the careful bowl of a roadway that runs from north to south, where on its sides they built platforms with residential rooms that differ in some details that make each building very particular. There are 47 structures in an administrative area and another religious area, there are also two main squares limited by two streets.

According to the fact that the platforms of the North Road are aligned with the pyramidal base of the archaeological zone called San Miguelito, it is believed that the two sites are part of a single settlement that extends up to three kilometers. This Zone is related to the astronomical practices of ancient civilizations.

It is located in the Hotel Zone of Cancun at km 18 of Kukulkan Boulevard and is open to the public from Monday to Sunday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

San Miguelito Archaeological Zone

The San Miguelito Archaeological Zone is also among the places to visit within Cancun. San Miguelito was occupied during the Late Postclassic period from 1200 to 1550 A.D.

It is located in the Hotel Zone of Cancun at kilometer 16.5 of Kukulcan Boulevard from Monday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. To reach the site, you must follow a walking trail that starts at the lower corridor of the

Mayan Museum of Cancun and that passes through a wonderful vegetation of the region. It is constituted by four groups that include structures that could have contained palm and wood houses.

Chichen Itza

Famous for belonging to the New Wonders of the World, the Pyramids of Chichen Itza are located in the Yucatan, 197 kilometers from Cancun. Influenced by having a particular Toltec culture, they have something tangible in the figures of Chaac Mool and the Temple of a Thousand Columns found in this architectural zone as in Tula in the State of Hidalgo.

They played an extremely important role in the years of the end of the Classic and beginning of the Post Classic, and even though it wasn’t habilitated when the Spaniards arrived, it functioned as a center of reverence.

When you are visiting these pyramids, wait to see the descent of Kukulkan or equinox that can be seen at the beginning of spring and autumn. You should also not miss the opportunity to witness the sound and light show, Kukulkan Nights.

The main buildings are: The Kukulkan Castle, Ball Game, the Snail Observatory and the Temple of a Thousand Columns.

El Meco Archaeological Zone

This place played a very important role in the Mayan navigation route. Its prosperous era was between the Early Classic and Late Post Classic between 1200 and 1500 A.D.

Here, you can appreciate 14 buildings, including El Castillo, a pyramid with five levels and 12.5 meters in height, and the main plaza with an adornment in its central part where different political and ceremonial functions are carried out.

The Archaeological Zones in Cancun of El Meco are located 5 kilometers to the north near Puerto Juarez and are open from Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is another structure that is one of the temples enclosing the plaza to the north that has a distinctive appearance because a fig tree has grown inside.

These are the 6 most known and visited archaeological zones in the city in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, but the truth is that there are more than 20 archaeological sites and we will soon add them here.