Three mayan sites without getting out of Cancun

Sun, sand and fun in Cancun, Mexican Caribbean.
Sun, sand and fun in Cancun, Mexican Caribbean.

Sun, sand and sea. This is what comes to our mind when we think about Cancun, the mexican paradise. And oh, yes, of course: those never ending fiestas at the nightclub. But there’s much more to see in Cancun. It’s a young city but it keeps a strong mayan heritage. You don’t need to do a long journey to Chichen Itza or Tulum.  If you’re staying at the hotel zone, it will be easy and to get to these amazing sites. You can go by bus, by taxi, or you can ask for a private service with a tour guide to learn more about the Maya and their legacy in the Yucatan Peninsula.

So take a rest between one beach and another to visit San Miguelito, El Rey and El Meco. The jungle around them will refresh your visit meanwhile you enjoy the architectural beauty of those mayan temples and houses.

San Miguelito archaeological site in Cancun Hotel Zone.
San Miguelito archaeological site in Cancun Hotel Zone.

1.San Miguelito

It’s just a stone’s throw away from La Isla, one of the most exclusive shopping mall centers in Cancun. So, you can combine both experiences in a half a day tour. San Miguelito was a small maya settlement close to the beach. Only few buildings and temples remain, but some of them still keep some mural painting details. The Maya Museum of Cancun is next to the archaeological site. This place is focused on mayan cities located in Quintana Roo State, so you will find here more reasons to come back to explore the Mexican Caribbean and its lush jungle.

Where is San Miguelito archaeological site and the Maya Museum: Km 16.5, Boulevard Kukulcan, Zona Hotelera, Cancun, Quintana Roo.

When is it open: Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 to 16:30 hrs.

Entrance fee: 64 pesos.

What to bring: Bug repellent and water are a must. Hat, sunscreen and camera.

El Rey, mayan site in Cancún. Archaeological site in the Yucatan Peninsula
El Rey, mayan site in Cancun.

2. El Rey

After visiting the majestic beach called “El Mirador” or “Delfines” beach, you can get to El Rey archaeological site. Both San Miguelito and El Rey were built between 1200 and 1500 A.D. (Postclassic Period). Their inhabitants were mainly fishermen and merchants. When the spaniards arrived in the XVI century, most of the maya abandoned their cities which were covered by the jungle for centuries.

Where is El Rey archaeological site: Km 18, Boulevard Kukulcan, Zona Hotelera, Cancun, Quintana Roo.

When is it open: Monday to sunday, 8:00 to 16:30 hrs.

Entrance fee: 50 pesos.

What to bring: Sunblock, water, camera, hat or cap. Bug repellent if you get there in the afternoon.  

Amazing Mayan Pottery at the Cancun Maya Museum.
Amazing Mayan Pottery at the Cancun Maya Museum.

3.El Meco

This archaeological site is the perfect complement for a beach day at Puerto Juarez or Isla Mujeres.

It is located in the north part of Cancun, 20 minutes away from the hotel zone. Take a taxi to get to Puerto Juarez. You can take a ferry to Isla Mujeres or stay at “El Niño” beach, which is a popular place for the locals. El Meco is 5 minutes to the north from Puerto Juárez. During the Pre Hispanic period It was an important trading place. The main building is a temple 41 meters high.

If you feel hungry after your visit, there are some excellent seafood restaurants in Puerto Juarez. It’s the best chance to try the Cancun flavors.  

Where is El Meco archaeological site: Km 2.7 Puerto Juarez highway- Punta Sam, Isla Mujeres municipality, Quintana Roo.

When is it open: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 to 16:30 hrs.

Entrance fee: 50 pesos.

What to bring: Sunblock, bug repellent and water. Hat or cap and camera.

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