Mayan Ruins

Some of the major attractions in Mexico are its stunning archeological sites. You can reach a number of well-known Mayan ruins in the country from Playa del Carmen. Some of the more popular sites near Playa del Carmen include Xel-Ha, Chichen Itza, Tulum, Coba, and Ek Balam.


The Mayan people used Xel-Ha as a port of call to other sacred destinations. It has some stone temples. The Groupo Lothrop is made up of platforms with stairways. You can also see some panels collected from this Mayan ruin, like images of birds as well as colorful rectangles.

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza was founded by the early settlers Maya-Itzas led by Itzamna after splitting from Acalon. The ancient city was occupied twice – from 495 A.D. to 692 A.D. and from 948 A.D. to 1204 A.D. The first period’s architecture is considered to be authentically Maya, while the architecture in the second period is considered to have a large influence from Toltec.

Chichen Itza houses the largest concentration of Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula. The sunlight bathing the western side of the central temple of El Castillo’s main stairway is truly a sight to behold. It gives the illusion of a snake’s body that moves nimbly down the pyramid until it joins with the snake head stone carving at the bottom of the structure.


Coba is a unique archeological site – it was constructed in between two lakes. Its main pyramid is world-renowned because it is the tallest in all of the whole Yucatan Peninsula. It towers 140 feet and overlooks the rainforest area. You can climb the amazing temple steps and will be treated by a magnificent view of the surrounding jungle and lakes.


While not as majestic as Chichen Itza, Tulum is still an imposing site. In fact, it is the smallest archeological attraction, but it is the most scenic Mayan site in the peninsula. Considered by many tourists as the most beautiful Mayan site, Tulum is exquisitely poised on the 15-meter-high cliff overlooking the shimmering Caribbean. When the Spanish conquistadors first set foot on Tulum in early 1500s, they considered it as beautiful and divine as Sevilla in Spain.

Ek Balam

Founded by the great Mayan king, Ek Balam, this ancient place used to be part of the Talol empire. One of the most popular structures housed here is the Acropolis, a spectacular building that has fascinating sculptures and is quite tall. You must also see the Ball Court and the Oval Palace.