Cancun Mexico Travel Information
Cancun Mexico Travel
Quintana Roo   Yucatan   Campeche
You are here:   Main » Mayan Ruins » Travel Tips for Visiting Mayan Ruin Sites

MAYAN RUINS
Intro - Ruin Sites
Ruin Site Maps
Site Guides
Recommendations
Museums
Tips
Field Schools
FEATURES
Indigenous Peoples
Modern Maya
Story of Color
Maya Fashions
Mayan Holy Week
mayan arts crafts
Mayan Arts & Crafts

It is better to wear hiking boots/shoes or running shoes instead of sandals. You get better traction climbing stuff and you do not want to fall down off a temple.

I N A H

Mexican Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History known as INAH for its Spanish abbreviation) is the federal government bureau established in 1939 to guarantee the research, preservation, protection, and promotion of the prehistoric, archaeological, anthropological, historical, and paleontological heritage of Mexico.

This bureau is responsible for the over 110 thousand historical monuments, built between the 16th and 19th centuries, and for 29 thousand archaeological zones found all over the country, although is it estimated there must be 200 thousand sites with archaeological remains. Of these 29,000, 150 are open to the public.





TIPS FOR VISITING MAYAN RUIN SITES

Rent A Bicycle At Coba

At Coba, rent a bicycle. The main temple/pyramid is a long walk through the jungle and the bike ride will save you lots of energy. Many people think that the walk would be "nice" however if you climb to the top of the great pyramid then you will be tired and wished you had a bike to get back on.


Water

Take water with you because many of the sites do not have a store.


Playa del Carmen resort

Know Where You Are Going

Always stay on main paths. Never wander into the jungle thinking you may see something off the beaten path. At popular ruin sites there are usually lots of tourists and staff walking around but at some of the remote sites some times you could be the only people there.

If you get lost in the jungle it is difficult because often you cannot see the sun so it is extremely difficult to get your sense of direction. Paths crisscross into a maze that can take you deeper and deeper into dense uninhabited jungle.

Bring a working compass or GPS with you. A whistle can also be a good thing if you get lost or separated from your group.

Footwear

It is better to wear hiking boots/shoes or running shoes instead of sandals. You get better traction climbing stuff and you do not want to fall down off a temple.


TP

Bring your own tissue paper and be prepared to use the bush.


Jaguars

If you saw a jaguar during the day you would be one of the lucky few. Jaguars hunt at night and generally sleep all day.


Crocodiles

You have to be cautious where you swim if you are in the jungle. If there is nobody else swimming and no locals around you may want to think twice about jumping into that beautiful lagoon. A crocodile can lay submerged quite a long time waiting for you.


Cameras/Film

Make sure you bring extra film with you at each ruin site. Do not leave your film in the car because the trip back can be time consuming and extremely aggravating on a scorching hot day. Some times a small site that is only listed as a 2-hour visit may have many photographic possibilities while a larger site has less. Don't forget to bring an extra battery.


The First Picture

Every ruin site has a main entrance sign that makes an excellent photo for your scrapbook to help separate the sites you visit.


Plastic Bags

If you smoke, carry matches or simply money you may want to bring some plastic baggies with you. On a hot day spent out in the sun you can perspire to the point of getting soaking wet. This also means anything in your pockets also get soaking wet. Especially if there is high humidity.


Food

Most sites do not have vending machines, stores or restaurants. If you want to eat you must bring your own food. Some sites have picnic tables for this.


Tarantulas

Tarantulas live in small holes and can move quite fast when provoked. If you start snooping around the sides of some mounds watch where you stick your fingers.


Swimming Hole Scam

This is not widely practiced however it could possibly happen to you. Some ruin sites have cenotes or small natural pools to swim in. Here you may find lots of young children playing and swimming. Some of the little rascals will wait for the "gringos" to leave their valuables on a rock while they wade out into the water. Right in front of your eyes they will walk over grab your stuff and run away.

