The ancient city of Calakmul

The ancient city of Calakmul

Maya City: Mankind Heritage

Calakmul, which means two adjacent mounds in Mayan, is an impressive place. A visit here leaves nobody indifferent. Nature and archaeology are displayed together here at their very best. It truly is a spectacular place. It is a declared a Biosphere Reserve and it is the second largest natural lung on the continent. It is also the largest tropical ecological reserve in Mexico with an area of 723.185 hectares. It is home to 86 species of mammals (jaguar, puma, ocelot, margay, jaguarondi, anteater, spider monkey, howler monkey, tapir, among others). It is also home to some 282 species of birds, 50 species of reptiles, 400 types of butterflies and 73 types of wild orchids.

Located within the forest, rising above the trees tops, are the ruins of Calakmul, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO and one of the largest sites in all of Mesoamerica. It is undoubtedly an important place to visit, and if you have any energy left after it, it is also worth visiting the ruins of Becan, the only city surrounded by a defensive trench, and also the settlements of Chicanna, Rio Bec, Hormiguero, Balamku and Xpujil. The latter is walking distance from the town of Xpuhil, where there are a host of accredited guides. You can find out about adventure tourism activities such as camping, hiking, wildlife appreciation, photography, ethnographic research, and you can stay there in the beautiful jungle. Here, some Mayan women still embroider huipil (a traditional Campeche dress) and carve wood. To regain your strength, sample some of the local dishes, which are mainly made with meat of domestic and wild animals, prepared in the ‘pipian’, ‘salpicon’ and ‘barbacoa’ styles. Quite an impressive experience! On the 26th of May, don?t miss the Biosphere Reserve Concert in Xpujil. The State Symphony Orchestra will revive Mayan sounds in a unique setting.

Suggestions and Information

We recommend wearing lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes that will let you walk easily to the different areas of the site, as it is accessible only on foot and by bike. Climbing the pyramids is permitted. It’s important and recommended to bring insect repellant as Coba is located within a dense jungle and there can be mosquitoes and other insects. Outside food and drink inside the site is not recommended. Photography using flash is not recommended. Before arriving check the weather forecast to help you choose the best time. Remember, it’s important to respect the area you’re visiting and keep it clean.


Satellite phone, restrictive and informative signage and explanatory signage.This archaeological site is equipped with the following amenities: parking, service unit, sales of publications, health and custodian.



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