Mayan Sites Of Interest


In the Quintana Roo Region, thee are many ancient Mayan archeological sites to be explored.  The ancient Maya ruins of Chacchoben, Chakanbakán, Chamax, Coba, Dzibanché, El Meco, Ichpaatán, Kohunlich, Muyil, Oxtankah, Tancah, Tulum, Tupak, Xel-Há, and Xcaret all exist in the Yucatan Penninsula.

On the Costa Maya Explorer - The Undiscovered Yucatan, we explore some of the following sites:




Kohunlich, unlike most Mayan sites is actually not a Mayan name, but is an English version of 'Cohoon Ridge.' Cohoon is Belizean name for a species of fruiting palm common to the area. The name has been "Mayanized" into Kohunlich. The ruins weren't discovered until 1967 by a local Mayan. The Cohoon palms (shown below) create a park like feeling to Kohunlich that is peaceful and beautiful.


Kohunlich is best known for it's Pyramid of the Masks. It is one of the oldest structures at Kohunlich, built before 500 AD. The building has a giant staircase flanked by six huge heads modeled in stucco. Each mask is over 8 feet tall and is slightly different. While there is no known identification attributed to the masks, some theories say they represent Gods, other that they are faces of ruling members of Kohunlich.


The name in Maya means "writing on wood" was given by the finding of wooden lintels calendar inscriptions in the structure known as the Temple VI.
The study of the site is far from complete but it can be said that according to current research site would surely have been founded around 200 BC, when you have multiple platforms and buildings built of perishable materials. It is from the Early Classic (200 AD), which Dzibanché becomes a big city and began the development of the enormous construction projects can be seen today. To this period belong the acropolis of all Kinichná , Building 1 or Temple Owl and the first stage of construction of Building 11 or Temple of the cormorants, to name the most important.
During the classic late (600-800 AD), ending the stage of construction of huge temples - foundations of ceremonial function, but instead is an enormous expansion of urban settlement, through the construction of a large number of buildings public, palaces and houses clustered around neighborhoods may have had economic and industrial implications. Agricultural architecture, manifested through numerous renovation and modification of the landscape, urban growth was very important in the Dzibanché of the time.
After the end of Terminal Classic (ca. 1000 AD) appears to have been a period of socio-political disruption and disintegration in the area that coincides with the abandonment of other cities Maya , this would have caused the cessation of architectural works on site and subsequent partial abandonment. 
After 1200 AD, the population incorporated into a scattered pattern and ruralized, set their houses in the area of the old squares and dismantled some buildings to use their building materials. For centuries XV and XVI , Dzibanché residents flocked to the temple ruins only to deposit offerings and perform ceremonies for ancestors.


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The Undiscovered Yucatan

We explore 200 miles south of Cancun and avoids the overly developed areas of the Yucatan, near the Belize border...