Mayan Ruins in Mexico
Playa de Carmen mayan ruins

The Riviera Maya, where Playa del Carmen belongs, is home to some of the most interesting Mayan ruins in Mexico. As Playa del Carmen is in a central location, these ruins are easily accessible. The ruins in Xel-Ha and Tulum are just 45 minutes away by road. Coba, which lies within the jungle, is also a short drive away. Then there is Ek Balam and Chichen Itza, which are two and a half hours away.

With these major archaeological treasures close by, Playa del Carmen is an ideal home base even as you explore these ruins.


The Mayans used Xel-Ha as a port of call to other sacred destinations. Xel-ha has some stone temples. The Groupo Lothrop is made up of platforms with stairways. You can also see some panels collected from the ruins, such as images of birds and colorful rectangles.


Tulum played a major role in the trade of the Mayans; as such, many structures were built there. There is the city square, which was used for Mayan ceremonies. Beside it is the Castillo, which is the tallest structure in Tulum. Also in Tulum is the Temple of the Descending God, which even has traces of the original pigment on its walls. There are many other equally fascinating Mayan structures here and that is why this is a must-visit for you.


Coba is a large Mayan city spread over 80 square kilometers. There is the main pyramid, the Nohuch Mul, which is the tallest in the Yucatan peninsula. Another pyramid is the Templo de la Iglesia, which provides a fantastic view of Lake Macanxoc.

Ek Balam

This used to be part of the empire Talol and was founded by the Mayan king Ek Balam. Among the structures to see is the Acropolis. This spectacular building has sculptures and is quite tall. Also look at the Oval Palace and the Ball Court.

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