Staff and security do try to stop these kids from doing this but they are clever and figure out ways to outsmart security.


The Sign Says

If the sign says to keep off, keep off. You can get kicked out of a site for disobeying the rules and if they have to call the police you will have much aggravation on your hands.


Best Time To Go

The earlier you visit a site the more wildlife you will see. Once the mid-day sun comes many animals seek the shade to cool down.


Birds

The best place to find birds is along an army-ant trail, generally at the front. Birds prey on fleeing insects. Watching the army ants is quite interesting as well.


Flashlight

Some sites have passageways, rooms in temples and other interesting things that require mobile lighting.


Site Ticket

Save your site ticket to put in your photo album.

Salting

You would never encounter this with a certified guide [see guides] but some unscrupulous persons acting as guides will drop real artifacts on the ground and pretend to find them. You of course will be interested. They will then tell you about their amazing collection of things they have found. They propose to show their collection to you when you return to the entrada. When you get there they do indeed bring out their collection, much of which is fake junk or real stuff but recently made. This can be anything from black jade necklace beads to small figurines aged to look authentic. They will then offer to sell an object to you at an amazing price because they have to get some money that day to buy something. It's a scam.


Climbing Coba's Great Pyramid

If you are afraid of heights then you should think twice about climbing to the top of this structure. Once you get up there you have to climb down, which is the hard part. Playa del Carmen If you hang around and sit at the top of the pyramid long enough you will see some pretty hysterical people. Some people get so terrified that they become paralyzed and cannot move. You see them hanging on to the temple at the top trembling with fear.

There is a rope that is attached to the top and runs down to the bottom but this rope is useless because it is flimsy and stretches. If more than one person is hanging on to the rope it sways in more than one direction. There really is no help for you to get down and if you have an accident then getting you out presents a logistics problem and you could be in trouble.

For some people climbing the pyramid is not a problem, in fact we race up and down the structures and have even come to the conclusion that the people who built these structures could possibly have had actual races, probably for children to run up and down the pyramids. It is a lot of fun and we cannot see why this form of competiton would not have taken place.

by availability
Check In:
Check Out:
Destination:
Make selections then click

HotelsCancun Airport TransfersCancun Tours

TRIP PLANNING
Entry Info: Immigration Customs
Where to Visit in the Yucatan
Mayan Ruin Sites
Open Water/Cave Diving Snorkeling
Yucatan Has Beautiful Beaches
Ecology & EcoTours
MAYA TRIVIA

Today's Maya number more than six million, are divided in to many differnt ethnic groups and speak more than 30 distinct indigenous languages.

Natural wells are called cenotes from the Mayan word dsonoot.

The Maya describe the Yucatan as "u luumil cutz, u luumil ceh, mayab u kabah" - the land of the pheasant, the land of the deer and Mayab is its name.

The word puuc means "hilly country" in the Maya language of the Yucatec.

The first three rows of a Mayan corn field were for travelers.

True windows are rarely found in Maya architecture.

TRAVELYUCATAN.COM

About Us
Testimonials

To Contact a TravelYucatan.com
Representative Please e-mail:

TravelYucatan.com
Is Carbon Neutral

We calculate how much bandwidth TravelYucatan.com uses then purchase C02 offsets to balance emissions. We offset the energy consumed to create site content including our own travel research.

Travel Green
Learn How!

Tale of the
Little Seamstress

Once upon a time, there was a little seamstress who sewed mightily on his sewing machine.

The other machines in his neighborhood laughed at him, and shouted: "Fairy! Only old women are streamstresses!"

So the little seamstress sewed shut the mouths of everyone who made fun of him.

That is why, to this day, we do not know how the story ended, because no one could tell it.



e-mail TravelYucatan.com HotelsCancun Airport TransfersCancun Tours

TravelYucatan Logo

Cancun Mexico TravelTravelYucatan.com